Top 10 things to do in Snohomish County before you die

  • By Gale Fiege Herald Writer
  • Friday, March 13, 2015 6:06pm
  • LifeGo-See-Do

The place we call home has a lot going for it.

So it wasn’t an easy process picking out the top 10 things to do in Snohomish County.

Inspired by last week’s story on Athima Chansanchai’s book “100 Things to do in Seattle Before You Die,” we quizzed our readers, friends and family about their favorite things to do in our county.

Call it a bucket list or whatever, these were the best go-see-do things repeated again and again.

The following list may not be your top 10, so be sure to let us know what you think by commenting on this story.

And if you need even more ideas, check out our reader nominees that, while excellent, didn’t make the top 10 list.

Hike to the top of Mount Pilchuck: No. 1, hands down.

Lifelong Everett man Gene Fosheim notes that one can see four of the state’s volcanoes from the top of Pilchuck. Look west to see most of the Salish Sea, its surrounding cities and the Olympics. Look east to see most of the North Cascade range. Spend the night July 4 and watch fireworks explode up and down the region.

To get there, drive the Mountain Loop Highway east to the National Forest’s Verlot Public Service Center to get information on conditions, cross the South Fork Stillaguamish River and turn south on the old road (Forest Road 42) up to the former Pilchuck ski area, where you park. Hike through the woods and then climb the rocks to the summit and lookout. It’s about 2½ miles or so to the top, with a steady elevation climb. Best to be in pretty good shape.

Visit Paine Field: The past and the future.

See Paul Allen’s Flying Heritage Collection and take in the Future of Flight and Boeing Tour.

The Flying Heritage museum, which showcases the warbirds from 1935-1945, is open daily 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the summer and closed Mondays during the school year at 3407 109th St. SW.

The Future of Flight, 8415 Paine Field Blvd., is open 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. daily, with Boeing Tours leaving from there hourly, 9 a.m to 3 p.m.

Ride the foot ferry to Jetty Island: Best on a hot summer day.

Picnic, wade in the shallow water, sleep in the sand, watch the kite boarders and the wildlife. The city of Everett runs the ferry to this two-mile, man-made island during Jetty Island Days, July 5 to Sept. 7, from the 10th Street Boat Launch.

Tulalip Resort Casino: You don’t have to gamble.

But do splurge on a night at the Tulalip Resort for its great restaurants, luxury accommodations, spa amenities, and entertainment, especially during the summer concert series at the nearby amphitheater.

Darrington Bluegrass Festival: A one-of-a-kind event.

The festival, July 17 to 19, is nearly 40 years old now. Started by folks who moved to Darrington from North Carolina, the festival features the best in local and national bluegrass musicians. Spend a day or two there at the festival grounds, nestled between Whitehorse Mountain and the North Fork Stillaguamish River. If you play bluegrass, bring your instrument for the jam sessions in the campground.

New Year’s Day dip: For a good cause.

Take the polar bear plunge at 1 p.m. Jan. 1 at the Brackett’s Landing beach next to the ferry dock in Edmonds. Make a donation to the Edmonds Uplift Society, housed at Daphne’s bar, which sponsors the plunge and supports the Edmonds Historical Museum.

Bicycle the length of the county: Do it in stages.

Get on your bike at the north trailhead of Centennial Trail at the Nakashima Farm near the Skagit County line and ride south to Snohomish. From Snohomish, ride the Snohomish River Road west to Lowell and go up the hill to the Interurban Trail and ride that south to the King County line.

Cheer for the home team: Go Everett!

Take in a Silvertips junior hockey game at 7 p.m. March 21 at Xfinity Arena against Victoria. The regular season is late September to late March.

Or see an AquaSox minor league baseball game at Everett Memorial Stadium. Home games this season are June 18 to Aug. 30.

Some of the Frogs and the Tips go on to the pros. You can always say you saw them when …

A day in Mukilteo: It can’t be beat.

Visit the beach and the old lighthouse, eat at Ivar’s best restaurant and then ride the ferry, the poor man’s yacht, to Whidbey Island.

Hot air balloon riding or sky diving: A view of the valley

Visit Harvey Field in Snohomish to learn about Skydive Snohomish or Airial Hot Air Balloon Flights. Rides are up above the beautiful Snohomish River valley.

Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; Twitter: @galefiege.

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