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The Seaside Loop, Revisited

The seashore is for exploring. Enjoy art galleries, bistros, kayaking, and more while voyaging through maritime realms of the true PNW.

The seashore is for exploring. The long Pacific Northwest coastline invites contemplative strolls. The white noise of crashing waves lulls away the clamor of modern, motorized civilization.

Come to the waters to unplug and restore. Fill your lungs with briny seaside air. Salty low tide and the exploration of tidal pools. Explore coastal waters on Washington State Ferries or walk along quintessential rocky PNW beaches, looking for driftwood resting spots from which to gaze at islands in the Salish Sea.

The Seaside Loop is a route that takes visitors along the coast of the Salish Sea in the region just north of Seattle. The Seaside Loop connects the artsy urban center of Edmonds to the lighthouse town of Mukilteo, up to historic downtown Everett and beyond via a coastal route. Travelers along the route will also be able to explore indigenous culture on the Tulalip Reservation and end the final leg of their outbound journey in the small-town arts community of Stanwood.

Taken as a whole, the Seaside Loop offers a unified portrait of maritime Pacific Northwest. What’s not to enjoy? The sea is the source of our pleasure, offering us fresh food, recreation, and a cool, moderate climate that makes our region a comfortable and beautiful place to visit year-round.

Go see the sea right.

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1. Edmonds

If there’s one word that captures the essence of Edmonds, it’s art. Edmonds is home to 19 art galleries, not to mention murals, events, festivals, and art supplies stores. You’re pretty much guaranteed to find inspiration around any corner of this walkable seaside city.

Visit the old Edmonds Theater (415 Main St.) for a seaside matinee. The character-filled weathered marquee outside is part of the charm of this traditional moviehouse next to the fountain-centered town plaza.

From the theatre, stroll a few blocks to The Cheesemonger’s Table in downtown Edmonds (203 5th Ave S #1) is for the charcuterie fan in your life. The classy deli-meets-bistro offers the finest fromage in every cheesy, melty, baked, or dipped format that you can imagine. The ultimate dairy comfort food is accompanied by savory treats like truffle oil popcorn, balsamic vinegar, and olives. Their patio blooms in the summer and sometimes acts as a venue for live music.

Be sure to visit the Edmonds waterfront for views of ferries and the Salish Sea. And if you want to taste the sea, stop by The Market (508 Main St.), a traditional restaurant-meets-fishmonger’s shop where you can order a variety of local oysters and salmon filets. They’ll even sell you your very own oyster-shucking knife and a couple of lemons so that you’ll be empowered to slurp the finest savory bivalves that Northwest waters have to offer. Eat at the restaurant or take them to go as you stroll the beach.

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2. Mukilteo

A half-hour drive north brings seaside explorers to the city of Mukilteo — one of the oldest ports of call in the Pacific Northwest. The deepwater harbor here was favored by the Coast Salish people for trade. Today, the tiny port town is ideal for waterfront recreation in the form of dining, seaside strolls, and a Washington State Ferry terminal.

Sage and Cinder (613 5th St) is a crunchy, savory vegan restaurant with views of Whidbey Island and the Washington State Ferry terminal. Stop there for brunch, lunch, dinner, and from-scratch cocktails.

Japanese Gulch is a big tree-filled park filled with paths. It’s perfect for mountain biking or hiking. There’s an off-leash dog park, seemingly made just for travelers with ansty pets.

Brooklyn Brothers Pizzeria (8326 Mukilteo Speedway) has an open-air patio and serves truly authentic New York-style pizza by the slice. The dough is made in nearby Everett, and the owners of this local chain insist that the Everett water is similar to that of New York, making for a fan-favorite crust.

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3. Everett

Everett is a former mill town that’s finding a new iteration/expression in an arts district, waterfront recreation, and cute starter homes for young families. This new wave of makers and artists are creating coffee shop culture, opening tattoo parlors, and hosting independent music festivals.

Lodging in Everett? Stay at the newly-renovated Delta Hotel (3105 Pine St.). From there, you can take a quick Uber or Lime scooter downtown for a day of shopping and dining. Check out pop culture toymakers Funko — Their flagship store is part amusement park, part retail store and it’s a regional, national, and international draw for families and franchise fans alike.

Best bets for dining include Choux Choux (2900 Grand Ave.), The Sno-Isle Food Co-op (2804 Grand Ave.), or Capers + Olives (2933 Colby Ave.).

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4. Tulalip

Marysville is a regional and even international destination for the Tulalip Resort Casino (10020 Quil Ceda Blvd.) as well as the Seattle Premium Outlet malls (10600 Quil Ceda Blvd.).

Enjoy perusing luxury shoes, clothing, accessories and electronics at the Seattle Premium Outlet. Top-tier brands like Armani, Calvin Klein, Nike, and Coach are offered at a fraction of the regular retail price. If you’re going camping in the northwest, you’d do well to visit the Eddie Bauer, Filson, or North Face stores.

Learn about the culture of the Coast Salish tribes that comprise the Tulalip reservation at the Hibulb Cultural Center (6410 23rd Ave. NE).

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5. Marysville

Visit Ebey Waterfront Park (1404 1st St.) in nearby Marysville. Drop right into a network of tidal sloughs from near the downtown — perfect for stand up paddleboarding, canoeing or kayaking. Explore the slough to watch birds and float past sunken tidal trees like something out of a dreamscape. Or float out to Port Gardener in the Salish Sea for a day of paddling up and down the coast of Seattle NorthCountry.

6. Stanwood

The walkable seaside city of Stanwood is on a coastal plain next to Camano Island. Its quaint downtown has a train station at one end, Polska Kuchnia — the only Polish restaurant in the greater Seattle area (8620 271st St. NW) — and plenty of cute coffee shops and boutiques.

Visit the historic Stanwood Hotel and Saloon (26926 - 102nd Ave NW), which has been slinging beers and live music for over one hundred years. The hotel has a reputation for slinging up fantastically authentic blues under neon beer lights.

Spend a day exploring art galleries, and then take the Amtrak Cascades back to Everett for a night’s rest in a hotel, and another few days enjoying the sea from the comfort of an urban setting.

Everything you need is on the coast. These are only some suggestions on the choose-your-own-adventure route through the maritime realms of the true PNW.

Where will your adventure take you? The coastline beckons.

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