Quick Getaway Idea: Jetty Island
Where: Jetty Island, just off the Everett waterfront. Why: This kid and kiteboarder paradise promises real sand, warm shallows and all manner of adventures. What: Two miles long and narrow, Jetty Island sits low in Puget Sound, its wide shores and driftwood piles perfect for picnics, sandcastles and protected wildlife. Built in the late 1800s as a rocky breakwater, its original purpose was abandoned after repeated erosion by the stubborn Snohomish River. It’s now owned by the Port of Everett (and operated by Everett Parks and Recreation), which offers free walk-on ferry service (it takes just a few minutes to cross) from July 5 through September 1 as part of Jetty Island Days. Community-sponsored events this month include the Mud Run, a race through sucking sands (8/9, noon), and the Float Find, a search for handblown glass sea floats hidden on the beach by Schack Art Center (8/16, 10:30 a.m.). Come Prepared: Jetty Island is completely undeveloped (and harbors no shade!), with just a few fire pits and floating bathrooms near the ferry dock. Shorten Your Wait: Lines for the tiny ferry can get long, so consider making advance reservations, steering clear of peak wait times (10 a.m.–noon) and visiting on—say it ain’t so!—a cloudy day.