ExtraHyperActive: Best Of Washington
Showing posts with label Best Of Washington. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Best Of Washington. Show all posts

Rock Climbing At Seattle REI

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They say that you become a true Washingtonian after the first time you step into REI. The Seattle's flagship store is probably the same symbol of Washington ( outdoors ) as Seattle's Space Needle or Mt Rainier.

What began as a group of 23 mountain climbing buddies is now the nation's largest consumer cooperative.

Everything you need for your most popular outdoor activities- gear for camping, hiking, climbing, cycling, paddling, snow sports, clothing, footwear, and much more- you can find here.

Washington Adventures : Take Your Kids Surfing

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If you can surf in Washington state, you can surf anywhere !

Surfing in Washington is a pretty miserable experience. Dipping occasionally into the mid-40s but generally hovering around 50 degrees, the ocean water temperature is just one of the "discomforts", along with gale-force winds, massive swells, demonic currents, and razor-sharp rocks.

Learn Backcountry Basics At Alpental, WA For Free

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If you are an avid backcountry traveller, you know that you must have "the standard " avalanche gear: beacon, probe and a shovel. But unfortunately, there are lots of people who think that having the right gear is all they need to venture beyond ski area boundaries. But just like the great American writer Mark Twain once said, "Knowledge without experience is just information".

Snowshoe Routes Washington

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In my opinion snowshoeing is not rocket science. It's one of those outdoor sports/activities that doesn't require special training or great physical shape. Just put on your snowshoes and go. But where to ?

The biggest challenge with snowshoeing is not the activity itself, but finding the right destination. Where to go, how to find the trailhead, the distance, average time, steepness,landscape...

That's why Snowshoe Routes Washington is the must-have guide for beginners and advanced winter hikers who will appreciate the detailed trail descriptions, photos, and personal narratives. When it is raining during the Seattle winter - grab your shoes, this book and head out. Your are sure to find deep powder and a great trail.

Remember, don't solely rely on the book. I know people who use guide books as "the maps". Wherever you go, don't forget to bring a topo map of the region, check the avalanche conditions before heading out, let somebody know where you are going, check in with a ranger at the station ( if there is one), leave a note in your car with the details of your trip and expected return time ( did I forget 10 essentials ?).

The outings described in the book are for all skill levels, from beginner to experienced mountaineer. Many are within easy driving distance from metropolitan regions including Seattle, Tacoma, Everett, Bellingham, Olympia, and Yakima. Most trips start from Sno-Park areas for easy access.

Indoor Snowboarding...No Snow Required

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Learn snowboarding...indoors ! No snow, no mountains, no lifts, no cold ! Ski or snowboard all year round !

I first mentioned indoor skiing/snowboarding in my post about Ski Trac Dome.

It looks like skiing/snowboarding could really become an indoor pleasure. Around the world indoor ski centers take the slopes to skiers/boarders 365 days a year.

Paddleboarding To The Bottom Of Snoqualmie Falls

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Looking for once-in-a-lifetime experiences and adventures while visiting Seattle ?

Seattle offers amazing outdoor opportunities for adventure seekers, and outdoor lovers year round ! But fall through spring, they're limited to mostly snow related activities such as skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling.

Yet, even most Seattleites don't know that there are outdoor activities, that are normally considered to be "summer watersports", could be done year round.

When it comes to watersports, one can enjoy kayaking, paddleboarding,  kiteboarding, surfing, scuba diving, and sailing 365 days a year.

Freighter Wave Surfing In Seattle

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As I wrote in my previous post, I discovered "surfing" right in the heart of Seattle ! Well, almost...


Shilshole Bay Marina in Ballrad  is only 20 minutes from downtown Seattle. Located on Puget Sound, the marina affords direct access to one of the finest salt-water sailing basins in the world. Shilshole's stunning setting and convenient saltwater location make all types of boating fun !

Shilshole Bay has long been popular among sea and recreational kayakers, windsurfers, and now, paddlebaorders.

But it wasn't until recently, the place has become an alternative destination for local paddle surfers who found it frustrating to drive 3 hours to the coast.

Indoor Skydiving At iFly In Tukwila, WA

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Indoor skydiving in Tukwila, WABeing ExtraHyperActive, we're always on a lookout for new adventures and experiences ! And in Washington state, there is never shortage of awesome and exciting things to do ! All year round ! Indoors and outdoors !

And recently, we added another epic adventure to our Bucket List - indoor skydiving !

After doing my first tandem skydiving jump, and trying out tandem BASE jumping, I didn't think that indoor skydiving would be that exciting for me. But I thought, for my 9 year old, it would be a great memorable experience !

Exploring And Hiking In Point Defiance Park, Tacoma, WA

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As I wrote in my previous post, Tacoma’s waterfront, from Schuster pkwy to Ruston Way is considered to be Tacoma’s version of Seattle’s Alki Beach. This place is very popular among fitness and outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you enjoy jogging, biking, longboarding, scuba diving, kayaking, paddleboarding, parasailing, boating, or just want to go on a nice sunny motorcycle ride, Tacoma waterfront is the place to go all year round!

Autumn Paddleboarding At Owens Beach in Tacoma, WA

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Owens Beach at Point Defiance Park in Tacoma is a great place year around. Hike along the scenic waterfront promenade to the Boathouse Marina, have a picnic, view ferry boats and fishing craft, or rent a kayak for a few hours of leisure paddling on the sound ( during summer months ).

It was 3 years ago at this very place I learned about stand up paddleboarding ( SUPing ).

Last sunny but cold Saturday , I returned for a short "get to know this place better " trip...

Colonnade Mountain Bike Park In Seattle

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We've been hearing and reading about Seattle's Colonnade Bike Park for a while now, but haven't had a chance to take my bike to the park. One of the main reasons it took me so long to visit the park was the park's reputation of being not "beginners friendly".

Tips On Visiting Wild Waves Theme Park In Washington State

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Seattleites love to believe that "it rains less in Seattle than on the East Coast or some other places". But the truth is - it rains a lot in Seattle ! No surprise that "the official summer" in Seattle starts... around mid-July. But once it starts, Washington state is a great place for outdoor fun !

And there is no better place to have some amazing family time than in Washington’s only water and amusement park - Wild Waves & Enchanted Village !

Granted, comparing to some California's or Florida's theme parks, Wild Waves & Enchanted Village is not that grand. On the plus side, it's not as expensive.

Here is a short guide for out-of-state visitors and first timers to get some first hand info :

Where The River Flows : An All-American Swimming Hole

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Summer heat means travelers will be flocking to beaches and lakefronts in droves. And there's no better place to take a dip than in an all-American swimming hole !

Swimming holes come in many shapes and sizes, but you'll know one when you see it: a refreshing pool under a waterfall, a cool mountain stream, a crisp freshwater spring, a shaded grotto, a desert creek. No matter the locale, there's an intimacy to the experience, fewer distractions, a deeper connection to nature.

One place like that we found on the Green River, not far away from the popular Flaming Geyser Park.

Already popular among tubers, rafters, and kayakers, the Green River flows through a ""Jurassic Park" like narrow moss covered canyon. Winding around overhanging rock cliffs with water falls pouring into the white water rapids, you are immersed in a lost world when floating the Green River.

The combination of scenery and excitement has also made this river popular among regular beach-goers. The River's many swimming holes are "classic local spots" that are little known by outsiders.

Diving With Sharks At Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Wa

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It's been a while since I went diving. It's been even longer since I went diving with sharks at the Florida Aquarium in Tampa Bay, FL.

Diving with sharks is probably a must-do experience on every diver's Bucket List !

It affords a uniquely intimate interaction with one of the sea’s most beautiful, elusive and charismatic forms of wildlife. But it is also an experience fraught with potential danger.

Each year, increasing numbers of recreational divers seek out opportunities to swim in the company of sharks. For some divers, the encounter represents an exciting photo opportunity, for others, a rare chance to meet a totemic creature face-to-face. It is difficult to know what a shark makes of such encounters, but it’s probably safe to say that the animal imagines no deeply spiritual connection between itself and its human admirers. The famous Jacques Cousteau once said, "The only predictable thing about sharks is that they are unpredictable".

While there are ways to see these beautiful creatures in their natural habitat, nowadays many aquariums around the country offer an amazing opportunity to take a dive with some of our planet's most amazing apex predators and gain a new appreciation for their important role in oceans around the world.

"Eye-To-Eye With Sharks" program at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium in Tacoma, Wa  provides a unique opportunity for certified and non-certified divers to come face-to-face with live sharks!

Fatbiking Kendall Peak In Washington State

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Even though fatbiking is gaining popularity in such outdoorsy states as Alaska, Oregon, California, Colorado, Utah, in Washington state it's still relatively new and exotic. I can personally attest that these kooky-looking bikes attract a lot of eyeballs, and everybody wants to talk to you, and give it a try.

Over the past few years fatbike popularity has skyrocketed. More and more fatbikes and fatbike brands are springing up ranging from cheap Walmart brands to expensive adventure racing and hunting specific.

Many "hard core cyclists" see these bikes with the clown sized tires as silly and unnecessary. While most definitely fatbikes are not for everyone, they aren’t just a passing fad, and they're here to stay.

Personally for me, fatbikes are all about possibilities and fun ( but I've got to admit, it's kinda cool to get all that attention too :)) !

Authentic Northwest Experiences with PanEarth Escapes

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For me, nothing says "the Authentic Northwest " quite like these three iconic places in Washington : Mt Rainier, Olympic National Park and San Juan Islands. For every out of town adventurer who wants to enjoy a classic Pacific Northwest getaway filled with hiking, kayaking, cycling, snowshoeing, rock climbing, bird watching, wine tasting - these are THE three Ultimate Adventure Playgrounds to visit.

Sometimes when you are pressed for time, but would still like to see/do as much as possible, it's tough to squeeze all these adventures in one visit...Tough, but possible...

Pan Pacific Hotel Seattle in partnership with EverGreen Escapes Cascadia has developed a program called PanEarth Escapes

This relationship will combine a customized adventure with an authentic Pacific Northwest luxurious lodging experience. PanEarth Escapes will integrate superior eco-friendly first class vehicles, naturalist guides, scrumptious northwest “Cascadian Safari” meals, fine local brews/wines and rare flexibility of itinerary that can traverse the magnificent contrasts of mountains, rainforest, islands, and coastlines of the Pacific Northwest.

PanEarth Escapes will offer full day tours to all three places ( Mt Rainier, Olympic National Park and San Juan Islands ), but if it's too much ( or too "hard core" (?)), you can always opt for a shorter ( or "softer" ) outing, like a half day tour of four of Woodsinville’s most acclaimed boutique wineries, or learn about the beer-brewing craft and the history of Washington breweries on a half day Seattle Brews & Views Tour.

Whether it was the full day of adventure or a half day of drinking, back at the hotel relax the mind and your body at Vida Spa ( I was especially intrigued by ''Swedana'', a west coast cedar steam cabinet customized with herbs based on your dosha ( mind and body type )).

If the selection of tours is not up to your interests, visit EverGreen Escapes web site to find something that might suit you.

I haven't had a chance to explore our state with this company, and even though I'm not a big fan of guided trips, I'd like to learn more about my favorite Washington places from a different perspective.

Halloween party at the Museum of Flight.

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The Museum of Flight ( at Boeing Field airfield ) is one of Seattle's most visited attractions. It's a great place not only for boys and men, but for the whole family. Whether you are a museum buff or not, into airplanes or not, this 12-acre cultural landmark has something for everyone.

I am not that easily impressed, but stepping into the first jet Air Force One or the West Coast's only supersonic Concorde, is pretty cool. And recently, they added a new exhibit - Space: Exploring the New Frontier ( climbing into a full size version of the International Space Station's Destiny Module ? You want to check it out, even if you are not 6).



But for this Halloween, the Museum of Flight will transfer into Museum of Fright - a frightful night of family fun and party ! The trick-or-treaters will participate in fun activities and games, meet the ghosts of aviation's past, enjoy Halloween treats, prizes,frightful flights, a scavenger hunt and more. The Museum of Flight Store will dress you up as a an astronaut, fighter pilot, airline pilot or barnstormer.

After 5pm , grab your sleeping bags and stay over for a slumber party at the Museum ! Snacks and breakfast in the morning will be provided, Wings Café will remain open during Museum of Fright.

For more info on this fun event, check out the Museum of Flight's official web site.

Not sure exactly how it works, but it would be pretty cool to drop off your kids ( may be with an adult baby sitter) at the museum, and enjoy this "not for kids anymore" holiday night at one of Seattle's "grownups" places, like Showbox or at one of many downtown hot spots.

Snow Tubing At Summit At Snoqualmie

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If you are looking for good old fashioned wintertime fun, you have got to head straight to Summit at Snoqualmie's tubing center ! It's a great place for an epic winter adventure !

Located across from Summit Central, snow tubing is fun-filled, carefree way for family and friends to enjoy the exhilaration of sliding on snow !

Snowshoeing Alpental Backcountry - Snow Lake

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I almost gave up on snowshoeing this year. After my first "backcountry ski" trip to Mt Margaret this winter, I thought it would be boring going back to snowshoeing. I am glad I kept my snowshoes.

It doesn't matter if you prefer snowshoes or touring skis, there is no substitute for getting out in the backcountry when it is snowed over. But keep in mind that backcountry can be a very dangerous place in winter.

Jean Cousteau Described PNW Diving As "Cold But Colorful"

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I don't remember how my son, just 2 year old at that time, found a bunch of old Jean-Michel Cousteau's scuba diving DVDs. Since then he's been obsessed with scuba diving.

He already has his snorkel set, and now wants a "scuba suit" just like daddy's


He loves helping me get ready for a dive and wants to be the next Cousteau...






The video below is his favorite one, and he even named his favorite pillow Octopus ( though, it's actually a dolphin )


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