SEATTLE — You don't have to go far to experience summer in the Pacific Northwest. Here are a few ideas of things to see and do that will make your summer in Washington worthwhile. Lisa Anciaux, AAA Washington travel expert recommended 10 things to do, some include AAA discounts for members.
1) Destination Moon at the Musem of Flight | Now-September 2
To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing, the Museum of Flight unveiled their brand new exhibit, Destination Moon: The Apollo 11 Mission. AAA members can show their membership card to get discounted admission.
2) Kirkland Uncorked | July 12-14
The Kirkland Uncorked summer wine festival will feature 80 Washington wines as well as food trucks, a grilling competition, and a dog modeling contest that benefits Homeward Pet Adoption Center.
"It's a great place just to go and have fun and relax," said Lisa, "And just a reminder there are so many different wine festivals like this and others around the state -- if you are going to participate in just remember to always have a safe ride home."
3) Ballard Seafood Fest | July 12-14
The Ballard Seafood Fest is free and celebrates all things Ballard. Especially seafood! There will be over 60 food vendors in addition to live music, brews, and more. "Ballard just closes down and has a great time."
4) Bite of Seattle | July 19-21
Eat your way through the Bite of Seattle, Seattle Center's biggest annual food festival. "Over 60 local restaurants are there for you just a taste, have a good time and listen to music." Admission is free.
5) Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival | July 19-21
Back for its 32nd year of music, food, craft vendors, and more, Blues lovers have to check out the state's longest running Blues festival at the Winthrop Rhythm & Blues Festival. "It's a great place to go and to listen to great music. And they have some top names and some really good musicians there."
If you don't live near Winthrop, there are several hotels and motels nearby and attendees can also opt to camp on festival grounds.
6) Bellevue Arts Museum ARTSfair | July 26-28
Several streets in Bellevue close down for the largest award-winning arts and crafts festival in the Northwest, the Bellevue Arts Museum ARTSfair. Check out artists who work on everything from jewelry to textiles to woodworking. There will also be plenty of food trucks and live music to enjoy.
While you're there, you can take a break from the summer heat and visit the Bellevue Art Museum for free! You can view art from all over the world and kids can enjoy activities all weekend long.
7) Pacific Northwest Highland Games and Clan Gathering | July 26-28
At the annual Pacific Northwest Highland Games and Clan Gathering, you can discover Scotland without having to leave the PNW. Enumclaw hosts their annual festival of bagpipers, Highland dancers, log throwing, Scottish food and more.
8) Auction of Washington Wines | August 15-17
Enjoy some wine for a great cause in Woodinville. At the annual Auction of Washington Wines, Washington's only nonprofit wine event, proceeds benefit the wine industry and the local community. The weekend ends with an elegant gala dinner.
9) Sunset Supper at Pike Place Market | August 16
Celebrate the 112th anniversary of Seattle's iconic market with dancing, prizes, and delicious food at the Sunset Supper. "There are over 60 restauranteurs from the city all there," said Anciaux, "You just get to taste a little of everything."
All proceeds benefit the Pike Place Market Foundation.
10) Washington State International Kite Festival | August 19-25
Take a drive to Long Beach to watch as kite-flyers from around the world work their magic at the Washington State International Kite Festival. "Friday night, some of the kites are lit with lights and they do a night flying event with fireworks," said Anciaux.
Additionally, if you're looking to get away from the PNW, AAA Washington has space on several week-long cruises to Alaska from July through September. This year, there are two huge new ships taking vacationers to The Last Frontier.
GRAND OPENING: AAA Washington is celebrating the grand opening of their Mount Vernon location this week and they are giving away prizes to visitors! Additionally, on Friday, July 12 Lisa Anciaux will be there to answer all your travel-related questions.