With the sun out and the weather warming, we’re finding the urge to get outside irresistible. Exploring our city (and beyond!) is one of our favorite things to do, especially when we get to discover new areas that reaffirm our love of our fave place.
If you’re itching to get away, you're not alone. Shake that cabin fever and start exploring! We've put together some ideas on day-trips and a weekend getaway below.
Pack up the essentials, get off the island and a enjoy grand adventure, PNW style :).
Day Trip One: Birds, Booze & Beaches
Prepare to head south for our first day trip. Grab your face mask, mini hand sanitizer, and a bandana or a scarf in case it gets a chilly (we’ll be outdoors for most of the day). You’ll need a bag just large enough to fit your wallet, keys and phone, like Fern or the convertible Darcy.
Our first stop is the Billy Frank Jr Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge (well, technically our first stop should be Gravity Coffee in Lakewood to fuel up on coffee and snacks!). When we get to our destination, we'll pay the $3 park fee and spend the morning wandering acres of trails and boardwalks, spotting birds and other wildlife residing at the marshland refuge. During spring, bald eagle chicks hatch and thousands of migratory sandpipers and dunlins forage on the mudflats, so we’re likely to see lots of activity.
When you've worked up an appetite with all that walking, head about 30 minutes north to (super cute!) Gig Harbor. Grab a bite at Tides Tavern – we particularly love the fish and chips and the clam chowder. Their waterfront deck has spectacular views (perfect for basking in the sun) and of course, the famous Stella and her nest!
After lunch, pop over to the covered + heated outdoor area at Heritage Distillery. Order up a flight of their locally made spirits (the Sweet and Spicy flight scored high with the Click! crew) and pick up a bottle of your fave for at-home cocktails later.
Take your time meandering through the sweet little downtown area... visit indie shops, relax by the waterfront, stop into the bakery (obvs) and commemorate the occasion with alllll the pictures. As the day winds down, hop back into the car and head to the the Southworth Ferry dock. Wrap up your very PNW day with a ferry ride home, full of sweeping views and fresh air.
Day Trip Two: Island Hikes, Arcade Games & Ice Cream
Our next day-out takes us north to Whidbey Island. For this one, you’ll want to do some prep the day before. Whip up some lunch bowls (check out Plant Power Bowls for recipe ideas) or sandwiches (this stainless steel sandwich box or re-usable sandwich wrap are perfect for snacks-on-the-go). Make sure you've got a portable cutlery set, water bottle, and of course, a mask and sanitizer. Also, consider picking up a roll of quarters from the bank (we'll explain soon!).
We love a ferry ride so you already know we're catching the Clinton-Mukilteo Ferry to begin our adventure. Once we're on the island, we'll explore the winding trails beneath the forest canopy at South Whidbey Island State Park or up the ante with a hike at Deception Pass State Park. Either is an excellent choice for soaking up some green and would make a lovely, peaceful setting for enjoying our lunch bowls or sandwiches.
After your forest stroll and lunch, stop into Langley. Re-energize with a coffee from South Whidbey Commons and take a wander through town. Remember that roll of quarters? They'll come in handy at The Machine Shop – an old school arcade with over 90 classic arcade and pinball games! (Their current customer capacity is 15, and face masks are required. They're open Thur-Sun but hours vary so definitely call ahead before you go.)
When you've played through your quarters, have some dinner and drinks on the outdoor patio at The Braeburn Restaurant (fried chicken dinner plate, ftw). Leave room for dessert because you have to try a scoop or a shake from Sprinklz Ice Cream Parlor. Get your ice cream to go and indulge at the waterfront while listening to the waves lap at the shoreline. The sweetest end to a sweet day.
A Weekend Getaway on the Coast
Up for a longer getaway? Head west for the weekend! First, book a place to stay in Port Angeles for two nights. Pack your favorite overnight bag with essentials like layers, a dopp kit, an extra face mask and some all-natural surface sanitizer. Bring along a travel postcard watercolor set to explore your artistic side and a journal to reflect on your days.
After checking into your room, grab a cold beer and a burger at downtown Port Angeles's Next Door Gastropub and get a good nights rest. The next morning, get ready for a hike at Marymere Falls. Be sure you have the ten hiking essentials, and read up on the trail conditions before you go. When you get to the falls, break our your journal for a reflection session.
Following your morning hike, head back into town and pick up a tasty, healthy lunch to-go at Turnip the Beet to enjoy at Hollywood Beach. Spend the rest of the afternoon wandering through downtown, stopping to visit the local bookstores and boutiques that make up the heart of the city.
On your final day, grab breakfast to-go from Sasquatch Bakery, and set your destination for Rialto Beach. Beach comb the day away, soak up some sun (maybe?), and break out those watercolor postcards to capture some nature's most perfect color palettes.
Save some energy for the drive home and take it slow, enjoying the ride and the changing landscape of the best coast. (or...extend the adventure with a night at Kalaloch or Iron Springs!)