The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge had a design flaw when it opened



The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge had a design flaw when it opened
Below: One of the
oldest active fishing
fleets on Puget
Sound can be found
at Gig Harbor.
Photo by Alicia Spooner
The first Tacoma Narrows Bridge had a
design flaw when it opened to traffic in
1940. In high winds, it twisted and rolled,
earning the name Galloping Gertie. On
November 7, 1940, a windstorm caused it to
break apart and fall into Puget Sound.When it
collapsed, it was the largest man-made structure ever lost into saltwater. The second Tacoma
Narrows Bridge opened in 1950, on the same
site with the same central piers, but with an
entirely reworked design. Nicknamed Sturdy
Gertie, it is now toll-free, breathtaking to look at
and from, and stable to drive across.
Gig Harbor
Not far beyond the west end of the Tacoma
Narrows Bridge is the thriving community of
Gig Harbor. The wreckage of the first Tacoma
Narrows Bridge has produced in Puget Sound
the largest artificial reef in the world, supporting abundant marine life, including huge
octopuses that are some of the largest on the
West Coast. Divers often outfit themselves at Gig
Harbor before exploring the reef, while others
rent kayaks in which to examine the protected
harbor. The town’s ethnic origins are Croatian
and Scandinavian, whose influences can still be
seen on the waterfront.
Visitors can enjoy a self-guided historic 2mile walk along the town’s corridor. Guidebooks
are available at the Gig Harbor Peninsula
Historical Society and Museum, 4218
Harborview Drive, which offers interactive
displays, stories, a family tree, photographs, and
newspaper clippings.
Federal Way
To the north of Tacoma is Federal Way, a
town of about 80,000 people and miles of Puget
Sound waterfront. It is home to two state parks,
West Hylebos Wetlands State Park and Dash
Point State Park.
Enjoy thrills, chills, and super entertainment at Tacoma’s Wild Waves and Enchanted
Village. New in 2005, Zooma Falls is the
ultimate family experience in water slide fun.
This splashy new attraction towers five stories
above the park and includes a crossover curve
out of the shoot, four turns, and five acceleration zones ending in a cool slide on the Konga
River Island. Splash down LumberJack Falls, get
drenched in Hook’s Lagoon, to mention only a
few of the 60-plus rides and attractions that
open May 28.
Puyallup, on the east side of Tacoma, bursts
with activity in September when the huge
Puyallup Fair is in full swing and in mid-April
when the Daffodil Parade draws crowds.
Located 25 miles west of Mount Rainier is
the community of Eatonville.With a growing
number of artists and craftspeople, several
small galleries dot the downtown. Just outside
Eatonville is the Pioneer Farm Museum and
Ohop Indian Village, a reproduction of an 1880s
homestead and trading post where children
can have a hands-on experience milking cows,
collecting eggs, and learning how American
Indians in the area lived.
The largest attraction in this area is
Northwest Trek Wildlife Park on Hwy 161
about 4 miles north of Eatonville. This 635-acre
park is a refuge for animals native to the
Northwest.You can see the park via a one-hour
narrated tram ride and take a leisurely walk
on 5 miles of nature trails. The park is open
daily, February–October, and on weekends in
winter months.
Mt. Rainier National Park
Towering over the South Sound area, Mount
Rainier is an imposing sight. Its special significance was recognized early, and in 1899 the
mountain was designated a national park. More
than 97 percent of the national park is wilder-
ness, with elevations ranging from 1880 feet
at Carbon River to 14,410 feet at the summit.
Most of the 2 million people who visit the
park annually come in the summer and
arrive through the Nisqually entrance on Hwy
706 east of Ashford.
Six miles east of the Nisqually entrance
is the Longmire District and the Longmire
Museum. Established in 1928, it is one of the
oldest National Park Service museums. Displays
cover the natural and cultural history of Mount
Rainier, and it is open 9 A.M. to 5 P.M. daily.
In the Longmire District you’ll find the
National Park Inn, which is open all year. The
much larger Paradise Inn is farther up the
road at an elevation of 5500 feet. It is closed
during the off-season. Both are operated by
Mount Rainier Guest Services.
For summer visitors, hiking trails abound.
Permits are required to venture into the wilderness overnight. Some of the more popular trails
are the Northern Loop Trail and parts of the
93-mile Wonderland Trail, which encircles
the mountain. Thousands of skiers indulge in
cross-country skiing and snowshoeing here
every winter.
Vacation Guide to Western Washington 17
County from Canada: Snohomish, Skagit,
and Whatcom. Most of the population
and many of the attractions are within easy
driving distance from I–5. The best way to see
the scenery farther east and higher up is to
follow the Cascade Loop.
Retaining a small-town atmosphere despite
its proximity to Seattle, Edmonds is known for
public art and award-winning flowers.
Edmonds has an old-fashioned downtown area,
complete with a European-style fountain and
the Old Milltown complex of antique shops
and gift shops. Many downtown boutiques
come alive during Third Thursday Art Walk,
an event that brings art lovers and artists
together once a month. Traveling to Edmonds
can be an experience within itself; the city is
connected with Kingston on the Kitsap
18 Vacation Guide to Western Washington
Peninsula via Washington State Ferries and
train service runs to the downtown waterfront
from Seattle,Vancouver, B.C., and beyond.
The three-day Annual Taste of Edmonds
festival, with great food and live entertainment
scheduled August 12 to 14, 2005, is sure to
attract more than 100,000 visitors.
Edmonds Underwater Park at Brackett’s
Landing provides divers with easy access to
Edmonds’ beaches, which are designated
marine sanctuaries. The underwater park comprises 27 acres of shipwrecks, artificial reefs,
and marine habitat, and is explored by divers
from all over the world.
Edmonds Marsh nearby is listed in the
Audubon Society’s Birding Guide as one of the
top 119 birding trails in America.
North of Edmonds along the shores of
Puget Sound is Mukilteo. Mukilteo Lighthouse
is the town’s best-known landmark, located a
short distance from the ferry terminal. Mukilteo
became the first county seat in 1861, and the
Mukilteo Museum in the Rosehill Community
Center preserves the history of the community.
The biggest museum in Washington isn’t
really a museum at all. It’s Boeing’s
assembly plant for 747, 767, and 777 jet
aircraft in Everett. Boeing provides tours of the
plant, the largest building in the world in terms
of volume, where visitors can see airplanes in
various stages of assembly. Tickets are provided
on a first-come, first-served basis and can sellout quickly during summer.A new event center
draws major entertainers with a seating
capacity of 10,000 and two ice rinks, one for
public skating. Everett Marina on Puget
Sound is the second largest on the West Coast,
second only to California’s Marina Del Rey.
Photo by Gary Greene
A local landmark is the Dutch-style windmill at RoozenGaarde at the edge of town
in Mount Vernon.
The town of Snohomish has preserved the
historic flavor of its downtown area, which is
the reason more than 450 antique dealers have
converged here. Historic Snohomish may be
considered the antique capital of the Northwest.
Blackman House is one of the pioneer
homes in Snohomish, used since 1969 by the
Snohomish Historical Society as its museum.
Old Snohomish Village has a collection of
cabins, a general store, and a blacksmith shop.
Skagit Valley
Skagit Valley comprises several small communities: Anacortes, Burlington, Concrete,
Mount Vernon, Sedro–Woolley, and La Conner,
and I–5 runs right through the heart of the
valley. Skagit Valley is well-known for its tulip
industry; there is even a hybridized tulip from
Holland named Skagit Valley. The annual
month-long Tulip Festival is held every April, a
popular event that keeps expanding and now
includes events from Anacortes to
Sedro–Woolley.A Logger Rodeo in
Sedro–Woolley draws people from near and far
during Fourth of July week.
La Conner
La Conner is a vibrant and historic waterfront village one hour north of Seattle. Popular
with tourists for relaxing or romantic weekend
getaways, several events are scheduled this year.
Elements–The La Conner Arts Festival, June
24-26, draws artists from throughout the Pacific
Northwest.Walk the pier and gaze at vintage
yachts on September 17 and 18 at the annual
La Conner Classic Yacht & Car Show.At the end
of harvest, the town hosts Grapes and Plates
on October 21 and 22, featuring wineries for
a night and a full day of tastings and food
pairings from local award-winning chefs.
The 21st annual Arts Alive happens the first
weekend in November and includes more than
70 musical events and demonstrations by
artists known regionally and nationally; visitors
are treated to three days immersed in the arts.
Skagit Valley Casino Resort at exit
236 from I-5 offers casino games, live
entertainment, outstanding dining, and
hotel accommodations.
Rather than returning to the freeway,
take a more leisurely trip north on
Chuckanut Drive (Hwy 11) overlooking
Samish Bay and Chuckanut Bay with Chuckanut
Mountain behind you. Larrabee State Park
midway along the drive offers camping and
access to beaches.
• Microwaves, Refrigerators
• Mini-suites with whirlpool tubs
• Indoor pool / Outdoor spa
• Free continental breakfast
• Wireless Internet
Bellingham claims a lush and varied
history that is reflected in its architecture and
geography. Located 89 miles north of Seattle
and 20 minutes from the Canadian border,
Bellingham features a colorful downtown, signature neighborhoods, art and culture, and
historic districts.
Located at the north end of Chuckanut
Drive is the Historic Fairhaven District, the
southernmost and most historic of the four
towns that became Bellingham.With hopes of
being the next Chicago, Fairhaven bustled with
hotels, taverns, an opera house, concert garden,
restaurants, and brothels. The boom was driven
by demand for lumber, coal, and fish, as well as
the rumor that Fairhaven was to become the
western terminus of the second northern
transcontinental railroad. Today, several red
brick buildings have survived in the district and
house such businesses as restaurants, art galleries, and antique shops.
Fairhaven on the Green, new in 2004, is a
park featuring a grapevine-covered pergola
with a wire-glass roof, fountains, a performance
stage for concerts, and an outdoor movie wall.
Fairhaven Station and Cruise Terminal
has train, bus, and ferry connections to Alaska,
Canada, Seattle, and the San Juan Islands.
Vacation Guide to Western Washington 19
Photo by Alicia Spooner
Bellingham Bay was named in 1792 by Captain George Vancouver who found 3000 native people living along these productive waters.
The growing Bellingham waterfront
features an eclectic mix of restaurants, high-end
shops, parks, foot trails, promenades, whalewatching charters, and luxury lodging, as well
as a state-of-the-art harbor.
Bellingham Farmers Market provides
outlets for produce, flowers, cheese, crafts, and
more, Saturdays from April to October in
downtown Bellingham on Railroad Avenue at
Chestnut. From June to September, it operates
on Wednesdays in the Fairhaven Historic
District.A third farmers market operates from
July through September on Tuesdays from 3 to 7
P.M. at Barkley Village.
Whatcom Museum of History and Art
is housed in the striking Old City Hall building
at 121 Prospect Street with annexes a block
away. Besides art and history, there is an
extensive display of clocks and watches and
changing exhibits.
Mount Baker Theatre presents living
history. Opened in 1927 as one of the last
vaudeville palaces on the West Coast, it has
been restored and now is a vital component of
live theater in Bellingham, hosting more than
100 live performances each year.
Lummi Island is the “forgotten island of
the San Juans,” located across the mouth of
Bellingham Bay. Nine miles long and 2 miles
20 Vacation Guide to Western Washington
wide, the island is a popular day trip for bicycling scenic drives and for secluded stays at area
bed-and-breakfast inns.
Blaine/Birch Bay
Before heading east toward Mt. Baker,
consider heading a bit farther north on I–5 to
the town of Blaine. Beautifully framed by the
North Cascades to the east and the Semiahmoo
Bay and Georgia Strait to the west, it is the
busiest border crossing point between British
Columbia and Washington.
Spanning the U.S.–Canadian border is
Peace Arch State Park, home of a 72-foot
Peace Arch that symbolizes nearly two centuries
of peace between the two countries. The city of
Vancouver is less than an hour’s drive north
of here.
Birch Bay, west of I–5, features Birch Bay
State Park, an 18-hole golf course, mini golf,
go-karts, bicycle rentals, a waterslide park, and
a crescent-shaped bay with miles of beach
popular for clam digging.
Peace Arch also can be viewed from
Semiahmoo Resort, located on the
Semiahmoo Spit. This world-class resort community is home to a marina, spa, fitness center,
and a championship golf course designed by
Arnold Palmer. Semiahmoo Spit is home to
Semiahmoo Park, more than 300 acres of
tideland and 1-1/2 miles of level pathways.
Northeast of Bellingham on Hwy 539,
Lynden is Washington state’s largest Dutch settlement; about 70 percent of its residents are of
Dutch ancestry. Lynden is the raspberry capital
of the world, harvesting more than 50 million
pounds of raspberries each year.
Visitors to Front Street, known as Dutch
Old Town, are greeted by a 72-foot-tall working
windmill that towers over the street. It houses a
gift shop, restaurant, and one wing of the Dutch
Village Inn. A canal meanders through Dutch
Village Mall, which has 18 shops that specialize
in such imports as Dutch lace, wooden shoes,
and Delftware.Wait staff in Front Street restaurants bustle about in native dress.
Reserve at least an hour to tour Lynden
Pioneer Museum with its premier collection of
40 antique buggies and its two-story reproduction of 19th century Lynden.
Mt. Baker
The biggest mountain north of Mount
Rainier in the North Cascades is Mount
Baker, a volcano that steams but hasn’t erupted
since the 19th century. Known for its world
record-setting snowfall and an average of more
Photo by Gary Greene
than 600 inches of snow annually, the mountain
draws skiers and snowboarders from both
Canada and the United States. Mount Baker
Hwy (Hwy 542) is quite scenic, with gardens,
farms, vineyards, and such attractions as
Nooksack Falls and Mount Shuksan. The last
24 miles of the highway are a National Forest
Scenic Byway that passes Heather Meadows
Visitor Center, which is open during summer
and ends at Artist Point.
North Cascade Loop includes the North
Cascades Hwy (Hwy 20) and Hwy 2 passing
east to west over the mountains, Hwy 97 connecting them on the east side. On the west side,
the quickest way to close the loop is to use
I–5 between Everett and Burlington. The
completely scenic version of the loop includes
Whidbey Island.
Hwy 20 follows the Skagit River in the area
near Concrete. The community of Concrete got
its name honestly from the locally produced
commodity.After several disastrous fires, the
city decided in 1921 that future structures
should be constructed of nonflammable
concrete, which was in good supply. The concrete
plants are gone, but their legacy remains.
Liberty Bell Peak reaches for the clouds in North Cascades National Park.
Vacation Guide to Western Washington 21
Photo by Gary Greene
The Wenatchee River meanders through the countryside near Leavenworth.
Concrete Heritage Museum is a repository
for much of the area’s history and headquarters
for the Sockeye Express, a guided tour that
operates on summer weekends and holidays.
Skagit River Bald Eagle Natural Area
stretches along a section of the river where bald
eagles particularly like to winter, usually during
January and February. The communities of
Concrete, Rockport, and Marblemount celebrate
this event with the annual Skagit River Bald
Eagle Festival the first weekend in February.
Diablo & Ross Dams
Seattle City Light built three dams on
the Skagit River to bring hydroelectricity to Seattle. The highest of these is Ross Dam,
whose reservoir at Ross Lake extends into
Canada. Seattle City Light provides tours of
Diablo and Ross Dams. Ross Lake has campsites
along its shores, accessible only on foot or by
water. Kayaks and canoes are the primary modes
of transportation across the lake’s deep waters.
At Newhalem, just below Gorge Dam, the
North Cascades National Park Visitor
Center is open all year, but only weekends
between mid-November and mid-April.
Visitors can obtain information on a variety
of short hikes.
Methow Valley
At the Washington Pass summit, an
overlook turnoff provides excellent views of the
rugged grandeur of the mountains. From this
point, the route begins a descent, first along
Early Winters Creek and then down the Methow
22 Vacation Guide to Western Washington
Valley, starting at Mazama. In winter, the
Methow Valley is a haven for cross-country
skiers, with a vast system of trails maintained
by the Methow Valley Sport Trails Association.
In summer, recreation activities include
mountain biking, horseback riding, rock
climbing, and river rafting.
Fifteen more miles brings you to Winthrop.
Established as a trading post in the 1890s,
Winthrop decided in the early 1970s to embrace
its Western heritage and remodeled to become
an early mining town, complete with wooden
sidewalks and false storefronts. The town’s festivals carry on the theme with 49ers Days slated
for May 6-8, 2005. The area’s eighth annual
Fiddlers Contest,August 26-27 in Winthrop
Park, is expected to draw about 500 fiddlers and
fans.Winthrop is also the base for a year-round
hot-air balloon company.
Twisp is a jump-off point for some great
day trips, such as rafting the whitewater Black
Canyon section of the Methow River. Below
Twisp you’ll encounter apple orchards until you
start back up into the mountains at Wenatchee.
Look for roadside fruit stands.
You could continue east on Hwy 20 to
Okanagan, but you will probably follow Hwy 153,
which follows the Methow Valley to join Hwy 97
at Pateros, where the Methow joins the Columbia
River. Hwy 97 follows the Columbia, but take a
short diversion along Alternate 97 to visit Chelan.
The town of Chelan is at the outlet end of
Lake Chelan. Lake Chelan is America’s
third deepest lake at 1486 feet and extends 501/2 miles northwest, reaching the remote
community of Stehekin. Cruises operate
between Chelan and Stehekin, carrying visitors
as well as supplies for Stehekin’s residents.
Rustic accommodations are available, although
many use Stehekin as a starting point for
backpacking deeper into North Cascades
National Park.
The city of Chelan on the lake’s southeast
shore and neighboring Manson are bustling
resort towns in summer with a wide range of
accommodations and restaurants.Visitors
interested in camping with a lake view should
check out Lake Chelan State Park about 9
miles west or Twenty-Five Mile Creek State
Park about 19 miles west.
Hwy 97 continues to follow the Columbia
River between Chelan and Wenatchee. If you’re
traveling in late August, take a side trip to east
Waterville along Hwy 2 for the North Central
Washington Fair. The Big Bend Roundup at
the fair is a sanctioned rodeo.Visitors will find
accommodations at the historic Waterville Hotel.
At Entiat on the west side of the Columbia
(Alternate 97), the Columbia Breaks Fire
Interpretive Center tells the story of the
East Wenatchee
Cedars Inn
Bavarian Lodge
Best Western Icicle Inn
Destination Leavenworth
Enzian Inn
Howard Johnsons Express Inn
Linderhof Motor Inn
Natapoc Lodging
Obertal Motor Inn
Quality Inn & Suites
Convention & Visitors Bureau
904 Potter Street
Bellingham,WA 98229
Cascade Foothills
Farmland Association
PO Box 462 • Peshastin,WA 99847
Cascade Loop Association
PO Box 3245 • Wenatchee,WA 98807
Cle Elum–Roslyn
Chamber of Commerce
401 West 1st Street
Cle Elum,WA 98922
Greater Edmonds
Chamber of Commerce
120 Fifth Avenue N
Edmonds,WA 98020
Lake Chelan Chamber of Commerce
& Visitor Information Center
102 E Johnson
Chelan,WA 98816
Leavenworth Chamber of Commerce
220 Ninth Street
Leavenworth,WA 98826
Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce
105 East Kincaid Street
Mount Vernon,WA 98273
Snohomish County Tourism Bureau
909 SE Everett Mall Way, C300
Everett,WA 98208
Skagit County Tourism
Wenatchee Valley
Convention & Visitors Bureau
25 N Wenatchee Avenue, Ste. C 111
Wenatchee,WA 98801
Winthrop Chamber of Commerce
202 Hwy 20 • Winthrop,WA 98862
Vacation Guide to Western Washington 23
Leavenworth is known as Washington’s
Bavarian city. Founded on the railroad and
timber industries, Leavenworth was in decline
by the 1960s. Looking for a theme around
which to build, the city chose to reinvent itself
as a Bavarian village. Nestled between rugged
mountain peaks, Leavenworth captures the
spirit of Bavaria with its famous architecture,
specialty shops, and mouthwatering cuisine.
Community leaders dressed in lederhosen
and other traditional clothing cheerfully
greet visitors during the town’s many
Bavarian-theme festivals.
Besides selling everything from cuckoo
clocks to nutcrackers, Leavenworth is also
proud of its art community. There are many
fine art galleries and gift shops offering
exquisite handcrafted items.A fine summer
theater produces popular family musicals.
devastating lightning-started fires of 1994 and
the role forest fires play in our environment.
Rocky Reach Dam provides visitors with
galleries explaining the history of the Columbia
and electric power generation. Eighteen landscaped acres of gardens, lawns, and resident
bunnies entice travelers to stop and picnic.
When Herman and Ruth Ohme started
adding shrubs and landscaping to their
future home site in 1929, they intended it as a
private project only. Now Ohme Gardens, on a
bluff between Rocky Reach Dam and
Wenatchee, is a self-sustaining Chelan County
Park.A self-guided tour allows you to enjoy the
ground-covering plants in bloom from April
through June and to view the magnificent river
below. During the rest of summer, the garden is
vibrant with various shades of lush green. The
grounds are rugged and sometimes steep and
could be difficult for people with physical limitations or health problems.
At Wenatchee, the Cascade Loop turns back
toward the west.Wenatchee is the largest dryside city on the loop.With an abundance of
annual sunshine,Wenatchee provides its residents with plenty of outdoor recreation. The
11-mile Apple Capital Loop Trail is used by
pedestrians, cyclists, and skaters. Nearby are
nine quality golf courses. River rafting,
mountain biking, snow sports in winter, and
water sports in summer are nearby.
Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural
Center at 127 South Mission is stocked with
historical material about the area. In addition,
they have archaeological artifacts showing that
humans lived nearby around the end of the last
ice age.
Washington grows more than half the fresh
apples eaten in the United States. Washington
Apple Country Tours at 2600 Euclid shows you
how this huge quantity of fruit is grown and
brought to the tables of consumers throughout
America. The tour company replaces the
Washington State Apple Commission’s operation at the same location.
Cashmere is best known as the home of the
Aplet and Cotlet Candy Factory. Tour the
factory at 117 Mission Avenue and enjoy
free samples.
Peshastin Pinnacles State Park several
miles farther west will give you an opportunity
to watch rock climbers practice on 200-foot
rock formations. Or you can try it yourself when
you bring the equipment.
On The Banks of the Wenatchee River
6 Cabins - Kitchens - Hot Tubs - Fireplaces
[email protected]
Leavenworth, WA
In the Plain Valley
Vacation Guide to Western Washington 25
WO OF WASHINGTON’S counties consist
entirely of islands.Whidbey Island represents most of Island County, and a
number of islands, notably San Juan, Lopez, and
Orcas, comprise San Juan County.Whidbey
Island is accessible at its north end by bridge
and at the south end by ferry. The San Juans,
however, can be reached only by water or air.
Whidbey Island
The bridge to Whidbey Island crosses
Deception Pass, famous with mariners for
its strong tides. The state park here is perhaps
the most popular in Washington. Many species
of birds, including bald eagles, winter here and
provide ample opportunity for birders. Nearby
Joseph Whidbey State Park is reputed to offer
the best surf in Puget Sound. In summer, the
Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce staffs a
visitor information wagon along Hwy 20 at
Deception Pass.
Ebey’s Landing National Historical
Reserve in Coupeville is managed by the
national park service.Although much of the
land is privately owned, the area is dedicated to
the preservation of historic buildings and
places. The Downtown Old Historical District
is along the Penn Cove shoreline where you will
find distinctive shops, antique stores, and fine
dining. Coupeville is the second-oldest town in
Washington. The mussels here are so highly
regarded that the Penn Cove Mussel Festival
celebrates them annually on the first weekend
of March.
Oak Harbor hosts a Holland
Happenings Festival the last week of
April, and adjacent to Fort Casey State Park, the
only kite festival on West Coast inland waters
happens for two days in late September.Along
with two additional forts on the Olympic
Peninsula side, Fort Casey stood guard above
the entrance to Puget Sound until its abandonment in 1950. The site, now Fort Casey State
Park, includes Admiralty Point Lighthouse.
The devotion of Ann and Max Meerkerk to
the Washington state flower has resulted in the
Meerkerk Gardens near Greenbank. Their
efforts in acquiring the best hybrid varieties of
rhododendron and the development of their
own strains culminate in one of the leading
rhododendron gardens in the state. The
blooming season begins in April, while late
bloomers keep the gardens colorful through
Langley, a longtime artists’ community,
assumes an air of intrigue during the last full
weekend in February. Now in its 21st year,
Photo by Gary Greene
Deception Pass Bridge connects Fidalgo and Whidbey Islands.
26 Vacation Guide to Western Washington
Photo by Gary Greene
Tourists travel by ferry to Orcas Island.
Langley Mystery Weekend involves the entire
community and draws aspiring sleuths from
afar.A “murderous” plot is developed by local
writers and actors, among them the island
sheriff, a published author. Players pay an entry
fee for the opportunity to solve the mystery and
those who identify “who done it” are included in
a drawing for prizes.
Langley’s popular Choochokam Festival
of the Arts is an annual event held the second
weekend in July since 1975.You’ll find a dozen
great restaurants, plus art galleries, antique
stores, a farmers market, and a winery.
This friendly Fidalgo Island community is
accessible by bridges from the south and
east.Anacortes, just 90 miles north of Seattle,
offers unique shops and galleries, beautiful
scenery, boating, kayaking, whale watching, and
golf. Treat yourself to delicious selections from
the menus of the city’s many restaurants or sign
the guest register at one of the historic community’s motels or bed-and-breakfast inns. The
public park system boasts 18 parks and 2200
acres of forest with mapped trails.You can
also use Anacortes as home base to embark on
other Northwest adventures. Take the
Washington State Ferry on an unforgettable
journey from Anacortes to the San Juan Islands
or north to Sidney, British Columbia.
Lopez Island
The closest island to Anacortes is Lopez
Island, less developed than San Juan and
Orcas. Lopez Village, a few miles southwest of
the ferry terminal, has most of the tourist facilities, with shops, cafes and the Lopez Historical
Museum. Lopez Island Vineyards is a favorite
for summer tours and tastings. Bicyclists enjoy
the island because there are miles of fairly
flat roadways.
Shaw Island
Shaw Island is the smallest of the four
served by the ferries.With fewer than 150 residents, it has no tourist facilities except a grocery
store and a small campground at South Beach.
Orcas Island
Across a narrow channel from Shaw
Island, the village of Orcas greets visitors
at the ferry dock with a small collection of
shops, inns, and restaurants. Orcas Island is
almost split in half by East Sound. The largest
community is Eastsound on the neck of land
connecting the two halves. The shape of the
island increases the distance to get around, so
transportation is important. Bicycling is a
popular mode of transport on land, while
sheltered waters and abundant wildlife make
kayaking attractive for recreational excursions.
Two museums are located near Eastsound.
Orcas Island Historical Museum has a
good collection of Indian artifacts, and the Crow
Valley School Museum is a charming one-room
schoolhouse with late 1800’s-style furnishings.
Moran State Park constitutes a large
portion of the eastern arm of the island.Within
its boundaries are Mount Constitution,
Mountain and Cascade lakes, and Cascade Falls.
The Civilian Conservation Corps built the stone
lookout tower on Mount Constitution.
San Juan Island
The most westerly of the four large islands
is San Juan. The ferry docks at Friday
Harbor, a picturesque and historic waterfront
town.Well-provided with visitor amenities,
Friday Harbor is a cluster of attractive buildings
sloping up from the waterfront. There are a
number of bed-and-breakfast inns in Friday
Harbor and others dot the rest of the island.
A must-stop is the Whale Museum where
you can discover everything you ever wanted to
know about whales,including their history,habits,
and life cycles. Real skeletons are on display.
Vacation Guide to Western Washington 27
Anacortes Chamber of Commerce
819 Commercial Avenue
Anacortes,WA 98221
Island County Tourism
Oak Harbor Visitor Center
32630 Hwy 20
Oak Harbor,WA 98277
San Juan Islands
Visitors Bureau
PO Box 1330
640 Mullis Street, Ste. 215
Friday Harbor,WA 98250
Lopez Island
Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 102
#6 Old Post Road
Lopez,WA 98261
Orcas Island
Chamber of Commerce
PO Box 252
221 A Street
Eastsound,WA 98245
San Juan Island
Chamber of Commerce
1 35 Spring Street, Unit E
Friday Harbor,WA 98250
Central Whidbey
Chamber of Commerce
107 S Main Street
Coupeville,WA 98239
South Whidbey
Chamber of Commerce
208 Anthes Street
Langley,WA 98260
Whidbey & Camano Islands
28 Vacation Guide to Western Washington
Photo by Gary Greene
Roche Harbor on the north end of San Juan Island is “a delicious step into the past,”
according to Moon Handbooks for travelers.
Outside of town, the island is full of
wonderful parks. San Juan Island National
Historical Park includes both English Camp
and American Camp, reflecting the two sides in
the infamous Pig War that almost led to conflict
between Britain and the United States in 1859.
Both camps are open daily year round. Several
old buildings at English Camp have been
restored and a small formal garden is a
nice respite.
Lime Kiln Point State Park faces beautiful
Haro Strait. Lime Kiln Lighthouse was built
in 1919 and is used by the Whale Museum in
Friday Harbor for research.Visitors as well as
locals enjoy watching for whales here, and the
state park has been officially dubbed Whale
Watch Park. During summer, marine naturalists
and researchers often are available to talk
with visitors.
Roche Harbor is one of the most popular
destinations for boaters in the San Juans.
At the entrance to Roche Harbor is Westcott
Bay Reserve Sculpture Park, which features
more than 100 outdoor sculptures installed
around and in a large pond, along trails, and in
the forest. The historic Hotel de Haro is in the
village. During summer, bus service takes you
around the island. Moorage facilities can
accommodate nearly 400 vessels.
OR A WORLD-CLASS city, Seattle is quite
Photo by Barb Grano
Seattle’s Pike Place Market near the waterfront, a must-see for visitors, has operated
independently since 1907.
young. Only 150 years ago, the pioneers
who first landed at Alki Point moved
across Elliott Bay to settle in the area around
the present Pioneer Square.After steady growth
through the rest of the 19th century, Seattle
experienced a tremendous boom with the discovery of gold in the Klondike in 1898.
Today, visitors may enjoy “red carpet treatment” at the Seattle Convention and Visitors
Bureau’s full-service destination Concierge
Center. Located on the ground floor of the
Washington State Convention & Trade Center,
the center is more than just a concierge desk. It
offers restaurant reservations at top dining
spots plus reservations and bookings for
attractions and tours, ground transportation,
tickets to events, and personal services, such as
spa and salon visits, flower orders, even babysitting. The center is Seattle’s only TicketMaster
box office.
Libraries aren’t often featured in travel
magazines but Seattle’s new Central
Library, 1000 Fourth Avenue, is an exception.
The new 11-story, 363,000 square-foot,
crystalline steel and glass structure is drawing
visitors. Before starting the project Dutch
architect Rem Koolhaas visited libraries to see
how hard it was to locate a given book. The new
library has a big, bright lobby, lots of computers
for the public, and open stacks. Koolhaas’s
ingenious design involves a gently sloping ramp
lined with shelves for its 800,000 books and
other materials.As you stroll along this great
wall of books, the Dewey decimal numbers are
embedded in the floor.All of this is adjacent to a
sun-filled atrium. Near the top of the building is
the reading room with impressive views of
downtown Seattle and Elliott Bay. Free general
and architectural tours are offered daily and
hours vary so visitors are advised to call ahead
for times.
To see the waterfront, hop on the
Waterfront Streetcar.With stations along
the waterfront, the route runs from Pioneer
Square and the International District to Broad
Street near Pier 70. The meticulously maintained coaches feature Tasmanian mahogany
and white ash woodwork. Fares are collected
at all times.
Perched on the bluff above the waterfront is
Pike Place Market. A Seattle institution for
nearly a century, the market provides outlets for
about 600 businesses, including farmers, craft
Vacation Guide to Western Washington 29
Photo by Alicia Spooner
The waters of Puget Sound are busy with ferry traffic to the many islands and peninsulas.
and clothing vendors, and specialty food
vendors and restaurants with fare ranging from
Cajun to Asian. The market is open every day
except a few major holidays.
Not far from Pike Place Market is the
downtown branch of the Seattle Art Museum.
Most of the museum’s 23,000 pieces are at this
location. The rest of the collection is housed in
the museum’s original 1933 art deco building in
Volunteer Park, known as the Seattle Asian Art
Museum. It closes June 20, for roof work and
reopens January 14, 2006.
Along with 1898, the year 1962 has a
special place in Seattle history, the year of
the World’s Fair. The most identifiable image of
the city for the last 40 years has been the Space
Needle, towering 605 feet above Seattle.A $20
million revitalization was completed in 2002,
including the installation of new Swarovski
Optik telescopes on the observation deck.
From the observation deck, visitors can
look across the horizon and down on Seattle
Center, the neighborhood of the Space Needle.
Other attractions at the center include Pacific
Science Center, Paul Allen’s Experience
30 Vacation Guide to Western Washington
Music Project, and the Children’s Museum.
The Seattle Center Monorail, another symbol
of the World’s Fair, links Seattle Center with
downtown. On Labor Day weekend each year,
Seattle Center becomes an art museum/live
music venue during Bumbershoot, the Seattle
Arts Festival.
Visit Woodland Park Zoo in north
Seattle, where you can see Hansa, the baby
elephant, who’s called the world’s cutest
elephant ambassador. Zoo-goers are enjoying
the frolics of two Sumatran tiger cubs born in
September 2004. On Memorial Day weekend,
the zoo opens Willawong Bird Feeding
experience where visitors may stroll through
an aviary and feed the birds, mostly small
Australian parrots.
Washington Park Arboretum, on the
shores of Lake Washington just south of the
University of Washington, has more than 40,000
trees representing 4600 species. It is open daily
to the public. The Japanese Garden in the
arboretum reopened in 2004 after renovations.
The University of Washington campus is
a visitor destination in itself. The Henry
Art Gallery at 15th Avenue Northeast and
Northeast 41st Street is the Pacific Northwest’s
premier center for modern and contemporary
art.View more than 3 million specimens in the
fields of geology, anthropology, and zoology at
Burke Museum of Natural History, Northeast
45th Street and 17th Avenue Northeast.
The city of Tukwila lies south of Seattle and
is served by two interstates and Hwy 99. It is
home to King County International Airport,
better known as Boeing Field, Seattle’s airfield
before Sea-Tac.At Boeing Field is the Museum
of Flight, where you’ll find the largest and most
comprehensive aviation and aerospace artifact
collection in the West.A recent addition is one
of only two British Airways Concorde jets on
display in the United States. The museum’s collection started with a Boeing 80A-1, salvaged
from a junk heap in Anchorage,Alaska, and has
grown to include the first presidential jet, the
world’s first fighter, and a prototype of the first
jumbo jet, the Boeing 747.
Citywide Concierge Center
Seattle’s Convention
and Visitors Bureau
Pike Street, between 7th & 8th Avenues
Galleria Level
Seattle,WA 98101
Visitor Information Center
Seattle Southside
Visitor Services
14220 Interurban Avenue South
Suite 130
Tukwila,WA 98168
HE TWO MAN-MADE symbols that represent Western Washington in most people’s minds
are the Space Needle rising over Seattle and the ferries plying the waters of Puget
Sound. Developed during the early 20th century, a network of steamers known as the
“mosquito fleet” connected various ports.A process of consolidation left only one, Puget
Sound Navigation Company, which sold all of its intrastate routes and terminals to the state
of Washington in 1951.
Today’s ferry system, the largest in the United States, represents a vital network for the
local economy and is a major tourist attraction. The system is partially supported by state
funds, since the ferries are viewed as quasi-highways that should not be entirely dependent
on fares. Service is maintained all year, even on routes that depend heavily on tourism.
Traveling by ferry can be an adventure. The waters of Puget Sound are protected enough
that these large vessels keep a fairly steady course, but there are many breezy days when
you’ll know you’re not paddling around on a pond.You can always go out on deck to smell the
salt air and commune with the gulls.
In addition to one passenger-only ferry, the fleet consists of passenger and vehicle
ferries. Capacities range from 40 cars and 200 passengers to 218 cars and 2500 passengers.
There are four non-stop crossings of Puget Sound. From Colman Dock in Seattle, ferries
cross to Bremerton and Bainbridge Island. The more northerly routes are Edmonds to
Kingston and Whidbey Island to Port Townsend.You can either leave Whidbey Island by car
over the Deception Pass bridge or by another ferry from Clinton to Mukilteo.Vashon Island is
the most populated place entirely dependent on the ferries. The north end of the island is
linked to Southworth, east of Port Orchard, and to Fauntleroy, a neighborhood of southwest
Seattle. The south end connects to Tacoma via the shortest route (1.7 miles) in the system.
Assuming that a foot passenger crossing the sound will need to travel both ways, the
ferry system collects passenger fares only westbound on most routes. This saves the cost of
passenger tollbooths on the west side. On Vashon Island, it is safe to say that neither passengers nor ferries are likely to get on or off by any other means, so you only pay to get there.
Exceptions to the one-way fares are the Port Townsend to Keystone run and the international
route from Anacortes,Washington, to Sidney, B.C.
San Juan Island routes are extremely scenic and usage rises sharply in summer. It is wise
to arrive early at the terminals and to avoid the peak periods if possible. The ferry system
provides up-to-date information on delays.
The only route offered by Washington State Ferries to Canada is from Anacortes through
the San Juans to Sidney on Vancouver Island. There are other privately run options. Black Ball
Transport operates the Coho, a large passenger and vehicle ferry, between Port Angeles and
Victoria’s Inner Harbour. Victoria Express offers passage for passengers only on the same
route between late May and late September. Passenger service from Seattle to Victoria is
provided by the Victoria Clipper, which also serves the San Juans from Seattle.Victoria
Clipper (800-888-2535) provides the terminal for several ferry companies. San Juan Island
Commuter (888-734-8180) serves Bellingham and the San Juan Islands from May through
Labor Day. Victoria San Juan Cruises connects Bellingham and Victoria from May through
October. The Bellingham ferries are passenger-only. Mosquito Fleet operates whale watching
tours from Everett to the San Juans. For more information, contact Washington State Ferries
(206-464-6400 or In the state of Washington only, there is a tollfree number for Washington State Ferries (888-808-7977), and the organization takes
reservations for vehicles for the run from Anacortes to Sidney, B.C.
Another great way to enjoy the waters of the Puget Sound and San Juan Islands is to
charter your own boat. These charters are available through such companies as Orcas Island
Eclipse Charters and Catalyst Cruises of Seattle. These companies offer many packages and
types of cruises for those who would like a more personal experience. ■
Vacation Guide to Western Washington 31
Bellevue is now the fifth largest city in the
state and the cultural hub of the Seattle area’s
eastside communities. The city is only about 10
miles from the foothills of the Cascades, so
there is also plenty of outdoor recreation.
Rosalie Whyel Museum of Doll Art at
1116 108th Avenue Northeast is a wonderful
experience for doll lovers young and old. Open
10 A.M. to 5 P.M., Monday through Saturday, and
Sunday 1 to 5 P.M.
East King County
The population of East King County has
been growing rapidly ever since the building of
the two bridges across Lake Washington.
Former rural areas have become urbanized
and once quiet cities, such as Bellevue, are
bustling with visitors branching out of the
downtown area.
Despite the congestion of the metropolitan
area, interesting countryside spots remain,
particularly as you travel farther east. More
than a million people visit Snoqualmie
annually to see Snoqualmie Falls plunge
270 feet.
An interesting stop is the Northwest
Railroad Museum, an operating railroad
museum that makes an 11-mile round trip
through Snoqualmie, North Bend, and the
Snoqualmie Falls vicinity.
For a vigorous hike, try Mount Si Trail.
Several wineries, including some of the state’s
best known, offer tastings in the wine country
around Woodinville. Remlinger Farms in
Carnation is a working family farm with many
facilities to accommodate visitors, such as a
restaurant, ice cream parlor, picnic areas, and
a family fun farm. ■