Honey from Heaven…and more!
A few months ago I bought an amazing Living Social deal… an overnight stay at the beautiful Salish Lodge (for longtime Puget Sounders AKA Snoqualamie Falls Lodge), which included credit at their spa AND dining room. What a treat!
To make this trip even more memorable, I took the bus! It is a surprisingly easy trip, with excellent connections. Even though I turned my trip into an overnight excursion, this would make an excellent day trip! (Specifics for making this a day trip adventure are included at the end of this post)
The first leg of this trip started at the Lakewood Station, by taking the 8:30 am Sound Transit route 594 (fare: $3.50). I exited the bus at 9:45 am in Seattle, at 4th and Jackson, which is located beside the King Street Train station.
The next bus to take is Sound Transit 554, to Issaquah, which stops at 5th and Jackson. I had time to stop at the Union Station (between 4th and 5th on Jackson) to use their restroom before I caught the 9:57 bus. Using my ORCA card, this leg of the trip is considered a transfer at no additional cost. This express bus jumps onto I-90, crossing Lake Washington. Twenty-two minutes later I exited the bus at the Issaquah Transit Center.
My next bus (Metro 209; fare: $2.25) left at 10:30. This part of the trip was very scenic; we drove through old town Issaquah, and by Gilman Village. Next we passed through Preston, as well as Fall City. Since I wasn’t familiar with this route, I told the driver where I was going when I got on the bus. It turns out that there is a bus stop right by the Salish Lodge, next to the Snoqualamie Falls Park. I got off the bus at about 11:15.
So, in less than three hours, for a cost of $5.75, I was at my destination…relaxed, and ready to explore.
This trip is a perfect example of why an ORCA card makes sense… I took three buses, using two different transit systems. I didn’t have to worry about having the exact cash or change, and my ORCA card recognizes “transfers” between the legs of the trip. To get an ORCA card see www.ORCAcard.com
I won’t go into all the details of my stay at Salish Lodge, BUT… if you are looking for a relaxing and gracious Northwest getaway; this is it! The rooms are lovely (wood burning fireplace, huge whirlpool tub, comfortable reading chair with ottoman and blanket…). I had lunch and breakfast in the Dining Room. The food and service were very good (for lunch I had the portabello/eggplant Panini. For breakfast I had the Railroad Avenue eggs, complete with a biscuit and “Honey from Heaven”, THE trademark of the Lodge.) The Lodge recently started beekeeping, with hives and an herb garden on the premises. The Attic is the 4th floor lounge/Happy Hour location, with the best views of the Falls. I had an excellent Cobb Salad here for dinner.
After I checked out of the Lodge the next morning, I decided to take the bus to the end of the Metro Bus 209 route, which is the North Bend Premium Outlet mall. To get there, we crossed over the Snoqualamie River, and through the quaint town of Snoqualamie. Next, we passed through the town of North Bend, and ended at the Outlet Mall.
The connections for the trip home were excellent. From the Outlet Mall, I took the Metro 209 to the Issaquah Transit Center. From there, I caught the Sound Transit 554 to downtown Seattle (5th and Jackson). I walked two blocks west on Jackson, then north on the 2nd Avenue Extension to catch the Sound Transit 594. I was making such good time, I decided to get off the bus in Tacoma, on Pacific Avenue in front of the State History Museum. I walked two blocks north on Pacific to the Tacoma Art Museum, to see two exhibits that I have wanted to see. After this impromptu side-trip, I then got back on the 594 (at the same stop where I got off), to continue my southbound journey. Using the ORCA card, I didn’t pay any additional fare.
Take the same buses as I have described in this post, travelling from Lakewood to the Salish Lodge. Once at the Falls Park, walk through the park and visit the Lodge. You may decide to eat at the Lodge, or if you packed a lunch, you can eat at picnic tables in the Falls Park. Next, I suggest you walk (on the same side of the road as the Lodge) through the employee’s parking lot, and across the Snoqualamie River Bridge. There is a pedestrian walkway separating walkers from cars. Once across the river, you walk past an intersection until you come to the “Corridor Trail”, which parallels the railroad tracks. The Snoqualamie Railroad group has collected a huge number of old railroad cars, which are stored here. Many of the cars have plaques providing information about the car. This paved trail goes for several blocks, until you reach the heart of the town of Snoqualamie. The initial part of this (approximate) ½ mile walk is slightly downhill to the River, then flat on the Corridor trail to town. On your right is the lovely train museum/depot. The town is worth exploring; there are several restaurants and shops.
The bus stops at Railroad and King Street, at a well-marked turnout and shelter. For the return trip, I suggest taking the Metro 209 at 1:41pm (arriving in Issaquah at 2:23) or 3:00 pm (which gets you to Issaquah at 3:43 pm). In Issaquah, you could catch the Sound Transit 554, Bay 2, at either 2:33 (arriving in Seattle at 5th and Jackson at 2:59) or 3:13 pm (arriving at 5th and Jackson at 3:39).
Since you will be leaving Seattle after 2:30 pm, you would catch Sound Transit 592 (NOT 594) which is the express bus direct to Lakewood, by-passing Tacoma. The 592 leaves the 2nd Avenue Extension and Washington stop at 3:06 (arriving in Lakewood at 4:19) and about every 20 minutes through the afternoon.
I think a better afternoon travel alternative from this location is to take the Sounder train, which will go as far south as Lakewood starting October 8, 2012 (yeah!) The Sounder leaves from the King Street Station, which you enter from the pedestrian overpass on 4th Avenue, south of Jackson Street. The Sounder has seven afternoon runs, starting at 3:15 pm. It’s a bit more expensive ($5.25 Seattle to Lakewood vs. $3.50 for the bus), but gives you a fun and different travel experience.
I intend to offer this day trip in 2013 through the South Puget Sound Community College Continuing Education program. Watch their catalog for details, or check out www.hawksprairie.org