There's a revolution happening in Woodinville, Washington. There's no violence though, unless you count the stomping of grapes. Home to hundreds of boutique wineries, the region is beginning to rival Napa Valley as the United States' biggest wine producer. Woodinville sits at the same longitude as France's wine country, allowing for optimal adult-grape-juice production and the ability to wear a beret with dignity. Barrel Wine Tours, a co-op of Woodinville winemakers, takes guests throughout the community on tours of the distilleries and wineries of these passionate part-time vintners. On a luxury coach, participants ride to four distilleries or wineries, and three-course lunches and wine pairings occur during each tour.
While it?s impossible to know what Seattle?s skyline will look like in the future, the Seattle Architecture Foundation hopes that citizens at least have some input and interest in the developments. To do this, the organization arranges a slew of architecture- and design-related walking tours, lectures, youth workshops, and volunteer opportunities throughout the city. Ideally, the activities help people become more informed and enthusiastic about great design and more willing to become involved when the city finally launches into space.
Handicap Accessible: No
Staff Size: 11?25
Parking: Metered street parking
Most popular offering: Walking tour of subterranean Seattle.
Pro Tip: Wear appropriate shoes?you'll encounter a variety of walking surfaces.
Good for Kids: Yes
Walk-ins Welcome: Yes
What sets your business apart from your competition?
The smaller size of our groups and our focus on history. We limit our groups to 22 persons which allows our guides to tailor information to guest's areas of interest. Other companies may have groups twice as large.
What was the inspiration for starting this business?
We were founded by four tour guides who wanted to share their passion of local history with smaller groups, and in a greater variety of underground spaces. All of our guides have previously worked as tour guides in the Pioneer Square neighborhood.
Is there anything else you want to add that we didn't cover?
Is this the original Underground Tour? No. Beneath the Streets is a new tour that visits the areaways under the sidewalks in Pioneer Square. These spaces are commonly referred to as underground, although as you'll discover on the tour, they are actually Seattle's original ground level. You may be thinking of Bill Speidel's Underground Tour. The Beneath the Streets tour visit similar spaces.
What is the best reaction you?ve ever gotten from a customer?
"This is a great alternative to the traditional underground tour. The group was small so we could hear the guide, see the spaces and hear the questions and answers. I learned Seattle history I did not know about and enjoyed seeing different underground spaces. Everyone on our tour - locals and visitors loved the tour. I highly recommend it." -July 5, 2013 Trip Advisor review.
What?s your favorite part about your job?
Seeing the aha moment on guests' faces as they realize how the underground spaces they are in were created more than 120 years ago. Taking folks below ground and back in time to see, feel, and touch the Seattle of the the 1890's.
A sidewalk patio with shaded seating flanks Cafe Bengodi's corner façade, appealing to passersby with promises of authentic Italian cuisine and al fresco dining. Chefs deliver on this promise by doling out antipasti rich with cheeses and salamis, then cooking mounds of homemade pastas and fresh Neapolitan pizzas. Espresso, beer, and wine accent the meal and allow patrons to propose toasts as a subtle way to drop a hint that they need a new toaster.
Charles Mickelson knows Seattle so well, he can unearth trolls hiding under its bridges—specifically, the Fremont Troll, an 18-foot-high stone troll statue nestled beneath the Fremont Bridge. This is just one of the landmarks that Charles’s company, Seattle Qwik Tour, showcases on its signature 90-minute mini-coach tours. Their tour routes also pass the Space Needle, the Central District, and Viretta Park, one of Kurt Cobain’s old haunts. As the group rolls through the city, passengers learn statistics and historical tidbits from their guides while snapping photos of the scenery during periodic stops.
Chocolate lovers unite at the Northwest Chocolate Festival, an annual event dedicated not just to eating chocolate in its many forms, but to tracking its journey from cocoa bean to confection. Visitors hone their expertise through seminars on trade equity and cocoa farming, chocolate-making workshops led by confectioners, and tastings where palates learn to distinguish between milk chocolate and a chocolate bar clumsily forced inside a milk jug. A portion of the proceeds from the event benefits local nonprofits aligned with the festival?s mission. Recipients are announced yearly.