Each of Seawillow Adventures’ cruises begin in historic Thea Foss Waterway, floating leisurely into Commencement Bay before rounding Point Defiance for tranquil Gig Harbor. Whether embarking on a day trip or sunset cruise, the Seawillow’s amenities are at your disposal. These include an upper fly bridge with bench seats, barbecue grill, and breathtaking views; a lower rear deck where guests could easily fish or dive into the water; and a living room with seating for eight. The living room boasts a 26-inch TV, video games, and WiFi.
A gypsy rides through the crowd while standing upon two horses. Behind him follow more members of his troupe, who do back flips off their steeds and then regale spectators with fire breathing and juggling. Performed by the seventh-generation acrobats of Cavallo Equestrian Arts, this spectacle—called Ma'Ceo—often draws standing-room-only crowds every day during the Washington Midsummer Renaissance Faire. It's these kinds of glimpses into the Elizabethan era that fulfill the mission of bringing renaissance Europe to life. Turning the Kelley Farm into the Village of Merriwick, entertainers of all types, from courtiers to peasants, engage fairgoers with a range of acts. Flanked by her entourage, Queen Elizabeth travels through the streets, perhaps on her way to watch the jousters compete for her phone number, or perhaps to watch sprightly performers such as the Celtic fiddlers or the commedia troupe. Merchants peddle wares to passersby, talking up goods such as hand-forged weapons and armor, hand-tooled leather goods, and roasted turkey legs. Camel rides and bubble-filled buckets cater to kids, and adults can duck into two alehouses where quick-witted wenches pour draft microbrews and ciders. For guests who want to spend the whole weekend immersed in the renaissance festivities, organizers reserve a section of the grounds for tent and RV camping.
White sturgeon on Washington's Columbia River. Chinook salmon on Alaska's inlets. Steelhead on Idaho's Clearwater River. West Coast Anglers' network of guides organizes trips throughout the Pacific Northwest in search of these species, specializing in fly-fishing and spey casting to catch the five main species of Pacific salmon. In addition to hooking these river-running trophies, the guides' extend their expertise to drifting and wading trips for rainbow trout, sea-run cutthroat trout, and even dungeness crab. Though West Coast does not operate its own lodges, its guides are happy to recommend hollow logs to sleep in or more traditional accommodations.
At Operation Paintball, Mother Nature provides the cover: massive tree roots bulge from the ground at the edge of a field, sheltering players from the gobs of paint whizzing past their ears. Beyond the natural bunkers, the five outdoor fields boast manmade obstacles—including barrels, old cars, and inflatables—behind which teammates strafe, dodge, and teleport their way to the safety of two-story towers. Play rotates among the fields throughout the day, presenting players with various scenarios such as Capture the Flag and Elimination.
Water is the source of life. But it’s also the source of adventure, something River Recreation has delivered since 1982. Today, stationed on the banks of the Wenatchee River in Monitor, the company sends clients floating and tumbling down a total of nine rivers throughout Washington State.
As entertaining as they are informative, River Recreation’s guides undergo extensive training—twice as much, in fact, than the state requirements. That experience enables the company to offer a wide range of trips, from kid-friendly Class I floats to heart-pumping Class V adventures that have helped discover some of the area’s top opera singers. Currently, River Recreation hosts half-day, full-day, and combination trips, and in 2010, it unveiled a white water-and-wine mini getaway—a half-day of rafting, and a half day of wine tasting in Wenatchee Valley. All of this is combined to make RIver Recreation Washington State's Whitewater Professionals.
When the staff at Charlie's Safari claims to have the largest indoor play structure in the area, many will find it hard to argue with them as they look around the 22,000-square-foot jungle-themed facility. Here, kids scamper in, on, and around five levels of brightly-colored mazes and slides, air-filled bouncers, and a two-story laser tag arena. As kids unleash their imaginations, parents escape to their own lodge, secure in the knowledge that their children are being protected by the facility's Code ADAM safety system. Families can refuel at the on-site restaurant, which boasts housemade pizza sauce and corn dog batter. Charlie's Safari also hosts parties to celebrate children turning one year older and one year closer to being able to do their parents' taxes.