Nonstop Flight on Alaska Airlines from Palm Springs to Seattle NorthCountry (2023) Part 2
Updated: Oct 25
First, I want to address a guest comment about my blog, Alaska Direct Flight from Palm Springs to Seattle NorthCountry, Part 1. A commentator suggested I needed to learn the difference between Direct flight and Nonstop.
I looked it up and discovered that while the two terms are often used interchangeably, there is a difference. Direct flights go between two places with one or more stops. A nonstop flight goes between two locations without stopping. The Alaska Flight from Palm Springs to Seattle NorthCountry is a Nonstop flight.
Secondly, that same guest comment implied I was ridiculous in calling the area Seattle NorthCountry. I smiled, for I did not make up the name for the area. Seattle NorthCountry is a term used to market the area working to forge a separate identity from Seattle. After visiting the area, I understand that the cities within easy commute of downtown Seattle are entirely different.
Part II Exploring on the Trip from Palm Springs to Seattle NorthCountry
After a good night's sleep, it was time to head to Venture Kitchen & Bar, down the hall from my beautiful suite at the Delta Hotel. By the way, my suite was located on one side of the conference meeting rooms. When planning a conference here, I encourage you to reserve one of these suites.
Each has a full kitchen and ample space for small receptions. Plus, there is plenty of seating for some side-bar conversations or scheduled small meetings with attendees.
After a made-to-order breakfast, sitting by a window framing a tree showcasing its turning leaves, it was time to head out to Snohomish, 9 miles away.
Things to Do in Historic Downtown Snohomish Washington
Since it was early morning, I quickly found a parking space. A tip: Grab the first parking space you come to. Later in the day, finding an empty parking space is not easy.
Shopping for Antiques
It didn't take me long to notice there were many antique stores. Not only were there individual vintage stores, but giant storefront buildings housed many antique vendors within their walls.
I learned Snohomish is a mecca for those looking for antiques in the Northwest. Individuals walking the street could be seen carrying tiny vintage horses, crochet tablecloths, and country-style décor.
Dining Downtown Snohomish
It was suggested I go to Heidi's SandwichBoard for lunch. I found it down at the far end of downtown First Street. Walking in made me smile; everywhere my eye looked, antiques lined the walls and high shelves over the serving area.
I ordered a cocktail, for I found it charming that a deli would have an array of cocktails on its menu. Fresh flowers were on the table, and I sort of felt like I had settled into my grandmother's kitchen.
I ended up with a delightful conversation with Heidi, the owner. Our discussion, accompanied by Heidi's broad smile, revealed a woman doing what she loves. She ran a catering service before buying the restaurant. When asked what she likes about being the owner, she replied, "I make the decisions and can create the details of the restaurant's environment. For example, the flowers on the table are picked by my children from our garden.
Hamburgers at The Oxford Saloon with a Friend
A friend in Everett saw my social media posts and asked if there was space in my trip to the Northwest to go to dinner. With the Oxford Saloon on my itinerary, we decided it was the perfect place to catch up.
The building's use has changed over the years. First, a dry goods store, bordello, and basement with men's cardroom and bar, and now a saloon.
Though there is no certified documentation, it is believed this building is one of the most haunted buildings in Washington. Those who have experienced episodes make it seem plausible that both good and evil spirits lurk throughout the building.
Order the Ghost Burger. It's messy to eat, but oh so good. And enjoy the live music that vibrates throughout this 100-year-plus-old building.
Grain Artisan Bakery
It didn't take me long to notice the many combination bakeries and coffee shops scattered throughout First Street. The city of Snohomish figured out that visitors seeking out the antiques need a place to grab coffee and rest before continuing their journey.
For those who require gluten-free pastries, you will be pleased to discover Grain Artisan Bakery, where there is nothing but gluten-free pastries. Even better, if you live within driving distance, you can find gluten-free cakes for any occasion.
Fisherman Jack's on the Everett Waterfront
Word obviously traveled fast about the opening of this Asian-inspired Fisherman Jack's Restaurant, for it was only the 11th meal they served, and the line was already out the door. It didn't take long to discover why. The atmosphere is family-friendly, and the outdoor patio opens to the waterfront.
Every morsel of food, including Dim Sum seafood and noodle dishes flavors, kept your tastebuds dancing and happy. I only wished I lived nearby.
When heading to the restrooms, stop and look closely at the outstanding art---made from string and pins. I still marvel at the artistry necessary to complete these exceptional pieces that grace the walls as you enter the restrooms.
Hibulb Cultural Center in Tulalip
Located on a reservation in Seattle NorthCountry, the Hibulb Cultural Center's role is to preserve and protect the history and traditional culture of the Tulalip Tribes, which include the Snoqualmie, Snohomish, and Skykomish tribes.
Educational events teach how to build skills to create beautiful, traditional fabrics and woven baskets used in the daily lives of the indigenous people. I particularly enjoyed sitting in a replica of the Longhouse and learning how it was used and its central role in the tribes' lives.
Whale Watching in Puget Sound
My first-time whale watching, I wasn't sure what to expect on a 4-hour tour on the Puget Sound Express. Going with the flow, I arrived at the appointed time and learned we would board a boat built specifically for whale watching two years ago.
We started our education when we boarded this modern, immaculate boat. Two naturalists were aboard, and an intern helped us learn about the whales and the surrounding environment.
We saw our first two Orcas (Killer whales) three-quarters of an hour out. Then we caught up to their pod of six, keeping them in sight for many miles. The next thing we knew, they made a circle, devoured their prey, and leaped into the air, celebrating their victory and delight.
Since it was my first trip, I asked the naturalist why I was so lucky. Smiling, she said, "I think Captain Brian was a whale once, for he always finds them."
As we pulled into the dock, Captain Brian announced, "You have just been on an epic whale-watching trip." I sat back, smiled, and could hardly wait to tell my daughter and granddaughter the story.
Boeing Future of Flight on Seattle Paine Field
As a former resident of Washington State, I knew about the Boeing Future of Flight, located directly across from the Boeing Everett manufacturing site—the largest undercover manufacturing plant in the world. Plant tours are about to resume after a three-year stoppage and will resume on November 5, 2023
I walked into the museum building and smiled at the enormity of the 28,000-square-foot exhibition floor. Following the well-defined path, I went by the children's area, where small tables and chairs revealed quickly this is a family-friendly museum.
The history of the Boeing factory is well laid out—starting with a picture showing the first mail delivery by air that sparked the imagination for the development of Boeing. On the roof, you can look over Seattle Paine Field, a valuable place for launching the new aircraft to many parts of the world.
I was particularly fascinated by the exact duplication of the module now attached to our present space station. You learn how astronauts sleep and where the numerous tests are organized while in space.
If you want a souvenir from Seattle NorthCountry, the official Boeing Store is a great place to shop. Replicas of planes manufactured there line one wall. Or, if you need a little warmth, purchase one of the great hoodies bearing the Boeing name.
Flight back to Palm Springs
It has become apparent there is still much to discover about Seattle NorthCountry. Fortunately, the Alaska Nonstop flight from Palm Springs to and from Seattle NorthCountry is now on the schedule.
It makes it so easy to fly into Seattle Paine Field and, from there, rent a car and start exploring, where water sports, mountains, fine dining, art, and shops await your visit.
Guess where I plan to go when the temperatures reach 110 next summer in Palm Springs? I have so much yet to explore in Seattle NorthCountry.
Kathy Condon is a Journalist, Travel Writer, and Award-winning Author. Her niche is writing about luxury experiences and communities living in the shadows of larger cities. Kathy@kathycondon.net www.PalmSpringsInsiderGuide.com