written by | Sheila G. Miller
One of the great joys of a big city can be leaving it. By extension, it’s nice to discover the many smaller cities around a population center, interesting in their own right. Everett is one of those places—just 45 minutes north of Seattle, this waterfront city of a little more than 100,000 was incorporated in 1893, the same year the Great Northern Railway came to town. Townspeople hoped the railroad would stop in Everett, but the company chose to continue it on to Seattle. And that’s how Everett grew to be an industrial center in Seattle’s backyard.
Today the city has much to talk about, including a booming port and waterfront rebirth and a quickly growing arts scene.
Everett: An Unexpected Summer Sanctuary
Photos by Tyler Chism for the City of Everett
Trip Planner: Day 1
Grab a hearty breakfast or just a Danish or donut from Karl’s Bakery & Café, or swing by Choux Choux Bakery, which will bring you the flaky French pastries of your dreams. Your carb and butter intake demands an equal and opposite walk. If you’re interested in getting outside, Everett Community College has a small Japanese garden on campus that is well kept. Likewise, Evergreen Arboretum & Gardens has a variety of trees and other plants arranged around a quiet park.
Then head to the heart of downtown. On your way you’ll pass along wide roads through neighborhoods filled with beautiful Victorian homes and Mid-century modern houses. Traipsing these neighborhoods alone could take hours, but keep moving.
Hewitt Avenue is Everett’s first major street, and features a national historic district with dozens of brick buildings adorned with odd, decorative cornices and old painted advertisements.
A tour of the historic and charming downtown is not complete without a stop at the Schack Art Center. Admission is free, and the art center offers interesting exhibits, including fiberworks—a giant sock made of sock monkeys, delicate sculptures crafted from thread, quilts and clothing and pin-thin glass pieces. Take a class, then stay to watch glass-blowing happening live on the premises.
Café Wylde is just across the street and perfect for a healthy snack—flavorful, vegetarian fare including smoothies and juices, noodles and tacos.
If you’re traveling with children, the Imagine Children’s Museum is just steps away and has fantastic hands-on exhibits to encourage free play for kids, an indoor tree house, vehicles and a water play area. On a clear day, head to the roof, which has a large play area with musical instruments built in that will keep children exploring until they’re exhausted. This place is a sensory jungle for kids.
The Inn at Port Gardner is the perfect place to rest after a busy day. The only waterfront hotel in Everett, the Inn has all the amenities of a luxury hotel and offers something most don’t—free in-room breakfast. The Inn is also walking distance from two good restaurants—Anthony’s Homeport Everett, which serves fresh seafood, and Lombardi’s Italian, a bustling spot with a long happy hour.
Trip Planner: Day 2
Everett is, above all, a place of industry. It has the largest public marina on the West Coast, which is home to a naval base and a redevelopment project that will add housing, restaurants and retail to the area.
Scuttlebutt Brewing is in the heart of this marina, and bustles with a sports bar vibe. The fish and chips are great, as are the locally brewed beers.
More notable than the marina, though, is Boeing’s commercial airplane manufacturing facility. The company produces its 747, 767, 777 and 787 Dreamliners in a giant factory minutes away in Mukilteo.
The Future of Flight Aviation Center and tour is ninety minutes of pure astonishment—at the power of industry and the sheer size of things we can build. The $25 tour starts with a short promotional video. Then visitors board coach buses and tour the facilities. Of note: the building where these airplanes are made is the world’s largest building by volume. Here, workers are busy producing America’s commercial fleet as you ride freight elevators, walk through cavernous basement tunnels and gawk from platforms high above the manufacturing floor. Tour guides (lucky if you get the mutton-chopped Christopher) are knowledgeable and explain in detail how the manufacturing process has developed over the years.
At the end of the tour, take an elevator to the center’s rooftop, the Strato Deck, to see just how vast Boeing’s footprint is here. Even non-nerds will be amazed.
Depending on your timing in Everett, check to see what is happening at XFINITY Arena. The facility opened in 2003 and hosts big-name acts and has a public ice rink. Or grab a hot dog and catch a baseball game—the Everett AquaSox. The Northwest League minor league Mariners affiliate starts play in June.
Grab dinner at Moon Tree Asian Tapas, a small-plate Japanese restaurant, or check out Emory’s on Silver Lake, a more traditional spot with freshly netted seafood.
Moon Tree Asian Tapas
Emory’s on Silver Lake
Karl’s Bakery & Café
Inn at Port Gardner
Schack Art Center
Imagine Children’s Museum
Future of Flight Aviation Center
Events in Everett
Everett: The in-between city that’ll help you launch your next adventure.
photos by Ron Cook/Milltown Creative for the City of Everett
In between the Puget Sound and the Cascade Mountain range, Everett is the perfect home base for travelers ready to get wild in nature. The central location between Seattle and Vancouver BC combined with super-affordable hotels means travelers have more time and money for the important things (eating, drinking, playing, and buying the thing in the window you just ‘had to have’).
Everett is in between feeling like a small town with an ‘everyone knows your name vibe’ and a big city with great food, attractions and activities.
Want to see the latest tech in aerospace? Everett has it.
Want to eat delicious food while overlooking the largest marina on the West Coast?
Everett has it.
Want to drink a $2 beer, chow down on a greasy burger, and shoot pool with a longshoremen?
Everett has that too.
Here are a few tips from locals on making the most of your stay in Everett.
You’ve gotta visit the waterfront. It’s home to the largest public marina on the West Coast with beautiful walking trails, Northwest wildlife, and some of Everett’s best restaurants. There’s also a ton of new development happening, so keep an eye out for what’s next. Pro tip: get a Perks Card from your hotel for dining deals at the waterfront.
The Schack Art Center is a free art gallery in downtown Everett. Stop in and check out the work on display. You may even find a glass artist working in the state-of-the-art hot shop. If you feel inspired, sign up for a class! You’ll be glad you did, even if you end up making a glass blob. Been there, done that!
If you’re visiting between mid-May and September, be sure to check out the Everett Farmers Market every Sunday from 11 AM – 4 PM at the Port of Everett. No kitchen in your hotel room? No prob– there’s still plenty to see, buy, and eat. Dogs are welcome, too. Pro tip: get the tacos from the taco vendor.
How about a beach day? Jetty Island is open year-round. Unless you have a boat, you’ll need to catch the free ferry that runs July 5th thru Labor Day. The Jetty is a two-mile scenic gem with sandy beaches and warm (yes, warm) shallow water for swimming. It’s also a very popular kiteboarding spot. Check out our Jetty Island Guide at www.thisiseverett.com
Few things are more summery than a baseball game – the smell of fresh-cut grass, soda, hotdogs, peanuts all over the ground. The Everett Aquasox are a Minor League Seattle Mariners affiliate and they play here at Everett’s Memorial Stadium. Tickets are mega affordable (cheaper than most movies) and the concession prices are reasonable, too. Who knows…maybe you’ll catch a fly ball? We’re still waiting, so we’ll be a little bitter if you do. Just kiddin’.
No place does airplanes like Everett. While you’re here, see the whole spectrum of the aerospace industry from beautifully restored classic warbirds (that still fly) to the mind-blowingness of Boeing.
Historic Flight Foundation offers a collection of the most important aircraft produced during the “Golden Age of Aviation”- all restored and airborne again.
Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour will take you into the world’s largest building (by volume) and the only tour of a commercial jet assembly building in North America.
The Flying Heritage Collection is set within a huge working hangar and gets you close to a rare collection of authentically restored vintage combat aircraft.
It is the Evergreen State after all. So check out some parks.
Forest Park is the local favorite with an indoor swim center, a petting zoo (cuteness alert), an outdoor water playground and tons of room to play and picnic.
The Evergreen Arboretum is an horticulturist’s dream. It boasts a Japanese Maple Grove, native plants and conifers surrounded by sculptures and fountains. Free and open daily, dawn to dusk.
Legion Memorial Park offers perhaps the best view in all of Everett and lots of space for kids to play and burn off some energy. Pack a picnic. Watch the sunset. Life is good here.
Music at the Marina turns the Port’s docks into a seriously fun outdoor dance floor every Thursday and Saturday night during the summer. There’s a beer garden to help loosen you up.
Kids in the mix? Bring ‘em to Imagine Children’s Museum to get tuckered and smart.
Known as the best children’s museum in the region, Imagine has tons of fun, interactive exhibits and one seriously awesome rooftop playground.
If you’re a fan of craft beverages, check out Everett’s craft breweries and distilleries. Scuttlebutt Brewery is a local institution and Bluewater Distillery may have the best cocktails in town. Check out a curated craft beverage itinerary here: www.thisiseverett.com/craftbeveragetour
Everett is an old mill town built by blue-collar, penny-pinching mill workers. This tradition still lingers and locals love to hang out, eat, drink and be smart with their money. Luckily for travelers, this makes for some of the best happy hour deals around. See a curated list of some of the best places to eat, drink and save, here: www.thisiseverett.com/happyhour
Learn more about things to do in Everett and choose your own adventure at www.thisiseverett.com[wp_dfp_ad slot=”1889_large”]