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Best Time to See University of Washington Cherry Blossoms

Best Time to See University of Washington Cherry Blossoms

Starting in late February, we start to see a spike in traffic on our website. It seems like everyone is searching for the best time to see University of Washington cherry blossoms. The pink and white blooms that surround the Quad (map) are an annual rite of spring in Seattle (click here for more). But, because of Mother Nature, you never know when the University of Washington cherry blossoms will reach full bloom. History tends to repeat itself, though. So looking at past dates can help pinpoint when to start heading toward campus. Here are the dates University of Washington cherry blossoms reached full bloom the last few years: 2018: March 27th 2017: April 1st 2016: March 11th 2015: March 14th 2014: March 21st 2013: April 3rd With that said, these dates are full bloom. The trees will start to bloom and progressively reach their full potential, which creates an impressive scene on the Quad for weeks. According to the University of Washington: “Bloom timing varies each year and depends mostly...

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Keechelus Lake Snowshoe Trail

Keechelus Lake Snowshoe Trail

When the weather turns cold in the winter, it’s time to head for the hills – er, mountains of Snoqualmie Pass. There’s no shortage of snowy fun just outside of Seattle. Take the Keechelus Lake snowshoe trail for example! I’ll start by saying this: if you’re an experienced winter adventurer, the Keechelus Lake snowshoe trail probably isn’t for you. If you’re just getting started on snowshoes, or you simply want to stomp around in the snow, then this place is perfect. If this sounds like your type of adventure — here is a map to the trailhead. Depending on the driving conditions, it’s about an hour drive from Seattle. The Keechelus Lake snowshoe trail is groomed and it’s mostly flat. It runs along the Iron Horse – John Wayne Pioneer Trail, which was formerly a rail line. There’s an avalanche shoot about two miles into the trail, and that’s where most people recommend you turn around, making it about four miles roundtrip. There’s a mere 200-foot elevation gain along the way, meaning...

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Best Time to See Skagit Valley Bald Eagles

Best Time to See Skagit Valley Bald Eagles

If you’re like me, you love to see bald eagles. They can be soaring in the sky or simply sitting in a tree. It’s just always a treat to see our national bird. And if you live in or visit Seattle around late fall and/or early winter, you can see your fill of Skagit Valley bald eagles. Bald eagles begin to flock to Skagit Valley in late October. They come from all over to feed on salmon in Skagit River, with the eight-mile stretch between Rockport (map) and Marblemount the best place to see them. You can click here for suggested viewing sites around that area. If you’re lucky, you can see more than 100 bald eagles on your visit! According to the Skagit River Bald Eagle Interpretive Center, the number of bald eagles increases throughout November. But the best time to see Skagit Valley bald eagles is December, with the number of bald eagles usually peaking the week of Christmas. The bald eagle count then starts to thin through January....

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Rainier Glass Studio Blow-Your-Own Glass Activity

Rainier Glass Studio Blow-Your-Own Glass Activity

As the seasons change in Seattle, so do the activities. When fall rolls around, everyone tends to head indoors. There are only so many times you can go bowling, though. That’s why we offer a fun alternative – Rainier Glass Studio blow-your-own glass activity. While October through December are considered the peak season for Rainier Glass Studio (map), the blow-your-own glass activity is actually offered year-round. During the peak season, activities can be booked Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, while days vary during the offseason (but are typically offered on Saturday). Each blow-your-own glass activity takes about 20-30 minutes, and you can only book one person at a time. When Tove and I went  to Rainier Glass Studio with our friend Kyle, we reserved three consecutive activities. Members of your party are encouraged to watch and take pictures, so it can be done as a fun group outing. If you’re curious, the blow-your-own glass activity is open to all ages. When you first arrive at Rainier Glass Studio, you get to pick an...

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Piroshky Piroshky Bakery | A Pike Place Market Favorite

Piroshky Piroshky Bakery | A Pike Place Market Favorite

When you step behind the counter at Piroshky Piroshky Bakery in Pike Place Market, it’s like a well-coordinated dance. Workers are gracefully dipping and dodging each other through the crammed 300-square-foot space. Some are hoisting hot trays, others are rolling dough at a work station, while even more are chopping fresh fruits and vegetables. The only thing in the way on this “slow” day in October is me, standing in the middle of the work space with my camera. “Heads up!” and “Behind you!” are just a couple of warnings I hear. People are buzzing all around me, forcing me to keep my head on a swivel. They tell me it’s even crazier behind-the-scenes during the peak summer season. I can only imagine the organized chaos, because it’s already hard for me to understand how they survive. But that’s what happens when you’re committed to fresh, handmade products like Piroshky Piroshky. If piroshky sits in the case for two to three hours, they’re tossed aside and a new batch is moved in....

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Golden Larch March in the North Cascades

Golden Larch March in the North Cascades

It’s an annual tradition in the Northwest: the golden larch march. Hikers, tourists, and outdoor enthusiasts flock to the mountains in early- to mid-October to see larches as their needles turn bright yellow in the autumn. Tove and I are among the many who head to the hills, traveling to the North Cascades to enjoy the golden larches. On our recent golden larch march, we tackled two hikes in the North Cascades. We first strolled to Lake Ann, and then we followed that up with a trek to Blue Lake. Here’s a quick breakdown of each hike: Golden Larch March in the North Cascades Lake Ann Starting from the Rainy Pass Picnic Area (map), the hike to Lake Ann is just 3.7 miles round-trip with a 700-foot elevation gain. In other words, this is a hike for all ages and all experience levels. Start on the main trail and moderately climb for about 1.25 miles. You’ll run into a Y in the trail. The path to the left leads...

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