Let's face it; this summer has been like none other before it. People have been stuck inside, working from home, limiting outings and generally pining away for a 'normal' life.
So what do you do when you want some semblance of normalcy? Some Seattleites have started getting creative and exploring the exciting things to see and do in their own backyard.
For this trip, we’ll follow a couple as they set out on a bike-packing journey close to home on an urban adventure complete with camping on the shores of Puget Sound. Join them as they pedal approximately 20-miles from Eastlake to Saltwater State Park and discover the many wonders of Seattle Southside.
This article originally appeared on ScenicWa.com. Click here to view the original.
1st Stop: Museum of Flight
Cruise along East Marginal Way in the wide bike lane and you're literally riding right along the King County International Airport - Boeing Field. The runway is pretty active, with large jets, planes and helicopters taking off and landing right next to the street. It's distracting in a good way, pull over for an up close view.
The Museum of Flight is a great stop along the way, it is the largest independent, non-profit air and space museum in the world. With over 175 aircraft and spacecraft, tens of thousands of artifacts, millions of rare photographs, dozens of exhibits and experiences and a world-class library, the Museum and its people bring mankind's incredible history of flight to life.
Take your time walking through the airplane hangar which is full of classic airplanes. You can stand right next to a Boeing 787 Dreamliner in this cool exhibit.
2nd Stop: Cecil Moses Memorial Park & Green River Trail
The entrance to Cecil Moses Park guides you onto the Interurban Trail, which has public restrooms and a nice grassy area to stop and relax. The bridge brings you across the Green-Duwamish River and onto the Green River Trail that winds more than 19-miles near the Duwamish Waterway in Tukwila to the broad Green River Valley. The popular trail has excellent views and access to the Green River and links the urban centers to pastoral landscapes, parks and Seattle Southside communities.
With minimal grade and a wide, flat path, the Green River Trail is a cycler's dream! This route is designated for non-motorized use and makes for a leisurely pace, offering a chance to look around and breathe in the fresh air.
3rd Stop: Lunch at Sharps RoastHouse
Sharps RoastHouse is a classic American roast house, known for savory roasts and small-batch craft beverages. They serve 10+ fresh roast varieties daily, coming from their one of a kind 25-foot Roasting Works (look for it in the dining room).
Try the Wenatchee Applewood Smoked Pulled Pork Salad and Champagne Mango Margaritas or the Seattle Classic Burger with a local IPA. You won't be disappointed! For the foodies, you won't want to miss Sharps Original Mac and 4 Cheeses which includes Pike Place Market Beecher's Flagship, Parmesan, Grande Whole Milk Mozzarella and Willamette Valley Cheddar.
Fun fact: Sharps makes their own sourdough pasta noodles in house with their custom pasta machine ordered from Italy. You can watch them make the pasta from inside the restaurant. Between the roasting works, homemade pasta machine and the all-day happy hour in the pub, this place has everything you could want for an excellent lunch or dinner.
Side Trip: Angle Lake Park
Angle Lake Park is just a mile down the road from Sharps. The perfect length to ride after eating lunch to explore a relaxing, urban lakefront with a fantastic view of Mt. Rainier.
4th Stop: Des Moines Creek Trail & Beach Park
From Angle Lake, the coastal town of Des Moines beckons. The best way to reach the beach is via the 2.2 mile Des Moines Creek Trail, this paved trail through the woods makes you feel like you’re miles away from civilization and ends right at the Des Moines Beach Park.
The fresh salty breeze carries the scent of the sea, greeting you as you make your way to Des Moines Beach Park. There is a large grassy area to relax that is a great place to watch the boats coming and going and fishermen dropping lines. At low tide there are tide pools to explore...this is a great place to bring the family!
Final Stop: Saltwater State Park
Just 2.7-miles exists between Des Moines Beach Park and Saltwater State Park. Ride along the wooded forest road with amazing views of Puget Sound as you enter the State Park. There are picnic tables, fire pits along the water and a small sandy beach with piles of large driftwood. To the left is a small campground with about 30 campsites tucked in the woods. It's a short walk to nearby restrooms and just a bit further to the waterfront.
Whether by bike, car or train, discovering Seattle Southside will help you scratch that adventure itch without having to travel too far from home. More info on Seattle Southside here: www.seattlesouthside.com.
Pro Tip: Use the Link Light Rail!
If you don't want to ride the whole way from Seattle, hop on the light rail and exit at Tukwila Station to start your adventure!
Despite our rainy weather and crazy hills, Seattle is a biking town! Whether you want a solo adventure or a good trail to take the family, we have something for you.
The 14-mile Burke-Gilman Trail is popular with Seattle cyclists. The trail starts in Ballard and ends north in Kenmore, but not before passing through the Fremont neighborhood, past the University of Washington and along Lake Union. Once you reach the end, keep going – the Sammamish River Trail continues another 10 miles into Redmond.
Access the Duwamish-Green River Trail from Fort Dent Park in Tukwila. This roughly 10.5 mile trail connects to the Interurban Trail and runs along the Duwamish and Green Rivers. This paved trail is popular with commuters during the week and families on the weekends.
The Interurban Trail links Tukwila, Kent, Auburn, Algona and Pacific along an almost straight, 14-mile alignment parallel to the historic Interurban Rail Line. This partially-paved trail offers a variety of sceneries, including industrial land and small to medium communities.
Each year, the Lake Chelan community hosts Cycle de Vine, a 35 mile ride that passes through some of Chelan Valley’s preeminent wineries. All ages can participate, but only those over 21 will receive a “wine card” allowing them two free drinks at a winery of their choice.
For views of Lake Washington, there is no better ride than along Lake Washington Boulevard. The eight-mile ride takes cyclists through the Washington Park Arboretum and along the shores of Lake Washington. From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., on September 4th, 11th and 18th, the road is closed to cars thanks to the Cascade Bicycle Club and Seattle Parks and Recreation.
Want to take the family on a bicycle tour? Here are just some of the groups offering them:
Cycle through the Emerald City with Jet City Bike Tour in Seattle– the three-hour tours are offered daily at noon and begin at the Olympic Sculpture Park.
Customize your tour with Ibike Bicycle Tours– you can decide the duration, distance and points of interest.
Tour Seattle with the Seattle Bicycle Club– weekly tours change routes and are the perfect way to get to know downtown and the greater Seattle area.
Bikes in Seattle!
Don’t have a bike? Rent a bike at any of these local locations: