Top ways to spend a day

Postcard scenery impresses visitors to Everett, and while there’s nothing like the opposing views of Mount Rainier and Mount Baker, water is the real draw.

Whether you’re a first-time visitor to Snohomish County here for the hoopla surrounding the 787 rollout or an uninitiated transplant from some less heavenly locale, don’t despair. That diamond-dappled water really is accessible.

We’ll tell you ways to get in the water, on the water and near the water.

But first, you visitors need to know that the weather is supposed to be glorious – in the comfortable low 70s through the weekend and beyond.

That’s just good walking-around weather.

Even if it’s not blazing hot, you still need sunscreen and a good pair of sunglasses for all the reflected sunlight.

Secondly, that water out there? That’s not Puget Sound. Puget Sound begins at the southern tip of Whidbey Island; Possession Sound runs between Mukilteo and Whidbey. The big body of water in front of Everett is Port Gardner.

Whatever it’s called, if you want to check out the water, check out Jetty Island.

Jetty Island is Everett’s best kept secret, a two-mile-long manmade island with a sandy beach and a gentle, shallow slope out to deeper currents, which means the usually chilly water warms to wading temperatures.

It’s open Wednesdays through Sundays until Labor Day.

Get yourself over to the 10th Street Boat Launch, just north of Naval Station Everett and the Everett Marina off W. Marine View Drive. Stand near the kiosk. A friendly worker will hand you a boarding pass for a little ferry that will transport you a few yards across the Snohomish River.

Ferries run frequently from 10 a.m. to 5:25 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5:25 p.m. Sunday.

And guess what? It’s free.

Walk on the beach, work on your tan and watch for wildlife, big kites and kite-boarders. Jetty Island has become second only to Hood River, Ore., in its attraction for kite-boarders.

If you’re more adventurous and have some experience, you can rent a kayak right at the Port of Everett Marina.

Popeye’s Marine and Kayak Center, owned and operated by Everett native Dean Sevon, will rent you a single or a double sea kayak and all the necessary gear, including a life vest, and help you put in right there at the marina.

More luck: A successful launch depends on the tides, and the folks at Popeye’s say the tides will be good this weekend.

The marina is on the Snohomish Estuary, an ideal spot for kayakers, said Bedelia Walton, who has worked at Popeye’s for eight years.

“It’s a lovely paddling ground,” Walton said. “The eagles and other wildlife, like osprey and otters, are plentiful.”

She stressed the need for experience and advises calling ahead to reserve a kayak.

If you don’t want to work that hard to see the water, consider a ferry ride. You can drive onto the ferry in Mukilteo, just a few minutes from the Boeing plant, for a 20-minute ride to Clinton on Whidbey Island.

If you drive off for a tour of the island, don’t neglect the charming and artsy town of Langley.

The long traffic lines to board the ferry on weekends can be daunting unless you arm yourself with a book or a chatty companion. One way to avoid the wait is to walk onto the ferry. It’s cheaper, too.

It costs $17.60 round trip for a car and driver. It’s $3.95 round trip for a passenger or to walk on.

If the briny blue doesn’t entice you, you have some shopping options.

Seattle Premium Outlets, on the Tulalip reservation near Marysville, just north of Everett, has about 100 stores. Look for upscale brands such as Ann Taylor, Burberry and Coach, as well as Restoration Hardware, the Gap and Banana Republic.

You can get a dose of quaint charm and your fill of old tea cups and dusty books in Snohomish, less than 10 miles east of Boeing and Everett.

Stroll up and down pedestrian friendly First Street along the river, peruse the shops and when you’re ready for a break, stop in at Evergreen Cellars from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday or Saturday for a little wine tasting.

On Friday, you can try a new release from Trey Busch’s new Walla Walla winery, Sleight of Hand.

“You can try a Gewurztraminer or a blended red,” said shop owner Alan Hogan. “One’s the Magician and one’s the Spellbinder.”

Sounds postcard-perfect.

Features editor Melanie Munk: 425-339-3430 or munk@heraldnet.com.

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