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.
From three locations, Family Fun Centers & Bullwinkle's Restaurant foster lifelong memories for kids and their caretakers as they bond over bouts of miniature golf, laser-tag shootouts, and bumper-car derbies. Visitors taller than 58 inches challenge each other to go-kart races, while smaller thrill seekers practice Napoleonic siege techniques at the indoor fun fortress. Outside, human slingshots hurl visitors safely through the air in harnessed flights, and indoor rollercoaster simulators re-create the twists and turns of amusement-park rides or malfunctioning monorails. After perfecting swings at 18 holes of mini golf or 25-pitch batting cages, visitors chow down at the Bullwinkle-themed restaurant, feasting on crowd-pleasing park fare such as pizza, burgers, salads, wraps, and corn dogs. Attractions vary by location. Valid only at the Tukwila and Edmonds locations.
Northwest native Murphy Pierson draws on the experience of more than 30 years fishing Puget Sound’s waters to help aquatic enthusiasts charter their own saltwater-fishing excursions. Specializing in guided salmon tours, Murphy equips guests with bait, tackle, and fish whistles for year-round charters where they try their hand at reeling in king salmon and coho in the summer or blackmouth in the winter. During May and June, Puget Sound Sports Fishing’s morning and afternoon trips down the Edmonds-nestled waterways turn into bottom-fishing voyages for lingcod. While visitors rest at the end of their trip, Murphy and his crew get their hands dirty cleaning and bagging each catch for the water-weary fishers.
All Season Charters' quartet of captains share the wheel of the company's single 50-foot, all-purpose boat, Annie A. The ship serves a variety of purposes, ferrying passengers as they hunt salmon with the firm hand of Captain Amy at the tiller or spot whale flukes with the eagle-eyed guidance of Captain Michael. It holds up to 20 people, providing ample railing-space for scenic views, as well as the comfort of a galley with free coffee. The captains, for their part, charter their vessel out for any kind of oceanic excursions, such as sea burials or hunts for that message in a bottle you lost.
At SNAP Fitness 24/7's network of gyms, members can work out in the morning, the evening—or even at 4 a.m. Per the gym's name, it's always open, and stocked with top-of-the-line cardio and strength-training equipment. Its team also hosts yoga classes, Zumba dance parties, and Pilates sessions that can help build long, lean muscle. Online workout plans and meal plans complement the brick-and-mortar facilities, providing clients with customizable guidelines for how to live a healthy life.
The Loft Cafe and Social Lounge marries the rustic beauty of lodge-like architecture with a modern menu of Pacific Northwest and Mediterranean flavors that change periodically. Their executive chef has crafted a catalog of small and large plates that pair regional seafood, such as pan-seared Alaskan halibut and bay scallops, with basil-pesto sauce and roasted red peppers in garlic cream. Large parties can even request a custom menu for their festivities, instead of piling their entrees into the shape of a birthday cake.
The chef dispatches all meals to two floors, where shadows cast by hanging lights and chandeliers play across wooden ceiling grids. He also sends meals out to the courtyard, where towering heat lamps warm hands grasping coconut mojitos—one of the eatery’s many handcrafted cocktails. During happy hour, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. every day, guests take advantage of the lower cocktail prices and snack on spicy pancetta prawns and dungeness-crab croquettes.