Posted April 1, 2019
Spring is here, and it’s about time to get out and enjoy this beautiful place we call home – the gorgeous Pacific Northwest! We are excited to share 6 daytrips you can enjoy out your front door at McCormick. Several of these daytrips were suggested by a fellow McCormick resident (Garrette Custom Homeowner), so you know they will be amazing. Get your calendar out and start planning! Let’s start our journey with a stop close to McCormick:
Seattleites love their Rattlesnake Lake, Poo Poo Point, and Mount Si hikes. Those from the Bay Area love their Point Reyes and Mt. Tam hikes. In Kitsap, we love the Green Mountain / Gold Creek Trail hike. This day trip is just 16 miles down the road from McCormick (reachable in under 30 minutes). This Gold Creek Trail hike, considered moderate, is a 5.9 mile day hike delivering 1,000 feet of elevation gain. The trail winds through forests and meadows to the top of Green Mountain, offering those who make the journey astounding views of Seattle and the Olympic Mountain range.
Green Mountain is the second highest point on the Kitsap Peninsula, and on the trail you’ll find mountain biking and trail running, in addition to hiking.
Also close to home at McCormick, the charming village of Winslow on Bainbridge Island can be reached in 45 minutes. You can easily fill hours shopping the boutiques and art galleries, or savoring a wonderful meal in this sleepy town just across the sound from Seattle. For an extra special treat, visit the tasting rooms of Eleven Winery and Eagle Harbor Wine Co.
At Eleven Winery, taste award winning Syrah from the Yakima Valley’s Elephant Mountain Vineyard, Vinognier from the Yakima Valley’s Sugarloaf Vineyard, and Ratio:Rosso, a lively blend of Lemberger, Mourvedre, and Syrah. Lemberger is a unique red varietal, primarily grown in Central Europe, and special to find in a Washington blend, with just over 70 acres planted in our state. Lemberger adds a spicy touch the blend with Rhone varietals, Mourvedre and Syrah. If you are in the mood for entertainment, Eleven also hosts concerts on weekends at their winery just up the road.
Eagle Harbor Wine Co is also a special treat, with wines crafted by Emily Parsons. Visit their Winslow tasting room to taste their double gold medal winner Founder Merlot, crafted of grapes sourced from the legendary Walla Walla Valley. Merlot, a well loved red bordeaux varietal, is a champ here in Washington State. If you’re a fan of the film Sideways and since watching refuse to drink Merlot, we beg you to reconsider. The good news is, to compliment the Merlot, Eagle Harbor also pours its “best of the best” Raptor. The Raptor is crafted from the best barrels of their Walla Walla Valley Cabernet Sauvignon. For an approachable and easy to love red bordeaux blend, try the Condor. White wine drinkers, never fear, you’ll also enjoy their Goldfinch Chardonnay and Viognier.
Little known but interesting fact. Of the 7 wineries on Bainbridge, 2 (28%) have women as winemakers. Doesn’t seem like a lot, except when you compare to California wineries, where just 10% have women winemakers.
If you haven’t yet explored this gem in Washington State, put it on your to do list, stat! Port Townsend takes you back in time, with Victorian architecture, tree lined streets, incredible dining and unique art galleries on its historic main street. Port Townsend is surrounded by water, and keeps visitors busy with year round festivals, events and activities. Especially popular is the Wooden Boat Festival, September 6-8. Explore 300 vessels in this charming coastal town, and relive days gone by.
Port Angeles is considered a gateway to the magnificent Olympic National Park. “In 1937 President Franklin Roosevelt visited the Olympic Peninsula and added his support to establishment of a national park.” Good news for us, the Olympic National Park was designated the following year. The Olympic National Park has nearly 1 million acres for year-round exploring. You’ll enjoy every setting – from rugged beaches, to old growth forests, to pristine lakes.
Not far from Port Angeles you’ll find beautiful Lake Crescent. Boaters, swimmers, and paddlers love this lake and its extraordinary blue water. The Lake Crescent Lodge, built in 1915, takes you back in time, and enjoy exploring the trails that surround it.
About two hours from Port Angeles you’ll find the Hoh Rain Forest, one of four rain forests in the area and another place to explore. The Hoh is a biosphere reserve and UNESCO World Heritage Site, and has a yearly rainfall totaling 12-14 feet! A lush canopy of trees, mosses, and ferns dot the landscape, making for an enchanting experience. Not far from the Hoh rainforest you’ll find the town of Forks, made famous most recently by the Twilight book and movie series.
The Olympic National Park may have its incredible trails, majestic mountains, and pristine lakes, but it also has some of the most magnificent shorelines in the world. The beaches near Port Angeles, including several in the Olympic National Park, will take your breath away. While the water is cold and it may not feel like the tropics, you’ll be mesmerized by the scenery. This is a special place.
First, we visit Rialto Beach, one of the 10 best west coast beaches as named by USA Today. Rialto is embellished with driftwood, sea stacks, black pebbles and powerful surf. For a more remote location, Shi Shi Beach, accessible by a hike through a rain forest. Last but not least, Ruby Beach. About an hour and a half from Port Angeles, this Ruby Beach can be easily accessed by car (though not ADA accessible due to drift wood on the trail), and is something special to experience. A comment on TripAdvisor says it best – “Wow! Just Wow!”. Plan your trip to arrive at low tide for incredible tide pools.
Just across the Strait of Juan de Fuca from Port Angeles is Victoria, BC. For an extended overnight trip, catch the M.V. Coho and sail from Port Angeles to Victoria in 90 minutes. You can drive on this ferry, and be sure to reserve your spot in advance. There is so much to do in Victoria – where would we begin! Will save this for another blog post on adventures in our northern neighbor, British Columbia. Meanwhile, if you need some tips try Tourism Victoria.
Woodinville, a charming town east of Seattle and just an hour and 15 minutes from McCormick, is filled with wineries large and small. You’ll also be able to enjoy some of Seattle’s best dining experiences congregated in one spot. Woodinville is Washington’s Healdsburg or Sonoma. It’s close to Seattle (and McCormick), yet a world away. In the town limits of Woodinville you’ll find 100 wineries to explore. Woodinville also boasts more 90+ rated vintages than ANY wine region in the world. If you love wine but don’t want to explore to far from the Seattle area, Woodinville is your destination.
The Herbfarm is Woodinville’s AAA five-diamond rated and Zagat rated restaurant, and “likely to be the best 4 to 5 hours of your life.” Endulge in this experience at the Herbfarm where you’ll be treated to a 9 course dinner served with 5 or 6 paired wines. You’ll love the menu and wine pairings at the always popular Purple Cafe and Wine Bar. For an informal gathering place with eclectic meals and fantastic crafted drinks from the bar, try the Commons Kitchen and Bar. For brunch, try their Bloody Mary.
Finally, built in a 1922 Corner Service Station, just a stones throw from legendary Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery, you’ll find the Hollywood Tavern. This little roadhouse restaurant is a lot of fun. Marvel at the ceiling, old fashioned yet sophisticated décor, and soak in the fresh air on their patio in the summertime. We recommend Hollywood’s fried pickles and homemade soft serve ice cream! These restaurants are family friendly, and at the same time we see many couples and friends heading to Woodinville to get away.
Nextdoor to the Hollywood Tavern you’ll find the Woodinville Whiskey Company, a gorgeous facility that offers tasting for those who want a break from the grapes. While you can easily make a daytrip to Woodinville from McCormick, to fully enjoy all of its fruits, consider a stay at the luxurious Willows Lodge.
A daytrip list from McCormick or Kitsap wouldn’t be complete without a stop in the Emerald City. Seattle is very accessible by ferry from McCormick. Passenger-only ferries take just 30 minutes to travel from Bremerton to Seattle, and Bremerton is just 15 minutes by car from McCormick. If you’re in the mood for an extra adventure, first take the foot ferry from Port Orchard to the Bremerton Ferry dock. Car/Passenger ferries shuttle you to Seattle in less than hour from Bremerton, even less from Southworth.
You can live at McCormick and still get to your adventures in the big city with little fuss. Forget the stress of driving on I5 or I405, leave the driving to the ferry captain, and take in the incredible scenery and fresh air.
Seattle is buzzing with activity in the spring time. The Seattle Mariners are playing major league baseball, and its also easy and fun to take in a soccer match watching our Seattle Sounders FC. Getting by ferry from McCormick to the ballgame or soccer match is easy – it’s just a short walk from the Downtown Seattle ferry terminal to T-Mobile park (home of the Mariners), or CenturyLink Field (home of the Sounders).
If you’re up for an adventure a just outside of downtown, take the link light rail from the Pioneer Square light rail station to the University of Washington Station, and make your way to the Quad at the University of Washington. The iconic quad consists of gothic architecture, brick lined paths, bright green lawns and in the spring time, cherry blossoms! This special springtime experience is something everyone should enjoy, and according to King5 news the cherry blossoms are expected to be at their peak bloom this coming weekend (late March).
We hope this blog inspires you to get out and enjoy our Puget Sound and daytrips close to McCormick. If you find yourself looking for a beautiful place to call home, why not daytrip to McCormick?
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