For every trip I take, I indulge in comfortable standbys and new adventures.
On a recent excursion to Seattle NorthCountry, this looked like walks on the beach, antiquing, and flying drones with my trip companion (and mom), Sheri Gray.
We took off from Boise for the short flight up to Everett, Washington. Serviced by Alaska Airlines, we had no trouble making our way around the tiny airport terminal.
Our home base for the weekend was Hotel Indigo Everett. The waterfront hotel had a cute little balcony where we could look out over Possession Sound and was within walking distance of three of the restaurants we visited.
While Everett’s airport terminal is small, the runway’s not. That’s because Everett is home to The Boeing Company. New airliners, decked out in national and international livery, stand ready nearby to take to the skies.
The complex also hosts the Future of Flight Museum. From the museum’s Sky Deck, we listened to air traffic control as jets took off in front of us. The museum sports flight exhibits, STEM activities, and a factory tour video and Q&A session. I tried my hand at drone piloting (harder than it looks), robot coding (with colored markers), and cleaning up digital space debris (high score!).
Our other museum stop was Tulalip’s Hibulb Cultural Center, which highlights the histories of the Tulalip Tribes. Exhibits range from cedar’s many uses (and beautiful basketry examples) to treaty impacts and efforts to preserve cultures that were once banned.
Bluewater Distillery offered a fabulous tasting of vodka, gin, and aquavit (a Scandinavian liquor). Bolstered by some fantastic nibbles, this was my pick for the trip’s top restaurant. We chatted with the owner, John Lundin, as he walked us through our tasting.
“We’re as sustainable as we can be,” he said. “We’re as local as we can be. We buy from locally owned purveyors and are 100 percent organic. To achieve great taste, you have to reach for better ingredients.”
Bluewater was the reason I checked my luggage on the way home, since I chose a drinkable souvenir of elderflower and cardamom liqueur.
Hotel Indigo Everett’s Jetty Bar & Grille was a convenient spot for a few meals on our trip. Sheri said the cod fish and chips were excellent, while I enjoyed my shrimp scampi. Scuttlebutt Brewing Co. was also close to the hotel. Scuttlebutt makes their own tasty root beer, along with a variety of other on-tap options.
Snohomish’s Grain Artisan Bakery made for a good snack spot, while Everett’s Choux Choux Bakery served up a pain au chocolat roughly the size of my hand.
While in Mukliteo, we grabbed lunch at Red Cup Café. Sheri said the tomato basil soup was wonderful. Cabarnets & IPAs, also in Mukliteo, served up small plate options that were great for sharing, such as their cranberry and pecan-studded version baked brie.
WALK (AND BROWSE) THIS WAY
Mukliteo’s Big Gulch Trail System was the perfect spot for a hike. Both Sheri and I agreed this was our favorite part of the trip. The loop we took dropped us into the forest, leading us down wood-lined steps, across small bridges, and over narrow paths. While the hike wasn’t difficult, we were glad to have brought water as we made our way up the inclines.
The town was also home to the two beaches we visited: Mukliteo Lighthouse Park and Edgewater Beach.
The lighthouse at the former is adorable and made for a pretty photo spot. The park itself boasts plenty of bench and driftwood seating (which we availed of ourselves to watch the waves and sunset).
Edgewater Beach is right next to the ferry dock. As we waited, we indulged in some agate hunting and people watching (mainly kayakers throwing out crab pots and standup paddleboarders puttering along).
Whidbey Island was our ferry destination. On foot, we couldn’t reach the towns further afield, but walking did lead us to Madrona Supply Co., which was chockful of local goods.
Antique and boutique shop-packed Snohomish kept us occupied for an entire afternoon. We made our way up and down the town, browsing decorations, vintage jewelry, and other memorabilia.
Seattle NorthCountry offers a small-town Pacific Northwest experience that’s just right for a long weekend away.