November 19, 2013 at 12:18 PM
Got a wedding to plan, with tons of relatives from out of town? Your turn to host the company convention in Seattle? You might want to avoid mid-June 2015. Or get your hotel reservations in now.
Yes, it’s a year-and-a-half away, but it’s not too soon for this heads up: The huge sucking sound you hear is the U.S. Open golf tournament booking hotel rooms around Puget Sound.
In case you weren’t paying attention, golf’s biggest game is coming to (more…)
November 19, 2013 at 6:00 AM
After a few false starts and final construction delays, a new 1.6-mile segment of the Historic Columbia River Highway State Trail opened Thursday, making it possible for cyclists to travel a scenic 34 miles of the Columbia River Gorge without using Interstate 84.
The new trail segment, which was dedicated in September, is complete except for minor detail work, including landscaping. The $8.1 million project is the final link in a 34-mile scenic bike ride from Troutdale to Cascade Locks, Ore., on 26 miles of the Columbia River Historic Highway and 6.5 miles of shared-use path on the State Trail. Ultimately, the trail will extend to Hood River, Ore.
The new 1.6-mile trail segment includes:
- A new 12-foot wide paved path accessible to pedestrians, bicyclists, hikers and people using wheelchairs.
- A distinctive new 76-foot long, 16-foot wide bridge over McCord Creek reflecting the craftsmanship of the original highway design.
- A new picnic and rest area with restored views of Beacon Rock.
- A link with U.S. Forest Service Trail 400, connecting to Elowah Falls.
November 18, 2013 at 9:55 AM
Like many travelers, I get cranky about airlines. I’m annoyed by the ever-increasing extra fees, the ever-shrinking economy-class seats, the onboard battle for carry-on space.
But now for something completely different. Alaska Airlines actually makes it pretty easy to get a refund if the price of your airline ticket goes down after you bought it.
I half-heartedly checked out Alaska’s low price guarantee this weekend, thinking there was no way I’d find a drop in price for a December flight to Hawaii that I’d bought a while ago. But in about a minute, after a couple of clicks on the Alaska website, I ended up with a $60 refund (in the form of a credit to use on a future flight). For once, an airline made me happy.
Co-workers of mine use Alaska’s low-fare guarantee regularly. One just got back $85.51 on a trip to Palm Springs. Another, who’s nicknamed “Miles Boy” since he flies so much on Alaska and is a master at getting upgrades, estimates he’s saved about $1,000 (more…)
November 12, 2013 at 2:01 PM
The Whistler Mountain half of British Columbia’s Whistler Blackcomb ski resort will open this Saturday, Nov. 16, the resort announced Tuesday. The opening comes 13 days earlier than originally planned, thanks to cold temperatures, natural snowfall and productive snowmaking equipment, resort officials said.
British Columbia’s Big White ski resort, near Kelowna, has also announced a Saturday opening.
With five lifts running at Whistler, skiers and snowboarders will have the option to upload from either (more…)
November 12, 2013 at 6:00 AM
It’s important to keep your strength up when you’re on the road, and a stop at a good bakery can be just what you need. Or sometimes it’s worth making the trip just for the bakery.
Here are 5 good bakeries you can visit on a day trip from Seattle or Bellevue:
Sluys Poulsbo Bakery, 18924 Front St. N.E., Poulsbo. From the Frisbee-sized Viking doughnuts to the smiley-face cookies or gingerbread giants (not just men), Sluys doesn’t do much halfway. Some classic Scandinavian pastries, too. In the center of Poulsbo’s old-town shopping district, a stone’s skip from scenic Liberty Bay, on the Kitsap Peninsula. (More Poulsbo ideas here.)
Breadfarm, downtown Edison, Skagit County. A whole lotta whole-grain goodness going on. The name says it: Bread is what this place is about, locally sourced, from their Samish River Potato Bread, from Skagit Valley potatoes, to Chuckanut Multigrain from (more…)
November 11, 2013 at 12:23 PM
Want to get a glimpse of how Washington’s governors live – and decorate for the holidays?
Head to Olympia on Dec. 4th, 11th or 18th for free tours of the historic Washington State Governor’s Mansion which is decorated for December festivities.
Hour-long tours of the public rooms of the 18,000-square-foot mansion are offered by reservation throughout each of the three December days; phone 360-902-8880 to reserve a spot – act quickly as the tours are very popular. Take note that cameras, backpacks and strollers are not permitted, and everyone 18 and older must present photo ID.
The Georgian-style mansion was built in 1908 and is furnished with antiques. Some furniture was purchased at that time from Seattle’s now-gone Frederick & Nelson department store and still remains, including the table and massive buffet in the elegant State Dining Room.
The mansion is both a private home for the governor (more…)
November 7, 2013 at 5:08 PM
Take a look at the webcam for Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise and you’ll see that snow is starting to pile up at Mount Rainier National Park. As visions of snowshoes dance in park lover’s heads, park staffers are preparing for winter operations and visitors.
“Mount Rainier provides outstanding winter recreation opportunities and has been doing so for over 100 years,” Park Superintendent Randy King said in an email. “It’s a wonderful time to visit the park and area, provided visitors come well-prepared for the snow and road conditions. Safe backcountry travel in winter requires an especially high level of preparation, caution, and knowledge.”
The park will transition to winter hours of operation and service on Tuesday, Nov. 12. Here’s a roundup of what to expect all winter: (more…)
November 7, 2013 at 12:51 PM
Is it way past time to clean out the fridge? Would it be easier to just leave town? Here are some other good reasons to hit the road this weekend:
Tour seven Olympic Peninsula wineries and cideries during their annual Harvest Wine Tour and Scarecrow Contest this Saturday through Monday. A $30 pass gets you wine tastings and food pairings, such as wild-mushroom stroganoff at Harbinger Winery in Port Angeles, Alder Wood Bistro’s lamb stew at Olympic Cellars, or miniature caramel apple hand-pies with hot spiced “Chai-der” at Finnriver Farm & Cidery in Chimacum. Each stop competes with its own version of vineyard scarecrows.
November 6, 2013 at 6:01 AM
As cold weather arrives and winds whistle and whirl, anyone looking for a weekend getaway often has “cozy” among the criteria. Here are 5 cozy getaways around Western Washington (and it’s a good time to enjoy low-season rates).
1. Coupeville inns
Winter is the quiet season on Whidbey Island, but Penn Cove mussels are still fresh and salty in local restaurants and a hike at Ebey’s Landing will wake you up when Strait of Juan de Fuca winds blow. Afterward, cozy up in the pink lady of Coupeville, the Italianate Kineth House, part of the Blue Goose Inn, or one of the rustic madrona-log rooms of the Captain Whidbey Inn.
This funky/delightful historic inn at the upper edge of Willapa Bay has a view of old orchard trees and meadow-grazing deer rather than the ocean, but a 5-minute drive puts you on a sandy beach. Wine and Scrabble in front of the fireplace (beneath the moose head) while (more…)
November 4, 2013 at 12:12 PM
Get in the latest conversation about global warming, through art, with a trip to Bellingham to see the Whatcom Museum’s groundbreaking new exhibit, “Vanishing Ice: Alpine and Polar Landscapes in Art, 1775-2012.”
Promoters describe the exhibit, which opened Sunday, thusly:
“Showcasing the beauty and attraction of Earth’s frozen frontiers through 90 works of art from 12 countries, ‘Vanishing Ice’ frames a unique body of art within the context of climate change. This cultural perspective reveals the importance of alpine and polar landscapes in shaping Western consciousness about nature, and helps inform the environmental challenges faced today.”
Featured works range from Finnish photographer Tiina Itkonen’s image of (more…)
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