Beatty's Guide to Washington State

I think those of you lucky enough to experience summer in Washington state will agree, these are the best 3 months of the year. And for everyone else, here are some of our staff's favorite places to visit and activities to do:

Anthony's at Pier 66
It would truly be a crime to visit Seattle and not try our world class seafood. Anthony's has several locations and this is my favorite for several reasons. First, the dining room overlooks Puget Sound and in the evening you will see the Seattle Great Ferris Wheel lit up spiraling. And, of course, the food is fabulous. Beyond that, the waterfront is full of activities. You are a short walk from Pike Place Market where you must see the flying fish, Argosy offers a Seattle Harbor Cruise, and Pirates Plunder Imports on pier 57 where "ye'll discover a bounty of booty." All in all, this section of Seattle's waterfront is overflowing with tastes, sights, and smells.

University of Washington Campus
This is the magnificent Alma Mater of our owner Jeff and myself (Paige). My personal favorite spot is the Suzzallo Library Reading Room. If you are a Harry Potter fan you will know why as soon as you see the tall ceilings and the brass lamps. It looks just how I imagined Hogwarts in the books. Just outside Suzzallo Library is Drumheller Fountain and a picturesque view of Mount Rainier where I highly recommend taking a picture. If you are feeling adventurous, Aqua Verde is a wonderful Mexican restaurant near the south campus where you can conveniently rent kayaks. From there, if you paddle under the 520 bridge and are lucky, you just might see the family of turtles that live in the area. And last, it would be a depravity for me not to mention the food on University Avenue. My personal favorites are Aladdin's, Wing Central, and A Burger Place. (Suzzallo Reading Room pictured right, photo credit Navkiran Bains)

Rainier Cherries
We all know it rains in Seattle, and I am sure you have heard of Mount Rainer and probably Rainer beer as well. But Rainier Cherries are a must try. They are only in season for about a month and are known for their unmatched sweetness, large size and red/orange coloring. Washington State University, home to our staff members Jane and Matt, bred and grew the very first Rainier cherry tree and you can still visit the mother tree on campus. Orchardists who grow the cherries will attest to the art of growing a perfect crop. Too much heat, wind or rain can mean the end of your temperamental crop. All in all, these sweet cherries are well worth their price tag.

NW Brews
Washington state is home to 2% of the US population and 8% of the total breweries. With the number of breweries fast approaching 250, we are second only to California. My personal favorite is Old School House Brewery but the office favorite is,our neighbors, Mac & Jacks. You can find Mac & Jacks African Amber Ale at most restaurants and it will come highly recommended. 

Hiking Snow Lake
There are lots of places to hike and sights to see but Snow Lake is extremely popular for a reason. It is a long (6.5mi) but not too difficult hike in Snoqualmie Pass. The hike has picturesque views of the lake, waterfalls, granite peaks and old evergreen forests we are known for in Washington. Because of its easy access near Snoqualmie Ski Resort and the views, you can expect the trail to be busy on weekends and it is best to get an early start. You also have the option of camping and bringing dogs. (pictured right, photo credit Nikki Ogden)

Music at the Gorge
The Gorge is the top concert venue in the state and arguably the best outdoor amphitheater in America. The amphitheater is right on the Columbia River and if you are arrive early enough, you will see the sun set perfectly behind the stage. Fans stay at the Gorge campground, Wildhorse campground or Cave B Winery & Resort. All of which are either walking distance or provide transportation to and from concerts. From big name artists, including Dave Matthews Band's annual concert, to the collection of music festivals, the Gorge is quite spectacular.

There is something about warm summer weather and each of these places that truly makes Washington our home.

-PM

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