14964 Fryelands Blvd
Monroe, Washington 98272
Highway 2 climbs from the Salish Sea to the Cascades. Along the way, travelers can see the natural wonder that brings the true PNW to “top of mind” for adventurers in search of green, photogenic beauty.
Here’s a step-by-step itinerary for road trippers looking to make the most of their way through this scenic throughway.
Start in Everett, Washington, and head east on Highway 2, bound for the Cascade Mountains. Everett is a seaside city with a vintage feel of brick buildings and a new flavor of hipster cafes and vintage boutiques. Grab a cup of a few shots of top-quality caffeine at Narrative Coffee (2927 Wetmore Ave, Everett, WA 98201) before you go.
This cool stream in Snohomish is reddish-brown and has just the right amount of current to wash your summer cares downstream. Restore and reward yourself on the banks of the Pilchuck River, accessible right off the main drag in Snohomish.
Lake Tye is right off of Highway 2 as you enter the town of Monroe. The manmade lake is perfect for stand up paddle boarding, jet skiing, motorboating, and wakeboarding. There’s also a skate park, sandy beaches for families, mountain views, and a playground. A walking trail around the lake leads you to several restaurants right on the water.
The best place to stop to or from Stevens Pass for beer, food, and coffee. This place has an authentic down-home vibe with no-frills food perfect for filing you up before your mountain adventure.
Startup is a blink-and-you-miss-it spot in the road. And you won’t want to miss it.
Check out the Alpen Drive-In (36023 Old Sultan-Startup Rd). Allegedly, they have the best milkshakes on the Highway 2 corridor. Honey, pumpkins, peppers, tomatoes, and more from surrounding valleys—truly local producers—all sold from a VW bus in the parking lot of the Alpen Drive-In.
Buy smoked salmon and meats on the side of the road in Gold Bar, Washington. Stop at Skyland Ranch to rent a horse and hit the trails between Gold Bar and the neighboring town of Index. The equestrian way offers a slow-moving route for prime northwest nature viewing.
The ranch offers introductory horseback riding lessons for newbies. Call ahead and schedule and appointment then hit the trails in the forest.
The Cabbage Patch restaurant is where the locals know to go for raw oysters, American foods and slices of pie — homemade since the 1970s. This victorian-style house is said to be haunted by a ghost. Check out the interior of the building for a vintage vibe and a stick-to-your ribs Americana meal.
Plan your stay through Seattle NorthCountry.