Seattle Attractions

Chuckanut Drive

Seattle almost tops the list of cloudiest large cities in the United States. The number of sunny days are limited to less than a 100 in an year. And when we have one of those precious sunny day falling on a weekend we would not miss a chance to head outdoors.

So on a beautiful sunny Saturday in early May we decided to take this drive. Chuckanut Drive is about 75 miles north of Seattle. It is a 21 miles scenic route with views of farmlands, lakes, mountains and beaches.

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We started our journey and drove through the lush farmlands, in and out of the towns of Allen & Bow. The views were pleasing and the surroundings looked gorgeous.

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The views of the farmlands and the mountains behind were adding a charm to the place.

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The drive then continued on the rock shoulder of the Chuckanut Mountains. We spotted many water gliders in the Samish Bay. They were enjoying their sunny day.

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There were railway tracks close to the Samish Bay enhancing the impression of it being an old time scenic highway.

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There were many pullouts along the drive and we enjoyed the views of the Samish Bay.

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In the distant we could overlook the breathtaking views of the San Juan Islands.

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We enjoyed the views on the way and reached Larrabee State Park. This park features freshwater lakes, coves and tidelands. It provides camping facilities and all the camp sites were booked that weekend.

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There are few hikes around the area and we went on to hike Fragrance Lake. It was about 5 miles round feet and 1100 feet elevation gain. The lake was small and beautiful and there were people actually swimming in the lake.

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We spent our afternoon at the beach access area of Larrabee State Park.

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We had packed our picnic lunch and we enjoyed it there. People were relaxing on the small beach and kids were playing around.

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The drive continued all the way to the 1880’s brick town of Fairhaven.

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The town still has many old and historic buildings providing a unique setting to the place.

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Built during the second boom era of Fairhaven, the Nelson Block, trimmed with Chuckanut sandstone, served as a bank for over 30 years until the second Depression forced it out of business.

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We strolled through the town and witnessed a beautiful sunset at the Marine Park.

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Another shot captured with a long exposure.

We had our dinner at a cozy Thai restaurant in the area with live music. We headed home with images of a lovely day. It was a nice relaxing drive and we enjoyed the beautiful water views of the Pacific Northwest.

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Space Needle New Year Fireworks

The beginning of the New Year 2015!

We visited Space Needle to spend the last few hours of 2014 and welcome 2015. Every year on New Year’s Eve  the Space Needle celebrates with a fireworks show that is synchronized with music. Sharing few pictures of the evening.

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Happy New Year 2015!

Garden d’Lights

Garden d’Lights is an annual light show held at Bellevue Botanical Garden each year from Thanks Giving to New Year. It features over ½ million tiny lights which transform the garden into a blossoming winter wonderland, capturing the “d’Light” in everyone.

This is a beautiful place to witness the Christmas lights in Bellevue. These pictures are from our visit last December on a cold winter evening.

View from the entrance

View from the entrance

Close up picture

Close up view with the duck

Central view

Central view

Garden frog

Garden frog

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Beautifully decorated flower beds

All bushes are covered with tiny lights

All bushes are covered with tiny lights

flowers

Sparkling flowers and butterfly

Glittering flowers

Flowers twinkling with lights

Each corner is lit up at the garden

Each corner of the garden is lit up

Grape vines

Grape vines

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Close up of a colorful parrot

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Christmas tree at the garden

Snowflake Lane

As Christmas is close by I thought of sharing a post indicating the spirit of this festival. Snowflake Lane is one of the most beloved holiday event in the Seattle area. It takes place in Downtown Bellevue where each night, from the day after Thanksgiving through Christmas Eve, the bustling streets are magically transformed into an extravagant winter wonderland; featuring falling snow, twinkling lights,  enchanting winter characters and lively musical dance performers.

These pictures are from last season’s parade. We went in early to grab a good spot as the street gets very crowded with families specially of children. The traffic is rerouted during the parade time and people are cordoned at many areas of the street. We managed to find a place in the front row of the sidewalk.

Street view

Street view with the dazzling lights and projections

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Illuminating street with colorful Christmas lights

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Crowd gathered to watch the initiation ceremony of the Snowflake Lane

Parade begins

Parade begins with the traditional holiday music

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Toy soldier drummers leading the way

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Candy cane girls

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Snowflake princess and prince

Snowman

Snowman

Polar bear

Polar bear of the North Pole

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Snowflake penguin

Snowflake penguin

Sugar plum fairy

Sugar plum fairy

Snowflake reindeers

Santa’s reindeers

Here comes Santa

Here comes Santa Claus spreading the joy of Christmas

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Beautiful snowfall created at the street

Cheerful drummer

Cheerful drummer

This was a fun parade to watch and I returned signing Christmas carols on my way.

Hydroplane and Raceboat Museum

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We visited this museum recently. On reaching one of the members from the staff greeted us. He offered to narrate a brief about the history of hydroplane racing in Seattle and the existence of the museum. He possessed great knowledge of the boats and their histories. There were not many visitors around.

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We then moved around and looked at the displays, artifacts, models and old photographs. We found plenty of hydroplanes, engines and history around.

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This museum has a good selection of boats and the exhibits include some famous race boats as The Slo-mo-Shun V, the Miss Bardahl, Miss Budweiser, Miss Wahoo, a 1956 Unlimited hydroplane once owned by Bill Boeing Jr. There is even a replica of Miss Detroit III, Gar Woods’ 1918 Gold Cup winner.

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There is also a chance to sit in one of the boats on exhibit. I got a photograph of myself in the raceboat.

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There was also a Boeing hydroplane in their workshop which they offered us to look at.

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Outside the workshop there was a small fun game of boat racing being played by couple of individuals.

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This is a small museum in one of the industrial areas. I would recommend this museum for someone who has knowledge or interest in unlimited hydroplanes and raceboats as one will find legendary boats from 1918 into the modern era.