Sky Valley | John’s Outdoor Adventure Picks

Sky Valley | John’s Outdoor Adventure Picks

The most valuable time we spend with our family is in nature. This month, we’re highlighting one of our favorite areas: Sky Valley. We love our family cabin in Skykomish. It’s just 1.5hrs away from Seattle and the area is stunning. There are so many great little river towns that run along the Skykomish as you climb Highway 2 up to Stevens Pass with easy access to hiking, swimming, fishing, and relaxing. Here are some beautiful spots for your next getaway!

We took our kids and our friends, Eddie & Christina, a couple of summers ago with the babes on our backs (and fronts).

Easy Hike with Kids: Deception Falls
0.6-mile loop trail with magical creeks, moss-covered old-growth forest, and a roaring waterfall.

Moderate Hike: Trout Lake
3.0-mile roundtrip hike with additional lakes to explore if you’d like to go even further.

Challenging Hike: Lake Serene Trail
7.2-mile hiking trail with a possible detour to the beautiful Bridal Falls along the way.

Swimming Holes: Big EddyMoney Creek Campground
Great river spots for all ages, or check out Eagle Falls for the adventurous.

Activity with Kids: Great Northern and Cascade Railway
Free 1/8 scale train rides in the historic and adorable town of Skykomish.

Fishing: Beckler River, Skykomish River, Fish Lake
Flyfish on Beckler or Skykomish, or head over the pass to rent a pontoon boat on Fish Lake.

Cabin Rentals:
Spectacular properties in the Sky Valley area, including our cabin on the Skykomish.

Spring Cleaning: Where to Sustainably Donate Items

Spring Cleaning: Where to Sustainably Donate Items


(Schedule a home pick-up)

Helping children realize their potential and build their futures.

Accepted Items:

  • Clothing
  • Bedding
  • Books
  • Toys
  • Power tools (not industrial)
  • Electronics
  • Home goods
  • Kitchen ware
  • Sporting goods


(Drop off by appointment only, Shoreline)

Creating job and career training for community members.

Accepted Items:

  • Clothing
  • Electronics
  • Toys
  • Home goods
  • Outdoor Items
  • Exercise Equipment


(Drop offs, Pacific Place)

Offering long-lasting solutions that enable women to break the cycle of poverty.

Accepted Items:

  • Women’s professional clothing


(Drop offs, University District)

Inviting all of us to come closer, and to contribute our unique passions and skills toward the effort of ending homelessness.

Accepted Items:

  • Adult hats
  • Gloves
  • Coats
  • Backpacks
  • Sleeping Bags
  • Tents & tarps


(Drop off by appointment only, Kent)

Serving individuals, families, and veterans emerging from homelessness by transforming empty houses into welcoming homes.

Accepted Items:

  • Furniture
  • Decor
  • Kitchen & bath items
  • Household Items


(Drop offs, Sodo)

Providing safe, inclusive shelter and services that support women, children and families on their journey out of homelessness.

Accepted Items:

  • Clothing
  • Small Toys
  • Baby Items
  • Twin Sheets


(By Appointment)

Dedicated to promoting our Library as an essential institution of society and supporting its mission and vision.

Accepted Items:

  • Books


(Drop Off, Locations Vary)

Joining the community to listen, engage, and build relationships that assist and advocate for individuals and families to meet basic needs and achieve stability and self-sufficiency.

Accepted Items:

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Linens
  • Books
  • Electronics
  • Household goods


(Drop Off, Mt. Baker)

Connecting families in crisis to the services needed to regain and maintain stability.

Accepted Items:

  • Baby/kids Clothes
  • Furniture
  • Blankets
  • School Supplies


(Drop Off, White Center, South Lake Union, and Other Collection Sites)

Providing essential items to local children in need.

Accepted Items:

  • Car Seats
  • Bedding
  • Clothes
  • Baby equipment
  • Small toys
  • Books
  • Unopened Hygiene Products

Magnolia: Its history, houses, and hidden gems

Magnolia: Its history, houses, and hidden gems

Located on a hilly peninsula on the western end of the city, Magnolia is the second largest neighborhood in Seattle by area and was home to Fort Lawton, the U.S. Army base. Though most of Fort Lawton was dedicated as Discovery Park in 1973, during World War II, it was the second largest port of embarkation of soldiers and material to the Pacific. The influx of soldiers and workers contributed to the number of homes built in Magnolia during that era, and many mid-century houses were built to accommodate the families that elected to stay after the war. Fort Lawton still housed army officers into the early 2000s and wasn’t officially closed until 2011.

Today, Magnolia is a beautiful, secluded neighborhood with a bit of a small town feel and a close sense of community. The area features a cute “downtown” retail area with shops, restaurants, small grocery stores, beautiful parks, and great schools. The residential portion of the neighborhood is full of beautiful homes — a great mix of traditional Craftsman, mid-century modern, and new construction. While we love just about everything Magnolia has to offer, below are a few of our favorite spots:


Ella Bailey Park | 2601 W Smith St

The former playground of Magnolia Elementary, which is reopening this September, Ella Bailey Park is a hidden gem. Renovated in 2007, the 2.4-acre park includes a playground, large lawn, picnic tables, and barbeques, but the highlight is its spectacular outlook. Ella Bailey Park has panoramic views of Mt. Rainier and downtown Seattle and is a great location to view fireworks on Fourth of July and New Year’s Eve.



Fishermen’s Terminal | 3919 18th Ave W

Operated by the Port of Seattle, Fishermen’s Terminal is not only home to commercial fishing vessels but also a couple shops and restaurants. With its proximity to the port and a slew of fisherman, Wild Salmon Seafood Market is the perfect spot to pick up fresh seafood for a delicious home-cooked meal. But if you would rather opt for a night out, Chinook’s is a casual seafood restaurant serving lunch and dinner and offering classic, appetizing options such as fish ‘n’ chips and Dungeness crab cakes.


Mulleady’s Pub | 3055 21st Ave W

A traditional Irish pub, Mulleady’s is located in a beautifully restored two-story house on the corner of West Dravus Street and 21st Avenue. The Irish-inspired food menu features fresh and local Northwest ingredients, while the drink menu offers the largest collation of Irish Whiskey on the West Coast.


Click here to learn more about Magnolia and view current listings.

John’s Summer Spotlight

John’s Summer Spotlight


This year, my family purchased a second home on the Skykomish River, and it has been a highlight of our summer. It’s been great to escape the hustle and bustle of the city with family and friends and to spend time enjoying the outdoors and learning about the area.

Skykomish is approximately an hour and thirty-minute drive out of the city and is a popular year-round location. Spend the summer exploring the outdoors with hiking, fishing, and swimming, and once the season changes, enjoy the beautiful fall colors of the Pacific Northwest. And for all the winter sport fanatics, Skykomish is a quick drive from Stevens Pass for skiing and snowboarding in the winter!

It can be a great investment to purchase a second home that brings income and can be used for personal enjoyment as well. If you have any questions regarding investment properties or are interested in purchasing a vacation getaway give us a call or shoot us an email, we’re always here to help!


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