Buckle Up for the Great Race

This is the first time the Great Race, the world’s premiere old-car rally, will take place entirely on the West Coast. It will start in Riverside, Calif., on Saturday, June 22, and finish in Tacoma on Sunday, June 30. The 2,300-mile adventure will bring 120 of the world’s finest antique automobiles to 18 cities in California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington.

Teams and cars from Japan, England, Australia, Canada and every corner of the United States will converge with vintage automobiles dating back as far as 1916. Cars built in 1974 and earlier are eligible. Most entries will have been manufactured before World War II. “We are pleased to be working with our friends at America’s Car Museum to host the finish of the 2019 Great Race,” says race director Jeff Stumb. The race has started and ended in Tacoma before, he says, “but this will be the first time we have the honor of holding the race in conjunction with America’s Car Museum.”

The event was started in 1983 by Tom McRae. It takes its name from the 1965 movie The Great Race. The comedy is based on the real-life 1908 automobile race from New York to Paris. The “race” is actually a time/speed/distance rally. The vehicles, each with a driver and navigator, are given precise instructions each day for every move down to the second. They are scored at secret checkpoints along the way and are penalized one second for each second either early or late. The lowest score wins.

If all goes according to plan, cars start and finish one minute apart. Organizers say the biggest challenge for the teams, other than staying on time and following instructions, is getting an old car to the finish line each day. Each stop on the Great Race is free to the public. Spectators may visit with participants and view the cars. Kids may even climb in some cars for a firsthand look.

“When the Great Race pulls into a city it becomes an instant festival,” Stumb says. “Last year we had five overnight stops with more than 10,000 spectators on our way to having 250,000 people see the Great Race during the event.” Luckily this year the event will end with the Shine Time Car Show at America’s Car Museum.

The Shine Time Car Show is free fun for the whole family. There’ll be hundreds of collector cars, plus food trucks. The Great Race will finish at America’s Car Museum on June 30 between 1:30 and 3:30pm.

LEAH GROUT

For Additional Information

greatrace.com

americascarmuseum.org/event/shinetime

Luxury Hotel coming to Muckleshoot Casino

Twenty-four years after opening a casino which would set the standard for gaming in Washington State, the Muckleshoot Indian Tribe will once again redefine expectations with the addition of a luxury resort at Muckleshoot Casino. 

Anticipated to open in the second quarter of 2021, the 18-story, 400-room hotel tower will offer sweeping views showcasing the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Sixty percent of the accommodations will allow for stunning panoramas of Tahoma, the native name for Mount Rainier, while other rooms will showcase the majesty of the Olympic mountain range.

Beyond the comfort of their plush retreats, guests will be able to enjoy an indoor, climate-controlled pool, pamper themselves with signature spa treatments, and more. A supervised play area and arcade will provide peace of mind for parents seeking respite of a different kind. Additionally, dining will reach new heights with a rooftop, fine-dining restaurant.  

Muckleshoot Casino General Manager Conrad Granito states, “The Muckleshoot Indian Tribe has a history of innovation and leadership in Indian gaming. This logical evolution of their well-respected casino brand acknowledges consumer desires for a one-stop entertainment destination where fun, relaxation and dining beyond anything the market currently offers is just steps away.”

The hotel resort at Muckleshoot Casino will be the pinnacle of an exciting expansion already underway which completely re-envisions the gaming destination. The first phase of the project will add a 20,000-square-foot, technologically advanced events center, a trio of fast-casual dining destinations, a high-energy center bar, and more. Smoke-free gaming at Muckleshoot Casino, already the most offered in the state, also will increase. Additionally, a carefully curated cultural gallery will celebrate the history and journey of the Muckleshoot Tribe. The completion of the expansion’s first phase is expected in spring 2020. 

Once the full transformation is unveiled one year later in 2021 with the debut of an anticipated Four Star resort, Muckleshoot Casino will take its reputation as the “Biggest and Best in the Northwest” to an unparalleled level with 157,000 square feet of continuous gaming, 29,000 total square feet of event space, more than a dozen dining choices, and much, much more.

An interest list for hotel reservations and event bookings can be joined via MuckleshootCasino.com.

MARTINA PRESTON

An Island Art Adventure

Drive off the mainland to the scenic island destinations of Camano Island in the Pacific Northwest. Just north of Seattle, a short trip offers locally inspired shops and restaurants, dynamic events fora variety of interests, recreation, and beach combing. Rich history and a healthy dose of local color in all medians are provided by the region’s many artists.

For two consecutive weekends on Camano Island, more than thirty local artists will open their studios and galleries from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. for the 21st Annual Camano Island Studio Tour.

You’ll be able to visit the artists’ in-home studios and working spaces and share the passion for art while exploring the awe-inspiring nature of the island community.

This unique event will take place on May 10-12 and May 18-19, just in time for Mother’s Day. Many artists offer demonstrations to watch and learn their processes. You will be able to speak with them directly, ask questions, get inspired, purchase gifts, and build or extend your artwork collection. The Studio Tour is free, self-guided, and features only the top artists from the island.

The tour, hosted by the Camano Arts Association (CAA), draws visitors from thousands of miles away, as well as family and friends from around the region. Art mediums include ceramics, fiber and textile wearables, art glass, jewelry, sculpture, pastels, photography, printmaking, collage, and woodworking. Tour maps can be picked up if desired at the island’s Windermere office or downloaded on Camano Studio Tour’s website.

Lodging options on the island range from nationally renowned hotels with farm-to-table dining to secret spots ideal for a quiet retreat. For more information on the 21st Annual Camano Island Studio Tour, lodging, and event calendars, visit whidbeycamanoislands.com.

MARTINA PRESTON

Weekend Stay and Play at Little Creek Resort

Fifteen minutes south of Olympia is a wonderful weekend escape.

As you approach Little Creek Casino and Resort, you are sure to notice that you and the property are surrounded by nature. You are then greeted by the warmth of the lodge-like hotel, with 1,200 newly renovated and well-appointed rooms.

Whether you are an avid golfer or just starting out, check out Salish Cliffs, the par-72 championship course that has won accolades in Golfweek magazine. The beautifully treated course will test your golf skills while exciting your senses as you traverse over 300 acres of lush bentgrass tees, fairways and greens. With stunning elevation changes and terrain, the cartonly course is challenging yet fun for all golfers.

After enjoying nature on the course, you can settle in for some food at the golf course restaurant. Salish Cliffs Grill has plenty of options for you to savor. The resort also includes the Squaxin Island Seafood Bar where fresh, locally sourced oysters are prepared in front of you, and the Island Grille serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

When it comes to relaxation, the on-site Seven Inlets Spa offers a range of luxurious treatments to choose from. The massage therapies, organic facials and body treatments incorporate Native American influences and healing elements to soothe the mind and awaken the spirit.

With golf, gaming, dining and spa all with a focus on hospitality, Little Creek Casino and Resort makes a great weekend away of play. “We offer a unique entertainment experience here and we invite guests to experience it for themselves,” says Jim Gibson, head of marketing.

For a destination weekend and a unique entertainment experience combined with warm customer service, Little Creek invites you to escape from the day-to-day and live a little.

For Additional Information
91 West State Route 108, Shelton
800.667.7711
little-creek.com

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