Seattle

Seattle from Kerry Park

There are few places in the world more beautiful than the Seattle area during the months of July and August. The outdoor opportunities in and around Seattle are just incredible. Snug between two mountain ranges, the Cascades and the Olympics, there is no shortage of opportunities for great hiking. Lake Washington, Lake Sammamish, and Puget Sound provide no end of boating opportunities, including access to the Pacific Ocean and beyond. The relatively small geographic area means that within an hour by car you can be in the middle of nowhere. The numerous nearby farms, orchards, ranches, lakes, and streams provide incredible access to fresh and delicious ingredients, making it a food lover’s dream.

So when the forecast in the Yucatan, Cuba, and various other regions of Central America called for more heat, more humidity, and more rain, we decided to return to the Seattle area for a visit. We were fortunate to spend the summer in the region amongst friends, hiking, camping, boating, and eating (of course.)

Taking full advantage of the summer, we also ventured further out, making trips to the Oregon Coast and the Olympic Peninsula.

Off the plane from Cancun by only a couple hours, we were already hiking our way up Tiger Mountain, surrounded by blue skies and the fresh smell of pine. A relatively easy hike, it is only 30 minutes outside of downtown yet feels like you are hours from civilization.

Hiking Tiger Mountain

Hiking Tiger Mountain

Further afield, in the neighborhood of the Alpental Ski Area is the trail head to beautiful Snow Lake. Under snow cover most of the year, in August we still passed a few patches of snow next to an abundance of wild flowers. The view from the ridge crest is stunning, and a great place to watch the chipmunks beg hikers for snacks

Snow Lake, Seattle, WA

Snow Lake, Seattle, WA

Another beautiful nearby hike is Rattlesnake Ledge, offering incredible views of the nearby lake and valley.  We had a friendly little Scottish Terrier along that blazed every possible trail and provided warm greetings to fellow hikers and dogs at every opportunity

View From Atop Rattlesnake Ledge

View From Atop Rattlesnake Ledge

Rattlesnake Ledge

Rattlesnake Ledge

Requiring only a short walk from a parking lot, a visit to Snoqualmie Falls is a must. Normally the nearby hiking trails provide easy access to the river below, providing jaw dropping views up the falls, taller than Niagara. Unfortunately, construction on a hydroelectric plant means the trails were closed this year.

Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls

Back in town, the numerous parks and hillsides offer access to the outdoors within biking and walking distance.  Gasworks Park offers great views of the city and Lake Union, and is a favorite for kite flying enthusiasts.

Gasworks Park

Gasworks Park

Sunset at Gasworks Park

Sunset at Gasworks Park

On a hot summer’s day, Madison Park Beach is a wonderful place to relax with an ice cold beverage of the adult variety, and is within easy walking distance of one of the best happy hours in the city

Relaxing on Lake Washington

Relaxing on Lake Washington

As summer comes to an end, the sun begins to retreat from the oncoming clouds, sometimes for months at a time.  The days decrease in length, growing darker and oppressively gray.  The drizzle and mist permeates the air, leaving everything slightly damp and chill.  This is our queue to move on

Until we meet again, Seattle.

$:
Discover Pass, for access to state recreation land: $35 (annual)

Retire Early.

Travel the World.

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