Posts Tagged ‘Summer Activities’



Driving distance from:

Port Angeles: 1 hour, 2 minutes

Olympia: 2 hours, 56 minutes

Seattle: 3 hours, 11 minutes

Portland: 4 hours, 26 minutes

Bird's Eye View of Forks






Founded: 1945 (According to the City of Forks web site)

Population: 3,349 (2009 U.S. Census U.S. Census estimate)

Name Origin: Forks was named after the forks in the nearby Quillayute, Bogachiel, Calawah and Sol Duc rivers (According to the Olson’s Cabin web site).

Did You Know … in 1951, a fire destroyed nearly 38,000 acres of forest near Forks overnight. It was a huge blow to the community’s large lumber industry.

I should admit right off the bat that I’ve never been to Forks. However, since it’s a popular tourist destination, and since my fabulous housemate Caitlin hails from the town, I figured it would be a great place to feature. You probably already know that Forks is the primary location for the wildly popular Twilight series. Twilight- and vampire-themed attractions abound in Forks, and you’re sure to find them without trying. But if you’d like to experience the town through the eyes of a local, read on.

Caitlin’s Favorite:

Three Rivers


Restaurant: Three Rivers Resort. Caitlin recommends the Bogie Burger and the Quill Burger (named after the Bogachiel and Quilayute Rivers). If the weather’s cooperating, take your burger and strawberry milkshake to Rialto Beach. In addition to the restaurant, Three Rivers is also in part a family-run campground and convenient store.

The trail near Third Beach


Freebie: Hiking. Forks is an outdoors lover’s dream, with dozens of trails near the town. Caitlin’s personal favorites are Second Beach and Third Beach. She says the latter in particular offers some gorgeous views. Before planning your hike, check the forecast, as Forks receives a lot of rain. That said, summer is clearly the best time to hike. Caitlin describes the hikes around Forks as, “nature at its best.”

A parade from Forks' Old Fashioned Fourth of July


Summer activity: Forks’ Old-Fashioned Fourth of July. This event covers not just the actual day of the fourth, but a weekend of events leading up to the day. Highlights are the salmon bake by the Lion’s Club, the popular demolition derby, and a parade down Main Street with floats, logging trucks, demolition cars, and fair royalty from neighboring towns. But the main event is the impressive firework display at dusk. Best of all, you can be entertained by the events for an hour, a day, or a weekend and not spend a penny.

More Info:



Photo from
Driving distance from …
Tacoma: 43 minutes
Seattle: 54 minutes
Yakima: 2 hours, 35 minutes
Spokane:  4 hours, 49 minutes
Enumclaw is my hometown and will forever have a special place in my heart. Corny? Yes. But it’s also the truth. Enumclaw might not have as much to offer as a big city, but it’s a great escape from the city, especially for outdoorsy people. Mt. Rainier, Crystal Mountain, and ample camping opportunities can be found within a couple hours’ drive. It has small-town charm without being in the middle of nowhere.

Bird's Eye View of Enumclaw, Mt. Peak, and Mt. Rainier

Founded: 1879 (According to the City of Enumclaw web site)
Population: 10, 845 ( 2009 U.S. Census  estimate)
Name Meaning: “Place of Evil Spirits” (so-named for the high winds it receives; last month it got up to 73MPH)
Did you know … Enumclaw is home to NASCAR driver Kasey Kahne, Farman’s Pickles, and many, many cows. 







 Andrea’s Favorite …

Cafe Panini

Restaurant: Café Panini. This charming Italian restaurant was virtually unknown until it moved to a more prominent location at the corner of Griffin and Cole about five years ago. Since then, it’s become a popular eatery among Enumclawites. I’d recommend the French onion soup and any of the paninis. And for dessert? The restaurant sells pies from the adjacent Pie Goddess. The pies are a bit pricey, but this can easily be solved by splitting a slice with a friend. 

View from Mt. Peak

Freebie: Mt. Peak. This redundantly-named mountain (AKA Pinnacle Peak, AKA Mt. Baldy) is an effective addition to anyone’s workout. Mt. Peak is just over one mile of a very steep trail. Several locals hike it daily. The hike may be rigorous, but the final summit is worth it, with a view like this.

Summer Activity: The King County Fair. The oldest fair west of the Mississippi River, this fair will celebrate its 148th successive year this summer. For free parking and only $5 admission for adults ($1 for kids 15 or under), the fair offers a full day of rides, carnival games, FFA exhibits, dog shows, logging competitions, hypnotist shows, and more. Occasionally the fair attracts big-name performers, like Martina McBride and Jo Dee Messina. And of course, there are always elephant ears to be eaten.

For more picturesque photos of Enumclaw, check out this video. Warning: there will be country music.

For more info, visit The City of Enumclaw web site or Experience Washington’s Enumclaw page .