An Escape to Edmonds Washington
An Edmonds Kind of Day
Edmonds, WA is a quaint, historic little city nestled along the shores of Puget Sound about 20 miles north of Seattle. It was founded in 1890 and is the oldest city in Snohomish County, Washington. As you drive into Edmonds on a clear day, you can see fantastic views of Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Edmonds is a family-friendly town with attractions and activities for people of all ages. It is well-known for having a very active arts community, beautiful beaches, festivals, sports and recreation, a unique shopping district, numerous restaurants and a strong connection with Puget Sound and the natural environment.
A few years ago, the local chamber of commerce made bumper stickers with the slogan "It's an Edmonds Kind of Day". This page is all about Edmonds with a comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do in the city of Edmonds, Washington so you can have your own Edmonds kind of day.
All photos by the author, Vicki Green - PNW Travels, unless credited otherwise.
Main Street Edmonds, WA - A Stroll Down Main Street
Shopping in Edmonds
Main street in Edmonds and the surrounding shopping area is often described as quaint and historic. It is pleasant to walk the tree lined streets and browse through the shops in the 50 to 100 year old buildings. The businesses in Edmonds are mostly unique, one-of-a-kind shops, boutiques and restaurants.
Shops and Businesses in EdmondsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Watch a Movie at an Old-Fashioned MovieTheater
The Edmonds Theater
The Edmonds Theater is a historic old movie theater on Main Street that shows first run films. No glitzy metoplex here - this is the real deal like theaters were 40 or 50 years ago - cheap prices, salty, buttery popcorn and comfy loge seats in the balcony.
Relax at the Beach
The Edmonds Olympic Beach is in the heart of the Edmonds waterfront area. It was named the Olympic Beach in honor of Edmonds Olympic Athletes. It is a great place to access the beach, have a picnic or sit, relax and enjoy the views of Puget Sound, the Olympic Mountains, shipping traffic and wildlife. The beach combines fun whimsical art, educational signs about the beach and a spotting scope to get a better view of anything offshore that may be interesting.
More Photos of Edmonds Olympic BeachClick thumbnail to view full-size
Learn About the Environment of Puget Sound
Edmonds Olympic Beach Visitor Center
With its location on Puget Sound, Edmonds is so intertwined with nature and the environment that it is difficult to separate them. Much of Edmond's appeal comes from the recreational opportunities provided by Puget Sound. Fishing, boating, beachcombing and viewing wildlife are some of Edmonds main attractions. In recognition of its connection with Puget Sound, the city of Edmonds has placed numerous interpretive signs to enhance knowledge and appreciation of the environment.
The Olympic Beach Visitor Center is a great place to get information about the local environment and wildlife. The center is staffed with beach rangers every weekend during the summer months and free beach walks are led by volunteers at daytime low tides on weekends during the summer months.
Athough everyone is encouraged to examine and learn about the marine life on the beaches in Edmonds are marine sanctuaries so removing or collecting beach creatures, rocks or shells is forbidden. You are encouraged to look at the treasures you find on the beach and then carefully return them to where you found them.
Tips For Enjoying Edmonds Beaches
Edmonds Beach Programs - Beach Rangers
The Edmonds Beach Ranger Program has some temporary paid employees, but the program relies mostly on volunteer docents and junior beach rangers.
More Information About Edmonds Beach Volunteer Programs
- Discovery Programs - Opportunities
Edmonds Beach Ranger and Beach Docent Programs
Public Fishing 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
The Edmonds Fishing Pier
The Entrance to the Edmonds Public Fishing Pier is right next to the Olympic Beach Visitor Center. The pier is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. An artificial reef was created under the pier to attract fish and shellfish and a nearby fish hatchery imprints young coho salmon to the area so they will return when they are mature.
Learn to Identify Marine Life in Puget SoundClick thumbnail to view full-size
Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife
- Washington Fishing and Shellfishing | Washington Department of Fish & Wildlife
The Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife Fishing Regulations and Licenses
All Seasons Charters Fishing Trips
Charter a Fishing Trip or Buy Fishing Gear
If you need to buy a fishing license, fishing gear, pick up a copy of the current fishing regulations or would like to book a trip on a charter fishing boat, you can find what you need at All Seasons Fishing Charters right near the fishing pier underneath Arnie's Restaurant.
The Port of Edmonds
The Edmonds Marina
The Edmonds Marina was created in 1962 and is operated by the Port of Edmonds. It provides the only public boating access between Seattle's Shilshole Bay and the Port of Everett. The marina includes 665 wet moorage slips and 280 dry storage spaces. There is guest moorage available for overnight and short-term stays. The Edmonds Marina has showers, restrooms, fuel, and boat launch facilities for both marina tenants and guests. It is a fun place for even those who don't have a boat to look at the boats and watch the numerous seabirds.
Play or Picnic on the Beach
Edmonds Marina Beach
The Edmonds Marina Beach is at the south end of the town where an old oil dock used to be. The park includes access to the beach, a volleyball court, children's playground, picnic tables and a grassy area that is a popular place to play frisbie, relax or fly kites.
Fun at the Beach for the Whole Family - Even the Dog!Click thumbnail to view full-size
A Birdwatcher's Paradise
The Sibley Guide to Birds by David Sibley
Although I have quite a collection of bird field guides that I've accumulated over a life-long interest in birds, this is my favorite that I take everywhere. I find it the best book for illustrating the small details that help me distinguish between several similar looking species.
The Edmonds Marsh
The Edmonds Marsh once covered almost 40 acres, but before people became aware of the ecology of Puget Sound and the importance of marshes to the natural environment, part of it was filled in. Over the years it was used for cattle grazing and as an oil storage tank facility. The outlet of the marsh to Puget Sound was blocked and paved over. Over the last four decades, the City of Edmonds, Snohomish County, State of Washington, US Government, Union Oil Company and numerous organizations have worked together to try to restore at least a portion of the marsh. It is one of the few remaining saltwater marshes in the urbanized central Puget Sound area. The restored marsh is 23 acres in size and the diverse habitat attracts numerous species of birds and animals. It is a paradise for birders and people who enjoy watching wildlife. Although I have visited the marsh many times, I always bring my bird field guide since I never know when I might see a new species.
More Edmonds Marsh Photos - Explore the Edmonds MarshClick thumbnail to view full-size
Raising Salmon for Everyone
Edmonds Willow Creek Fish Hatchery
The Willow Creek Fish hatchery is located at the southeast end of Edmonds Marsh. It has had some name changes which causes some confusion. For a number of years it was called the Deer Creek Hatchery. The volunteers welcome visitors and give tours to show their facility and what they have accomplished.
Over the past 100 years, development has blocked the passage of salmon to the marsh and creek, destroying the natural salmon run. The fish hatchery was built by the Edmonds Salmon Chapter Trout Unlimited in 1985 to help increase the numbers of salmon. They obtain fish eggs from the Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife and raise about 100,000 salmon each year. Young salmon from the hatchery are released in several places around Puget Sound.
The group has sponsored the coho salmon net rearing pen under the Edmonds fishing pier since 1979, where they raise and release 30,000 of coho salmon into Puget Sound each year,
Edmonds Wildlife Habitat Native Plant Garden - Learn to Identify and Garden with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest
Learn to Identify and Garden with Native Plants of the Pacific Northwest
Next to the Willow Creek Fish Hatchery entrance is the Edmonds Native Plant Wildlife Habitat Garden. This demonstration garden is filled with native plants that are beneficial to wildlife and shows the beauty of our native trees, flowers and shrubs. The garden was made possible by volunteers and a number of organizations including Pilchuck Audubon Society, Washington Native Plant Society, the National Wildlife Federation, Washington State Department of Fish and Wildlife, Just Frogs and Toads, City of Edmonds, People for Puget Sound, Obelisk Native Plants and a a grant from the Hubbard Family Foundation.
The Edmonds Museum
The Edmonds Historical Society
The Edmonds - South Snohomish County Historical Society has a great little museum housed in the historic old Edmonds Carnegie Library building. Inside are permanent exhibits and information about the history of the area as well as special temporary and traveling exhibits. There are also interpretive signs at historic sites around the town. The museum is free, but of course, they are happy to accept donations.
Brackett's Landing - Where Edmonds Began
Brackett's Landing is named in honor of George Brackett who is credited with being the founder of Edmonds. He landed his canoe at this spot on the beach in about 1876 and built a sawmill in 1889 to make lumber from the forest of huge old-growth trees covering the surrounding hillsides. Of course local Native American tribes had frequented the area for generations before George Brackett "discovered" it.
Brackett's Landing Park - An Interpretive Sign Tells the Story
Buoys Mark the Location of the Edmonds Underwater Park
Edmonds Underwater Park
This is a view of the Edmonds Underwater Park from Brackett's Landing. The underwater park was created in 1970 and was one of the first underwater parks established on the west coast of the US. The park has several man-made reefs made from a variety of materials and sunken vessels to provide habitat for marine life. There is a network of guide ropes anchored to the sea bottom to help divers orient themselves.
The underwater park is a marine sanctuary where spearfishing or removal of any sea life or rocks is prohibited.
Scuba Diving in Edmonds
More Photos of Edmonds Brackett Landing Park and Beach - Features Brackett's Landing Park and Interpretive SignsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Under Water Sports Dive Shop
Scuba Diving Equipment and Lessons
If you need an air tank filled, want to buy some equipment or would like to sign up for a scuba class, the Underwater Sports dive shop is just down the street from the Edmonds Underwater Park.
Take a trip from Edmonds to Kingston on a Washington State Ferry
The Edmonds Kingston Ferry
The Edmonds Ferry serves as a transportation connection between the east side of Puget Sound and the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas. The Walla Walla and Spokane are the two Washington State Ferries that service the route. The trip takes about 35 minutes each way and makes a fun scenic adventure for walk-on passengers. Bicycles, motorcycles, passenger vehicles, RVs and commercial trucks can also be transported on the ferry. Passenger and vehicle/driver fares are collected at Edmonds, while only vehicle/driver fares are collected at Kingston so the fares for passengers is the round trip fare, but the vehicle fares are one-way.
Take a Trip on the Ferry from Edmonds to Kingston
The Edmonds Cultural and Leisure Center
The Frances Anderson Center
The Frances Anderson Center is housed in the old historic Edmonds Elementary School. It is named after Frances Anderson who graduated in the first graduating class from Edmonds High School. She was a community leader and a beloved teacher and principal of Edmonds Elementary School for over 25 years.
Frances Anderson Center houses the Edmonds Parks and Recreation Department and the main recreation center for Edmonds. Inside is a drop-in exercise and weight room, the Sculptor's Workshop and classrooms that are used by numerous other art, cultural and recreational groups and businesses. Some of the activities and uses available include a daycare, a ballet school, fitness classes and a martial arts school. The adjoining playfield has children's play equipment and a ball field. The field is the site of the Annual Edmonds Arts Fair held each June and is used for the Edmonds Outdoor Movie Nights during the summer.
The Edmonds Park and Recreation Department - What's happening in the parks today?
The Edmonds Park and Recreation Department website includes links to classes and a schedule of events at the Frances Anderson Center and all of the city parks including outdoor movie nights and concerts in the parks.
The Edmonds Civic PlayfieldsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Edmonds City Park
The City Park
Edmonds City Park is a great place to get away from the sun and the wind on the beach. The park is cool and shady on a hot summer day and has picnic tables, picnic shelters with barbecues, a children's play area and a baseball diamond.
Take a swim at Yost Pool
Yost pool is an outdoor pool that is open during summer months only. It is located in Yost Park about a mile up the hill from the main shopping area. Those who don't feel like walking, can catch the #110 Snohomish County Transit Bus at stops near the beach or the shopping area and ride it up the hill to the stop right at the Yost Park entrance.
Edmonds, Home of the Cascade Symphony
Edmonds Center for the Arts
The Edmonds Center for the Arts is at the old Edmonds High School. It is a lovely facility and the beautiful old school auditorium is the main performance location for the Cascade Symphony. It is also a site where several ballet schools and companies perform as well as limited engagements by performers and traveling theatrical productions.
The Edmonds Farmer's Market - Fun For the Whole Family Every Saturday Spring through FallClick thumbnail to view full-size
Edmonds Festivals and Events
Festivals and Events in Edmonds
Edmonds has many festivals and events, especially in the summer months. The most well-known are the Edmonds Arts Festival in mid-June and the Taste of Edmonds in mid-August. Several are sponsored by the Edmonds Chamber of Commerce and some by other organizations. Here is list of annual events:
- The Edmonds Rotary Waterfront Festival is held the first weekend in June at the Edmonds Marina
- The Edmonds Art Festival is held on Father's Day weekend in June.
- A Taste of Edmonds held the 3rd weekend in August.
- The Edmonds Fishing Derby held around the first weekend in September
- The Edmonds Classic Car Show is an annual event in mid-September
- Puget Sound Birdfest is held in mid-September.
- The Edmonds Halloween Extravanza - Trick or Treat around the town on Halloween
- The Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony on Main Street the Saturday after Thanksgiving
The Edmonds Art Festival - Fun and Interesting Rain or Shine!Click thumbnail to view full-size
A Taste of Edmonds - The Second Weekend in AugustClick thumbnail to view full-size
Boarding the Spirit of Seattle in the Edmonds Marina
The Seattle Christmas Ship Festival
The Seattle Christmas Ship visits Edmonds each year in December as part of the regional Seattle Christmas Ship Festival.
Christmas in Edmonds
Santa Comes to Edmonds
Edmonds Restaurants - Where to eat in Edmonds!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Edmonds Train Station
The Edmonds Train Station
The easiest way to get to Edmonds from Seattle or Everett is by train. The trip to or from Edmonds and Seattle is about an hour-long scenic trip along the shores of Puget Sound. Both Amtrak and Sounder Commuter trains stop at the Edmonds Amtrak Station on Dayton Street near the waterfront.
Edmonds Best Western Hotel
Edmonds Washington Hotels
Edmonds only has one hotel near the city center, the Edmonds Best Western Harbor Inn. It is conveniently located one block from the train station and Olympic Beach. If you want to bring along your dog, it is also pet-friendly!
© 2011 Vicki Green