Plenty of Day Trips from Seattle

The state of Washington is full of beauty and many things to do all year round. When visiting Seattle alone, you could spend weeks with everything this busy city has to offer. But outside of the city there are amazing day trips you can take to see the breathtaking beauty throughout this scenic state.

One of the most popular places to visit in Washington and the entire United States is the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. It was only back in 1980 when this enormous mountain exploded, devastating the whole region in its path of destruction. The ash from the eruption not only covered the entire area but could even be found hundreds of miles away. With much to do, the park offers a visitors’ center so you can learn all about its history. There is also a beautiful viewing area that can be found at the Johnson Ridge Observatory. The park also has several great hiking paths so you can take in as much beauty as you want. Getting there is a bit of a drive and takes about four hours, but is well worth the trip. This could easily be turned into a two- or three-day trip with excellent lodging that can be found nearby in Grand Mound. With lodging like the Great Wolf Lodge, you may want to stay a little longer to enjoy the water park and spa.

A much closer day trip that is loaded with fun for everyone is the San Juan Islands. Just under an hour away, you can explore art galleries, a wide variety of shops, and many different restaurants. The San Juan Islands also have guided tours with amazing wildlife spotting and even whale watching. Along with many different great water activities is some world-class kayaking that’s very popular. If you decide you want to stay longer, all across the island are cozy little bed and breakfasts.

Perhaps hand-blown glass is an interest or hobby of yours. With about a forty-minute drive, you can visit Tacoma and see hand-blown glass at its best. The popularity of this art has exploded across the country, and Tacoma has the Museum of Glass where you can view all different types and sizes of this skillful art. There is also a great walking tour through the Tacoma Art Museum.

If you appreciate history, you can spend all day going through the excellent exhibits at the Washington State History Museum. Since Tacoma has gone through revitalization, there are many other great activities and places that are fun for the whole family. One of these great attractions is the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. With many different exhibits and species of animals, it’s not only fun but educational for the whole family. You could always drive to Tacoma which would be more convenient, or you could make it a little more interesting by taking the bus – or, better yet, why not take a train?  Train companies like Amtrak and Sound Transit offer weekday commutes in the mornings and evenings.

With all the fun and exciting things to throughout the whole state, the problem won’t be finding something to do but deciding if and when you have to leave.


Don’t Forget About Bothell!

When discussing the Back and Spine Institute’s Northwest facilities in Bothell, Washington, most people have no idea where you’re talking about until you mention Seattle. It’s not surprising considering the popularity of Seattle and the fact that Bothell is a metropolitan area of it. Even though Bothell has a population of about 34,000 people, it still has that pleasant small town atmosphere that is reminiscent of a step back in time.

As soon as you arrive in Bothell, the first thing you will notice is the clean, traditional styling of the town. Take a drive through the downtown business district, and you’ll think it’s a scene straight out of the movies. With the hustle and bustle on the busy streets, the courteous locals always have time to stop and visit or help you with any information or directions. While soaking up the small town atmosphere downtown, take advantage of the unique shopping the town has to offer. From jewelry stores, furniture, toys, folk art, and boutiques full of the latest clothes and accessories, you can find a store for any need. For the pet lover, there is even a store that specializes in unique gifts for your dog or cat. Another reason why many people come to Bothell to shop is the antiquing. With several large antique malls, you could spend days searching through the many unique and vintage items.

If shopping isn’t for you and you’d like to soak up some of the local history, visit the log cabin at the Park in Bothell Landing. This was the home of Andrew and Augusta Beckstrom, and amazingly 16 of their children. Their third son was born at this location and is the first recorded birth in the city. While in Bothell Landing you can also visit the home of Bothell’s second doctor. This house originally stood on Main Street, but was moved to this location in the early 1970s. There is also a site dedicated to the first doctor of Bothell and can be found on the campus of Bothell Community College. There are many other historical sites throughout the city that help you appreciate the rich heritage of this town.

Perhaps you’re looking for some outdoor activities to enjoy the beautiful weather and get some exercise. Bothell has several different golf courses to choose from, and the historic Inglewood Golf Club is located on the beautiful shores of Lake Washington. The lake also offers fishing and plenty of other water activities. If you’re in the area between June and October, the weather is perfect for hot air ballooning, and it is quite a breathtaking experience. As Bothell continues to grow, more businesses and activities are popping up daily.

Throughout the year, Bothell hosts many different festivals and activities with something for everyone to enjoy. For a peaceful evening with a loved one, coming up June 7 is the Vintage Bothell Wine Walk. A fun activity put on by local businesses, you can walk around the beautiful downtown area and sample many different wines and get to know the colorful locals, along with many other things to do. As you can see there is much to do in this little metropolitan city. After a few days of visiting, it’s easy to forget about Seattle and wonder how this quaint little fascinating city has gone overlooked.

Memorial Day Fun In and Around Seattle

With the Spine Institute Northwest’s facilities located near Seattle, there is always plenty to do in the city and surrounding areas. Hopefully patients that are here for treatment, or anyone that is in the area looking for something to do, will take advantage of the many events that are going on over Memorial Day weekend.

Sometimes a peaceful drive is just what is needed to begin a nice, long weekend. A beautiful little scenic drive that’s just less than 100 miles north and east will get you to the annual Darrington Day Celebration. On May 25, Darrington celebrates their interesting past and beautiful surroundings with festivities throughout the whole town. Nestled in the breathtaking Cascade Mountains, it has both the Whitehorse and Jumbo Mountains towering over the town. The celebration begins at 10 am with a ribbon cutting for a new addition to the Old Sauk Trail. This new addition finally allows those with disabilities to enjoy the beauty of the forest and the musical sounds of the river. All afternoon there will be live music at the Old School Park that features bluegrass, classic rock, and blues. Among the many other exhibits is the Fire Lookout Station that is possibly looking at a restoration. So to start the weekend with a peaceful drive, with many activities and fresh mountain air, you won’t be disappointed with this annual celebration.

For those who enjoy classic cars and nostalgia, a quick 30-mile drive north to Everett will allow you to see some of the most classically restored cars in the nation. Held in downtown Everett since 1999, the Seattle Rod-Tiques car club will host its annual show, beginning on Sunday May 26, and lasting throughout the day on Monday. Registration begins on Sunday at 1 pm, and is followed by a dance at 6 pm with live music. The festivities continue on Monday at 8 am with the Show n’ Shine that is free to the public. Live music begins at 10 am and lasts until the award ceremony at 3 pm. Last year’s show featured over 600 cars and promises many more this year.

If you’re like many people, then it seems like you’re a week off and miss out on all the fun. Luckily following Memorial weekend is another festival that’s located only 20 miles away. Starting Friday, May 31, is the 26th annual Edmonds Rotary Waterfront Festival. Located at the Port of Edmonds Marina, this festival is put on by the Edmonds Rotary Club, and the funds raised go to charitable causes. The gates open for this event at 3 pm on May 31, and don’t close until 7 pm June 2. This festival hosts a wide range of local and professional musicians, dancers, and other performers set on a main stage. Saturday and Sunday offer free fishing for kids at the Willow Creek Fish Hatchery, and a Classic Yacht display featuring yachts built back as far as 1928. There will also be an arcade for kids, arts and crafts, as well as many different food vendors. Located at the 2006 National Marina of the Year, this is a beautiful area with fun for everyone, and it’s all for a good cause.

As you can see, no matter when you have to visit the area, there is always plenty of things to do for everyone. If you need help with any directions, or information on other events in the area, the helpful staff at the Spine Institute would be more than happy to help in any way.