The weather is cooling and the leaves are turning their vibrant fall colors. Our warm and sunny fall days are numbered so it’s last call to get out on the water. While the summer boating season has come to an end, there are still plenty of fall happenings at your local marinas from fishing derbies to community events. Check out some of the fabulous marinas we’ve had the honor to help design when you are out cruising the waters of the Pacific Northwest.
Northern Puget Sound
Blaine Harbor and Squalicum Harbor, part of the Port of Bellingham, serve the northern part of the state and provide great stop overs while coastal cruising, with access to the Canadian and U.S. San Juan Islands. For many boater services, Blaine provides the last U.S. stop before heading into Canada. Bellingham is a beautiful place to visit and offers a lot of activities and great dining. You can read more about visiting Bellingham at the Port of Bellingham’s website, http://www.portofbellingham.com/, or here, http://www.bellingham.org/. The Port of Anacortes’ Cap Sante Marina, also a gateway to the San Juans, offers whale watching, hiking trails, kayaking, fishing, crabbing and more. Check out the Resurrection Salmon Derby, sponsored by the Northwest Marine Trade Association, December 2nd and 3rd. Derby participants enjoy free moorage at Cape Sante. The Northwest Marine Trade Association also sponsors the Friday Harbor Salmon Classic Derby, December 2nd and 3rd, at Friday Harbor Marina in the San Juans.
Central Puget Sound
The central Puget Sound is home to the Port of Everett, the largest marina on the west coast, created in 1918 on Port Gardner Bay at the mouth of the Snohomish River. The Port is currently in the middle of a large scale redevelopment project called Waterfront Place Central, which will unify the marina and surrounding property creating a unique commercial, recreational, and residential community. The Port has lots of fun activities happing during the redevelopment. If you have seen their ads on buses, you know that you can truly have your best day “EVERett” visiting the port and local restaurants and business, http://www.portofeverett.com/marina/activities .
Nine nautical miles from the Port of Everett is the Port of South Whidbey’s Harbor at Langley. Reid Middleton recently completed new guest moorage there which is great for day trips and overnighters when visiting the charming town of Langley. A must when stopping there is breakfast at Useless Bay Coffee Company. There are also many shops, art galleries, wineries, wine shops, and restaurants. (Did I mention the wine?) The Port of Edmonds Marina in central Puget Sound also has excellent guest docks and a free courtesy shuttle to go explore the quaint city of Edmonds. I recommend the crab enchiladas at Las Brisas Mexican restaurant and a visit to Rick Steeves travel store to plan your next exotic adventure. Stop in to enjoy coffee at the Walnut Street Café and then enjoy a brisk stroll along the Edmonds waterfront walkway, also designed by yours truly – Reid Middleton.
At the northern edge of Seattle near the entrance to the Ship Canal, lies Shilshole Bay Marina. Shilshole Bay Marina is one of Reid Middleton’s largest and newest redevelopment designs. Golden Gardens beach is nearby and so is Ray’s Boathouse which is an iconic Seattle seafood restaurant with a waterfront view and deck. Ray’s even offers heaters and blankets for outdoor deck dining on cold sunny days!
South Puget Sound
The south sound also offers exceptional marinas including Des Moines Marina, Dock Street Marina in Thea Foss Waterway, and the Bremerton and Port Orchard Marinas. Reid Middleton completed the original design of the Des Moines Marina in 1970. It is just 20 minutes south of Seattle and offers beautiful views and sunsets, and a plethora of fresh seafood restaurants and boutique shopping, as well as the Squid-a-Rama Festival on November 5th, just south of the marina at the Marine Science and Technology facility at the pier adjacent to the boat ramp in Redondo.
Recognized as the 2009 National Marina of the Year by Marina Dock Age magazine, Dock Street Marina is just minutes from all that the revitalized downtown core of Tacoma has to offer, including the famed museum district and art galleries with the Museum of Glass and the Le May Car Museum; casual, upscale, and waterfront dining; shopping and antiquing; lively nightlife; and much more. Catch the upcoming South Sound Craft Beer Festival on November 5th at the Tacoma Dome.
The Port of Bremerton offers two marinas, including Bremerton Marina and Port Orchard Marina on the Kitsap Peninsula. The Peninsula is almost entirely surrounded by water, making it the perfect destination for boaters. Reid Middleton provided the original design of the Port Orchard Marina. The Port Orchard Marina boasts clean facilities and an activity float with covered space and BBQ’s for group activities among other amenities. Coming up in early December is the Festival of Chimes and Lights in downtown Port Orchard. Enjoy the holiday cheer with thousands of lights, decorations, decorated boats in the harbor, and more.
Reid Middleton also was involved with the design of the floating breakwater at Bremerton Marina as well as the floating mooring dolphin for the USS Turner Joy, a historic Navy Ship that is part of the Bremerton Naval Museum. Come and check out the revitalized downtown area of Bremerton and stop in for a tour of the USS Turner Joy which is said to be haunted. The Boat Shed is a favorite for lunch or dinner. There are art walks, wine walks, vintage markets, and much more. Check out Bremerton’s calendar of events here.
And one last thing, as the fall boating season winds down, and you batten down the hatches for the winter—don’t fret, remember the spring boating season is just around the corner! Get started on your wish list and preparation for the spring by attending the always fun and always informative, Northwest Marine Trades Association’s Seattle Boat Show, http://www.seattleboatshow.com/ . Tickets go on sale December 1, and the show opens January 27, 2017.