For more than 60 years, Elephant Car Wash has resided on the cutting edge of car-wash technology. Archie, Dean, and Eldon Anderson founded the car wash in 1951 when they invented a hands-free machine that could clean cars and never be penalized in soccer. Thirty years later, they sold their shops to Bob Haney, who replaced the car-wash tunnels' plastic bristles with hybrid-blend cloths and high-pressure water nozzles. Nowadays, Elephant Car Wash features computer-operated tunnels that can read pH levels of dirt and—at certain locations—touchless car-wash tunnels that use high-powered water jets and potent detergents only.
Rotating above all of this technological progress is the car wash's signature pink elephant, which doubles as a polestar for drivers who need their vehicles washed, waxed, vacuumed, or shampooed. The trained staff waits outside the full-service car wash with towels and stages a slew of a la carte services including trunk vacuuming and leather conditioning. Elephant Car Wash works with the Puget Sound Car Wash Association and the Charity Car Wash Program, two organizations that strive to keep pollution out of waterways and inside the coffee mugs of Darth Vader.
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.
Trusting an auto detailer with your car may be a decision that requires a little research, but what about when Air Force One needs a cleaning? Mike Rafael and Tom Shearer, owners of Mr. Detail Auto Salon, joined a handpicked team of auto professionals chosen to detail the first presidential jet plane, now installed at Seattle’s Museum of Flight.
When they’re not scouring a piece of American history, they work out of the shop they started together, a joint venture based on their mutual love of cars. Their services range from simple hand washes, wheel polishes, and scuff removal to more involved processes such as paint-less dent removal and fuzzy-dice randomization. Mike and Tom lead a team as they work on cars both in the shop and out of their mobile unit, which is equipped with water and electricity so vehicles can be taken care of anywhere.
Located a five-minute shuttle ride from Spokane International Airport, Diamond Park’N Jet's secure airport parking lot provides a home away from home for travelers' vehicles. Free shuttles service the lot seven days a week, 24 hours a day, and a staff member is always on hand to load luggage and give each traveler their complimentary newspaper and refreshments. Onsite security ensures that autos are protected, and free touchless car washes shine every vehicle so that returning motorists don’t daydream about the rentals they drove while vacationing. In addition to protecting cars while owners are in the skies, the lot also operates a "We Care" program, with staffers offering prompt assistance in the event of flat tires, dead batteries, empty gas tanks, or accidentally locked doors.
Scott Sherman opened his eponymous shop because his previous dealership gig prevented him from spending enough time with each customer and their car. That was in 1952. More than 60 years later, the ASE-certified technicians at Scott Sherman Auto Care continue to operate under this original vision. The staff here prides itself on personal attention, which, along with their continued training and state-of-the-art equipment, allows them to service each vehicle with the care it requires.
The skilled team offers everything from oil changes to transmission work, getting cars back on the road before they start thinking about retiring in a nice sandy junkyard. And, ensuring owners receive the same level of service, the shop offers loaner vehicles as well as free shuttle rides for customers who need a lift while their car is being repaired.
For more than a century, Gray Line of Seattle has been helping visitors and natives alike peel back the nation's corner—the Pacific Northwest—with luxurious tours and charters. Each environmentally conscious service enables explorers to survey the region by land, by sea, or by a combination of both via double-decker bus routes and scenic cruises. Rub elbows with waterfalls, alpine meadows, and glacier-carved façades on an eight-hour adventure past Mount Rainier, or jet into Boeing’s hangars and investigate the future of aviation without having to endure the itchy wool socks required for time travel. In addition to its landmark-packed tours, Gray Line of Seattle totes travelers aboard its fleet of luxury motor coaches and charters.