You may think that Spokane would not be the best trip during the winter but in fact many people cross over Snoqualmie pass every holiday season to ski, see family and explore the beautiful state of Washington. Spokane is the largest city in eastern Washington and many people all across the state, Idaho, Montana and Oregon flock there to explore the natural beauty and experience its booming downtown. Although it may seem like a long way to go just for a three-day weekend; Spokane is the perfect place to bring your family for a winter weather getaway and if you’ve never been you will be blown away by its charm and beauty. Below you can details about what to do, where to say and more.
Where to stay:
Over the past few years the city and residents have been working together to boost tourism and share the wonder of eastern Washington with more people. There are a variety of Airbnb host across the Spokane valley with smaller apartments downtown and large homes in the suburban areas. If you’re looking for the five-star treatment why not book a few nights in one of the many glamorous hotels along the Spokane river including the Davenport hotels, the Red Lion and Montvale Hotel.
How to get there:
While the city offers a wide variety of accommodations, food options and activities; it may be a little limiting on modes to get there. The most popular and convenient is to drive from the Seattle area over, just make sure to check the weather diligently before leaving and pack chains and snow weather equipment. Another way to get there is by flying; during off season or buying tickets in advance can be the cheapest way to travel by air. If you are a budget traveler and don’t mind a few extra stops the greyhound runs daily between Seattle and Spokane stopping in Ellensburg and Moses Lake.
Where to eat:
Having lived there for four years during college, I can attest that Spokane has some of the best restaurants in the entire world. Weather you’re in the mood for brunch, local brews, delicious wines or spectacular diners you won’t be disappointed. Some of my favorite restaurants include, Kalico Kitchen, Chaps Diner and Bakery, Steam Plant restaurant, The Onion, Flying Goat Pizza and Luigi’s Italian restaurant. Many of these restaurants and others are centrally located in the downtown area and few in the valley heading east on I-90.
What to do:
For many people winter can be daunting with the cold weather and limited activities; in fact, Spokane is one of the most beautiful cities during the winter months. If you love nature and are not afraid of the cold or snow why not try exploring on a hike in Palisades Park, Mt. Spokane State Park and Palouse Falls. If you want to stay a bit more local why not walk along the riverfront, maybe try ice skating at their new rink or stroll through the downtown shopping district for holiday presents. For the art lovers there are several art galleries that have showings now including Chase Gallery, Trackside studio and art gallery, New Moon art gallery, Northwest Museum or Arts and Culture, and lastly the Jundt Art Gallery at Gonzaga University. What ever you choose to do on your trip to Spokane, you will not be disappointed.
Its starting to get cold outside and soon the holiday season will be upon us; now is the perfect time to relax and do something fun for yourself. Either you will be traveling to see family and friends or might be hosting the whole crew; before the stress and craziness dawns spend some quality time with you family and yourself. Soon there will millions of festive holiday activities you can choose from but this November you actually have an equal amount of family fun across the Seattle to explore. Whether you’re looking for holiday gifts or maybe a gift for yourself, you want to learn something new or want to eat delicious food; there will be something for you on our list. If you do anything before this holiday season with your family or just for yourself, we ask you to relax and relieve your previous Halloween stress and lastly just enjoy this holiday season.
If you are an Art lover:
It’s the 30th anniversary of the Northwest Art and Fine Art Craft show this weekend. This year the fall art event will be held in hanger 30 in Magnuson Park and there will be free parking as well as kids under 12 get in for free. Over 115 artists and artisans will be displaying and selling their art. Grab your family or friends you’re a day of art strolling and you may even come away with a stunning new piece for your home. To get tickets and learn more about the event, click here: https://nwartalliance.org/event/30th-annual-best-of-the-northwest-art-and-fine-craft-show-fall-2018/
If you’re a foodie:
The Saturday before Thanksgiving in the little town of Issaquah they host Gilman Village Sip and Shop event. Come enjoy some snacks from local restaurants and sip on a wide variety of wines while strolling through the adorable shopping center at Gilman Village. There will also be three different musical groups to entertain shoppers and set the mood. To get more info and purchase tickets, click here: https://downtownissaquah.com/event/gilman-village-sip-shop/
If you have a curious mind:
Come celebrate the 45th Julefest at the Nordic Museum November 17th through the 18th. Learn about Scandinavian culture and enjoy some authentic sweet holiday treats. There will also be traditional Nordic music and local artisans to purchase any gifts for the holidays and for the grown ups there is a Valhalla beer garden to enjoy a Juletide cocktail. To find tickets and more information, click here: http://nordicmuseum.org/julefest
If you’re a nature lover:
On Veteran’s day all National Parks across the country will have free entry this is including Mt Rainer and Olympic National Parks. In part to make more national lands accessible to all the National Parks department set up free entry days. Load up the car, grab your water bottle and head out for a day trip even in the cold these Puget Sound parks are stunning. To plan your trip and learn more about free entry day, click here: https://www.nps.gov/planyourvisit/fee-free-parks.htm
In the land of fast food chains, some diners have lost their audience because many people confuse the greasy manufactured food of McDonalds to hand crated traditional recipes you can find in most diners. While there are many faults with the millennial generation has, they are beginning to develop one advantage which is a renewed interest in diners and home-style cooking. While the younger generation mostly seeks out diners for their amazing brunch menus; be sure to stay lunch, dinner and dessert because everything at these restaurants below are delicious. If you’re lucky you might even get to taste some recipes that have been passed down from generation to generation at many of these diners across the Seattle area.
Dave’s Diner and Brew:
Located south of Seattle near SEATAC airport, step back in time and experience the 50’s in true diner style. Fan favorites you need to try are the meatloaf, bacon cheese burger, baked potatoes fries and the milkshakes. Be sure to hit up their happy hour daily from 3pm to 6pm and 10pm to midnight. If you cant make it to their restaurant, you can order online or over the phone to be delivered to you home or place of work. To find their menu and hours of operation: http://www.davesdiner.us/index.html
Square Knot Diner:
Located in Georgetown, Square Knot is a no-frills down to earth diner welcoming everyone. They have a wide variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options to choose from. Plus breakfast is served all day long which means you can enjoy your omelets for brinner (breakfast for dinner). To find their menu and connect with their Facebook page: http://squareknotdiner.com/
Located in the heart of downtown Kirkland its been a family owned and operated restaurant for the past 40 plus years. At George’s you can find Greek-Mediterranean infused dishes as well as American classics for breakfast, lunch and dinner. They have daily specials for breakfast and lunch that change every day, so check their website before going to see what might look yummy. To see their complete menu and get directions: http://www.georgeskirkland.com/
Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-in:
Located in Issaquah right off I-90, Triple XXX is a great place for car and food lovers. The interior of the restaurant has an amazing preserved collection of retro car parts and memorabilia that will make you feel that you have stepped back in time. Triple XXX serves your favorite diner classics and even some that are on steroids like their milkshakes and burgers. Throughout the year Triple XXX host antique car shows for the community to come out and enjoy these living legends. To find their menu and learn more about the car shows: http://triplexrootbeer.com/
Located in the Freemont neighborhood, Roxy’s is a perfect place for all those east coast transplants and lovers of bagels. Their tag line is The Real East Coast on the West Coast and it lives up to its name. Founded from NJ transplant himself, Roxy’s serves up great classics like Reuben sandwich, Matzoh ball soup, bagels and lox with the works. If you are not a fan of east coast favorites, then try some of their other diner classics. To find their menu, directions and learn more about Roxy’s: https://www.pastramisandwich.com/
Its that time of the year again, not Thanksgiving, not Christmas; its Daylight savings this Sunday. In the fall we get an extra hour and during the spring time we lose an hour by setting our clocks an hour ahead. The use of Daylight-Saving Time in the US first appeared during WW1 to conserve fuel and electricity. For the next five decades cities and states across the United States adopted different systems for Daylight Savings. Finally, in 1966 Congress enacted a country wide system for Daylight-Saving Time so that each time zone and city could be on the same scheme. Now every fall we get an extra hour to catch up on sleep, spend time with family or get your home prepped for winter.
How to spend your “long” weekend around the house:
How to spend the “long” weekend around town:
Don’t forget to change all your clocks to the correct time including, stove tops, microwaves, laptop/ computer, alarm clocks and even your car. If you have a smart phone, they will most likely adjust to the new time automatically. Enjoy your extra hour by making the most of it or just take your time and relax this weekend.
It’s the night we’ve been waiting for all season and for some all year; tomorrow night is Halloween. Hundreds of little kids will get all dressed up, grab their candy buckets and stroll around the neighborhood trick or treating across the Seattle area. Its important to prepare your home and family for the spookiest night of the year. As we all know fall in the northwest usually means rain and this year will mostly likely be no different so grab your rain boots and make sure your entry way is clear and safe for every little trick or treaters. We have gathered some tips and ticks to help you prepare you home, your family and your pets for the Halloween holiday tomorrow. We wish you all a spooky and safe night.
Make your walkway safe and inviting while still keeping it spooky. On the 30th or during the Halloween day before it gets dark sweep your walk way and trim any trees or bushes that could impede the path of trick or treaters. If you have decorations along your entryway, make sure they are secured and wont fall down or out of any trees. Lastly make sure the path to the candy is illuminated either with overhead flood lights or small outdoor lights.
To prepare your kids and family for a night of trick or treating, make sure to check the weather before heading out. For the kiddos we recommend rain boots, sneakers, rain jackets and umbrella’s because it looks like it will rain. If your kids have a dark costume, add some reflective tape or flashlights to the front or back of their costume to protect them from cars and spot them from afar. If you’ve got little ones, you might want to start trick or treating at dusk or right as it gets dark because they may not last all night and you’ll want to keep them safe. Lastly make sure the kiddos bring home lots of sweet treats so that you can nibble off their stash.
If you plan on joining the trick or treating crew and want to bring along the doggo; make sure you grab some doggie bags and attach either reflective tape or flashlight to protect you and your pup. If your dog is very vocal or sensitive, during the trick or treating we recommend keeping your animals’ downstairs and away from the doorbell noise to help keep them calmer. If your pup can handle the commotion of Halloween, you could try keeping them upstairs but be weary not every little trick or treater may be a dog person.
If you’re looking for something fun and indoor this weekend, why not explore the local wine scene in the Seattle area. While its pouring outside this weekend, cozy up and pour yourself a glass of chardonnay or Merlot. You can’t go wrong with a glass of wine, a good book and fluffy blanket on a cool autumn day. Wine tasting is an amazing way to explore and find new wineries right in your backyard. Beyond its production of apples, coffee and hops; Washington is the second largest producer of Wine in the country, right behind California. To make it more convenient for all of living in the west side of the state, wineries and tasting rooms have worked together to bring world class wines to the greater Seattle area. Take advantage this weekend, grab your friends, family or just yourself for an afternoon of wine touring around Seattle or maybe pick your favorite place and spend the day learning about their amazing selection and tasty bites.
The Tasting Room
Located near Pike Place Market and the Aquarium, the Tasting Room is the prefect place to enjoy the best of Washington wines. You can find over 60 different wine selections from seven boutique wineries in the Seattle area. They are open seven days and week and offer wine tasting flights for $12 or wine by the glass for $5 to $15 depending on the wine selection. To learn more about the Tasting Room and their wine selection, click here: https://winesofwashington.com/
Woodinville Wine Country
If you are looking for a chance to get out the city and explore where wine is made and see some of the agricultural land, look no further than the Woodinville Wine country area. Located just 30 min outside Seattle, you can find over 50 different wineries serving a wide selection of world class wines. You can even plan your visit with and choose why type of trip your taking with Woodinville Wine Country website. To find more information and plan your visit, click here: https://woodinvillewinecountry.com/wine/
Seattle Wine Tours
If you are looking for a new wine experience and hoping to explore multiple wineries, why not try a wine tour. Seattle Wine Tours offer a variety of different length tours in multiple locations across Washington. Instead of bringing the wine to you, they bring you to the wine. Their tour guides can take you through the bustling Seattle wineries or lead you across the stunning Wenatchee valley to explore the vast Washington vineyards. To learn more and book your tour, click here: http://www.seattlewinetours.com/
With the leaves changing colors and the cool crisp air blowing outside, there’s nothing better than curling up on the couch with a warm bowl of homemade soup. You may think only the Martha Stewart’s and Ina Garten’s of the world can make mouth watering soups or stews; but if you have the right ingredients and some fall inspiration, you can make the most delicious recipes. October, November and December are the best time for hearty soups and stews, not only because of the cool weather but also access to amazing ingredients like pumpkins, squash, carrots and broccoli. Plus, you can always add fun ingredients to give the soup a twist like bacon, cheese, bread and various types of fruit. Grab a large pot, the best local ingredients and your family to start a stewin. You will find below several recipes that can provide inspiration and guidance for your next meal.
Harvest Pumpkin Soup
There is nothing more traditional during the fall than eating something made from pumpkins. While this recipe calls for pumpkin puree you get at the grocery; it might be fun to pick out some little pumpkins with your family to create some bowls for this delicious soup. This recipe only takes about an hour to make and will serve eight hungry guest so either invite some friend over or make save the leftover for future meals. Find the recipe here: https://www.womansday.com/food-recipes/food-drinks/recipes/a38807/harvest-pumpkin-soup-recipe-clv1112/
Autumn Carrot and Sweet Potato Soup
Lets keep the orange theme going and move onto a great dish that includes two fall favorite vegetables the carrot and sweet potato. This recipe also calls for an usual twist including fresh honey crisp or Fiji apples and honey. To find the complete recipe and instructions click here: https://www.onceuponachef.com/recipes/autumn-carrot-and-sweet-potato-soup.html
Spicy Sausage and White Bean Soup
When its cold outside, lets kick up the heat up with this fiery creation. You can adjust the amount of spiciness according to which sausage you choose and how much pepper flakes you add. Add parmesan to the top to add some salt and extra flavoring to this dish. To find the recipe click here: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/spicy-sausage-and-white-bean-soup
Beef Stew in Red Wine Sauce
This is a crowd favorite in my home, at least one of my family members makes it each fall usually around thanksgiving. This recipe can take up to three hours but each detail and ingredient cooking for so long is worth every bite. So head on down to the local farmers market and butcher shop to grab the best quality ingredients and start a stwein. To find the instructions and ingredient list click here: https://www.foodandwine.com/recipes/beef-stew-in-red-wine-sauce
When we think of fall, the first thing that comes to mind is fields and fields of pumpkins ready for picking. Don’t settle for grocery store pumpkins, get out of this weekend and explore the gorgeous farmland that is right in our backyard. Eat some pumpkin donuts, snap some cute pics of the kids and you searching for the freshest produce and even try an old timey tradition the hayride. Many of the farms on our list are located just around an hour outside the city; so close you can almost taste it.
Oxbow Farm: Located in Carnation is the perfect place to take the family for a day of pumpkin picking and farm living. They have lost of fun and games for the kiddos including magic beans which is used as currency for fun activities around the farm. Head on over to their U-pick fields to fit the perfect pumpkin. While your there grab some seasonal veggies to bring home and whip up for a good dinner. To learn more, click here: http://www.oxbow.org/oxtober/
Mosby Farms: Just outside of Auburn, south of Seattle is the historic family run Mosby Farms. They not only have a pumpkin patch but also a corn maze in the shape of an owl. Along with great pumpkins, they have decorative gourds, ornamental corn and more for decorating your home this fall season. Head on down to Mosby farms for great fun and amazing pumpkins. To get more info, click here: http://mosbyfarm.com/pumpkin-patch/
Craven Farm: As one of Snohomish oldest pumpkin patches this year Craven Farm is celebrating its 35th of family fun. The fall festival is open from September 22nd until October 31st every day of the week. Activities include picking pumpkins, wandering through the corn maze, face painting, and apple slinger. The weekends can be very busy so plan ahead and come early to get the best parking spot and the best pumpkin. To see complete details and learn more, click here: http://www.cravenfarm.com/
Head on out to the countryside with your family and friends to find the perfect pumpkins for decorating and displaying. Since Halloween is right around the corner, don’t hesitate and head out to one of these great farms to experience the best fall tradition.
If you haven’t already started decorating your home for the upcoming holiday; this is the prefect time with the weather still moderately warm and no rain in the forecast. Over the past few years decorating for Halloween has become almost as intense as during the Christmas season. Some people go all out and turn their home into the neighborhoods very own haunted house and others place creatively decorated pumpkins to invite trick or treaters. Gather your friends and family to arrange home-made and store-bought decorations around your home before Halloween comes around.
Make your own:
Carving Pumpkins is the time-honored Halloween tradition that is fun for the whole family. Grab the kids, your friends and even the pups to go pick out the best pumpkin for decorating. You can always carve your pumpkins the traditional way but if you’re in the mood to try something new, attempt painting them or using glitter to shake things up.
Hanging cut outs and lights from the trees can be a fun twist to your home. Try cutting out bats and spiders from black paper or black Styrofoam and hang from fishing wire to get a spooky effect. Add some orange or purple lights to really showcase your hanging creations.
Spooky Wreath can be made from all sorts of materials including feathers, old t-shirts, toilet paper tubes, glitter and much more. The most important thing is to be creative and spooky, involve the kids in picking out colors and materials and then help them assemble the wreath. Once you’ve finished, hang outside and wait for the trick or treaters.
Cobwebs are possibly the simplest and spookiest store-bought decoration you can find. You can hang them anywhere; we recommend underneath a covered area, so it will be easier to put away after the holiday. Adding some plastic spiders or leaves to the cobwebs will bring your décor to the next level.
Grave Headstones can be a little pricey but can be used every year and don’t require any extrusive set up. You can find a variety of headstones at stores like Target, Walmart, and home improvement stores in your area. We recommend planning and carefully digging the areas before decorating as to not destroy your yard.
Fake Skeletons are a great spooky decoration that you can add to any part of your yard like sitting on the porch, hiding in the garden or hand on the side of the house. Many skeletons will come with pre-decorated paint and such but if you really want to scare your family or friends try adding red paint or fake blood for an even spookier experience.
If you need more advice or ideas try going to Pinterest.com for fun and spooky inspiration. Stores like Walmart, Target, Fred Meyer, Home Depot, Party City and even thrift stores are great places to start your Halloween decorating adventure. We wish you and your family well during this Halloween season.
Fall is the one of the best times to explore the natural beauty and remarkable culture of the Northwest. Living in the Seattle area places you in the perfect area to wander nearby cities and towns like Vancouver, Leavenworth and more. As we have said before the weather in the Pacific Northwest can always unpredictable so plan your weekend trip carefully and thoughtfully. First step is to choose who will accompany you, maybe its your family or significant other, maybe you want to make it a friend’s get-together or maybe you just want some rest and relaxation to yourself. Next is too choose your destination, whether you’re going for an entire week or just the weekend these places on our list will be perfect for either trip. Check the weather before deciding on your tip and make sure your mode of transportation can safely get you to your destination. We recommend having four-wheel drive or snow tires if you plan on going to Leavenworth or Mt Rainier any time after mid-November. Read on to learn more about the amazing places in the Northwest for you perfect weekend getaway.
Just a short two- and half-hour drive north from Seattle and you find yourself not only in another city but another country. Vancouver is an amazing city full of so many fun and exciting things to do like, visit Granville Island, explore Stanley park, see the 2010 winter Olympic village and more. Like other major cities, Vancouver is a hub for incredible food and being one of the most diverse areas in Canada, chefs and restaurants share the world with you right in one place. There are a range of great hotels and variety of Airbnb options for you and entire squad. So, grab your passport, pack the car and start your journey up north. To help plan your trip: https://www.tourismvancouver.com/plan-your-trip/maps/
The cutest little Bavarian town outside of Germany can be found right in the middle of Washington. A two-hour drive east from Seattle and you’ve have arrived in Leavenworth, the breathtaking views and stunning architecture will transport you. There are so many fun activities to do including, hiking to Icicle creek, strolling in waterfront park or trying some delicious German food. Many of the hotels can book up during the winter and fall season; start planning your trip as soon as possible. To learn more about Leavenworth: https://leavenworth.org/
Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington
Further south from Leavenworth is Mt Rainier the highest Mountain in the Cascades and state symbol that can be seen from Seattle on a clear sunny day. If Mt. Rainier national park is a great place to spend for a day trip, a weekend or more. During the fall and winter months part of the park closes due to safety, but Paradise visitor center is open during the winter to help patrons get information and learn more about the stunning landscape. If you are strong enough to brave the cold and snow, there are snow camping options; if you love a warm bed and delicious food try booking your stay at the National Park Inn. Every Washingtonian should visit Mt Rainier once in their life, why not now. To start planning your trip: https://www.nps.gov/mora/planyourvisit/index.htm