If you like shellfish, today you are in for a treat! The events for this festival encompass one main theme. Mussels! The kind you eat!
Don’t eat shellfish? Don’t have to! This delightful event, created by the island town of Coupeville, is the ultimate Northwest festival. It combines Puget Sound views, eating, walking, boating, and socializing, all in perfect balance. So get ready to enjoy a typical Northwest fun-filled day, with or without shellfish!
At the Northwest Festivals – Penn Cove MUSSEL FESTIVAL, 2013, you begin by getting your personal sample cups, which you get to keep. You take your cup around to the various restaurants in town and they give you a sample of their mussel chowder. You’ll get to taste approximately 10 different chowders, and they are all so different, and delicious! The Thai restaurant last year served the mussel chowder with what seemed like coconut and curry. It was soo good! All the restaurants had great chowder. It was so hard to pick a favorite.
With or without the chowder experience, we suggest you make your way to the dock for the 12:00 or 1:00 departure to the mussel pens. The boat goes out every hour to the pens with a botanist who shows you the mussels as they grow. It’s really a Northwest event that’s worth seeing. The cove is usually calm and the boat is large and heated. The ride out is only about 10 minutes to the pens, and they dock at one of them for about 25 minutes. When you get back to shore, continue your chowder tour or stop at one of the kiosks or restaurants for a bowl of whole steamed mussels. There are several kiosks with NW restaurants preparing their special recipes. And don’t miss the beer garden. Yes, there are mussels there, too.
On the way to the island we have fun, too. We take the ferry from Edmonds, WA, where you can get off the bus and walk around the ferry. Once we hit the island, you’ll see the model pig from the Pike Place Market Rachel statue. Then after the festival we stop at the amazing Deception Pass Bridge, where you get to walk across, if you dare! It’s 180′ high (depending on the tide) and crosses the tumultuous entrance to our fantastic inland sea, Puget Sound. It’s a thrill. This Pass is one of Washington’s popular scenic attractions.
- QUALITY MOTOR COACH
- SNACKS AND BOTTLED WATER
- FERRY RIDE
- HEATED, ENCLOSED BOAT RIDE into Penn Cove from Coupeville to the mussel pens
- MUSSEL FARMING PRESENTATION
- A STOP AT HISTORIC CAPTAIN WHIDBEYS
- DECEPTION PASS to walk — or ride — across the 180′ high historic bridge
Sign up early, this is a popular day trip!
This was a wonderful eagle festival tour. Great fun, in a relaxing, peaceful way. We visited the SKAGIT EAGLE FESTIVAL January 19, with our first CARAVAN trip. Our Caravan trips allow guests to come along for free on our pre-tour, information gathering excursions. Guests drive their own cars, pay their own fees and lunch, and have an loose agenda to follow. We even met up with 2 people who saw my blog and went to the festival on their own! It was fun to see them there.
I saw probably 15 eagles, some of them bald eagles and some of them young without the white heads. I didn’t see any spawning fish; word was that no one had seen any fish in a week. So the eagles are getting ready to migrate back to their homes in Canada and Alaska to nest and enjoy their summer.
We learned that these migrating eagles do not mate in the Skagit Valley. The local eagles do, but the migratory eagles only come to eat the salmon that have come to spawn, and then they go back home.
The Information Center had guest speakers, slides, brochures, items for sale, and even a full-size eagle nest.
We’ll have this on the agenda for next season, which is, by the way, every weekend in January.
MIGRATORY EAGLES AND SNOW GEESE
January 19, 2013
For our first Free caravan trip of 2013 we’re heading to the Skagit Valley, in Northwest Washington State. Join us January 19, when we go in search of our countries symbol, the Bald Eagle. Many of these birds migrate to the Skagit Valley each year in December & January when the local salmon are spawning up the river. The majestic birds leave after the spawning ends, according to www.eaglefestival.org.
At the Interpretive Center we’ll hear a speaker, and there are local experts on hand to help us find these beautiful birds.
We’ll also venture to Fir Island, to see the migrating Snow Geese and Trumpeter Swans. Here we’re expecting to see the migratory Snow Geese and Trumpeter Swans that also migrate to the area. There could be as as many as 20,000 snow geese in these fields! Though not a sure thing, it is probable we’ll see many of these birds throughout the fields.
Excerpt from http://wdfw.wa.gov/lands/wildlife_areas/skagit/Fir%20Island%20Farms%20Reserve/
Fir Island Farms Reserve Unit
“This managed agricultural land (225 acres on the south side of Fir Island Road) was purchased in 1995 to create a snow goose reserve. This non-hunted reserve provides a winter-feeding and resting area for snow geese adjacent to the Skagit Bay estuary. A local farmer is contracted to plant a cover crop of winter wheat for snow geese after harvesting cash crops. This sharecropper also plants winter wheat on his adjoining property and places his farm in a formal game reserve, providing an additional 295 acres of winter food and resting area for the snow geese. Prior to dike development and conversion to agricultural uses after human settlement, this area was tidally influenced, and the North Fork of the Skagit River flowed through Dry Slough during high flows. This unit is a popular wildlife watching site, and has a gravel road and parking area with access for the disabled. “
This trip is FREE thanks to Cheryl’s Northwest Tours LLC. Donations to support the eagle program are welcome at the Eagle Festival facility. Our caravan plan involves you using your own vehicle to follow on our adventure. We’ll meet up at Denny Park in Seattle, corner of Dexter Ave N and John at 9:00AM, and return approximately 5:00PM. See our flyer for more details.
LAST SEASON IN REVIEW
Happy New Year from Cheryl’s Northwest Tours LLC! This last holiday season had so many fun surprises!
- Spooked in Seattle
- The Underground Tour
- Figgy Pudding
- the Teddy Bear Suite
- the Gingerbread House competition in Seattle
- and Leavenworth for the Christmas Lighting Festival in conjunction with Clipper Vacations.
All in all, the season was wonderful, sharing the joy with our guests at so many celebrations.
Some of our guests were participants in the Best of Western Washington contest with King 5. B&G Automotive in Auburn was a close runner up for 1st place in Favorite Auto Repair category! And Paul Miller was in the running for Best Karaoke Host. Congratulations both of you!
With winter in full swing and time to reflect, we’ve had a chance to review our programs. It was a fun year! And now, we’re going to introduce a new venue sure to please those who live here and already know their way around! Ready? Free caravan trips. In future articles, we will share where we will be going for our monthly exploratory tours.
Guests may come along with us at no cost (except when there is a cover charge or a tasting fee, which guests pay on their own at each event). You may ride along with us or take your own car and follow along! [With our tours, you can invent and create your own experience.] These trips include small town excursions, festivals, and overnight trips.
Need some ideas on places to go? Check out our articles and we’ll remind you of great places to visit for a day.
Our first Free Caravan Trip in January is to the Skagit Valley Eagle Festival. Watch for details in our next article. We’ll be heading out for this northwest tour on Saturday January 19, 2013. Look for our ideal Skagit Valley Festival Tours.