Lynnwood: Homebase for Exploring Seattle, the San Juans & Wine Country

Lynnwood, a city nestled at the southern edge of Washington’s Snohomish County, is a great base for traveling North Puget Sound cities like Seattle and Woodinville, as well as the region’s evergreen-laced mountains and sunny beach communities.
Washington State Vacation
Washington State Vacation

Situated just 15 miles north of Seattle and minutes away from ferries and wineries, Lynnwood has more than 1,400 name-brand hotel rooms, most of which are priced about 40 percent less than those in downtown Seattle. Lynnwood is within a stone’s throw of the coast and is cradled by the same gorgeous Pacific Northwest greenery exhibited by its more famous neighbors. And the city’s abundance of shopping, dining and entertainment options mean you won’t be giving up any vacation amenities.

Check out the three-day itinerary below to see how Lynnwood can serve as the travel headquarters for your western Washington getaway.

Day 1: Washington History and Culture

Have breakfast at your Lynnwood hotel before heading out to explore the history and culture of the area. Many Lynnwood hotels offer free breakfast and also host evening manager receptions to welcome guests.

Make the 20-minute drive to Seattle to visit historic attractions such as Pike Place Market, the Space Needle and Pioneer Square. Visitors can also choose from a variety of museums, including Burke Museum of Natural History & Culture and Museum of Flight.

Back in Lynwood, those hunting for a local history lesson will also find many opportunities to examine Snohomish County’s storied past. Heritage Park’s beautiful grounds give you a peek at Lynnwood’s earliest structures, such as a 1920s general store and post office. Investigate the area’s aviation roots at Mukilteo’s Historic Flight Foundation and Everett’s Future of Flight & Boeing Tour, Museum of Flight Restoration Center and Flying Heritage Collection, which now includes  a 26,000-square-foot arena with two World War II tanks and other historic military vehicles. 

End the evening with a stroll in one of Lynnwood’s 17 lush parks or a visit to one of the city’s unique shopping destinations like Alderwood Mall, home to favorites like Gap, REI, American Girl, Nordstrom and more.

Day 2: Island and Outdoor Adventure

Take a morning ferry from nearby Mukilteo (7 miles from Lynnwood) to Clinton on Whidbey Island or from Edmonds (5 miles from Lynnwood) to Kingston on the Kitsap Peninsula. Activities in Clinton include biking wooded trails, boating, kayaking (visit in the spring for prime whale-watching opportunities) or relaxing on the beach. Meanwhile, Kingston is a lovely waterfront community with many charming shops and restaurants to explore.

If you’d rather stay closer to Lynnwood to experience outdoor adventure, the North Cascades Mountain Range provides excellent opportunities for climbing, hiking and biking. Try the Lunds Gulch trail, a short 2.5-hike that will take you to the Puget Sound beach and views of Whidbey Island.

For dinner, try one of Lynnwood’s more than 200 restaurants, which include family-owned joints serving delicious ethnic cuisine like Talay Thai or Matsu Sushi. If you prefer, Anthony’s at Alderwood mall serves up excellent seafood, and Moonshine BBQ offers moonshine and house-smoked barbecue dishes in an old-fashioned saloon setting. 

For the more active, visit Club House Golf, an indoor golf facility with great food, drinks and state-of-the-art golf simulators featuring courses from around the world. Or grab your clubs and head outside to play a round at the Lynnwood Golf Course.

Day 3: Sip and Stroll

Head southeast to Woodinville, just 20-minutes away from Lynnwood, to visit your choice of more than 100 wineries and tasting rooms, including Chateau Ste. Michelle and Woodhouse Family Cellars. Meanwhile, Redhook and Triplehorn Brewing Co., Woodinville Whisky and Project V Distillery are just a few local companies that cater to beer and spirits lovers.

To experience the myriad of craft beverages available in Snohomish County, check out the more than 35 breweries, wineries and distilleries are mapped on the Local Liquid Arts tour.

If your interests lean more toward wildlife watching than wine tasting, you'll be glad to learn that Snohomish County’s fertile soil nourishes healthy natural habitats as well as grapes and hops. Wildlife-spectating opportunities near Lynnwood include Edmonds Marsh Wildlife Sanctuary, where more than 200 bird species flap their wings, and The Outback Kangaroo Farm in Arlington, where visitors can feed kangaroos and wallabies and mingle with llamas, alpacas, pygmy goats and ostriches.

Your last evening in Lynnwood calls for a special meal. Whether you’re craving a delicious steak, artisan-style pizza or fresh seafood, you’ll find a Lynnwood restaurant to satisfy your appetite. Alderwood Mall offers a multitude of dining options, as well as the opportunity to sneak in some last-minute shopping before you head home.

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