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A Sound Getaway: Edmonds, Washington

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Edmonds perches on the edge of Puget Sound just 15 miles north of Seattle. The ambiance of a beach town combined with a vibrant local culture offers many opportunities for a perfect day. You’ll find plenty to do browsing the shops, exploring the beach, or hiking in the park.

Shopping. Downtown Edmonds revolves around its signature fountain in the middle of the roundabout at Main Street and Fifth Avenue. Shops and restaurants line the streets radiating out from this central landmark. Start your day with breakfast at Chanterelle’s on Main Street, renowned for its luscious baked goods and brunch fare. Another tasty choice is Red Twig on Fifth Avenue. Then set out to explore what Edmonds has to offer.

Within a two- or three-block radius of the fountain, you’ll find shops that feature kitchen gear, teas and tea sets, clothing, children’s toys, garden supplies, and more. Browse HOUSEwares for unique and colorful home furnishings. If you are planning a trip, stop at Savvy Traveler for travel guides, luggageicon, clothing and knowledgeable advice. At the Edmonds Bookshop you can pick up the perfect "beach read." Choose a delectable snack for later at The Resident Cheesemonger. A farmers’ market occupies several blocks of Fifth Avenue just north of the fountain on Saturdays June through October.

Art and Architecture. The arts thrive in Edmonds: you’ll find galleries interspersed among the [img_assist|nid=1125|title=|desc=|link=none|align=right|width=250|height=259]boutiques on Main Street for virtually any medium. You can even fire your own ceramic mug or plate at Glazed and Amazed. The city supports the arts community with installations of statues, ceramics, and stained glass at sites around town. The central intersection at Main Street and Fifth Avenue is itself a work of art, featuring sidewalk inlays and the fountain with its pergola.

Edmonds began as a lumber town in the 1860s and many examples of its Victorian architecture remain. Restored Victorian mansions, scattered throughout the town, have been repurposed as offices or bed and breakfast lodging. One of the few remaining Carnegie libraries is now the area’s historical society museum. Next to the museum, a log cabin built in the 1930s houses the Edmonds Visitors Information Center. You’ll find brochures for self-guided walking tours of the town’s historical sites, public art, and parks here.

Beach and Park Walks. For a change of pace, head for the beach. Main Street ends at the Washington State ferry dock and Brackett’s Landing Park. Be sure to look for the ceramic and bronze tiles embedded in the park’s planters that explain the area’s sea life. On the north side of the ferry dock you can walk on the sand at low tide and explore the tide pools, looking for sea stars, shells, and tiny crabs. There is a sea wall wide enough to walk on that overlooks a 27-acre scuba dive park. Large driftwood logs on the beach provide a convenient backrest if you decide to settle down with your new "beach read." The south end of the park on the other side of the ferry dock features a fishing pier and spectacular views of Hurricane Ridge and the Olympic Mountains. Either beach is a great place for a picnic.

If you prefer a shady walk, check out the nature trail in Yost Park, entered from Bowdoin Street off Ninth Avenue. The park protects some of the last remaining areas of native vegetation in Edmonds. The interpretive trail wanders along Shell Creek under a canopy of Western red cedar, big leaf maple, red alder, and Western hemlock.

Watching the sunset is a favorite pastime in Edmonds and there are restaurants on or near the waterfront that will be delighted to help you do that. Arnie’s Restaurant and Anthony’s Beach Café and Restaurant feature fish and seafood; both are located at the Edmonds marina. If you’re in the mood for Mexican food, Las Brisas is two blocks away from the sea wall on Dayton Street. Sit back, enjoy a glass of wine, and reflect on your perfect day in Edmonds.

Getting There: Edmonds is located 15 miles north of Seattle. From I-5 (north or south), take exit 177 to Highway 104 West to Edmonds.

What and Where:
Chanterelle Specialty Foods
(514 Main St; 425-774-0650; www.chanterellewa.com)
Red Twig Bakery and Café (117 Fifth Ave; 425-771-1200; www.redtwig.com)
HOUSEwares (323 Main St; 425-672-1903; www.housewaresedmonds.com)
Savvy Traveler (112 Fifth Ave; 425-744-6076; www.savvytraveleredmonds.com)
Edmonds Bookshop
(111 Fifth Ave; 425-775-2789; www.edmondsbookshop.com)
Resident Cheesemonger (405 Main St; 425-640-8949; www.residentcheesemonger.com)
Glazed and Amazed (514 Main St, 425-673-5474; www.glazedandamazed.com)
Visitors Information Center (120 Fifth Ave North; 425-776-6711)
Yost Park (9535 Bowdoin Way)
Anthony’s Beach Café and Restaurant (456 Admiral Way; 425-771-4400; www.anthonys.com)
Arnie’s Restaurant (300 Admiral Way; 425-771-5688; www.arniesrestaurant.com)
Las Brisas Mexican Family Restaurant (120 W. Dayton St; 425-672-5050; www.lasbrisasfood.com)

For information on Edmonds, WA: www.ci.edmonds.wa.us Planning a visit? Click here for Edmonds travel guides.

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About the Author

Marty Byrne
Marty Byrne is a writer and marketing project manager in Seattle, Washington. She enjoys experiencing different cultures and has traveled extensively in Europe, Latin America, and Asia. She also enjoys being a tourist in her own town, as there is always something new to discover.

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