Showing posts with label WA weekend. Show all posts
Showing posts with label WA weekend. Show all posts

Sunday, November 3, 2013

WAWeekend: Seattle Sidewalk Tours

I spent several days of our perfect summer being a ‘tourist in my own town’.  I’d catch the METRO bus in Kirkland and a 20 minute ride later, I was in downtown Seattle.

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The award-winning Central Public Library Building
Each day, for a week, I’d set out in a new direction to experience the city just as tourists might: on foot. I was researching an article for the Seattle Times. 

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The Giant Wheel that towers over Elliott Bayy
I have to say that our “Emerald City” does sparkle in the summer. I was again reminded of many of its amazing features and its quirky ones, as I hiked up and down its hills on sidewalks that lead from city center to Elliott Bay. 
Along my travels, I visited. . .
the International District’s Panama Hotel, made famous in the book, 
Hotel on the Corner of Bitter and Sweet
the longest continuously operating restaurant in town in Pioneer Square ~
I strolled through parks that stretched along the waterfront ~
I wandered through the vendor stalls at the iconic Pike Place Market.
I took a Public Art walk tour through the heart of town and the Central Library
and, oh so much, more!

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Close up view of "The Gum Wall" - yes, it really is a chewed gum wall!
I scribbled notes and drew maps keeping track of where I’d been. Those same hand-drawn maps, when turned over to the creative talents of the newspaper’s production staff were turned into the maps used in the article.

Last Sunday, when the article appeared, we were in Sydney, Australia. A friend’s email alerted me to its publication and thanks to technology I read it while “Down Under”. 

Summer2013 024Many of you followed my summer travels as I did the research, so for those who didn’t see the link on TravelnWrite’s FB page, here’s a link to the article:  Seattle Walks.

By the way, if you get to Seattle and need an enthusiastic tour guide, just give me a call!

Have a great week ~ hope you'll come back soon!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

WAWeekend: Anacortes ~ More than a ferry stop

“You went where?!” asked a friend, obviously thinking she’d misunderstood me.

Anacortes. . .we spent the night in Anacortes. It’s an adorable little town. . .really!” 

Although this seafront town, with a population of just under 16,000, on Fidalgo Island got its start more than a century ago, until last month we’d been like the other two million visitors who pass through it each year en route to board a Washington State ferry headed to the San Juan islands or Victoria, B.C.

After making it our destination a couple weeks ago, we’ve put it high on our close-to-home WAWeekend  getaway recommended list because:

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There’s more than 12 miles of shoreline and some 60 miles of trails to be explored.

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Thanks to artist Bill Mitchell’s talents, the town sports some 100 murals. (Mural route maps can be purchased at the Chamber of Commerce Visitor’s Center). This is one of my favorites.

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Pedestrian-friendly streets are lined with picture perfect 20th Century – and earlier – homes.  The homes above framed our walking route to the Guemes Island ferry terminal and were within a few blocks of the Anacortes Museum, housed in a Carnegie Library building built between 1909 and 1911.

Speaking of museums, just across town the Maritime Heritage Center proudly displays the W.T. Preston Snagboat, a sternwheeler once used for clearing debris from Puget Sound. The Snagboat and Carnegie Library are both on the National Register of Historic Places.

Public art is everywhere from statues to ‘Sidewalk Salmon Cans’ (beautifully camouflaged  garbage cans throughout the historic district), a tribute to the once flourishing local salmon and fish canning industry. Canneries have been replaced with fish processing plants in this bustling town mid-way between Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia.

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The first fish cannery in Anacortes was founded in 1893 and by 1915 there were 11 canneries stretched along Guemes Channel (pictured here).

In 1913 fishing boats delivered 39 million salmon that were canned into 800,000 cases of fish.

For those who require shopping therapy as a part of any trip and for those who also seek the finest in culinary offerings, we can assure you that Anacortes has plenty of both.

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You’ll find some great one-of-a-kind apparel, antiques, decorator and gift stores, but one of our favorites was the independent Watermark Book Co. A sign on its door reminded us of the fragility of such businesses: “Find it here, Buy it here, Keep us here.”

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JebirthdaySquirrely 017We cast aside diets for a brief moment at the Gere-a-Deli, a popular breakfast and lunch spot, also on Commercial Avenue.

It’s housed in another historic building, this one once was a bank.
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Another popular eatery is the A-Town Bistro, a half block away at 418 Commercial Avenue.  The place was packed on the Tuesday night we visited.

As I told you in an earlier report, we spent a night at  The Majestic Inn and Spa celebrating The Scout’s birthday during our impromptu end-of-February road trip, however there are many hotels and bed-and-breakfasts from which to choose here.

If you’ve not spent time in Anacortes, you should give it a try – we are certainly glad we did.

If You Go:

Map picture

For visitor information:
Anacortes Chamber of Commerce Visitor Information Center,819 Commercial Ave.,, 360-293-7911.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

WA Weekend: State Parks’ Birthday Party

Washington’s State Parks are 100 years old this month and that calls for a celebration!

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Mark your calendars for next Saturday, March 30th, 2013 when all state parks will welcome guests – for FREE – no Discover Pass needed!

In fact, mark your calendars for all these FREE days at Washington State parks in 2013:

March 30: Recognition of State Parks’ 100th birthday on March 19
April 27 - 28: Recognition of National Parks Week
June 1: National Trails Day
June 8 - 9: National Get Outdoors Day and WDFW Free Fishing weekend
Aug. 4: Peak summer season free day
Sept. 28: National Public Lands Day
Nov. 9 - 11: Veteran’s Day weekend

Celebrate the State Parks Centennial at Cama Beach and Camano Island state parks:

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These two parks are just over an hour’s drive north of Seattle and and overlook Puget Sound’s Saratoga Passage. 

Cama  Beach State Park is the state’s newest state park – a once-privately-owned fishing resort -- that has been lovingly restored by the state parks department staff and a group of dedicated volunteers.

The March 30th celebration begins at 10 a.m. when you can build and fly kites at Camano Island State Park with the Friends of Camano Islands Parks. Then hike to nearby Cama Center at Cama Beach State Park for the main event activities. A shuttle is available to transport visitors back to the Lowell Point Parking lot.

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 Main events at Cama Beach State Park: Activities include beach walks (2 to 3 p.m.);
* toy boat building (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.);
* marine tank display (10 a.m. to 4 p.m.);
* craft projects (noon to 4 p.m.);
* boat house tours (9 a.m. to 5 p.m.);

And what’s a birthday party without cake?  The cake cutting will take place at 1:30 p.m.

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For a schedule of events at all state parks, just click this link:
Washington State Parks’ Centennial Celebration and let the party begin!

Thanks for your visit today! Come back again on Travel Tip Tuesday and Travel Photo Thursday. . .and if you’ve not yet ‘liked’ our Facebook page, TravelnWrite – you are missing out on other travel tips and tidbits!

About these Photos: I took them last September during a visit to Cama Beach State Park. It is enchanting and offers overnight accommodations. There’s more information and photos about it at:


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