The days are getting shorter now, and they’ll make a big leap overnight as daylight saving time ends, leaving a narrow window to enjoy those brilliant fall colors.
It’s the season to pile the family in the car and head out on a day-long road trip on one of our
scenic byways. Here’s one that offers short hikes, roadside restaurants and plenty of leaf peeping. And don’t forget to stop by the falls.
Beginning in Redmond and running about 30 miles to North Bend, this quiet
country road through the Snoqualmie Valley is a great day trip.
First stop: Marymoor Park, a 640-acre plot of green grass, biking and hiking trails, a climbing wall and velodrome for bikers. If you happen by Marymoor today check out the Northwest Glass Pumpkin Sale. The free event runs from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and features more than 1,000 glassblown pumpkins from Tacoma Glassblowing Studio artists. Go to www.northwestglasspumpkins.com for more information. The park also offers free bike rentals for adults.
Second stop: Start the drive toward Fall City on the leaf-strewn highway, stopping at The Fall City Roadhouse, a cozy little spot about 30 minutes down 202 from the park.
A hearty breakfast can be had for about $10, or go at lunchtime to try the giant sourdough bread bowl filled with clam chowder or chili, and a side salad.
Third stop: After lunch, it’s on to Snoqualmie Falls to marvel at the pounding waterfall that’s nearly 100 feet taller than Niagara Falls. The hiking trail to the bottom of the falls is closed until 2013, but two upper observation decks are open for over-the-top views.
Fourth stop: Venture about a mile down the road to see the antique trains that line the streets outside the Northwest Railway Museum and Snoqualmie Depot. Tour the the depot (it’s free) between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. daily, and brush up on the railroad’s history. Then take a short walk along the Centennial Trail to see and learn about the parked trains. Regular train rides are closed until April, but holiday train rides are planned for the four weekends after Thanksgiving, Nov. 24 to Dec 15. For schedules and pricing, go to www.trainmuseum.org.
Fifth stop: After the museum, take a two-minute drive down the street to the Snoqualmie Falls Candy Factory. The factory makes caramel corn; peanut, cashew, pecan and other nut brittles; six types of fudge; and more than 30 flavors of saltwater taffy. You may even some of the candy-making in action.
Sixth stop: End the road trip at Twede’s cafe in North Bend, a little diner best known from the TV series “Twin Peaks.” It’s where Agent Dale Cooper ate his cherry pie and drank “a damn fine cup of coffee.” The cafe had to be restored after a fire in 2000, but still has show memorabilia, such as pictures of the cast and crew while filming and a map where scenes were shot around the Snoqualmie Valley, available for $2.
Start the drive
To get to Marymoor Park, take I-405 south to Exit 14 east (Highway 520) toward Redmond. Marymoor Park is at 6046 W. Lake Sammamish Parkway NE. Leave the park at the northeast corner at Highway 520 and merge onto Highway 202 toward Fall City.
Retrace your route along Highway 202 or head south from North Bend on I-90.
Redmond; 206-296-8687; tinyurl.com/marymoorpark
Fall City Roadhouse:
4200 Preston-Fall City Road SE, Fall City; 425-222-4800; www.fcroadhouse.com
Snoqualmie Falls: 6501 Railroad Ave SE; www.snoqualmiefalls.com
Northwest Railway Museum Snoqualmie Depot: 38625 SE King St.; 425-888-3030; www.trainmuseum.org
Snoqualmie Falls Candy Factory: 8102 Railroad Ave. SE; 425-888-0439; www.snofallscandy.com
Twede’s Cafe: 137 W. North Bend Way, North Bend; 425-831-5511; www.twedescafe.com