After his first time riding a Segway, 11-year-old Gregg Jantz Jr. was hooked. There weren’t Segway tours in his hometown of Edmonds, so he and his father went to the company’s headquarters in New Hampshire to learn more about the self-balancing transporters. They were excited about what they learned there, leading to the creation of Segway of Edmonds.
Today, visitors can take 90-minute tours of Puget Sound. By day, the tours take a historical angle, and educate groups about Olympic Beach and the mills that used to sit along the coast. Sunset tours create beautiful photo ops, and can be arranged to end with dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants. All tours begin with a 30-minute orientation session, and guides stop occasionally to take photos of groups and make sure no one has fused to their Segway. Visitors can also rent Segways for self-guided tours.
The Bavarian Ice Festival blends winter activities, snow sculptures, and holiday lights into two days of revelry amid Leavenworth's ivory snowflakes. Busses operated by Alki Tours depart at 8 a.m. and deliver Saturday visitors to downtown Leavenworth, where the annual Smooshing contest finds teams of four atop 8-foot wooden planks as they glide merrily down Front Street and safely away from escaped dinosaurs. Guests can relax under warm blankets and sip hot chocolate or coffee during a 40-minute horse-drawn sleigh ride. First day visitors also take in the artwork of an ice-sculpting contest, a slippery footed tug-of-war, and an ice cube scramble or frisbee sweep for the kids.
With proceeds benefitting the Boys & Girls Clubs of Snohomish County, Haunted Nightmare Seattle puts a shiver into the step of its charitable attendees with a psychedelic blend of three-dimensional artwork, black-lit hallways of horrors, and ‘70s disco themes. Upon arrival, guests learn the harrowing backstory of how the house's horrors came to be unleashed, driving home the dark lesson of why one should never leave the refrigerator door ajar. After soaking in the spooky story, visitors strap on 3-D glasses and venture into the neon halls filled with the mind-bending artwork and makeup dreamed up by Dutch Bihary and his company, Contours Face and Body Art. Celebrating one of America's more disturbed decades, the Boogie Nightmare evokes the terror of faceless serial killers, classic Hollywood horror flicks, and sequined leisure suits.
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.
The Cascade Bicycle Club bolsters the Puget Sound biking community through educational programs, community action, and organized events and rides. A 14,000-rider-strong nonprofit organization, the club advocates cycling as a worthy alternative for fitness routines, daily commutes, and backup power generators. Every year, volunteers lead more than 1,000 free club rides, ranging from short joyrides to multiple-day tours, in addition to their yearly schedule of special events, including the Seattle Bicycle Expo in March, the Bike Month Commute Challenge in May, and the High Pass Challenge in September.