Whether you’re a year round Seattlean, or just exploring for a weekend, you’ll have plenty to do outdoors. Seattle is a city surrounded by waterways and mountains with plenty of lush green parks, fresh catches of the day, music festivals, outdoor art exhibits and salty sear air to satisfy every sense!
1. Bring Your Extra Stomach to the Bite of Seattle
This year, on July 16, 17 and 18, head over to the Seattle Center for the Bite of Seattle festival! This year, the festival will include over 50 local restaurants and 30 food product companies demonstrating cooking techniques and serving up their favorite dishes to hungry crowds. Try a Loukomathe. Never had one? According to Greek Cuisina (one of the pastry providing restaurants), it’s a sweet dough ball that has been fried, covered with honey and cinnamon, and is served with ice cream. Have a whole wheat elephant ear (that means it’s healthy, right?) smothered in cinnamon sugar, jam or peanut butter. Well, the description on the website says “or”, but I’m willing to bet you can replace that with “and” and be well on your way to a delightful sugar coma.
But sweets aren’t the only treats scheduled to be in attendance. Try the Honey Prawn Combo by Delicious Asia, the Lamb, Chicken and Beef Gyros from Gyros!Gyros!Gyros! (we get it already!), the pulled pork sandwich or BBQ Ribs from Famous Dave’s BBQ, the Alligator on a Stick from the New Orleans Cookery, or a variety of other delicious delectables.
Check out their website at: www.biteofseattle.com for more information on the event. Your mouth will be watering in no time!
Take a day trip to Kenmore, Washington, just north of Seattle on June 27th for Midsommarfest 2010. The festival is, according to the website, “a traditional Swedish celebration of the summer solstice, recreated in as authentic a manner as possible, complete with the 2:30 p.m. raising of a garlanded Midsommar pole, a serpentine dance around the pole, and hundreds of costumed musicians and dancers – traditions practiced in Sweden for centuries.”
To sum it up, there will be dancing, entertainment, dancing, food, dancing, good times and more dancing. Check out the festival’s website for directions and more details: www.skandia-folkdance.org/midsommarfest.html.
3. Strapped for Cash? Build a Boat out of Milk Cartons!
To be more specific, you need to drink a LOT of Silk Soymilk, or other milk that still comes in a carton, and then build a boat, race it down a river, and then hopefully win $10,000. It’s as silly as it sounds, and it’s guaranteed to be fun. At Seattle’s Seafair, the month-long, region-wide barbecue, enter into the Milk Carton Derby!
Seriously though, you’re going to need to start drinking milk. Obnoxiously often.
4. Stake Out Your Spot Now for the Air Show in August
Don’t be caught off guard when an F-16 blast overhead and is gone before you have a chance to make sure your heart is still beating! This year, from Friday August 6 through Sunday August 8, South Lake Washington will be home to the Seafair Air Show.
“The Seafair Air Show and Hydroplane Races are the culmination of the month-long Seafair Festival. The action-packed three-day party includes the fastest powerboats in the world, the Unlimited Hydroplanes, the U.S. Navy Blue Angels and fabulous northwest food.
5. Cycling + Wine? Yes Please!
Grab your bike on June 26 and sign up for the Cycle de Vine, a 35 mile bike ride through some of the Chelan Valley’s wineries. Although riding and drinking wine at each winery is discouraged, many of the vineyards provide snacks and non-alcoholic drinks along the way for riders to stay energized.
What’s the point of stopping at a winery and not drinking any wine? Fear not. Selected wineries provide you with a wine card, good for two drinks at their locations on a later date, so you can have you wine and drink it too.: www.centuryride.com
6. Pack a Picnic lunch or Romanic Dinner
Spend a relaxing afternoon on a clear day at Kerry Park, a 1.6 acre park on the south slope of Queen Anne Hill. The view from the top of the mountain includes downtown Seattle, Elliott Bay, the West Seattle peninsula, Bainbridge Island and Mount Rainier.
7. Take a Cheap Ride on the Water Taxi to some Fresh Eats
For the price of a bus ride, jump on the West Seattle water taxi and head over to Alki Beach for some tasty waterfront eats. Try Salty’s (www.saltys.com), a local favorite, for their incredible seafood and amazing location. Voted as Best Outdoor Dining with a View and Best Waterfront View Restaurant, the food and atmosphere won’t let you down. Soak it all in.
8. Kayak the Sound
Whether you’re a Seattle native, or are just visiting for the weekend, the best way to see Seattle is from the water! Check out Alki Kayak Tours. This group puts on the best kayaking tours in the city, with their expertise in natural and human history of Puget Sound.
Whether you’re a beginner or an expert, the company offers a range of tours aimed to keep everyone coming back again and again. Guided tours include a sunset tours, a lighthouse tour to Alki Lighthouse, birding and wildlife expeditions and even overnight camping tours! Or, if you’re more experienced and want to explore Seattle sans narrative, rent a kayak by the hour or by the day and check out the ship canal and the locally-unique houseboats along the coast of the city.
Seattle is a city centered around water activities, so be sure to include this in your summer.
Dock your boat at one of the many restaurants along the Alki Beach cost for some instant energy and atmosphere.
9. Fill your Calendar with Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
Step 1: Go to www.seattlefarmsmarkets.org.
Step 2: Print blank calendars
Step 3: Fill up blank calendars with the dates of farmers markets located throughout Seattle.
Step 4: Post it on the refrigerator
Step 5: Shop
10. See Another Perspective from the Underwater Dome
So it’s technically not outside, but we all know Seattle can be rainy. The fish don’t care though! So on a rainy day this summer, head to the Underwater Dome at the Seattle Aquarium. You can catch a unique view of the salmon fish ladder in action during spawning season. No other aquarium has anything like this in the country, so if you think you’ve seen one aquarium and don’t need to check this one out, think again! Seattle’s is the one to see.