Call Now! 206.557.6400
email phone

The Blog

Blog Category - Community Spotlight

11 Winter Art Walks to Warm Your Creative Spirit this Winter in Seattle

Categories: Community Spotlight, Seattle, Washington | Posted: November 26, 2018

There are just shy of a dozen art walks that keep on dazzling through the winter in Seattle neighborhoods, they don’t board up and hide away during the rainy season. Local businesses open their doors to create warm, dry and inviting locations to come and enjoy the art scene. During the Holiday season it’s a great opportunity to find unique artwork for your home or a friend’s while benefitting a starving artist in the process.

Art walks have grown in the last few years, and although most cities usually host one or two a month, Seattle is a particularly artistic town and has 11 during the “off” season!

During these events, businesses all over the neighborhood will open their doors to display art work created by local artists. Coffee shops, banks, restaurants, theaters, salons and any other participating business stay open late and often play live music while offering wine and small bites for free while exhibiting local artwork. The artist is usually on hand to talk about their work and sometimes will take custom orders.

Meet up with friends, bring your kids and enjoy the walk from place to place. Each neighborhood art walk happens once a month, the below links will bring you to a map of participating venues.

And best of all they’re completely free.

 

  • Pioneer Square Art Walk, First Thursday with free parking from 5 – 10:00 p.m. in the Frye, Butler or 450 Alaskan parking garages, just pick up a voucher at one of the participating businesses. The Central District walk boasts that it was the very first art walk in the entire United States, it has now become a Seattle tradition 37 years old.

 

  • Freemont Art Walk, First Fridays from 6 – 9:00 p.m. Freemont, is known locally as a very artistic neighborhood and their art walk shows its stuff with poetry readings, paintings, photography, sculpture, all forms of art in one funky area with a rotation of food trucks to keep you fueled up for art viewing.

 

 

  • The West Seattle Art Walk second Thursday of every month, from 5:00 p.m. to “late” focuses on paint and print art. Local bars and restaurants will have extended happy hours and art walk specials on this night, so take advantage, and get a drink to warm you between paintings.

 

 

 

 

  • Ballard Art Walk on the Second Saturdays featuring live music and art demonstrations in downtown Ballard.

 

  • Uptown Art Walk – Queen Anne, Third Wednesdays from 3 – 9:00 p.m., the website isn’t completely up to date, but this is a reoccurring third Wednesday event.

 

 

  • Magnolia Art Experience, Last Saturday of varying months, from 4 – 7:00 p.m. Be sure to check the link for specific months, December is excluded.

 

Great art happens year-round and can be particularly inspired in the winter when you have more time to think, read and introspect. Come out and bring your family for free inspiration.

14 Festive Holiday Markets in and Around Seattle

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, Lifestyle, Seattle, Washington | Posted: November 1, 2018

Holiday Markets in Seattle are often an amazing experience, a place to connect with people who care about their craft. They offer an old-fashioned charm and experience of hand picking the perfect gift for someone you love while enjoying time together with friends or family.

Buying local gives a sense of place, love and care that comes from picking a gift straight from the artist’s hands, from people who are proud of their products. So we recommend supporting local Washington state artisans and giving a gift to remember. Here are some markets that we’d recommend picking up that perfect holiday gift. Most of the Markets are free and they’re all child friendly. The best thing about homemade goods from the Markets is that you can often customize gifts if you have something (or someone) special in mind.

 

  • Scandinavian Holiday Bazaar November 3 & 4 from 9 – 3:00 p.m. Located at the Swedish Club 1920 Dexter Ave N. Seattle Come enjoy all things Scandinavian at this bazaar. If you don’t find gifts you will find lots of Scandinavian food and Viking inspired drinks. Two floors of vendors will be there with unique, Nordic gifts.
  • Gobble Up November 17, 10 – 6:00 p.m. Located at the Bell Harbor Conference Center 2211 Alaskan Way, pier 66, Seattle. This is the event to get all of your shopping done in one place. Since everyone loves eating, you can’t go wrong. Gobble up is a one day only, free event with food, condiments and specialty items for the kitchen made from fellow Pacific Northwesterners. If you’re buying for friends and family across the country, it’s the place to go for local flavor.
  • Magic in the Market November 24, from 11 – 6:00 p.m. Located at Pike Place Market. It wouldn’t be a list of markets without the mother of all markets. This is the 23 year of the Christmas market. Santa will be available for photo opportunities, live music, hot apple cider and hot chocolate, local shopping, a tree lighting and cookie decorating at the Atrium Kitchen from 12 – 2:00 p.m. for kids under 12.
  • Holiday Market at Westlake Park Every Friday- Sunday from November 23 – December 23, from 12 – 5:00 p.m. Located at Westlake Park 401 Pine Street Seattle. Located right in the heart of downtown, the Market at Westlake is a nod to German Christmas markets. Vendors offer handmade items with quality and love in every piece. Enjoy a lovely afternoon outdoors during the holiday season.
  • Victorian Christmas Market November 28 – December 2 Wednesday & Thursday 10 – 8:00 p.m. Friday & Saturday 10 – 9:00 p.m. Sunday 10 – 6:00 p.m. Located at the Washington State Fairgrounds110 9th Ave SW, Puyallup. Buy tickets online or bring cash for the front gate. Just 30 minutes South of Renton the Victorian Christmas Market is going on its 31st year in business. 500 market stalls will be open, food, wine and holiday music will fill the festival with performers on stage, concerts, Christmas lights and actors in period costumes.
  • Enchant Seattle Open almost every day from November 23 – December 30th from 4 – 11:00 p.m. Located at Safeco Field 1250 1st Ave S. Seattle, buy your tickets ahead of time. This is an exciting event, with ice skating, Santa Claus, dinner and drinks, live entertainment, over 90 holiday vendors and a massive Christmas light maze to wow your kids. This event might become a new tradition.
  •   Geek Craft Expo Seattle Holiday Market November 24 & 25 Saturday 10 – 5:00 p.m. Sunday 10 – 4:00 p.m. Located at Magnuson Park Hangar 30, 6310 Northeast 74th Street, Seattle. Register for free online or it’ll cost you $2 at the door. This market is perfect for the nerd in your life, and who doesn’t have a little nerd in them? Buy local from people with personality, over 100 creative vendors are all in one place with funny, fresh ideas for your holiday list. Cosplay is encouraged, and free craft tables will be set up, for kids.
  • For a special adventure take a weekend and a scenic 2 hour drive, or even better take a beautiful, snow covered train ride, to the town of Leavenworth for the Christmas Tree Lighting. November 30, December 1-2, 7-9, 14-16, Leavenworth is a Fairytale Bavarian style town in the heart of the Cascades. You’ll be transported to the alps in this German town lit up with Christmas lights and a Bavarian Christmas Market. Gluhwein (mulled wine), Holiday performances, roasted chestnuts, live holiday music, sleigh rides, and Santa Claus himself. It’s a great place to take the kids for a weekend they won’t forget, they can even go sledding right in the middle of town. Book your hotel stay soon, they go quickly.
  • Shop-O-Rama Local Artist Craft Fair December 1, from 11:30 – 3:00 p.m. Located at the Wing Luke Museum 719 S. King St. Seattle in the Chinatown International District. Join for the first ever local artist fair. Santa will be available for photos during the market’s opening.
  • The Urban Craft Uprising 2018 Winter Show December 1 & 2 Saturday from 10 – 6:00 p.m., Sunday 10 – 5:00 p.m. Seattle Center Exhibition Hall 301 Mercer Street, Seattle After 14 years this show is going strong full of handcrafted products, from local artists. Come find jewelry, bags, wallets, toys, housewares and anything else you can think of. It’s free to enter and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a door bags for the first to enter, but you have to come early to stand in line for this popular event.
  • South Lake Union Winter Market December 5 & 6 10:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Van Vorst Plaza 426 Terry Avenue North Seattle, Free to enter. Another great Urban Craft Uprising Event one week after the big winter show. This event is open for two days and with a rotation of different vendors each day.
  • Winter Night Market December 7 from 6:00 – 11:00 p.m. December 8 from 12 – 8:00 p.m. Magnuson Park Hangar 30,6310 Northeast 74th Street, Seattle Located inside an airplane hangar, 100 local, handmade vendors, live music, street food and a show welcoming the winter solstice. Free entry, suggested donation of only $1. Per person will benefit a local charity.
  • Makers Market Dec 8, 12 – 6:00 p.m. Located at Inscape in SODO 815 Seattle Blvd S, Seattle Come the studios open up to the public with a juried Makers Market with over 30 artists and craftsmen. Find hand-made clothing, jewelry, and more creative gift ideas.
  • Winter Feast and Holiday Bazaar December 16, from 10 – 4:00 p.m. Located at the Freemont Sunday Market 3401 Evanston Ave North, Seattle. Find over 100 local vendors and holiday activities. Nice handmade ideas for everyone on your list. And don’t forget yourself, this is a street food bonanza with a killer line up of food trucks and stalls, come hungry.

 

Come out and enjoy a winter day with family and friends while finding something special for the people you love. Buy local and contribute to the hard work of a local artist.

Bring the Outside in for Elegant, Uncultivated Autumn Decorating Ideas

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, Home Design Trends | Posted: October 15, 2018

Thanksgiving is around the corner and before you go running off to the craft store, take a look at the outdoor bounty around you. All of your fall decorating needs can be found from the great outdoors, pumpkin patches and with a few things around the house.

If you don’t already have a pumpkin on your doorstep it’s time to get at least one. Put pumpkins on small tables, benches, over turned wooden apple picking buckets, chairs or even cake stands to add height, color, dimension and style to flat surfaces. In the last few years we have seen an incredible increase of variety, colors, shapes and sizes of gourds and pumpkins. French Fairy tale pumpkins have made it to most pumpkin farms and retailers stateside over the past few years and match a variety of home colors. White pumpkins, and warty orange and green pumpkins can bring color and texture to your doorstep.

The wonderful thing about decorating for fall is that the simplest decorations are the most beautiful. Store bought decorations, are pretty, but in the PNW it’s more rewarding to find your own. Go foraging for acorns, branches, leaves and grasses. Bring the outdoors in for some of the most perfectly beautiful, and inexpensive décor.

Centerpiece for Thanksgiving Ideas

A simple sprig of wheat or rosemary tied with a nametag and a raffia bow make the perfect centerpiece on your plate for Thanksgiving.

Bring home acorns from the giant oak trees surrounding Green Lake, pour them around a candle in a crystal candle holder or vase, or even just place them on a dinner plate with a wide candle in the center. Find things around the house to compliment your outdoor findings, look at the glass throughout your house with a new perspective, drinking glasses, vases, platters, candle holders and lanterns can all be used. Mixing in different shapes and sizes will add interest. Popcorn kernels, pinecones, lentils, or any type of bean can be used in place of the acorns giving alternatives to match to your décor.

Put pumpkins and gourds of different sizes on table tops and mantles. Use wooden blocks or risers to create height and interest.

Preserve Autumn Leaves for Decor

Preserve colorful fall foliage in a glycerin solution, this method is perfect for creating soft, pliable leaves as if they’d just fallen off the tree, or leave them on the branch to use in vases. Mix 1-part glycerin with 2-parts water and submerge leaves in the solution. Not much is needed, just enough to cover the leaves and branches. Put a weight on top, for instance a plate on top to hold the leaves under the solution and leave it for 2-6 days. When you pull out the leaves, dry them with a paper towel. You can then glue them onto a Styrofoam wreath form for the front door, sprinkle them across your thanksgiving table and over the mantle and they’ll stay looking beautiful for 6 months.

If you’re not afraid of a little glitter mess, sponge paint Elmer’s glue onto the leaves and sprinkle them with orange, gold and brown glitter for sparkly fall leaf beauty.

A long wooden board down the center of the table can become an elegant canvas to decorate with colorful gourds, small orange pumpkins, tall white or cream-colored pillar candles, colored leaves and cedar greens. Neutral colored candles can be left out and reused for Christmas. Weave stripped birch branches throughout the candles for a pretty, rustic look. Birch branches are bendy and can be easily manipulated to swirl around obstacles. If you have a small round or square table, cut tree rounds will make a perfect place for your centerpiece.

Is there anything better than a beautiful fall garland?

Create a darling acorn garland, thanks to the neighborhood oak tree. Very carefully drill a small hole through the top of the acorn making sure to drill through the cap and center if they’re still intact, if they aren’t you’ll first have to glue the top onto the nut. Then just string them up, this is an entertaining task for children who’ll love to help out. You can string the garland over chandeliers in the dining room, over the mantle and door frames. Leave them up for Thanksgiving and Christmas, they can also be hung on the Christmas tree.

If you want an even easier garland without the drill, string up your preserved fall foliage, or better yet, colorful silk leaves. Silk leaves will last for next year and hold up to wear and tear. Waxed twine or hemp rope is grippy and will hold the leaves in place. Thread a string onto a needle with a wide eye and pull it through each leaf twice so the leaf will stay front facing. Delicately string all of the leaves until you have a long, colorful garland you can hang around the house or over your front door.

Cake Stands to Decorate

Use platters, cake stands and bowls to display your fall finds and foliage on shelves and bathroom vanities. Dried Wheat bundles are simple and structural and can be used on fireplace mantles.

Simple little vases with mums cut to fit is a beautiful way of using flowers you might already have in your yard. Twigs with colored berries, soft grasses, cat tails and wild foliage can all be used with different shapes and sizes of vases, glasses and candle holders to add height, color and texture to your center piece.

For finishing touches, swap out your summer colors with fall inspired throw pillows on your couch, it’ll feel like a new room, without making any major changes. Toss a red or orange blanket over your couch for a useful, cozy vibe. Red can be left throughout the Christmas season too.

Now you’ve got the perfect atmosphere to host friends, with hot cider and get maximum enjoyment out of your home in the fall.

Why Sammamish is One Of The Best Places To Live in Washington State

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, Sammamish Homes, Sammamish Washington, Seattle, Washington | Posted: September 17, 2018

Sammamish, Washington was just awarded the honorable spot of #9 out of the top 50 Best Places to Live in America for 2018 by Time.com! And it’s not the first time Sammamish has won a place in the heart of the its residents in the USA. In 2015 Sammamish was voted the Best Suburb to Raise a Family and in 2012 it was also voted America’s Friendliest Town.

Peppered with stunning lakes and the Snoqualmie River running nearby, the towering green rolling hills of Sammamish act as a perfect escape from the big city life of Seattle. One of the many reasons the Sammamish is booming is its proximity to beautiful spaces, miles of trails, access thousands of acres of parks and some of the most pristine lakes in Washington.

Sammamish has been proved time and time again as a picture-perfect place to raise a family while keeping an easy commute around to the top leading corporate campuses.

If you look through reviews written by residents about what it’s like to live in Sammamish, you’ll see that not only do locals overwhelmingly love it here, but it’s also one of the safest neighborhoods in the entire state. It’s located a short 10-minute drive to Redmond, Bellevue, Issaquah and only 20 minutes from downtown Seattle. It’s a suburb with all of the conveniences and benefits of living next to a large city.

Sammamish is growing quickly like all of the surrounding Seattle areas, with the growth have come beautiful new community centers, a new library was recently built with floor to ceiling windows, a glassed in fireplace and even a bicycle repair station. A beautiful new YMCA was just built complete with a nursery and several pools including an Olympic sized lap pool. The popular farmer’s market is held during the summers with live music and local produce for a family friendly filled day. Sammamish has everything you need is within arm’s reach: parks, schools, lakes, nature and culture.

 

  • Sammamish Landing is the best place to swim on Lake Sammamish and allows exhilarating boating opportunities to launch your boat from the park. Unobstructed views of Mount Rainier can be seen above the lake on a clear day. Two public docs are available for swimming and docking. The East Lake Sammamish trail is located right next to the park, a paved 11 mile trail wide enough to bring the family with their bicycles to enjoy the lake while getting exorcise. Travel on your bike all the way from Redmond through Sammamish to Issaquah on this beautiful trail that was part of the rails to trails program.

 

  • The Evans Creek Preserve is 179 acres of a stunning, natural park with 3.5 miles of trails or more if you choose to weave through the different options of paths splitting off into different directions. It’s great for small children and dogs, the footpaths are an easy walk with a mingling of nature, meadows, forests, streams and hidden forest gnomes to keep the little ones on their toes.

 

  • Ebright Creek Park is a gorgeous 12-acre gem hidden in a neighborhood. With three distinct areas. You’ll find basketball and tennis courts in the front, from there you’ll find a well-built wooden walk way guiding you to a large playground and climbing wall up to a giant slide. Keep walking to find a quiet meadow and trails in the back. Two streams run through the park making peaceful bubbling noises adding to the tranquility of the space.

 

  • Pine Lake Park, is a popular, 19-acre, waterside park with a long public doc to walk along and sunbathe. The Lake is flawless and reflective, showing cedar trees along its shores. Sometimes the lake has misty mornings with low laying fog rising up above the water. Go swimming on a hot day and bring your rafts and kayaks in the summer. This is a good lake for small kids as it has designated swim spaces with shallow water and lifeguards on duty. Big shady trees give shelter on sunny days while you picnic.

 

  • Beaver Lake Park, has 83 acres of trails and fishing year-round (with a permit). This is yet another waterside gem in Sammamish. With two parking areas and street parking, it’s easily accessible. Beaver Lake Park has everything; waterside grills, shelters, ball fields, a dog park and of course, the forest. Clear your head after a long day by spending some alone time in the trees drinking in the soft breezes and scent of evergreens. With no accessible boat ramp, only boats you can carry can be brought to this tranquil spot. The small lake size means that it warms up well in the summer for swimming.

 

  • Duthie Hill Park, If you’re not into mountain biking, it’s time to start. This park is amazing! 120 acres of trails connected to three other parks making a total of 2,000 acres of trails to cover. Duthie Hill is the mother of all mountain biking parks, with beautiful guided jumps, wooden bikeways and smooth, root free bike trails under a soaring canopy of evergreens. There are regular cross-country paths here for beginning riders, so there’s no need to feel intimidated if you’re new to the scene. For advanced mountain bikers there is no end of technical jumps and turns to practice your skills. It’s open year-round, so come get nice and muddy when you need a winter pick-me-up.

 

  • Soaring Eagle Regional Park covers 600 acres, with 12 miles of trails. Make your walk in the woods as difficult or as easy as you’d like with a wide flat trail available or rolling hill options. This park is great for any form of road or mountain biking as it has paved and unpaved trails, running or hiking and if you have a horse bring her out as well. This is a popular place for equestrians. The grounds are loaded with wildlife, if you are lucky, or not you might spot a bear, cougar, mountain lion or dozens of birds that live here and pass through. Bring bear bells or a can of bear spray just to be on the safe side, but it is frequently used, so most of the animals know when to stay away.

 

  • Big Rock Park is a whimsical new park with natural themed play structures. A slide is built right into a hill, different heights of logs to jump on, tunnels are built through slopes, there’s a giant bird’s nest where you can pretend to be a bird and a hulking wood gnome built of sticks. Big Rock Park designers had beautiful visions of natural and imaginative play for kids. The trails are easy and enjoyable. Try making a woodsy scavenger hunt for your little ones, find a rock shaped like a heart and a big leaf maple tree. The city is planning to use this space as a place for educators to bring classes. It’s a fun and interesting park, feeding imaginative play in children by using the labor and education of high school students to create it.

Sammamish is an exceptional place to raise children, while adults love it here just as much. With friendly neighbors, safe neighborhoods and tons to do, it’s refreshing to know there are still places like this.

Best Bars to Discover If You Are New To Seattle

Categories: Community Spotlight, Lifestyle, Seattle, Washington | Posted: September 12, 2018

Seattle is known for its massive amount of transplants, so we want all residents (new or established)  to make themselves familiar with all that Seattle has to offer. We all work hard, so we all deserve to play hard as well, which is why we want to pass along our recommendations for the best bars to check out in Seattle.

Most “Interesting” Bar

Unicorn is a florescent carnival themed bar, it’s ridiculous in an awesome way. Who ever heard of a carnival themed bar? It’s eccentric, colorful and has large, reasonably priced, unicorn themed drinks. The menu is full of non-traditional, greasy themed bar food. A word of caution, it’s very hard to look cool while eating a corn dog, but between the taxidermy heads, pinball machines and blinding colors you might sneak by. Check the calendar for karaoke, drag queen bingo and trivia nights.

Best Relax and Game Bar in Seattle

Come play at Mox Boarding House, with an extensive library of board games available for check out, play a different game every week without filling up your closets. There are two locations with bars, restaurants, private rooms, a board game store and a family area to play. Games can build young minds, quality time with kids and friends and make long lasting memories. Gaming tournaments are hosted in stores regularly and it’s open seven days a week almost all the time.

Best Bars to Bring Groups of People

Flatstick pub, with exposed brick, colorful, cartoonish paintings, indoor mini golf, giant Jenga and foosball. Unique games called duffleboard, stick putt and cup hunter created by the Flatstick pub owners are only available here. Kirkland, South Lake Union and Pioneer Square. Each have locations that partner with different restaurants, some neighboring restaurants will deliver to your table, but all offer a great place to have large groups of people. A huge selection of draft beers from independent, local breweries line the walls. And note it’s ok to bring your dogs to the Kirkland and Pioneer square locations.

Art Marble, built in a revived 1920’s building, a beautifully restored space houses a variety of events. A bar and restaurant serving local beers and locally sourced ingredients. A 3,000 square foot game room holds pool, shuffle board, bocce ball and over a dozen other games. The best thing is, the games are completely free!  Reserve a table in a room with a round fireplace or the posh bourbon room.

Looking for an unbelievably cool bar with artwork, funky speakers, and a bathtub filled with ping pong balls that’s perfect for any instagram post? Then Spin is the place to be. And yes this ping pong bar is amazing and we love it, Spin has a small, locally sourced menu with special attention to detail is on order between games.

Go down memory lane with classic arcade machines at Add-a-Ball in Fremont. It’s a hole in the wall, a legitimate vintage arcade. Revisit 1982 when pin ball was the best game out there and realize again that it still is.

Best Artsy Bar

For a modern, artsy dive, Jupiter Bar in Belltown is your hipster hero. Huge murals from a large number of artists grace the walls and front of the building. Hilarious vintage pinball and arcade machines line the walls. You can often find DJ’s, live music or live painters, painting while you drink.

Best Dog Friendly Bar

If your dog is feeling lonely or stressed and needs a bone after a long day of terrorizing mailmen, bring her to Norms for dogs. Norms has an entire menu just for dogs including chicken feet and bacon pupcakes. Bring friends on her birthday and get the hound dog cake it serves six dogs and is gluten free for those with celiac disease.

Best Themed Bar

Octopus Bar; awesome, tiny, nautical themed bar. The patio is bigger than the inside. Not only that, but the menu is affordable, delicious and fun. The décor is eclectic and unconventional. In a big city like Seattle reminders of the city’s roots to the sea are welcome.

Best Drink Bars

Be sure to make a reservation for Canon, this little gem has beautiful décor, amazing drinks and flavorful food. It is to liquor what a great library is to books. With every bottle on display the presentation is entertainment itself, Canon has a great reputation as food and liquor artisans and it doesn’t disappoint.

Don’t get caught up by the title, the whiskey is awesome, but so is everything else at Radiator Whiskey. Tucked away upstairs in Pike Place. Mixed drinks are flavorful and well balanced. The food is equally impressive. If you’ve been wondering where to pre-order a pig’s head for your 16 friends like everyone else on a Wednesday, search no further. It’ll set you back $500, but it will leave you with a lifetime of delectable pig-headed memories, but Radiator Whiskey isn’t just dinner it’s an experience.

This is just the short list. Seattle is an artistic and culinary delight with a never-ending array of entertainment for every type of interesting person.

The Best Wineries That Are Only Around 30 Minutes From Seattle

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, Events, Lifestyle, Seattle | Posted: September 4, 2018

Why go to Napa, Italy or Walla Walla, when there is so much to offer West of the Cascades?

The Sammamish River valley is a lush, green, fertile lowland that runs through King County just North East of Seattle. Like many great river valleys, the Columbia, Rhine, Mosel and Rhone to name a few, it has become famous for its wine. Similar to European wine rivers, the Sammamish River valley is also known for its bike trails, green sweeping views and numerous wine tasting rooms. Unlike these places however it’s only a short, 30-minute drive from downtown Seattle, $1,200 plane ticket not required.

As the weather begins to change and the leaves turn orange and red, it’s a wonderful time to get out and enjoy the crisp autumn scents. There are a whopping 130 tasting rooms and wineries to visit in Woodinville. Washington State has an unbelievable range of grape varietals grown from sweet dessert wines to bold, robust dry varieties. The fall harvest season is upon us and with it brings more reasons to come out to enjoy changing leaves and cozy, stone fireplaces while drinking your weight in wine. With these many wineries, you can come every day for months.

Many of the Woodinville wine tasting rooms are actually satellite vineyards from the Columbia Valley wineries. They were nice enough to bring their wines to the main Washington hub, so you don’t need to go so far to enjoy them. Woodinville has so many wine tasting rooms that it is separated into four districts in order to distinguish each region and help tourists to find their way around.

The Hollywood District is known for the landmark Hollywood Schoolhouse. It is no longer a schoolhouse, but currently is a lovely event space rental. The Hollywood and Warehouse Districts have the largest number of tasting rooms.

The Warehouse District has more wineries per square foot than anywhere else in the world! Don’t be fooled by appearances, on the outside it appears just as the name implies, a warehouse district. But, within each door there are intimate, cozy spaces each with its own personality, charm and friendly face pouring wine behind the counter.

The West Valley District is the newest and smallest district with fewer rooms to choose from and a little more space in between. A pretty place to drive, sit outside and not feel rushed to make it to the next space. This district is growing quickly and is the new hot spot for winemakers coming to the valley.

The Downtown District has its fair share of wine tasting rooms smattered around with everyday downtown-y living things like grocery markets and a famous, locally owned, gift and garden store named Molbaks.

Don’t feel left out if you’re a beer or whiskey drinker, there six local breweries, two cideries and four distilleries here in Woodinville as well. Pouring local rum, vodka, whiskey, gin and even absinthe, if the prohibition ever returned the entire city would fall into the ground.

Many of the wineries have their own calendar of events and each has its own charm.

Afterhours Woodinville is an event on September 13th & October 11th in the Hollywood District and September 27th & October 25th in the Warehouse District on Thursdays from 4-8, for $25 a ticket you can taste 14 or more wines from 12 cellars, with a total of 35 cellars participating, it’ll be easy to find a new favorite.

Gorman Winery gives a feeling of a Tuscan countryside villa with its open-air doors, overhead pergola and stone façade. With live music almost, every Friday and Saturday and happy hour prices.

The famous Chateau Ste Michelle made Washington wines what they are today by starting it all. They were the very first winery in the State and are proudly one of the most famous. Come see the beautiful grounds and French style castle hosting September concerts with a very impressive line-up including Lake Street Dive and Lyle Lovett. Check their busy calendar for concert dates, olive oil tastings, wine releases, cheese classes and Oktoberfest for wine lovers to name a few.

Columbia Winery, is another of Woodinville’s most famous, with an impressive façade bold event space complete with wine barrels adorning the walls, large hoop candelabra chandeliers and beautifully manicured gardens. Stop in for live music every Friday night through September and on October 12th.

Although most of the tasting rooms close early around 5:00 p.m., dinner is right around the corner. Not only is Woodinville famous for libations, but where there’s a vibrant wine and beverage scene, dynamic restaurants and local nightlife are sure to follow. Woodinville has over 100 restaurants in every form, specialty and price point concentrated close by, some bringing renowned chefs into town. Have your choice of any cuisine you can imagine from Vietnamese, Indian, taverns, fine dining, bistros, Italian, pizzerias, burgers, sushi or anything else your heart desires.

Plan your visit now for Woodinville wine, catch a fabulous dinner and the tail end of the live music scene for the year. Just don’t forget to take a ride share when you go!

Why Laurelhurst is one of the Best Neighborhoods for Raising Children in Seattle

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, Lifestyle, Seattle | Posted: August 23, 2018

The beautiful Laurelhurst neighborhood is known for its meticulously manicured lawns and stately homes. Home owners here have a sense of pride and community, many of which have grown up in this neighborhood and stayed to raise families of their own.

Schools here are no less impressive. Roosevelt high school is ranked the best high school in Seattle and seventh in the State. The Seattle Children’s Hospital, in Laurelhurst is famously one of the best in the country.

Laurelhurst covers an entire mini peninsula jutting into Lake Washington creating phenomenal water views on two sides. It’s an exclusive location close to the University district, Sand Point and only minutes from downtown. A boutique neighborhood that’s been around since the early 1900’s, it’s age only showing through the variety of architecture and charm.

The Laurelhurst Community Center is situated on top of a hill with views of Lake Washington below. The center offers toddler, preschool and afterschool programs and year-round events for kids. Located in the large Laurelhurst Playfield Park. The center creates a community linking neighbors together through events and play.

  • September 6th the Community Center is holding its very popular, annual Backyard BBQ Salmon bake. Attended by 600 people last year, the BBQ is an entertaining community event including a carnival and kids bounce houses.

Next door to Laurelhurst is the University of Washington Botanic Gardens the gardens are beautiful resources for educating young minds. With programs from toddlerhood all the way through teens. The botanic garden offers summer camps, night hikes, free educational weekend walks, story times and a forest school.

  • Forest schools are quickly becoming popular in Seattle, children learn to love nature by spending all day outside learning about botany, moss, bacteria, bugs and wildlife. Check the calendar for an extensive list of family activities.

Magnusun park is a 350-acre gem located only 2-3 miles away. Previously a naval base, the City of Seattle turned it into a recreation dream with the largest playground in the city including a climbing wall and a wading pool for toddlers in the summer.

Magnusun is the second largest park in Seattle, next to Discovery. Come enjoy the mile-long Lake Washington beach, boat launch, kite boarding and trails through marshes. Art installations and art deco areas give the park a feeling of cultivation. Off leash areas for dogs and beautiful sports fields are top notch thanks to a 13 million dollar make over in 2012. Not only did the city make life better for humans, they created wetlands for birds and wildlife to find refuge amid a growing city after breaking up landing strips and large amounts of concrete the navy left behind.

  • Bring your kids to enjoy miniature golf in the summer.
  • An architectural sound garden plays on the NOAA campus making music in the wind.
  • Summer nights in the park have classic movies and food trucks.
  • Kite hill is the perfect place to make lasting memories. Build a kite together and come fly it over the peninsula while enjoying views of Lake Washington and Mount Rainer in the background.
  • Don’t miss the Children’s Garden and the Children’s Community Garden this is a perfect place for kids, four acres of fun with free events including family fun days, gardening classes, a community garden and continual educational opportunities keeping little ones bodies and minds busy in nature.
  • Activity camps are open for older children.

The Laurelhurst Beach Club has a gated, private beach and is available exclusively to residents of Laurelhurst and Windemere who pay the annual dues. It’s a social hub of the neighborhood and an easy way to get acquainted with the community. They offer a junior sailing program for kids 8-14 to learn the ropes and youth swim lessons for kids to get comfortable with their sea legs.

The Burke Gilman trail connects the North side of the neighborhood to safely access the rest of the city by bicycle. Take the trail to parks all over the city without worrying about straying child bicyclists on busy city streets.

Laurelhurst is a haven for families within a big metropolis. Where you can enjoy all that Seattle has to offer while feeling safe on quiet streets. Known for good restaurants, friendly people and peaceful, treelined boulevards. Laurelhurst is a neighborhood where families build warm, happy memories so much so that kids might just stay to raise their own children.

Sammamish Model Home Preview Event for Crownfield Community

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, Events, Sammamish Homes, Sammamish Plateau, Sammamish Washington, Washington | Posted: August 7, 2018

Join us this weekend for the debut of the brand new professionally decorated Sammamish Model Home Preview Event for our 28 home Crownfield community as our nearby Herrington community in Sammamish, Washington. This weekend’s Sammamish Model Home Preview Event will provide visitors with an opportunity to tour this beautiful home and be inspired by the latest in home design, functionality, and style from American Classic Homes.

The professionally designed 4,227 approx sq.ft Ravenna home plan features 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, as well as a bonus room, den, main level guest bedroom, a covered patio, an elegant curved staircase, and a 3 car tandem garage.

Wildridge Model Home Preview Event
When: Saturday, August 11th & Sunday, August 12th
Time: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Where: 24216 SE 30th Street, Sammamish, WA 98075

We look forward to seeing you at our brand new Sammamish Model Home Preview Event this weekend and feel free to grab some family or friends to bring along with you. If you have any questions or would like to schedule your very own home private tour, please give us a call at (206) 966.6380 or email Summer at Summer@AmericanClassicHomes.com.

 

Want to learn more about this community?

Click here to view the Crownfield Community page and see currently available homes, neighborhood images, and more.

 

Driving Directions: Click here to go directly to Herrington from Google Maps

  • From I-90 E take exit 17 for Front St toward East Lake Sammamish Parkway Southeast
  • Take SE Issaquah-Fall City Rd and Issaquah-Pine Lake Rd SE to SE 30th St in Sammamish
  • Turn left onto Front St N (signs for E Lk Sammamish Parkway SE)
  • Continue onto E Lake Sammamish Pkwy SE
  • Turn right onto SE Issaquah-Fall City Rd
  • Use the left 2 lanes to turn left onto Issaquah-Pine Lake Rd SE
  • At the traffic circle, take the 1st exit onto SE 32nd Way
  • Turn left onto 241st Ave SE
  • Turn right at the 1st cross street onto SE 30th St
  • Community will be on the left

American Classic Homes Opens Brand New Model Home at Wildridge in Kirkland, WA

Categories: American Classic News, Community Spotlight, Events, Kirkland, Model Home, New Homes, Washington | Posted: August 7, 2018

Join us this weekend for the debut of the brand new professionally decorated Wildridge Model Home Preview Event in Kirkland, Washington. This weekend’s Model Home Preview Event will provide visitors with an opportunity to tour this beautiful home and be inspired by the latest in home design, functionality, and style from American Classic Homes.

The professionally designed 3,833 approx sq.ft Bertona home plan features 5 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, as well as a bonus room, den, main level guest room, a covered patio, an elegant curved staircase, and a 3 car tandem garage.

Wildridge Model Home Preview Event
When: Saturday, August 11th & Sunday, August 12th
Time: 12:00pm – 4:00pm
Where: 13604 NE 133rd Place, Kirkland, WA 98034

We look forward to seeing you at our brand new Wildridge Model Home Preview Event this weekend and feel free to grab some family or friends to bring along with you. If you have any questions or would like to schedule your very own home private tour, please give us a call at (206) 966.4688 or email Summer at Summer@AmericanClassicHomes.com.

 

Want to learn more about this community?

Click here to view the Wildridge Community page and see currently available homes, neighborhood images, and more.

 

Driving Directions: Click here to go directly to Wildridge from Google Maps

  • Heading north on I-405 N
  • Take exit 20B for NE 124th St/Totem Lake Boulevard
  • Keep left, follow signs for Northeast 124th Street
  • Turn right onto NE 124th St
  • Turn left onto 132nd Ave NE/Slater Ave NE
  • Turn right onto NE 132nd St
  • Turn left onto 136th Ave NE
  • Wildridge will be on your right

Free Yoga this Summer in and around Seattle

Categories: Community Spotlight, Lifestyle | Posted: July 16, 2018

For over 5,000 years people have been practicing yoga, and while some may consider it a work out fad, yoga is meditative experience that anyone, at any age, can enjoy. It has grown in popularity over the last 10 years, which is good news when it comes to finding the studio and level that’s right for you. With over 100 varieties, no two teachers or classes are the same.

Tough Yoga

Power flow, hot yoga and Vinyasa or all three combined are popular and tend to register with high intensity athletes who prefer a tough, fast moving work out. If you prefer calmer, pose holding yoga, Hatha, Iyengar or Yin are just some of the options. Here poses are held for longer giving you time to perfect your stretch, think and relax.

Meditation Yoga

Historically yoga is a mind body practice bringing people within themselves to meditate in the moment. Teachers often tell classes to stay present. Take this time that you set aside for yourselves, forget anything outside of the room, no to do lists or thoughts about work. This is time for you and only you. Much needed quality time with yourself. The side effects of a calmer demeanor, focus and a toned body are all just icing on the cake.

Yoga for Health

It is still work however, yoga works every muscle in the body. In a beautiful way, sometimes you don’t realize it, sometimes you do.  But the great thing is that you will leave the room a calmer person inside and out. Especially helpful on the road. Not only does it make you feel great, but it also prevents injury by strengthening muscles and speeds recovery.

As you might expect from an active city like Seattle, yoga here abounds and provides a fantastic way to keep in shape and stay social during the darker months.

Yoga to Meet People

It’s also a great way to make new friends with other yogis. There are over 38 yoga MeetUp groups whether you prefer yoga in the forest, with a beer afterward, with meditation, after a run, on the East side or even naked (yes there is actually a group for that).

Summer is a great time to try it out with several free options in the parks, just one more way to enjoy the sunshine.

Pricing

Prices and classes vary greatly. Every class and teacher are different, it’s worth your time to shop around to find the perfect studio and teacher or teachers for you. It’s best to start with a live class before jumping onto YouTube. Often teachers will help with slight adjustments to your form changing the muscles worked and the entire feeling of the pose. This is a huge benefit for beginners that you won’t get from online teachers. The majority of studios have considerable deals on new student discount packages to help you find the perfect place on the cheap. Free events are generally geared towards all skill levels, just bring a mat, towel and water bottle.

Free Summer Yoga Events;

The Seattle Center offers free Gentle Yoga for beginners now through August every Wednesday at 11:30 am.

Kirkland Library  offers two days of yoga Sunday July 29th at 2:00 pm register here and Saturday August 11th at 1:30 pm register here

Cascade Playground in South Lake Union has free yoga on the lawn from now through September every Saturday at 12:00 pm with extra mats available for free.

Seattle Art Museum, come try out Hatha, Vinyasa or open yoga classes free on Saturdays from now through August classes offered at 9, 10:30 & 11:00 am.

Freeway Park, on Wednesdays in August (with the exception of the 15th) The Washington Athletic Club is hosting Community Yoga from 12-1:00 pm.

Join a yoga community book club, held at Aditi Yoga and Bodywork Studio. Bring your own vegetarian dish, including your own plate and cup to reduce waste. Every fourth Friday of the month from 7:15-8:30 pm.

There’s sure to be a type of yoga that you’ll love. Give it a try, you might be surprised at how healthy and peaceful you feel afterwards.