adventure

Mussel Festival Tour

Mussels! Black Shellfish from Puget Sound, are the highlight of the Mussel Festival on Whidbey Island.  Our tour includes all transportation to the festival, and a ride on a Washington State Ferry across Puget Sound.  Complete with tour guide on board, you’ll learn about the Mussel Festival as well as some interesting Northwest history and geology about the area before arriving in Coupeville.  Once there, you’ll receive your chowder cards and boat ride slips, and have the day on your own to explore and taste chowders and whole mussels all over town.

Penn Cove Shellfish grow, sell, and market mussels they grow in Penn Cove, on Whidey Island.  These tender, delicious mussels are sold all over the world.  One weekend a year, Whidbey Island puts on a fun festival to eat and celebrate these seafood delights.

The Mussel Festival plan:  You get a card for a selection of restaurants around town.  There are 2, and sometimes 3 different cards with different restaurants listed. Each card has 5 or so restaurants.  You receive one card with our tour.  If you want more cards for more restaurants, they are $10 each additional.  You then go to the restaurants on your card and get free samples of their chowder.  On our tour you will also receive a slip to go out on the boat (10 minute ride each way) that takes you to the mussel pens, where the company has a representative to show you how they raise and harvest the shellfish.

Pick up locations include: Sheraton Hotel Seattle, ($8 parking at the Cheesecake Factory), Northgate and Mukilteo Ferry. This tour fee is $110, and includes taxes, transportation, chowder samples and boat ride. Only $89 if you bring 2 guests (and they pay $89 too!)

This is a very fun tour, one of our favoritesMussels Mar 12, and we hope you will join us.  Visit www.cherylsnwtours.com for more upcoming tours.

 

Gondola Ride Mountain Tour

Our Gondola Ride Mountain tour in the Pacific Northwest is a great trip to the Crystal Mountain summit and restaurant in the summer, and a wonderful ski lift in the winter.  In the Cascade Mountain Range, the view at the summit is a perfect top-of-the-world experience to see active and not-so-active volcanos in their own back yard.  Mount Adams and Mount Rainier seem almost close enough to hit with a rock.

Our tour takes you by motor coach through farms, valleys, meadows with flowers, hay and grasses, rivers, horses and barns, then into the woods and forest we go, with alpine meadows and trees.  We sometimes see eagles, deer and fox during our drive.

The Gondola Ride Mountain tour Departs at 9:00am sharp downtown Seattle at Denny and Fairview Streets, and returns at 4:00pm.

$109 per person, this fully inclusive tour includes the Gondola Ride, transportation, on-board-guide, lunch, 1 adult beverage or soft drink, bottled water en route, and taxes too.

Come join the fun on this local excursion to visit a wonderful local ski resort and ascend on the Gondola Ride to view Mount Rainier, the 14,410 foot, 25 glacier mountain in Washington State.

Gondola flyer 2015

Gondola flyer 2015

For more tour suggestions, visit www.cherylsnwtours.com or email Cheryl herself, at cheryl@cherylsnwtours.com.

Gondola View

Gondola view

Gondola

Gondola

Mt. Adams

Mt. Adams

Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier

Mt. Rainier stream

Mt. Rainier stream

Alpine Inn Restaurant

Alpine Inn Restaurant

Lake Chelan – Stehekin Tour

A Lake Chelan – Stehekin Tour was just completed, and it was great! We left Seattle at 9:00am and crossed Snoqualmie and Blewett Passes on our way to a wine tasting at Wine Girls Winery. Great wines. I personally enjoyed the smokey taste of the grapes in the My Derby Wife red, compliments of the 3 fires in 2012 in the area.

After wine tasting we arrived at Campbell’s Resort and commenced swimming in the pool and lake.  The pool was warm, the lake was cold! Dinner at Campbell’s was very good, then we took a walk through town and across the bridge before heading over to the hot tub.

Our Lake Chelan – Stehekin Tour continued in the morning we made our way to the Lady of the Lake for our 4 hour boat ride to Stehekin. My it’s beautiful and rugged out there.  Stehekin staff welcomed us with open arms and great food, then we took the bus to Highbridge and Rainbow Falls. One cannot describe Rainbow Falls, other than amazing, and wet! It felt like it was raining, and we got drenched, yet 20 feet away we were toasty and warm.  We did manage to visit the bakery before they closed, then relaxed on the deck at the restaurant and grocery store before getting ready for dinner.

The meals in Stehekin are really impressive. I’m telling you! Out there, they do a great job of providing a tasty, interesting, varied menu for meat eaters and vegetarians. We appreciated the voucher system with our group of 8.

With time on our own for several hours the next day before the 2:00 boat shoved off, we had plenty of time for kayaking, hiking, and fishing. Even the Visitors Center with the Rangers was interesting.

Next time we’ll probably add another day to this trip so we can relax and take in all the nuances. For this Discovery tour, though, it was perfect.  Thank you Campbell’s Resort staff and Stehekin for your help in planning this fun outing.

Visit www.cherylsnorthwesttours.com for more fun trips to explore the Great Pacific Northwest.

 

Stehekin Restaurant

Stehekin Restaurant

Our group

Our group

On the boat

On the boat

some of the gang

some of the gang

boat and bus!

boat and bus!

View from Stehekin

View from Stehekin

 

 

Lake Chelan Stehekin Overnight Tour

This gallery contains 5 photos.

A new addition to our tours, we’ve added several overnight excursions.  May 30-June 1, 2015 try our Lake Chelan Stehekin Tour. In Eastern WA, Lake Chelan is approximately 50 miles (80 km) long and 1486 feet (453 m) deep, in the Northeast North Cascade Mountains. The third deepest lake in the US, this lake is beautifully landscaped with forests and hills. Lake Chelan Stehekin is a wonderful day or overnight retreat.  The town of Chelan sits on the South end of the lake, and Stehekin on the North end. Stehekin is only accessible by boat, plane, hiking, or horseback.

You begin the Lake Chelan Stehekin tour with a ride from Seattle over a mountain pass from Seattle to Chelan, about a 4 hour drive. You stop for lunch just past the midway mark.  You’ll stay the first night in a wonderful resort hotel with hot tub, pool, great food and accommodations, all on the beach of this lovely lake.  In the morning you transfer to the dock and take a boat ride to Stehekin, arriving in time for lunch.  We’ve arranged a tour to Rainbow Falls and a talk with a naturalist, and the hotel rooms view the lake from the North. Stehekin is somewhat rustic with little to do if you aren’t in to nature. It’s a great, peaceful getaway.

Sign up to receive new blogs as we post them:  Scroll to the bottom of this page and click the box.

For more overnight and day trip suggestions, visit our website www.cherylsnwtours.com or email cheryl@cherylsnwtours.com.

Lake Chelan

Lake Chelan from Stehekin-David Ansley

Boat ride to Stehekin

Boat ride to Stehekin

 

Campbells Resort

Campbells Resort-on beach

Stehekin Lodge

Stehekin Lodge

TULIP FESTIVAL 2015 tour

close up

close up

Spring is super early this year in the Pacific Northwest, and the Tulip Festival 2015 is gearing up!  The daffodils are in full vibrant bloom, and the fields are ablaze in yellow.  The tulips are starting to open, and it’s perfect now to take a tour!

The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival 2015 is beginning a week early this year, and we are offering a tour now, on MARCH 28, 2015.  If you have not seen the fields, you really should go see it.  We offer a full day package that includes transportation, tour guide, breakfast basket, entry into 2 farms, lunch on your own in an historic town, and maybe even see some migratory eagles, snow geese, or trumpeter swans.

Let us take care of all the details, and you just sit back and enjoy the day.  No parking stress, no driving stress, no waiting in lines for tickets! The tulip festival 2015 is waiting for you.

Come on, get an inside look at the Pacific Northwest.

Seating is limited, so book your seat today!  206 353-3330, cheryl@cherylsnwtours.com.

 

 

rainy 2015 tulip field

last year, a rainy season

pink tulip

pink tulip

2015 Tours in the Northwest

Cheryl’s Northwest Tours LLC has organized the 2015 Tours in the Northwest program. We invite you to join us!

Listed below are our specialty tours for the year, designed to share unique Northwest sights and scenes not known to  visitors, and often not the locals, either!

January 14-ELK FEEDING TOUR.  Craig Schnebly has been feeding Rocky Mountain elk at the L.T. Murray feed station since 1988. He has seen different elk come and go, but one thing remains a constant. When the barn door opens each morning, the elk smell food and come running.  The estimated number of elk in the Yakima herd is near 10,000, and anywhere from 1,000 to 1,800 of those elk are fed hay in L.T. Murray each winter, The number of elk that show up depends on how harsh the conditions are. The more snow that accumulates, the more elk come down to feed. Kittitas County is host to two feeding stations, and the L.T. Murray feed site at Joe Watt offers a viewing area where the public is invited to come and watch the majestic animals.

Elk feeding tour

March 21-PORTLAND AND FORT VANCOUVER, WA .  Did you know that the Pacific Northwest’s first hospital, school, orchard, library, grist mill, saw mill, shipyard, and dairy were all established at the Hudson’s Bay Company’s Fort Vancouver? Learn more about this by joining our tour to Fort Vancouver National Historic Site, which includes a visit and optional tour of Portland.

Fort Vanc sign

Fort Vanc sign

Fort Vancouver

Fort Vancouver

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April Saturdays and more-TULIP FESTIVAL TOUR.  A spring ritual, we again trek out to view the brightly colored fields

Tulips Tour

fields ablaze

of tulips, daffodils and iris in the Skagit Valley. We swing through a bird sanctuary in search of migratory snow geese, trumpeter swans, and eagles on the way, and visit a quaint historic town for lunch.

May 30-June 1 Overnight.  LAKE CHELAN AND STEHEKIN.  Chelan, known for its warm weather and desert-like terrain is also home to Lake Chelan, a deep water lake nestled in the North section of the Pacific Northwest’s Cascade Mountains. An overnight trip, you’ll stay your first night in Chelan at a resort right on the lake.  Day two you’ll take a leisurely boat ride on the Lady of the Lake to Stehekin, a town only accessible by boat or plane. Here you’ll enjoy the peace and quiet of this little rustic community,  with hiking trails and a waterfall.

Lake Chelan Tour

July 18-LAVENDER FESTIVAL IN SEQUIM WA.  Sequim offers the largest lavender event in North America with the annual Lavender Festival in July. You will visit 3-4 farms and have time at Lavender-in-the-Park to check out food booths, lavender plant sales, lavender ice cream, lavender related crafts and more. This tour also includes a ferry ride across Puget sound.

Lavender Tour

Lavender Tour


November 7-10 Overnight.  NORTH CASCADES TOUR.  The North Cascades receive an over-abundance of snow in the winter, and the pass is closed late November until March-May sometime.  We’re planning this overnight tour to avoid the crowds while seeking the autumn experience of the majestic mountains, the amazing wilderness while we stay in a resort in the mountains.  We’ll visit a Wild West Town with wooden boardwalks and authentic western siding on the whole town before making our way back along the Columbia and Wenatchee rivers. A beautiful drive and unbelievable scenery not to be missed.

Hotel during N. Cascades tour

December 5,12,19-LEAVENWORTH CHRISTMAS TOWN LIGHTING.  This Bavarian style village is very believable to Germany and Austria, and really does it up in December with festive lighting, roasted chestnuts, holiday music, food, and merriment everywhere! Fire pits in the street help keep you warm, and you’ll immediately get in the holiday spirit here.

Leavenworth Tour

Leavenworth

Christmas Tour

Trees after dark

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Call 206 353-3330 or write cheryl@cherylsnwtours.com to reserve your space!

Mount Saint Helens – Mount Rainier

Mount Saint Helens – Mount Rainier in the same day!  Not common, since Mount Saint Helens – Mount Rainier are both a few hours from everywhere, but we managed it simply and without a lot of driving at one time.  This tour is perfect for those traveling from Portland, OR or Seattle, WA. It is not a day trip, it is a two night 3 day trip with time to relax, enjoy, and take the time at each stop to learn the mighty power of the volcanoes and how the landscapes became what they are.

a Rainier valley

Rainier valley

Rainier viewpoint

Rainier viewpoint

the Mountain

the Mountain

Day 1, we travel into the Pacific Northwest mountains to Mount Saint Helens – Mount Rainier and stay in a small town just 45 minutes from our first trail.  Driving through beautiful lush mountain foothills, meadows and valleys, we enjoyed seeing horses, cows and alpacas on our way to the first stop.  Arriving, we checked into our hotel and had dinner next door in a cute, quaint restaurant that had steamed clams on the menu!  The chicken fried steak was very tasty.

Day 2, the hotel provided a continental breakfast, then we were on our way to Longmire for an easy 30 minute trail hike among Douglas Fir and Wester Red Cedar trees.  The museums are enlightening here.  Onward to Paradise for lunch in the Lodge and then time to wander the trails and visit waterfalls, the trails are paved quite a ways out before switching to dirt.   The movie in the visitor center is worth seeing.

stream at Rainier

Mountain and stream

We then made our way down Mount Rainier and through beautiful farms, fields, and small towns including Mossyrock and Morton.  Our next stop was Patty’s Place for lunch just short of mile marker 19 on the road to Mount Saint Helens, Johnston Ridge.  Wow, what a difference from Mount Rainier!  Weyerhauser planted 16,400,000 trees to replace those blasted by the explosion on May 18, 1980.  Before they planted, they cleared out 480 truckloads of downed trees per day.  So what we saw were small, 30-35 year old trees, mainly Douglas fir and Noble fir.  The Noble fir are very different in look than the Douglas fir, with their branches horizontal rather than more vertical. In contrast, Mount Rainier has 100-700+ year old trees!  We stayed in a simple but nice motel along I-5 (with indoor swimming pool) where we had a variety of choices  nearby for dinner.

Cheryl St. Helens

Cheryl and Mount St. Helens

landscape Helens

Landscape around Mount St. Helens

Day 3, after another good continental breakfast, we begin our trek back to Seattle, 2 hours away.  We stop at the Mount Saint Helens visitors center at Silver Lake for one last movie and another trail excursion, then home bound.

This trip is a great way to explore some great Pacific Northwest Volcanoes and see some amazingly beautiful Pacific Northwest mountains and landscapes.

We  hope you’ll join us sometime for one of our tours!  visit www.cherylsnwtours.com for an extensive list of Northwest excursions.

BALD EAGLES VIEWING-NW

One of the best places to see Bald Eagles in America is in the Great Pacific Northwest.  November through January, bald eagles and younger eagles migrate annually  to the Skagit River in the beautiful North Cascade Mountains of Washington state. Their objective:  To eat spawning salmon.  This is the largest collection of migratory eagles in America!

We’ve put together a fun-filled day of bald eagles watching with the Skagit Eagle Festival, where you’ll find telescopes  zoomed in for a ‘birds eye’ view of these magnificent birds. Pun intended!  You’ll also visit a salmon hatchery where many of the salmon are headed, for their final contribution to nature as they lay their eggs or fertilize them, and then die to become food for the wilderness animals and plant life.

More details below the following photos.

Eagle Nest sample at the Skagit Eagle Festival tour by Cheryl's Northwest Tours

Eagle Nest sample

Barn in a field on the way to the Skagit Eagle Festival tour by Cheryl's Northwest Tours

Barn in a field

Eagle Fest location for the Skagit Eagle Festival tour by Cheryl's Northwest Tours

Eagle Fest location

Hatchery group during the Skagit Eagle Festival tour by Cheryl's Northwest Tours

Hatchery group

Winter woods on the way to  the Skagit Eagle Festival tour by Cheryl's Northwest Tours

Winter woods

Eagle photo taken through a peephole at the Skagit Eagle Festival tour by Cheryl's Northwest Tours

Eagle photo taken through a peephole

Eagle and man during the Eagle Show at the Skagit Eagle Festival tour by Cheryl's Northwest Tours

Eagle show

Combined with a drive from Seattle through farm land and the Cascade foothills, you’ll see some working farm barns, beautiful landscapes, a lumber mill, and even trek through the reshaped highway 530, near the town of Oso where nature’s horrific landslide destroyed much of the area.

Lunch is included, and stops include a visit the Interpretive Center and salmon hatchery.

Go to cherylsnorthwesttours.com to make your reservation or email her at cheryl@cherylsnwtours.com.

RAIN FOREST at Quinault 2014

We visited the Rain Forest at Quinault April 21-22, 2014 and WOW, what a great place!  There are three rain forests on the Olympic Peninsula: Lake Quinault is in one of them.  Queets and Hoh are the other two.

We stayed at the Lake Quinault Lodge, and, it has beautiful grounds.  Across the street are walking/hiking trails that are not difficult with a slight incline and very worth the trek to see the falls.

We traveled from Seattle on Monday, April 21, arriving in about 3.5 hours.  And we were STILL able to see 3 waterfalls before dinner.

Waterfalls:  There are an abundance of beautiful waterfalls nearby.  The furthest one we visited was .6 miles of wonderfully groomed trails, and the trails themselves are in abundance too, so you can walk all over the rain forest.  Two of the waterfalls are at the road, you just park your car and there they are.

We also saw the WORLDS LARGEST SPRUCE tree, estimated at 1000 years old.  Look at my photo included in this blog, it’s huge!

We also visited the Rain Forest Resort, just up the road from the Lake Quinault Lodge, and I must say, we will be staying there next time!  Rustic and more modern cabins, with kitchens or without, the lake views are better and more to my liking with privacy, cozy surroundings, and nostalgia.  The Management is what sets this place apart and above the neighbors: Friendly, helpful, and personable.  Plus a great restaurant and actual lounge with animal heads on the walls.  It was a good, happy experience at the Rain Forest Resort.

DSCI0018 DSCI0020 DSCI0022 DSCI0023 DSCI0026 DSCI0029 DSCI0032 DSCI0035 DSCI0036 DSCI0039

This tour was one of our DISCOVERY tours.  We offer them all year, along with our other tours and festival trips.  We suggest you check out our website and join us sometime.  www.cherylsnorthwesttours.com.

 

Tulip Festival 2014 Skagit Valley, WA

Tulip Festival time is here again!  A super indicator that spring is official, the Pacific Northwest loves this festival.  Our locals come back year after year for the fun and beauty of the Skagit Valley ablaze in flowers.

The tulip festival hosts not only tulips!  First there’s the daffodils, which bloom first.  Then the tulips, in their hundreds of colors display.  Then the iris.  So as mother nature decides when and how long the flowers bloom, you are sure to see some beautiful flowers and fields in bloom.

We’ll also check out the alpaca farm, near the tulip farms.  If the animals are out, it’s pretty fun.  Wool for sale, or pet an alpaca!

The tulip festival is month long, through April, so whichever tour you can come on, you are sure to see pretty flowers in the fields, and in the farm displays!

This year we have varied the lunch location, so depending on which day you take our tour, you can see something new.   La Conner, the familiar lunch location, is a quaint and fun historic town on the water, and always a fun choice.  Or choose the Mount Vernon Street Fair day, the Kiwanis Salmon lunch-at-the-park day, or the PACCAR tech plant Sunday tour.   Whatever your interest, we’ve got you covered for a fun day of flowers and other things to see in Skagit Valley.

So come on, get an inside look at the Pacific Northwest! We welcome you to join us on one of our Saturday or Sunday Tulip Festival tours.

Tulip Festival 2014 Flyerpdf-48

DSCN1566 t-alpaca t6 DSCN1572 DSCN1544 DSCN1552 DSCN1554