Seattle tours

Island fun with Forts and Seafood

Spotlight: Whidbey Island – Deception Pass. Another favorite for locals and guests, this island tour has variety and isn’t too far to get to.

Deception Pass is a water-passage at the opening of Puget Sound where the tides come in and out, bringing an abundance of life to the Puget Sound Region. During the day, you’ll visit an historic military fort in Fort Casey State Park, and see the Admiralty Lighthouse. Because you’re on an island, you can see across Puget Sound to other islands too.

You’ll see a mussel farm and enjoy a seafood lunch, unless you don’t like seafood, in which case we’ll have something else!  Later you’ll undoubtedly see colorful sea stars lavishing under the end of the pier in historic Coupeville, and if the tide is out, you can easily see mussels, barnacles, sea stars, seaweed, and more, right on the beach. Great Blue Heron enjoy this area too and I love seeing these blue/gray birds.

You’ll walk across the 180 foot high Deception Pass bridge if you like, as well as walk a trail to the beach in Deception Pass State Park. At the other end of the island, you’ll take a short ferry ride, then return to your hotel. This is a very popular tour!

To book this tour, go to http://cherylsnorthwesttours.com/near-seattle-tours.php

Seafood dish

Seafood dish

Saltwater Driftwood

Saltwater Driftwood

Deception Pass Bridge

Deception Pass Bridge

Fort Casey State Park

Fort Casey State Park

About the Pass Bridge

About the Pass Bridge

Viewpoint

Viewpoint

Admiralty Lighthouse

Admiralty Lighthouse

Historic Coupeville

Historic Coupeville

Mount St Helens Ape Cave

A cave, under Mount Saint Helens! The Ape Cave, created over 1900 years ago and found in the early 1947s is amazing! About 1900 years ago Mount Saint Helens erupted and a gas bubble under the earth traveled over a mile through the earth. It formed a giant tunnel, unknown to humans until it was discovered in 1947 by a logger.  You can walk in it.  In 1951 a youth group explored the cave, and named the cave after a legend of Apes in the area. (There are no apes in the area.) We provide you with lights, and you will walk down the tunnel until it gets too small to pass through. About 40 minutes each way, it’s such an experience you’ll tell stories about it for years. A Natural Wonder.

On the way you’ll learn about the history of the area, and stop for snacks. You’ll visit one Visitor Center to see the 1980 information, and then you’ll proceed to the Ape Cave.

Another stop on this fun Ape Cave tour is the Trail of Two Forests. Not a long walk and on a boardwalk, you see wonderful cement chimney stacks which are really former trees.  Fun for kids to climb in, interesting scenery for adults.

Lunch is included.

 

Guided Trail Hikes near Seattle

For light hikers and non-hikers who want to see waterfalls, our trail hikes tour, called Waterfalls,  Mountains and Bavaria, is perfect! We took this tour twice on one week. One day it rained, the other day very sunny.

When we meet, I’ll ask you your preferences and your interests about this tour. Do you like the trails? Do you just want to see waterfalls without walking far? Depending on your preferences, we’ll shift our focus for you, to spend more time on the trails, or more in the Bavarian Alpine Village of Leavenworth, with lots of shops and restaurant choices in this European-style town. If you only want the trail hikes, we can take out Leavenworth altogether and add in a 3rd trail instead. Let’s begin!

Deception Falls

Deception Falls

We have 2 versions of this tour, following is the Clockwise version.

Wallace Falls, outside Sultan on US Highway 2, is the perfect trail for an introduction to our State’s beautiful outdoors. Approximately a 2 mile walk, there are 3 falls and a lot of babbling brook -and river viewpoints to mesmerize you along the way. The first falls, Lower Falls, is an easy walk with only a few roots to maneuver. We turn back at this point for the non-hikers, and you feel like you’ve had the full trail because the views are so spectacular. Middle Falls, further on the trail, has a few short switchbacks but worth every step, and Upper Falls at the end is breathtaking. The entire walk is beautiful with mosses and greenery, the river, and many chirping birds.

Bridal Veil Falls, near Mount Index and across the valley from the Bigfoot Espresso Shop, is easy to see through the trees in April while the leaves are just budding out. A huge, tall waterfall, this falls is viewed from a distance on our tour, but very pretty non-the-less. There are several choices for trail hikes on this tour.  Even here, if you want.

Cheryl Deception Falls

Cheryl Deception Falls

Deception Falls

Deception Falls

July Snoqualmie Falls

July Snoqualmie Falls

March Snoqualmie Falls

March Snoqualmie Falls

Deception Falls on Stevens Pass continues our Waterfalls and Mountains Tour in full force.  The flow is so strong it takes you by surprise with it’s roar. We start with a walk over the bridge and river, where the roar of the water makes it impossible to hear each other talk without shouting. We then walk downstream to a lower falls area, where you see interpretive signs and the serene backdrop of the river and the woods. This trail has such beautiful views of the river, the flora, and natures dams of downed trees and rocks. One of the last known White Pine trees in the Pacific Northwest is on this trail.

What about Lunch! Depending on your decisions, we’ll proceed to Leavenworth or another trail. Leavenworth has such great history and large selection of restaurants to choose from, as well as unique shopping opportunities.

Snoqualmie Falls, the grandest of the grand, also has a trail walk. You view the falls at the top, overlooking the canyon where you are humbled by this 268 foot drop falls. The mist of the falls, according to Indian lore, assists the deceased Snoqualmie Indians to meet their maker. Some days you see the peregrine falcons who live across the canyon. Explore the gift shop if you wish. This summer we saw a mother black bear with her two cubs just down the trail.

Join us!  We’d love to show you this trail hikes tour.  www.cherylsnwtours.com  or call 206 353-3330.

Deception Pass a Tour to Remember

Actually a water “Passage” not a Pass, our Deception Pass Tour is another of our unique Northwest tours, and takes 6-7 hours.

From Seattle, you will travel North to Mount Vernon, and cross the famous Skagit Valley with its highly nutrient soil. This valley provides a plethora of vegetables, berries, and flowers.

Once through the valley, Deception Pass is the next destination, with it’s beautiful Bridge.  The Deception Pass Bridge is a very popular destination in the Northwest. The views are breathtaking, of North Puget Sound and the Straight of Juan de Fuca. The bridge itself has a fun story of its own, which we’ll share, then invite you to walk across the bridge, or ride with us in our comfortable SUV.  The walk is pretty exciting -and beautiful- and so is the drive.

Once across, we suggest taking a .9 mile trail to the beach, where driftwood, sand, and waves greet you at the shore, along with seagulls and other shore birds.  The Naval Air Station nearby sometimes has fly-byes of various military planes, and sometimes it feels like an airshow.  Other times it is very quiet with no airplanes, which is a wonderful and peaceful experience, listening to the waves lap on shore.

Your next stop is in Coupeville, an historic town you will love. We’ve included lunch with this tour to further your local experience along Puget sound.  The view is tranquil, overlooking the pier and Puget Sound.  You’ll find you are fully immersed with the region, just what the doctor ordered! (Actually, no doctors orders needed).

Next, you’ll visit Admiralty Head lighthouse and Fort Casey, the last stops on the island. These are remnants of a military fort built in 1901 and are very interesting with beautiful scenery.  Finally, you’re off to the Clinton Ferry Dock.  The ferry portion of this tour is as fun as all the other experiences, with 30 minutes of water travel before reaching the mainland. From there it’s a short ride back to Seattle.

Come join us on this unique Northwest Tour.  Book today at www.cherylsnwtours.com.

trail sign

trail sign

Madrona shedding

Madrona tree- shedding

Fort stairs

Fort stairs

Fort from parking lot

Fort from parking

on the Cannon

on the Cannon

Bridge view West

Bridge view West

beach and bridge

beach driftwood and bridge

Admiralty Head Lighthous

Admiralty Head Lighthouse

Mount Saint Helens

Yesterday we visited Mount Saint Helens, during that fall storm of 2016. It was beautiful, the deciduous trees in yellow and orange, and the evergreens were green as ever. Our first stop was to the Silver Lake Visitors Center, and it is very worth the stop.  The movie they show of the eruption is actual video from 1980, and shows the amazing destruction of the blast and the aftermath.

the window

Johnston Ridge window

the road view

On the way to Johnston Ridge

colorful trees

colorful trees

some trees

some trees

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Forest Learning Center was closed, but is a great place to stop in the summer.

Nine miles from Johnston Ridge, we came across many waterfalls, and boy the water was gushing. The 2016 October storm brought so much rain, we were lucky to see the run-off with all its splendor. Once at Johnston Ridge, we got out of the SUV to find the wind much worse than we thought. The wind speed must have been 25-40 miles an hour; it literally blew us around as we walked up to the Visitors Center. Maybe they should put in a meter to measure wind speed when this happens, that would be fun!

Once inside, the winds were unnoticeable. The real tree trunk, photos, and interactive displays were intriguing, and let us get a full understanding of the destruction. This volcano, Mount Saint Helens, is still very active. Here at Johnston Ridge, they also had a movie, and it was more detailed using technology. They enhanced the actual footage from a photographer taken back in 1980, and give the viewer a deeper understanding of the entire landscape changes following the blast. My, it makes one think. Mount Saint Helens today was not visible, but that was okay, the rest was amazing!

The day from start to finish was 9 hours, with a nice relaxing hot lunch included.

I recommend this Mount Saint Helens trip late spring to mid fall, and you can get there with us, at Cheryl’s Northwest Tours LLC.  We offer private tours, and also group tours in our  SUV. If you have more than 6 guests, we also use a Mercedes Sprinter van or a motor coach, and if you have one arranged, we can simply join you with your group and take the work out of your day!

We offer a large variety of nearby and regional tours.  I invite you to visit our website http://www.cherylsnorthwesttours.com for more wonderful excursions that will enlighten and intrigue.

Crab Cruise &Tulips – Skagit Valley

TULIPS & CRAB BOAT CRUISE in the Skagit Valley and Puget Sound.  A new and different way to see the flowers and do something new!

April 16 One Day Only

Seating still available.

We want crab and we need you!  go to http://cherylsnorthwesttours.com/seasonal-tours.php  then scroll down to the Tulips and Crab Cruise tour, and book today!

We begin this Skagit Valley tulip tour from Seattle, and travel to La Conner, where we meet the boat and set out for a two and a half hour boat cruise on Puget Sound.  Lunch of cracked crab is included and you also get chicken, and other items.

Upon your return to the dock, you’ll continue to the two famous tulip farms, Roozengaarde and Tulip Town.  You may know, Skagit Valley is the largest tulip producer in the entire United States.

Oh and I must mention, you get to skip the lines to get tickets, and you get dropped off at the gate!  Now more parking and walking and waiting.  Boom, you’re in!

Rather than do the usual 2 farms and lunch in a nearby town, try something new this year!  We’d love to experience this and get local, fresh crab as our lunch.

See some beautiful islands, feast on crab, then feast your eyes on the flowers!

$179 /per person, plus tax ~ all inclusive tour

Room for more!

20150401_151530

avoid this mess

avoid this mess

Swinomish channel

Swinomish channel

bigger than my hand

bigger than my hand

festival garden

festival garden

what a backdrop

what a backdrop

like orange?

like orange?

wavy rows

wavy rows of flowers

Glass Blowing Experience

Come have a Glass Blowing Experience with us!  We will pick you up at your hotel and take you to a glass blowing facility in Seattle where you’ll make your own glass blown piece. This is a private tour, no waiting for your turn. Here, you get some information about glass blowing before actually getting to it.  Start with choosing your item to make:  A bowl, pumpkin, glass float, or paperweight, and you choose your own colors.

This hands on activity is a favorite in Seattle, where the glass blowing experience is not too common but glass blowing companies abound.  Come make your personal item on our tour, and have a memory you’ll love sharing!  Visit our website at cherylsnorthwesttours.com for booking.

After the glass blowing experience we headed over to Theo’s chocolates where they have free samples, and while in Fremont, we provided a drive-by art tour seeing a variety of art pieces, including Waiting for the Interurban, the Troll, the Missile, Vladamir Lennon, three billy goats gruff, and others.

Then back to the hotel we went, and because the glass is so hot still, we will get our works of art tomorrow.  You can personally pick it up, or we will have it shipped to your home.  Come have some fun with us.

paperweight

paperweight

getting glass

getting glass

glass bowl

blowing glass bowl

green pendant

green pendant

glass bowl

glass bowl

Christmas Leavenworth Lighting

It’s time again for planning your Christmas getaway, and the Christmas Leavenworth Lighting tour is a great way to get in the holiday spirit!

On December, 11, 2016, Cheryl’s Northwest Tours LLC is providng a deluxe, premium tour to Leavenworth, WA, to visit the world-class holiday event -Christmas Lighting Festival.

Departing at 8:00am from Northgate, 8:30am from Seattle Sheraton, and 9:10am from the Star Lake Park and Ride (I-5 @ S 272nd St), this tour is a full day of fun and festivities.

Our tour, Christmas Leavenworth Lighting, includes a deluxe motor coach with a tour director to share the what-to-do information before arrival in Leavenworth.  On the way over, enjoy holiday music, Christmas trivia, sing-along (3-4 songs) a free raffle drawing, and breakfast items to munch on.

You’ll have 5 hours in Leavenworth to shop, play, and eat, with Holiday cheer and festivities all around you.  Maybe even sledding for the kids if weather permits!  Bring your sled if you have one, or buy one there and bring home with you.  At 4:30 the final parade begins, with the whole town ablaze by 5:00 in brilliant lights and colors throughout the village.

The trip home is relaxing after all the excitement, with a holiday movie for your enjoyment and an evening snack as we bring you safely back to your starting location.

Visit our website to reserve your seat!  Seating limited, so don’t hesitate!  www.cherylsnwtours.com/ and scroll down to the Christmas Leavenworth Lighting tour.  For a 10% discount, contact kamron@cherylsnwtours.com and mention you read the blog!

We offer private and group tours all year, so check our website for fun tours anytime!  http://www.cherylsnorthwesttours.com.

trees in color

Trees in color

day on the street

day on the street

nice lights

nice lights!

sledding

sledding

the street no snow

the street no snow

Oysters free at Oysterfest 2016

YES!  Free oysters on our Oysterfest Tour. The venue is held every year, and this year Cheryl’s Northwest Tours LLC is taking a trip there.  So join in, no driving needed!

We hired a coach to take you to Shelton for this fun annual event.  From Seattle we have three pickup locations: a spot in Seattle, one on I-5 at Kent, and another in Lakewood.

The shucking contest is how you get the free oysters.  You can roam around the grounds and visit the event booths, the barn and the history museum, all on the premises, while the contests are on break. Then, when they compete, you win with free oysters!  It’s quite an event to visit the WEST COAST OYSTER SHUCKING CHAMPIONSHIP.

Thank you Taylor shellfish for donating thousands of fresh oysters for this event.

To sign up, go to http://www.cherylsnorthwesttours.com and select the box (or tab) for Seasonal Tours.  Scroll down to the Oysterfest, then BOOK NOW.  A confirmation will follow.  Be sure to tell us which location you want picked up at.

the shuckers

the contest

vendors

vendors

get-ready

a booth

a booth

oyster tray

oyster tray

Red Wine and Chocolate Tour

Holmes Harbor entry

Holmes Harbor entry

We did a new Red Wine and Chocolate Tour last weekend, a celebration coinciding with Valentine’s Day.  Instead of going to Eastern Washington’s vineyards, we went to Washington’s 3rd AVA in Puget Sound.  Specifically Whidbey Island.  We visited Holmes Harbor Cellars, Blooms Winery, Spoiled dog Winery and Comforts of Whidbey.  All four provided Red Wine and Chocolate, some of the chocolates were amazing.  The truffle at Holmes Harbor was large and scrumptous with a raspberry chocolate cream center, the salted caramel and chocolate mousse at Spoiled Dog were melt-in-your-mouth delights.  Comfort had nice dark chocolate and a delicious apricot treat to pair with a white wine, and Blooms

Bicycle

Bicycle

Boy statue w dog

Boy statue w dog

Ferry view lighthouse

Ferry view lighthouse

Grape vines winter

Grape vines winter

Parking Lot Park

Parking Lot Park

Spoiled Dog building

Spoiled Dog building

The group

The group

had a dark chocolate.

The wines were unique and in my 0pinion tasted different than the Eastern Washington wines; and they should.  The soil is different in each of Washinton’s AVAs, plus Puget Sound vineyards grow some different grapes altogether.  So we had a nice change of tastings, and a very different landscape.

Starting in Renton and then Seattle, we traveled to Mukilteo, where the ferry ride was perfect.  We arrived early; the tasting rooms don’t open until 11:00am, so we did a little driving around and landed at Greenbank Farms.  Though they were not participating in the Red Wine and Chocolate program, they offer daily wine tasting from a variety of local Puget Sound AVA wineries.  So we began, and it was a nice experience.  $1 per tasting for 1 oz, and 1 oz was a large serving.  We also visited 2 art stores with unique and very interesting works from locals.  Some of the Native American art work was fantastic. I especially liked the wood carved leaf pieces, they look just like leaves but are made from wood pieces and driftwood.  Also the glass blown pieces of bright colors for the garden were terrific.  Oh, we found a cheese shop at Greenbank, too.

Then off to more wine tasting.  All the wineries were well marked on the road and on the map, and not very far apart.  We found beautiful and interesting tasting rooms, tasted good wines and chocolates, and snacked on cheese all day between wine tastings.  We were spoiled.  Thank you Whidbey and Camano Islands.  For more fun Northwest Tours, visit http://www.cherylsnorthwesttours.com.