Hotel Interurban: Innovative and intriguing

Hazel the hospitality robot at Hotel Interurban | Image by Hotel Interurban

Located minutes from downtown Seattle and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Hotel Interurban is the newest hotel to enter the South Seattle market. Standing 19 stories high, the hotel is the tallest building in the city of Tukwila, and the tallest between Seattle and Tacoma.

When you walk into the two-story lobby, you will notice a hip, urban vibe with a unique custom-glass art installation by local artist Bryan Rubino. Throughout the chic hotel are fun pops of modern art and color to entertain. Guestrooms have a clean and contemporary design, and most upper-level rooms have a sweeping view of the surrounding area.

With a focus on technology and innovation, the hotel offers sleek modern rooms with 49-inch HDTVs in its 185 guestrooms. The custom-built canopy for vehicle and guest arrivals at the hotel entrance is made up of 60 solar panels.

The hotel also has “Hazel,” a mobile robot that can be called on to make room deliveries, such as a bottle of wine or room service or toiletries. Named for the Native American translation of Tukwila—Hazelnut—“she” is the first house robot in Washington state.

Image by Hotel Interurban

Hazel is just one of the playful and family-friendly yet innovative elements to be found at the hotel. Another is that the Hotel Interurban is completely dog-friendly.

Waterleaf, the hotel’s restaurant and bar, is described as offering “globally inspired comfort food.” Its all-day menu highlights locally sourced ingredients, served in a comfortable setting. The spacious premium bar offers seasonal craft cocktails and local and international wines and brews.

Located within walking distance of the Southcenter mall, Hotel Interurban is the perfect place to stay for a shopping weekend or family get-together to take advantage of nearby family entertainment. The hotel has intriguing elements to entertain guests around each corner.

For more information about Hotel Interurban, visit hotelinterurban.com.

 

From Slavery to the Founding of Centralia

Most people know that Washington state was named in honor of U.S. President George Washington. But did you know that there was another George Washington who played prominently in our state’s history? The founder of Centralia was also named George Washington. In recognition of his 200th birthday, the city’s residents are commemorating his life and good works in a yearlong celebration culminating with the unveiling of a bronze statue this past August.

Centralia’s George Washington was born Aug. 15, 1817, in Virginia to a white woman of English descent and a black man who was a slave. Knowing that her child with dark skin would likely be taken from her and eventually become a slave too, the mother asked a white couple to raise him as their own. Her friends James and Anna Cochran agreed. This set the stage for Washington to live a remarkable life, though one with many hardships as well.

Washington and the Cochrans eventually made the journey west to find, as Washington said, “any decent place in this world.” Together, through hard work and legal ingenuity, they acquired 640 acres where the Skookumchuck and Chehalis rivers join. This would become a settlement known as Centerville, and later Centralia.

As the community grew, George Washington lifted it up in every way he could. Stories about his generous spirit run deep. He cared for and supported his foster parents until their deaths. He took wagons to Portland to bring back rice and supplies to feed his neighbors during hard times. He paid others’ debts to stop foreclosure on their homes. He started the city’s first floral club because he loved flowers. He was the best in town at manning a barbecue, according to local lore.

“George Washington was not only a unique figure in Pacific Northwest and American history, but he was a really good man and someone who should be celebrated,” says Brian Mittge, chair of the George Washington Bicentennial Committee. “We invite everyone to join us in celebrating our founder.”

JULIE LEYDELMEYER

For Additional Information
George Washington Bicentennial Committee
ourgeorgewashington.com

Ultimate Fall Getaway in Leavenworth

Ready for a midweek escape? Look no farther than Leavenworth, Washington, nestled on the east slope of the central Cascade Range. Fall’s cooler nights and shorter days mean the mountainous region comes alive with vibrant colors of orange, yellow and red, providing breathtaking views as you drive along the Cascade Loop Highway.

At an elevation of 1,200 feet, the Bavarian-themed village of Leavenworth provides an excellent base for enjoying outdoor activities your family will love. There are over 800 miles of accessible trails for hiking and biking. You can play a round of lateseason golf or miniature golf. Take a walk along the Wenatchee River at Waterfront Park. Visit an orchard to pick apples or pears. Pack a picnic at the Cheesemonger’s on Front Street and enjoy all the sights and sounds of Leavenworth in autumn. If you enjoy the arts, check out the events lineup of music, opera, theater, dance, films and more at Icicle Creek Center for the Arts.

While exploring the streets of downtown Leavenworth, you can imbibe in a little wine-tasting in any of 20 tasting rooms. Indulge in an afternoon of “retail therapy” in the shops, followed by some quiet time in Front Street Park. This beautifully landscaped park in the heart of downtown provides a welcoming respite after a busy day. It’s also the site for some of Leavenworth’s most exciting fall festivals and celebrations.

Stick around through the weekend to enjoy the Autumn Leaf Festival, Leavenworth’s original festival dating back to 1964. There’s also live music in the Gazebo, Art in the Park, Fall Wine Walk and Oktoberfest. Visitors from all over the country flock to scenic Leavenworth in September and October to indulge in traditional festivities, fantastic food and of course beer!

Take in a little sightseeing while immersing yourself in fabulous fall color. Head to Lake Wenatchee, located halfway between downtown Leavenworth and Stevens Pass. The 489-acre lake offers over 12,000 feet of waterfront with plenty of space to relax along the shore and take photos of the stunning fall scenery. The reflection of vibrant autumn colors on the lake is breathtaking.

Tumwater Canyon, located along the Stevens Pass highway, is one of the top fall-foliage viewing spots in the region. Along the way are multiple pull-off areas for incredible viewing—and photo opportunities—of the towering cliffs standing above the roaring Wenatchee River. Don’t forget your camera!

For information on places to stay and things to do in Leavenworth, visit leavenworth.org.

KELLY LENIHAN

Introducing Kids To Birding

Birds are the perfect hook for getting kids interested in nature. Children are mesmerized by nature, so a window into that world is all you need to get them started on this lifelong hobby.

Backyard bird feeders are a wonderful place to start. Neighborhood parks also provide endless potential for observing birds, as well as butterflies, dragonflies, frogs, toads, rocks, leaves and more. Many parks also have wetland areas, and since water birds are often large and conspicuous, ponds are enjoyable for beginning birders.

Birding as a Family When kids see an unusual bird or observe its entertaining behavior firsthand, they’ll be thrilled. To get started, consider attending a guided bird walk. Many local bird clubs, nature centers, parks and wildlife refuges offer regular walks. Your local Audubon Center is another treasure trove of information and is a great place to visit.

The younger your budding naturalist, the more important it is to be flexible. Rather than focusing solely on birds, encourage exploration and opportunities to discover something in the natural world. Perhaps the glimpse of a small animal—or something as simple as a caterpillar or pretty stone—becomes a lifelong memory.

For younger children, binoculars may be a bit tricky to master and can be frustrating. To start, skip identification and go on a bird-behavior scavenger hunt without the pressure of pinning down an exact species. Ask kids to watch for specific behaviors, from preening and perching to walking and hopping.
Bird Walks & Nature Trails Few things are more inspiring than exploring nature with children. With over 70 Metro Parks in the region, there are endless opportunities for birdwatching. Nature trails, woodlands or wetlands provide exciting opportunities for exploring nature and wildlife. Some locations offer scheduled guided walks.

KELLY LENIHAN

McMenamins Renovates the Elks Lodge

A crumbling façade is about to be reborn. For decades, the prominent Tacoma Elks Lodge has perched vacant on the hill at 565 Broadway downtown, not unlike a large white albatross. The substantial stone structure commands attention. Its stature, intricacy and lore have long beckoned to natives and passersby. Soon, thanks to the cultural and rehabilitative wizardry of McMenamins, we’ll be able to go inside.

McMenamins has an undeniable track record of crafting destinations that are inventive, engaging and charming. Using regional themes, local artists, carefully chosen materials and a keen understanding of Northwest history, they have breathed new life into dozens of historical properties.

Designed by É. Frère Champney in the second Renaissance Revival style, the Elks Temple was built in 1915 and 1916, when popular fraternal organizations were making big impacts on communities. On the south side of the building, a sprawling stairway scales the hill. Modeled after the Scalinata di Spagna in Rome, the Tacoma staircase carries the same name, in English: the Spanish Steps.

According to local historian Steve Dunkelberger, brothers Mike and Brian McMenamin spend countless months researching the history of an area and draw from that past to craft their decor and entertainment features. “They know how to inform and entertain with the simplest of details. The Tacoma project won’t be any different from that ‘voodoo’ they do so well,” he says. “Everything they do is top-notch.”

McMenamins Elks Lodge will include 44 guest rooms with private baths. The grand ballroom is being transformed into hotel rooms with terraced views of Tacoma’s waterfront. Inspired spaces will host live music, events, weddings and meetings. Three restaurants and a McMenamins brewery will be highlights of the entertainment. (There are also rumors of a “secret bar”—shhh!) Gardens on site will supply fresh, seasonal ingredients. Local artists are being commissioned to paint murals, and some large graffiti that accumulated during the building’s vacancy will be preserved. Stay tuned for the grand opening in early 2019.

Take a staycation at other area McMenamins hotel and entertainment properties, the Anderson School in Bothell and the Olympic Club in Centralia. Dine and drink at McMenamins on Seattle’s Queen Anne or Capitol Hill, in Mill Creek, or at Olympia’s Spar Café.

EMILY HAPPY

For Additional Information:
McMenamins
mcmenamins.com

The Greatest Summer In Puget Sound Yet

Summer here and so are countless events throughout the South Sound. Surrounding cities are preparing to provide their locals and tourists with unforgettable events this year.

Puyallup

Puyallup knows the best way to welcome summer. The 79th annual Meeker Days Art & Music Festival will be happening June 15–17. Over 200 vendors serve treats like elephant ears, cotton candy and ice cream, and pour beer and taste-test wine. There will be music for everyone, too, whether country, rock or alternative. To cap it all off, the Buick car show is ready to show itself off in style. The city also hosts a farmers market through the summer, promoting local produce and fresh goods.
puyallupmainstreet.com

Tacoma

Summer events in Tacoma are endless. Learn about the native Puyallup people through a canoe excursion. Enjoy local music every second Sunday at W.W. Seymour Botanical Conservatory. Learn about nearby tide pools. Sample the delicious and varied food truck offerings in July. There’s never a dull moment all summer in Tacoma.
traveltacoma.com

Gig Harbor

Is there a more beautiful way to kick off summer than the 21st Annual Gig Harbor Garden Tour? Take a guided tour by volunteers and ogle the floral scenery, and then enjoy treats from local vendors. Throughout the summer Gig Harbor hosts free concerts, rain or shine. On Aug. 11 you can support or participate in the Galloping Gertie Half Marathon, which takes participants through scenic byways and over the Tacoma Narrows Bridge.
gigharborguide.com

Sumner

Sumner hosts the best summer classic, the rhubarb festival. Another Sumner classic is the car show. From old hot rods to antique farm trucks, this event sees countless visitors taking in the array of cars.
promotesumner.com

Lacey

Spend the 3rd of July in Lacey, a town that knows how to celebrate our country’s birthday in style. There’s a plethora of free children’s activities, such as playgrounds and booths, and parents can enjoy music from the Olson Brothers and the Funaddicts. On July 7 get your summer barbecue fill at the South Sound BBQ Festival. This event entails a professional BBQ cook-off and several other food vendors dishing out tender meat and other foods throughout the day.
ci.lacey.wa.us

Olympia

The Olympia Air Show, marking its 20th year, has become a beloved tradition to locals. On Labor Day Weekend, don’t forget about Harbor Days. As always, spectators can expect tugboat races, arts and crafts, classic fair food, and live entertainment including tribal activities. This event is in its 45th year and continues to be free, fun, and highly anticipated.
experienceolympia.com

Centralia

Visit downtown Centralia this summer for the area’s best shopping, dining and entertainment all located in a beautifully restored National Historic District. Downtown events include the three-day Antique Fest July 27-29 and the Hub City car Show on Aug. 25.
downtowncentralia.org

JORDAN MARIE MCCAW

‘Taste Washington Wine Month’

Raise a glass in celebration, because Taste Washington Wine Month is back with even more ways to enjoy and discover Washington State wine. Throughout the month of March, restaurants, retailers, hotels and wineries will offer special promotions to raise excitement about Washington’s dynamic wine industry.

The Taste Washington Wine Month website features a calendar of promotions, including winemaker dinner opportunities, discounts at local wineries and restaurants, special tasting events and more. On the website also lives a Tagboard, which automatically aggregates social media posts to pull even more specials, promotions and other social activity in one place.

“Washington State Wine is committed to supporting our local wine industry through promotions like Taste Washington Wine Month,” said Steve Warner, President of Washington State Wine. “It’s a great way for folks to discover new Washington wines and support local businesses.”

Washington State Wine will run a large advertising campaign throughout the month of March to generate roughly 1.8 million impressions. Organizers hope that combined efforts will support local restaurants and retailers, and also bring in additional opportunities through direct-to-consumer channels.

Excitement will build all month leading up to Taste Washington the nation’s largest single-region wine and food event, March 22-25 in Seattle. Taste Washington is celebrating its 21st birthday with an exciting expanded lineup of events, including more wineries, restaurants and premier chefs throughout the weekend.

Xciting Xpansion at Angle of the Winds

Levers are pulled, slots are turning, dice are thrown, and cards are shuffled in a grand hall of entertained patrons. The smell of fresh ingredients and the clink of glasses echo throughout the room.

The commotion Angel of the Winds experiences on a daily basis is about to double thanks to their Xciting Xpansion Project. Those involved in the new project, as well as hundreds of others, broke ground Tuesday, January 23.

“The event went very well,” Marketing Manager for Angle of the Winds Tosh Anderson says about the groundbreaking. The project is expected to take 18 months, bringing with it 275 slot machines, a huge parking garage, a 200-seat buffet, gaming tables, and much more.

“We are looking to offer additional amenities beyond the gaming and hotel for our guests. Adding entertainment options, new food and beverage venues, and a parking garage all add to the overall Xperience at Angel Of The Winds Casino Resort,” he says. “Anyone visiting Angel Of The Winds Casino Resort will gain new unique and Xciting Xperiences every time they visit. We are determined to provide the best entertainment options in the area and give all of our guests a reason to come and also come back.”

Anderson believes many of the new amenities are things patrons have been wanting for a long time, as well as things they may not have known they’ve also wanted. He lists the 575-space parking garage as one of those amenities patrons may not know will be immensely beneficial to them until it’s available.

 

“At the core, obviously we expect to attract new customers and increase the frequency of our current clientele,” he says. “ However, on a broader scope, this development will create new jobs in the community, new entertainment options in the area, and produce more revenue for the Stillaguamish Tribe, which allows them to give back more to our neighbors in the surrounding area.”

Xciting Xpansion is beyond the business, with intentions geared toward the community. To stay up to date on the project and how it will affect its community, visit angelofthewinds.com for more information. by Jordan Marie McCaw

Angle of the Winds

angelofthewinds.com/entertainment

3438 Stoluckquamish Ln, Arlington

360.474.9740

 

Designed for Gathering: Ocean 5

Opening this November,  Ocean5, has been designed as an innovative gathering destination in Gig Harbor. The 57,000-square-foot building, will be the first of its kind in the region. With a two-story laser challenge arena, exciting game room, ten pin and duckpin bowling and comfortable spaces for gathering. Ocean5 also specializes in private event and party spaces for groups from 5 to over 400, with dedicated event teams and banquet services.

The Ocean 5 concept was developed by long-time Gig Harbor resident Troy Alstead, the former chief operating officer of Starbucks. “Ocean5 has been a vision of mine for 10 years,” Alstead said. “Bringing this space to the community where we live and are raising our children is a huge part of that dream. I’m excited to be giving the South Sound a space where friends and groups have enough elbow room to relax and just have fun, whether they stay for an hour, an afternoon or a night out.”

Ocean5 gets its name from the idea that all five of the world’s great oceans are connected. The company’s goal is to provide a place that inspires connections between people, with the community, and the rest of the world, with the mission to enable and inspire small actions that create a positive impact to the health of our oceans, starting with Puget Sound.

Ocean5 is pursuing LEED certification, and is constructed sustainably with materials such as carpet tiles made of recycled fishing nets and reclaimed wood. The building will be heated and cooled by geothermal energy from over 3 miles of wells under the parking lot, significantly reducing energy use for a facility this size.

Also on the property is Table 47, a casual 300-seat restaurant that responsibly sources it’s ingredients and can be experienced either together or separately from Ocean5. Both businesses are now hiring for all positions. Open roles and applications can be found online at O5social.com/jobs and T47.com/jobs.

This new state-of-the-art facility will be located in the new Olympic Towne Center at 5268 Point Fosdick Drive NW Gig Harbor, WA 98335, just off the Olympic Drive interchange of Highway 16. For more information go to O5social.com or find them on Facebook.

northwest trek wildlife park

Nature is calling you. To fun. To adventure. To an enchanting forest filled with amazing animals to see and learn about.

Nature is calling. And Northwest Trek Wildlife Park is answering with exciting adventure-filled days that enthrall adults as well as children.

The 725-acre wildlife park near Eatonville is just a short hop from most places in the Puget Sound region. And it’s well worth the drive.

Hop aboard a comfortable, heated tram for a naturalist-narrated tour through forests and meadows that are home to American bison, the national mammal; elk; caribou; bighorn sheep; moose; deer and a variety of other animals. All roam free in 435 acres of stunning meadows and forest through which your tram will wind. Many animals get so close you can see steam rising from their nostrils, hear their grunts and bugles during the fall mating season, and watch mothers tending calves, lambs and fawns in the spring and summer.

Walk paved pathways through the forest and stop to view native Northwest animals like black bears, gray wolves, foxes, Canada lynx, bobcats, river otters, beavers, wolverines and other animals in natural habitats.

And when the kids need to expend a little energy—or just have some fun—they can spend minutes or hours exploring Kids’ Trek, the half-acre, $1.9 million nature-inspired playground that opened in 2016. Toddlers to ’tweens have a blast climbing up and down rope nets and ladders, playing in the replica of a two-story-tall hollowed-out tree stump, splashing in a stream, constructing imaginary forts, building sand castles, whizzing down three different slides, and playing make-believe in kid-sized log cabins.

All of these activities are free with admission or membership to Northwest Trek, which is a recognized leader in the conservation of native Northwest animals.

Want even more adventure? Register for one of the Zip Wild zip line/challenge courses at nwtrek.org/zipwild. There is an added fee for these thrills. More than 50,000 people have tested their mental toughness and physical agility on these courses over the last five years. They are open to ages 5 and up and sized for various ages and abilities—with two of them soaring more than five stories into the tree canopy.

So spend the day in awe. Nature is calling. And Northwest Trek is the easy-to-enjoy answer. KRIS SHERMAN

Northwest Trek Wildlife Park
11610 Trek Dr E, Eatonville
360.832.6117
nwtrek.org