Sunday, August 30, 2009

Mukilteo and Everett

Early last week, my sister-in-law called from Guam, wanting to know what I knew about Everett. Nothing, as it happens. She was asking because it could be a possibility for their next assignment. So I figured it was a good idea for a day trip.

I tried to look it up in my DK travel guide, but there is nothing about Everett in it. Then I looked in The Dog Lover's Companion to the Pacific Northwest. Bingo! There was a lot about Everett, in addition to Mukilteo, which is right next door. So we brought Reece along, since it is so dog friendly.

It took slightly under an hour to get to Mukilteo from Kent. We had a small cooler in the back of the car, so we stopped at a Subway once we got there and grabbed some sandwiches. Then we headed to our first stop.

1> Mukilteo Lighthouse Park: The area around the lighthouse is owned by the U.S. Coast Guard, but it's open to the public from 12-5pm on weekends and holidays from April - September. We were there too early, but dogs aren't allowed at the lighthouse anyway. Even when it's closed to the public, you still have great vantage points for photos. The lighthouse, by the way, was built in 1905. The beach is really unique. Overlooking Port Gardner Bay (with views of Whidbey and Camano Islands), the rocky beach is completely covered by driftwood logs. There are also fire pits. This is a popular boating and fishing spot, and there is a boat launch. The park also offers a playground and plenty of picnic tables. If you didn't bring a picnic, I would recommend the Ivar's restaurant right next to the park.

We walked along the beach for a bit. It was foggy (although we could still see the islands) and a bit chilly, but we enjoyed the beauty of the area for a bit and then headed toward Everett, via Mukilteo Boulevard.

2> Harborview Park: This park was right along Mukilteo Blvd. and we nearly drove past it without stopping. But Lance pulled in and it was relatively empty. It has stunning views - still foggy when we got there, but clear by the time we left (they had a few picnic tables, so we stopped here for lunch). We could see several islands and Naval Station Everett from there. There isn't much to this park except for the view, so it's definitely worth stopping, especially if you have a picnic.

3> Forest Park: This was also along our route, but didn't merit a stop for us. It is, however, a great family park. Huge playground, public pool and animal farm. There is also a meeting hall, a couple of walking trails, a horseshoe field and tennis courts. We just drove up into the park, took a look, and drove out.

4> Grand Avenue Park: Perhaps the most scenic park in Everett. This park is on a street lined with gorgeous, stately homes. It's on a hill overlooking Everett Marina and Naval Station Everett. It's a small park - a narrow strip of land that spans 3 blocks, but it has a couple of picnic tables and benches so you can sit and enjoy the amazing view. The marina was busy today and I was tempted to go down and check it out - there was a Sunday Farmers Market. It didn't look like there was any pedestrian access down to the marina. Grand Avenue Park is beautifully landscaped.

5> Loganberry Park: We stopped here because it's an off-leash dog park, but we disliked it almost immediately. It was nothing but trails, trees, and brush. No wide-open spaces for Reece to run. We never once let her off-leash because it would be too easy for her to get separated from us. But she got to meet a few other dogs.

Overall, my assessment of Everett is that it seems like a great place. I would live there in a heartbeat (preferably in one of those gorgeous old homes). The naval base is really nice too.

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