Discover Adventure in Snohomish County

Snohomish County lies between the snow-marbled Cascade Mountains and the royal-blue waters of Puget Sound in northwest Washington State. The area’s moderate climate, pristine location and bounty of cultural attractions and family activities make it the perfect place to find year-round adventure.

With Seattle 30 minutes to the south and the San Juan Islands or Olympic Peninsula just a ferry ride away, the cities of Everett, Edmonds, Mukilteo, Lynnwood and Marysville are also a favorable home base for exploring the entire Pacific Northwest.

Read the three-day itinerary below to discover all the things to see and do in Snohomish County.

Day 1

Check into your cozy hotel. From intimate cabins and cottages to hotels and bed and breakfasts, there are plenty of places to stay in Snohomish County. Plus, room rates are often 30 percent less than downtown Seattle and kids stay free in nearly all the area’s 6,400 hotel and motel rooms.

If you have a love for aviation, history or mechanical wonders, the area is home to some of the most significant displays of flight history and modern aeronautical innovation in the U.S. Spend the afternoon at Paine Field in Everett, where you’ll find the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour, Museum of Flight Restoration Center and Reserve Collection, Historic Flight Foundation and Flying Heritage and Combat Armor Museum. On the Future of Flight & Boeing Tour, marvel at the world’s largest building and see where Boeing’s 747, 767, 777 and 787 Dreamliners are built.  

Those craving aerial views will appreciate the many opportunities to have their own high-flying escapade. Behold a panoramic view of the Snohomish River Valley in a hot air balloon with Airial Hot Air Balloon Co., make an appointment to pilot your own glider with Evergreen Soaring Club or book a scenic flight with one of the area’s many flying service or helicopter tour companies

Top off your evening sipping some Pacific Northwest brews at one of Snohomish County’s breweries, including River Time Brewing in Darrington, Scuttlebutt Brewing Co. & Pub in Everett and American Brewing Company in Edmonds. At Scuttlebutt, pair the Tell Tale Red Ale with the sausage sampler, three Washington-made sausages cooked in the brewery’s beer and served with homemade stone-ground porter mustard, for a satisfying treat. 

For those who prefer wine and spirits, the area’s local wineries and distilleries are also acclaimed. Skip Rock Distillers makes vodka from Skagit Valley potatoes and offers tours and tastings at its facility. Organic wheat and alpine water from the Cascade Mountains are the essential ingredients for Bluewater Organic Vodka, which uses traditional copper pot stills to create a level of softness and smoothness that industrial producers will never match, with a full-service restaurant to boot. Dubindil is a boutique winery specializing in small-lot, high-quality Bordeaux-style wines and also offers tours by appointment. Find more craft-beverage companies in Snohomish County >>

Day 2

Northwest Washington’s great outdoors beckon to be explored today, and there are many activity options and excursions to choose from. Embark on a waterfall hike to reach one of the area’s resplendent cascades — like Bridal Veil Falls, a two-tiered beauty near the town of Index.

Or plan a whale-watching or fly-fishing excursion with one of Snohomish County’s expert outfitters. Island Adventure Cruises hosts gray-whale-watching tours on Possession Sound that depart from Everett, while Puget Sound Express offers year-round tours of the gray and orca whales out of the Port of Edmonds. Fishing is available in Puget Sound, as well as the Skykomish, Stillaguamish and Snohomish rivers, which are also great locales for kayaking and rafting. 

If you’d prefer a more relaxing experience, Jetty Island is miniature man-made island off the coast of Everett and the perfect spot for kiteboarding or bird watching. Catch the seasonal summer ferry and wiggle your toes in the soft, sandy beach and warm, shallow waters.

Edmonds also has a collection of beaches and waterfront parks to explore like Edmonds Underwater Park, a 27-acre dive site where swimmers can investigate many reefs and wrecks thriving with sea life; keep a look out for gator-sized lingcod. Meanwhile, Mukilteo has the lovely Lighthouse Park, where a 1900s-era light station and manicured landscapes supply romantic and peaceful surroundings. Visitors can also take a ferry to Kingston on the Kitsap Peninsula from Edmonds, or a ferry to Whidbey Island from Mukilteo. Learn more about Washington State ferry routes >>

From international cuisine to Pacific Northwest specialties, Snohomish County’s dining options are endless. Stop for lunch at a waterfront restaurant like Ivar’s Mukilteo Landing in Mukilteo or Arnie’s Restaurant and Anthony’s HomePort & Beach Café in Edmonds, all of which offer spectacular views and fresh-off-the-boat seafood creations. Try Ivar’s famous fish and chips, Arnie’s pit-roasted salmon or Anthony’s Willapa Bay oysters — all served with an exquisite view of the water!

Traveling with the little ones? There are endless options for family entertainment in the area. Check out the award-winning Imagine Children’s Museum in Everett, where kids can sit in a real airplane cockpit and two-story tree house; or the Western Heritage Museum in Monroe, an interactive logging, mining, agriculture and wildlife museum.

Devote the rest of the evening to testing your luck at one of the area’s casinos: Tulalip Resort Casino and Quil Ceda Creek Casino in Tulalip and Angel of the Winds Casino and Hotel in Arlington. Then, spend your winnings on a mouth-watering spread at Tulalip Resort Casino’s Eagles Buffet, Tulalip Bay or Black Fish Wild Salmon Grill & Bar.

Day 3 

Your last morning calls for some retail therapy. For department store staples and boutique favorites, head to Alderwood mall in Lynnwood for more than 200 options, including Nordstrom, American Girl and Apple. Or snag name-brand steals and deals at Seattle Premium Outlets in Tulalip, where 130 stores brands like Coach, Nike and Burberry await.

The town of Snohomish, known as the Antique Capital of the Northwest, is a must-stop for vintage treasure hunters. More than 175 antique dealers show off their goods at stores in downtown Snohomish, where you can also peruse more than 30 specialty shops.

Other great Snohomish County shopping locales include Bothell County Village, Everett Mall, the artist community of downtown Edmonds filled with galleries and boutique shops, and the walkable Mill Creek Town Center.

Pick up lunch to go and choose one of the area’s more than 100 parks for a picnic. Bob Heirman Wildlife Preserve Park at Thomas’ Eddy in Snohomish has a 3-mile hiking trail along the Snohomish River, while Meadowdale Beach Park is a 95-acre saltwater beach and woodland park in Edmonds.

After lunch, take time to meet some of northwest Washington’s wild residents at The Outback Kangaroo Farm in Arlington, Edmonds Marsh or The Reptile Zoo in Monroe, all of which are excellent attractions to check out with kids.

If you prefer a cultural experience for your last few hours in the area, check the Snohomish County events calendar for special happenings, exhibits and shows.

More itineraries to help you discover all that Snohomish County has to offer are found at snohomish.org/journeys. Open up to life, to adventure and to discovery!

Learn more about Snohomish County >>

Photos Credit: Snohomish County Tourism Bureau