Snohomish County is the third-largest county in Washington State in terms of population. It’s also home to some amazingly fun things to do, from balloon rides to whale watching. If a visit to Europe is in your future, head to Rick Steve’s Europe Shop in Edmonds. But there is really no need when there are so many things to do in Snohomish County. Out of ideas? How about exploring some of these options that highlight the best the county has to offer.
The Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour is always a fun and fascinating place to visit. As the only public tour of a commercial jet assembly plant, it’s a unique experience you won’t soon forget. If you have children in your party, know that they must be at least four-feet tall to go on the Boeing Tour. The factory is a working facility that operates Monday through Friday, so on the weekends there is less activity to watch. Before or after your tour, The Future of Flight Aviation Center is an interesting place to learn about the advances in aviation and aerospace with interactive demonstrations and hands-on exhibits. Try a simulated space elevator, test a supersonic jet or check out the flying simulations. To purchase tickets or for more information, visit the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour website.
Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride
What better way to take in the beauty of Snohomish County than on a hot air balloon ride? From the Cascades to the Puget Sound, it’s no surprise the area has been voted as one of the best places to go ballooning. Ballooning Snohomish offers semi-private rides with a maximum of eight passengers plus the pilot in their nine-story balloon. Choose from a romantic sunrise or sunset ride. The sunrise ride lasts from 60 to 90 minutes, while the sunset ride averages 45 to 60 minutes. Each ride includes the “Balloonists Flight Ceremony,” which includes a snack and is an event that happens around the world at balloon send offs. On clear days, you can see all the way to Seattle, Mount Rainer and the Olympic Mountains, below you will see wildlife as you soar over the ground. To book a flight or for more information, visit the Ballooning Snohomish website.
9900 Airport Way, Snohomish
Go Whale Watching
Whale watching in Snohomish County is some of the best in the region, with a few choices when it comes to tours, depending on the time of year you are looking to go and the type of whale or other wildlife you are hoping to view. Puget Sound Express has guaranteed whale watching tours in the San Juan Islands. You will see orca and/or humpback whales depending on the time of year. These tours are four to five hours long and are out of Edmonds. They also have gray whale tours that happen out of Edmonds in the spring.
Island Adventures Whale Watching has a three-hour tour that departs from Everett in the spring to see the gray whales. They have been doing this for over a decade and have a 99.5 percent success rate of seeing whales on every tour. They also have a whale guarantee – if you do not see any type of whale on a tour, you can keep coming back for free until you do. Island adventures also offers private charters for those looking to create an event they will never forget.
Play at Lake Stevens
The city of Lake Stevens is named after the focal point of the city, the 1,000-acre lake. With several parks along its shores, there are plenty of things to do in Lake Stevens. Recreational activities abound, including 60 acres of parks and trails. The most popular of which is the Centennial Trail, a 30-mile trail that connects Snohomish and Arlington with Lake Stevens. Trail access is at Catherine Creek Park. Catherine Creek Park also has an 18-hole disc golf course.
You can also go fishing, boating, swimming, kayaking or canoeing in Lake Stevens itself. Anglers will be pleased to find bass, perch and/or rainbow trout year-round. There are three boat launches, the city boat launch facility has a disabled accessible pier.
For swimming, head to the North Lakeshore Swim Beach. It has a swimming dock and provides lake access for swimmers.
Visit the Outback Kangaroo Farm
If you are looking for a unique experience in Snohomish, head to The Outback Kangaroo Farm in Arlington. This wildlife park brings a bit of Australia close to home, with some unusual experiences. During a tour, you will get up close encounters with kangaroos, wallabies, lemurs, peacocks, miniature goats, alpacas and llamas. During the 40-minute tour, knowledgeable guides will give you facts about the animals. Ever wondered how soft a wallaby or kangaroo is? You can find out at The Outback Kangaroo Farm. For more information or to book a tour call 360-403-7474 or visit The Outback Kangaroo Farm website.
10030 State Route 530 NE, Arlington