In the early 1950s, Prentice Bloedel retired early from leading his family's timber business and devoted all his time to the creation of his gardens. A pioneer in renewable resources and sustainability?Bloedel was the first to use sawdust as a fuel in his mills?he was deeply interested in how people fit into the natural world. Today, the Bloedel Reserve stands as a testament to that interest, a world-renowned public garden with 150 acres of landscapes and natural woodlands for guests to lose themselves in.
Here, visitors build bonds with nature simply by walking around, which is far safer than agreeing to a blind date with an azalea bush. During a stroll across the Reserve, visitors come upon the moss garden and its living carpet, stop for quiet contemplation at the reflection pool, and join a cast of wild critters at the bird refuge. Of all the property's features, though, the Puget Sound view might be most impressive. This panoramic vista to the northeast peers out across the Puget Sound, Jefferson Point, and the Cascade Mountains, giving a glimpse of the nature's grandeur.
It sounds just like a movie: a former Disney employee and a former mayor team up to run their own theater. That's exactly what Jeff Brein and Sam Granato did in 1988 with Bainbridge Cinemas, where they still spend Friday and Saturday nights tearing tickets and scooping popcorn. Besides Bainbridge Cinemas, their theater collection—Far Away Entertainment —oversees seven other local theaters, including the historic single-screen Lynwood Theatre. Opened in 1936, Bainbridge Island's first talking picture house now specializes in independent features and foreign films in which actors rearrange the English alphabet to make strange new sounds.
Over at the two-screen Admiral Theater, projectionists give newer Hollywood releases a second run, plus host screenings every year for the Seattle International Film Festival. Far Away's five remaining theaters, each with three to five screens, show digital versions of Hollywood's freshest celluloid. Lean back in the Anacortes' reclining seats, or scarf down an all-beef frank at Oak Harbor while taking in a flick or live screening of the Metropolitan Opera.
Towering trees surround Puget Sound's shores, where mountains wrapped in hazy gauze loom in the background as wild animals serenely drink from the open waters and winding Hood Canal waterways. It's here that Olympic Outdoor Center decided to stake its headquarters more than 25 years ago, and where their instructors now lead paddlers onto the water for kayak and standup paddleboard lessons. The coaches also guide salmon-fishing tours and other extended trips, as well as youth adventure camps in which kids learn to maneuver kayaks and paddleboats and master fending off sea monsters with a swift paddle-bop to the noggin.
On land, staff members guide adventurers through mountain-biking camps and competitive races on the surrounding 4,000 acres of forested trails. The staffers help organize outdoor recreation events such as annual adventure sports festivals, paddling and biking triathlons, and overnight paddling trips.
Children and their families are welcome to learn together through exploration of interactive exhibits. Kids are sure to begin their adventure in the Pirate Tree House atop an authentic tree trunk, a multilevel play space showcasing the museum's leading philosophy: Imagine, Discover and Grow.
In this spirit, rather than lecturing youngsters and their families, KiDiMu, sparks their imaginations with hands-on exhibits covering science, culture and art. In Science Hall, an interactive physics exhibit illustrates the concepts of velocity and acceleration through experiments first devised by Galileo and Newton to prove the Earth revolves around a fig. Visitors to Our Town?s community can attempt cash withdrawals at a faux ATM or tour a waterfront park, and kids of all ages craft self-guided art projects in the studio known as Sean's Space.
Husband-and-wife team Jim and Jean run Kitsap Tours, a company that explores Bainbridge Island and the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas via a luxury bus. Voyagers might admire the forests in the Bloedel Reserve tour or go on a photo safari in the Kitsap Peninsula. The Bainbridge Island tour shuffles sightseers to rural areas and the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, whereas the Bainbridge Island and Kitsap Peninsula tour shows off the home of Chief Seattle. Tours take place onboard a luxury touring van or mini coach, which has a standup center aisle, reclining leather seats, a TV and DVD player, and a rear storage compartment for purchases or souvenirs of the world's largest key chain.
To learn about the wildlife of Puget Sound, you could go to your local library or pour through pictures online. Or you could see it up close during a trip with Exotic Aquatics Scuba and Kayaking. True to their company's name, the staff immerses adventurers in the scenic locale through SCUBA dives and kayak tours. While divers submerge themselves in dreamlike sites to look for octopi and rock fish, kayakers paddle across Eagle Harbor in search of otters and seabirds.