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Kick off your vacation just 25 miles north of Seattle in Mukilteo, a cozy waterfront community located on the shores of Puget Sound. Explore the town’s waterfront with restaurants, the Mukilteo Lighthouse Park — great for stretching your legs — and the ferry terminal that you’ll likely end your trip with as well. Next up, plan to spend some quality time visiting the various destinations that comprise the Paine Field Aviation District — history and aviation fans alike will find their bailiwick here! The Paine Field Aviation District is located in both Mukilteo and Everett, so plan to start out at the Mukilteo locations and then travel on to explore those in Everett. Plan a day around visiting all five unique aviation attractions. Explore the only publicly available opportunity to tour a commercial jet assembly plant in North America at the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour. Check out Paul G. Allen’s collection of vintage military aircraft and land vehicles at the Flying Heritage & Combat Armor Museum set within an expansive, working hangar. At the Museum of Flight Restoration Center, watch volunteers busily restoring engines, repainting bodies and fixing up other aviation treasures. The Historic Flight Foundation provides visitors an opportunity to get up close and personal to a collection of the most important aircraft produced between 1927 and 1957, the “Golden Age of Aviation,” all restored and airborne again. Add a little adrenaline into the mix with a stop at High Trek Adventures, also part of the Paine Field Aviation District. Take in a hair-raising obstacle course or zip line adventure! Paine Field Airport is now home to a brand spanking new passenger terminal. Alaska and United Airlines deliver travelers to and from multiple locations in California, plus Portland, Oregon; Denver, Colorado; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Phoenix, Arizona. (When you’re planning your Cascade Loop vacation, be sure to check if you might be able to fly to Paine Field Airport and land pretty darned close to the byway)! Next up, travel north to visit the Cascade Loop’s largest metropolitan area – Everett.

Resting on the tranquil shores of Port Gardner Bay, Everett boasts brilliant westerly views of Puget Sound and the Olympic mountains, and easterly views of the Cascade Mountains. The Everett waterfront is home to the second-largest marina on the West Coast. Enjoy the scent of salt and sea, the sounds of lapping waves and ferries shuttling to and from Jetty Island in the summer. Wiggle your toes in the sandy beaches and warm shallow waters of Jetty Island while you watch dozens of kiteboarders race across the water. Everett is home to one of the nation’s best children’s museums, the Imagine Children’s Museum, a must-see for the kids! 

Continuing your journey, head east toward Highway 2 and the historic town of Snohomish. Snohomish is listed on both the State and National Registries of Historic Places and is known as the “Antique Capital of the Northwest.” This fun little downtown is a bustling shopping treasure trove with hundreds of antique dealers and boutique shops all within a six-block area. The historic district is also surrounded by stately Victorian and Craftsman-style homes built around the turn of the 20th century. 

Drive another 10 miles east and you come to the city of Monroe located near the junction of the Skykomish and Snohomish rivers. Monroe provides abundant opportunities for rafting, fishing, and other water sports. It is home to the Evergreen State Fair, an 11-day event in late August through Labor Day, that delivers serious thrills with everything from car races to exciting equestrian shows and carnival rides. The fairgrounds house the Evergreen Speedway and the Western Heritage Center. Don’t miss Monroe’s cute little downtown where locals gather for drinks, dinner and shopping, too. Speaking of shopping, Monroe is a great place to gas up and pick up picnic supplies if you are planning to hike along the next leg of your journey, the Stevens Pass Greenway.

Birding bird watching Snohomish County wildlife viewing

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History & Heritage

Lumber mill

The Snohomish River flows northwest, beginning at the confluence of the Sultan and Skykomish rivers, near present-day Monroe, and ends about 12 miles downstream where it empties into Port Gardner Bay, north of Everett. The river valley was created over thousands of years by glacial movement and flowing melt-water. 

Native American tribes lived here for thousands of years and enjoyed readily available seafood and a temperate climate. The name Snohomish honors native people who lived in this area prior to Euro-American settlement. The Snohomish people moved north to the mouth of the Snohomish River, where they built the village of Hibulb. The Tulalip Tribes are successors in interest to the Snohomish, Snoqualmie, Skykomish, and other allied tribes and bands signatory to the 1855 Treaty of Point Elliott. The current tribal population is over 4,600 with about 2,600 members residing on the 22,000 acre Tulalip Indian Reservation located north of Everett and the Snohomish River and west of Marysville, Washington. Learn about Tulalip cultural assets, gaming and lodging opportunities by viewing their online brochure at

Settlers came to the area in response to government-granted homesteads, with the hope of establishing industries to extract natural resources, such as timber and ore.

Your Snohomish River Valley Adventure!

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Images from the Snohomish River Valley

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Watchable Wildlife - California Quail
One of the most prevalent birds to be found year round on the Cascade Loop are the California Quail. These birds are Identified by a topknot, a protruding group of feathers on the top of their head. The male quail (cock) topknot is larger than the female (hen), and it droops forward and shakes when he walks and calls. Read More >>>>
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+ Destinations
      Lake Chelan Valley
      Leavenworth Cascade Foothills
      Methow Valley
      North Cascades
      Seattle Northcountry
      Skagit Valley & Fidalgo Island
      Stevens Pass Greenway
      Wenatchee Columbia River Valley
      Whidbey Scenic Isle Way
+ Accommodations
     Bed & Breakfasts / Country Inns
     Camping & Glamping
     Farm Stay
     Hotels & Motels
     Large Group Venues
     Lodges & Resorts
     Pet Friendly
+ Dining & Wineries
     Beer, Breweries & Distilleries
      + Farms Stands
      + Wineries & Vineyards
+ Indoor Activities
     Art Galleries & Studios
     Performing Arts
      + Shopping
+ The Great Outdoors
     Aerial Adventures
     Boat Tours
     Farms & Barns
     Fishing & Hunting
     Gardens & Outdoor Art
     Gear Rentals
     Horseback Riding
     National Parks, Forests & Recreation Areas
     Pet Friendly Activities
     Photo Tours & Lessons
     Scenic View Points
     State & Local Parks
     Water Activities
     White Water
     Wildlife Viewing
      + Winter Fun
+ Visitor Info/Services
     National Forest Ranger Stations
     Scenic Byways along the Loop
     Traveler Services: Gas, Snacks, Auto Repair
      + Visitor Centers, Tourism Bureaus, Chambers
     Washington State Resources
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