For more than 30 years, Blue Sky Outfitters has been equipping rafters to barrel down rivers throughout the Pacific Northwest. Whether floating past bald eagles on the the still waters of the Skagit River or plummeting down the 14-foot Husum Falls, the company's whitewater rafts—helmed by capable pilots—meander through wildlife that stuns with beauty. For land-bound trips, adventurers can strap on snowshoes and journey through the Leavenworth Valley, or peer through the wide windows of the Adventure Bus as it journeys through wine country
Sassafras, sarsaparilla, and vanilla: above all, these are the flavors celebrated by The Root Beer Store, which is chock-full of root beers from around the country. Owner Corey Anderson grew up making root beer with his dad, generating his admiration for root-beer culture. Anderson was featured on King 5 for his passion for the soft drink, which manifests in his selection of more than 100 types from craft root-beer makers. From Hawaii to Maine to Australia, the creativity of each brewer shines in the collection, which customers browse with visions of ice cubes and ice cream to accompany them. The staff is on hand to help home brewers make their own soda with root-beer kits, extracts from different brewers, and the lyrics to the chant sung to the root-beer lord before starting each batch.
With the help of his uncle Tom Campbell, who just happens to be a seasoned enologist and viticulturist, Bijal Shah and his wife Sinead founded The Woodhouse Wine Estates in 2004. The winery's vintages are brought to life by Jean Claude Beck, whose winemaking genes reach back to Alsace, France, where his family estate has been crafting wine since 1579. The team at Woodhouse focuses on expressing the unique terroir of each grape?s origin, yielding balanced, mature wines marked by full flavors. Inside the tasting room, chandeliers sparkle over a long bar, where visitors can sip pours of any number of select wines.
Like many of the best things in life, winemaking began as a hobby for Bob and Flossie Heymann. The operation quickly grew to be much more than they could drink themselves, and when they shared the fruits of their labor with friends, they were repeatedly encouraged to turn the hobby into a business venture. Thus, Heymann Whinery was born. Initially, they focused on fruit wines, but have since expanded to include chardonnay, cabernet, syrah, and cabernet sauvignon. True to their roots, they also stock a variety of home winemaking equipment and accessories.
With a sweeping vista of the stately Hood Canal and Olympic Mountains serving as a natural backdrop, the skilled vintners at Hoodsport Winery craft a diverse fleet of grape, fruit, and cordial wines with fresh, local ingredients. Classic varietals, such as syrah and merlot, elicit sips alongside more uncommon elixirs, such as cordials infused with loganberries, rhubarb, or raspberries. Visitors can ponder the facility's verdant surroundings during events that highlight Hoodsport Winery's numerous creations, which include gourmet jams, four types of locally roasted coffees, truffles, and fruit-flavored trading cards.
Heralded in Washington Magazine, Trillium Creek Winery coaxes decadent Dionysian drinks out of homegrown and East Washington grapes. Low-sulfite bottles of syrah ($20) and merlot ($20) begin life as fresh purple bunches, smash their awkward teen years in the wine press, and then mature in the 1,500-square-foot cellar on site. Guests can take complimentary sniffs, sips, and swishes of these two reds and others while stationed near the stone counter of the charming Alsatian tasting room. In what started as a hobby, friendly husband-wife owners Claude and Claudia Gahard have fused their disparate palates to furnish glasses and tongues with many flavors and blends.