The Northwest Lakes and Beer We Love

In our July issue, we celebrate two of the Northwest's greatest treasures.
The cabins of Ross Lake Resort (seen in the distance) literally float on this lake in the North Cascades.

There are 8,000 lakes within few hours’ drive of Seattle—more than we could ever cover in these pages, so for our special travel edition on lakeside getaways, we went with our rock star travel-writing team’s favorites. From the summer-vacation-town vibe (Lake Chelan) to the classic national park resort lodge (Lake Quinault) to more remote spots where getting there is as much of an adventure as the destination (Ross Lake), there is a lake for you. (And if you are the hard-core “let’s-backpack-up-the-mountain-for-a-big payoff” type, check out our favorite alpine lakes feature.)

One of my favorite lakes in the state is Lake Crescent in Olympic National Park. It’s been years since we were there (pre-kids). My husband, then a brand-new science education professor at the University of Washington–Tacoma, was taking some classes at the Olympic Park Institute (now called NatureBridge) to learn about our region’s ecosystems and landscapes, and I was lucky to tag along.

Although the accommodations were, at the time, bare-bones, Girl Scout camp–like bunk-bed cabins (the food at the Rosemary Inn, however, was amazing), the experience was still one of the most relaxing vacations I remember. (Wait, maybe it was because it was pre-kids?) Deer strolled in at dusk to greet us by the shore. It was quiet, save for the occasional bloop of something landing on the water. And next door was the most darling 1915 Lake Crescent Lodge and its flanking Roosevelt Cabins.

But I won’t swim in a lake. I don’t trust any body of water where I can’t see to the bottom, and I am convinced there are sharks in there (or at least Loch Ness–type monsters, and I’m not the only one to believe such things).

In this issue, we also celebrate another liquid force in Seattle: our booming craft beer industry. When we recently learned that the Seattle-Tacoma metro area has more breweries than any other city in the country (174 and growing), it didn’t come as much of a surprise. In Ballard alone, you can’t throw a bottle opener without hitting a brewery.

Our job is to help suss out the best so you can get on with the drinking (yeah, it’s a tough job, but we took one for the team). So, on a rainy day this past March, our beer expert, Washington Beer Blog founder Kendall Jones, with the help of his wife, Kim, assembled a team of beer experts to do a blind tasting for our inaugural Washington State Beer Awards.

We invite you to join us to taste many of the winning beers and finalists (along with the winners and finalists of our 12th annual Washington Wine Awards, revealed in our August issue) at our annual Red, White and Brew event on July 27 at the Fisher Pavillion of the Seattle Center. Hope to see you there.