Weekending in Kenmore: Getting Out North of The Lake

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Kenmore is a small city, a commuter city, not much seen as a destination for a weekend outing. Why not? Seattle is a water-loving city, and we seek to be near it in the summer, hence there is often a crowd at every beach. If you want to get slightly off the beaten path and see Lake Washington from a different vantage point, head north to Kenmore.

Lake Washington is nearly 22 miles long. Stretching from Renton to the south and Bothell and Kenmore at the north. When those of us who live in Seattle think of the lake. It’s the divider between Seattle and the East Side (Bellevue, Redmond, Medina, Kirkland, etc and Mercer Island in the middle). It’s the blue heart of the metro area. Whose shoreline is spotted with public beaches, private estates, and a few marinas. In short, the lake is for leisure and recreation, while the sound is the more industrial waterfront.

Kenmore has a different relation to the lake. The town is a center for construction companies, durable goods, and their industrial port makes it a more explicitly commercial relationship to the lake. But that’s not all, of course. There is a lot of love for the leisure life of the lake, and abundant green spaces along it, too. Here are some things worth checking out in Kenmore.

 

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Investigating Lake Washington…

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Saint Edward State Park

The green and blue jewel of Kenmore is Saint Edward State Park on the eastern shore of the lake. The shoreline is over a half mile long, and the park extends back, covering 326 acres. On the grounds, you’ll find fantastic playground equipment for kids, flowery trails, and even a cool stone grotto. The grotto was constructed as a place for meditation and contemplation when the park was still owned by the Catholic Church. In fact, the park was originally developed as the first successful Catholic seminary in the Pacific Northwest and the first accredited Catholic seminary university in the United States.

The seminary closed in 1976 and the land was sold to the state, but the great hall built in 1931 still stands today. (The interior of the building is closed to events for now, but the grotto has become a popular wedding venue.) Picnic tables around the park are first-come, first-served, but there are designated picnic areas available for rental if you are organizing a crowd. There is no watercraft launch, but those paddling from other parts of Lake Washington can bring their kayaks and boards onto the beach.

 

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Kenmore Air

The seaplanes that buzz around the region are so iconically PNW for us residents, but many people never actually ride one. That’s too bad because you really experience the beauty of the region in a unique way from a seaplane. And the main company offering tours and transport on seaplanes is, of course, Kenmore Air.

Seattle dwellers see the planes come and go mostly from South Lake Union and Westlake. Where Kenmore Air has its Seattle port. Most of their tours depart from Lake Union, but one of their more romantic activities departs from Lake Washington or Lake Union: The Seaplane Picnic Package. Take off with a couple of close friends to Blake Island, Dabob Bay or Salsbury Point on the Hood Canal, Sucia Island, and Patos Island—a small picturesque island with a lighthouse just a short hike from the picnic beach site. They will bring the picnic themselves, catered by a choice of vendors HodgePodge Café, Honey Bear Bakery, PicNicTable, or Preservation Kitchen.

Basically, the whole region is at your fingertips for unforgettable day trips via Kenmore. And even if you aren’t ready to hop into the plane yourself, it’s fun to watch the planes come and go and let yourself daydream.

 

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The Hangar at Town Square

Just a few blocks from Kenmore Air’s port, you’ll find a modern homage to water and sky. The Hangar at Town Square is a sleek public space, designed for events and relaxation. The architecture is inspired by an actual hangar, and a miniature Kenmore Air float plane is suspended in the main chamber. Known as the Otter Room. Both this room and a smaller indoor conference room (The Beaver Room) can be reserved for events. Meanwhile, the outdoor seating by a “dock” and water feature is always open. Grab a coffee from Diva Espresso in The Hangar, and just chill a bit in the quiet center of town.

Seaplane Kitchen and Bar

The seaplane theme doesn’t stop there in Kenmore. Across the square from the Hangar, Seaplane Kitchen and Bar is a perfect place to stop in for a bite and a drink. Come for happy hour and you can knock a few bucks off three of their pizzas: The Commuter, The Seaplane, and The Compass North. Naturally, you can knock back a few craft cocktails, but if you are on the wagon (or the designated pilot), try some of their yummy house sodas.

 

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Kenmore Waterfront Activities Center

Located as a part of Squire’s Landing Park at the confluence of Swamp Creek and the Sammamish River, Kenmore Waterfront Activities Center is a nonprofit devoted to connecting the community with the water. Clubs operating from the KWAC include beginner-to-advanced level dragon boat, canoe and kayak, rowing and stand up paddle-boarding.

Speaking of SUP…

 

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Whats SUP at Log Boom Park

From late spring to early autumn, Whats SUP Paddle and Surf offers kayaks and paddleboards for rent at Log Boom Park where the Sammamish River merges with Lake Washington. Beginners can register for lessons before taking a plunge on their own. For the more diehard athletes, register for Capt. Steve’s combo adventure. Starting from Whats SUP’s Bothell Landing location, you’ll paddle the Sammamish River to Log Boom Park, then hop on a Beach Cruiser Bicycle and pedal back to Bothell via the Burke Gilman Trail.


Tour Our Tri-Level Patioed Retreat in Kenmore

Tucked at the end of a quiet Kenmore cul-de-sac, you can feel like you’re away from it all. Close enough to commute to downtown Seattle or the eastside, yet situated at the top of Lake Washington away from much of the hustle and bustle. Cook a tasty dinner in the newly renovated kitchen, complete with stainless steel appliances and quartz countertops. On those warm nights, step out onto the expansive patio and have a perfect summer BBQ with friends. When you are ready for some down time, relax and enjoy the Cascade views from your private master bedroom deck. With its serene treelined backyard, this Kenmore oasis is the perfect place for you to call home!

Home Details:

Address: 6135 NE 203rd St

Price: $499,000

Bedrooms: 3

Bathrooms: 1.5

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