Summer is in full swing in Washington, and you know it won’t last for long. Pack an overnight bag, sign off Casemaker, and enjoy the beautiful weather at one of these fun Washington destinations. Your billable hours will be there once the rain starts up again.
Sure, I’m cheating a little with this one, since Jetty Island requires a 5-minute ferry trip from Everett’s waterfront. Situated between Puget Sound and Port Gardner, Jetty Island boasts two miles of sandy beach, marshes, and warm, shallow waters. Jetty Island doesn’t offer any amenities other than a restroom, so be sure to bring everything you need for the trip. Arrive early or bring a book — while the ferry ride is fast, it can fill up quickly.
Destination drink: Arnold Palmer. Alcohol and glass containers aren’t allowed on Jetty Island, so enjoy this classic mocktail made with iced tea and lemonade instead. Once you’re back on the mainland, stop by the Scuttlebutt Brewery in Everett to enjoy some award winning brews.
Camping at Cape Disappointment State Park — and enjoying the sites at the International Kite Festival — has become an annual tradition for my family. Set on over 1,800 acres in southwest Washington, Cape Dis offers camping, miles of hiking trails and beachfront, two lighthouses, and summer concerts at Waikiki Beach. Nearby Long Beach offers a variety of amenities and dining options, from fish fry joints to fine dining, so if you burn the hot dogs and marshmallows, a tasty meal of razor clams is close by.
Destination drink: Mock me if you will, but when it comes to camping, go with box wine! It’s easy to chill (remove the bladder from the box and put it directly on ice), easy to pack, and plenty tasty. Check out this list from Real Simple for some inspiration.
I love just about everything about the Olympic Peninsula, from the Hoh Rainforest to the cheesy Twilight stores, but Neah Bay and the Olympic Beaches take the cake. To get to Neah Bay — the most northwest point in the continental U.S. — you’ll have to get a bit off the beaten path and head west on Rt. 112. The scenery along the way and on the Cape Flattery Trail is well worth the trip. The Olympic Beaches are all beautiful, but my favorite is Ruby Beach (pictured above), just north of Kalaloch. Ruby Beach features a short hike down to a driftwood-covered rocky beach with a view of sea stacks and Abbey Island.
Destination drink: Once you’re past Forks, your options for food and drinks get slim. Plan ahead and stop at the organic-certified Finn River Farm and Cidery in Chimacum for some hard cider. If you’re feeling fancy, pick up some of their blueberries, stop in Sequim for lavender, and whip up a pitcher of this Blueberry Lavender Vodka Spritzer.
What Washington travel list would be complete without mentioning that Bavarian darling Leavenworth? With gorgeous scenery, numerous dining options, and summer outdoor activities like whitewater rafting, hiking, tube floats down the Wenatchee River, and zip lining, Leavenworth is a worthy weekend destination.
Destination drink: After a day in the hot sun, cool off with a Colchuck Citrus Wheat or another tasty brew from Leavenworth’s Icicle Brewing Company, located on Front Street.
Looking for an island getaway, but don’t want to endure the hassle of weekend ferry traffic? Take the bridge to Camano Island! Accessible via Rt. 532 from Stanwood, Camano Island offers a quiet rural setting, miles of uncrowded shoreline, and two State Parks (Camano Island and Cama Beach) and county parks. You won’t find tourist shops with 600 flavors of saltwater taffy or a plethora of dining options on Camano Island, so come prepared with a plan for dinner.
Destination drink: There are few options on Camano, so you’ll want to pack in your favorite summer libations. The Pimm’s Cup (try it with ginger beer) is a refreshing summer cocktail and is easy to mix, making them a good alternative to beer and wine.