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Your Ideal Weekend in Monroe

Let the adventures begin!

Monroe, Washington is your jumping-off point for weekend adventures along Highway 2 and surrounding areas. Lodge in Monroe and you have access to it all: river, farmland, forested hills, mountains, and a walkable downtown. 

Here are your best bets for a weekend in Monroe.

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Lord Hill Regional Park is just southeast of Monroe and offers 1,300 acres of woodlands, ponds, and hiking paths. Heybrook Lookout, located about twenty minutes east on State Route 2, is a short hike through subalpine forest to a historic fire lookout with views of the Cascade Mountains. The Sultan River Basin is a casual hike nearby, which takes walkers to scenic Spada Lake Reservoir.

Shopping in Historic Downtown Monroe

Downtown Monroe has what you’re looking for. If you love upcycled, vintage, or boutique-y handmade goods, Black Barrel Vintage has got you covered. Main Street Books is a beacon to the bookish, with shelves of lovely pre-loved tomes ripe for perusing.

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Dining recommendations 

After a day of hiking and shopping, you’ll likely have worked up an appetite.

Thai on Main serves up hot curries and spicy dishes. Las Tres Marias specializes in Mexican comfort food in a brightly painted and decorated setting. Try the fresh horchata and catch a game of soccer on the TV. For sophisticated diners, Lewis and Main Restaurant dishes up farm-informed local foods like steak, seafood, salads, and craft brews.  

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River and lake recreation

The foothills of the Cascades are full of ideal swimming holes and fishing spots. The Skykomish River at Al Borlin Park is a favorite dipping spot in summer and a place to cast a line when the fish are running. Flowing Lake is an ideal setting for boating, camping, and a dip. Lake Tye is a large recreational manmade lake on the west side of town that’s perfect for paddleboarding and kayaking.. Lake Tye is surrounded by a walking/jogging path and has an adjoining park with picnic tables, tennis and basketball courts, a skate park, and baseball fields.

A small guide to public art

A walk through downtown Monroe will reveal some of the art that the city prides itself on. The Wagner Swifts statue on Main Street is comprised of metal birds in flight. It’s a tribute to the flocks of migratory birds that annually flock to the chimney of the Wagner Auditorium in town. Guardian of the Pass, located on the corner of Main and Lewis Streets, is a metal and rock tribute to the town’s montane surroundings. And you don’t have to walk far to see one of several vivid murals by local artist David Hose.

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Best bets for coffee

But before you go anywhere, you’re going to need coffee. Monroe Coffe Co. is a community hub where locals gather to talk over freshly-brewed coffee roasted in town. Paesano’s Coffee near Lake Tye also has the sit-down experience but also offers a drive-through window, so you can grab a local coffee shop cup of joe before you head out on your adventures in Monroe -- or beyond.

Managing Editor
Richard Porter
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