Articles Tagged "Outdoors"

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August
8

Plan a Lake Day Near Portland

Portland Lake Day

While Portland features fantastic forests and stunning mountain views, the city is also surrounded by incredible lakes. When our brokers seek a day of activity or relaxation, they head for these lakes around Portland that fill either need. 

  • Blue Lake Regional Park - 21224 NE Blue Lake Rd., Fairview, OR 97024
    It's water, water everywhere at Blue Lake Regional Park, only minutes from Fairview homes for sale. The namesake lake, with its swimming beach and fishing spots, is the main attraction. Kids can romp in the activity-filled splash pad, while everyone can enjoy walks around three additional ponds and wetlands, with opportunities to spot birds and wildlife. Challenge family and friends to games of basketball, volleyball, softball, soccer, horseshoes, or disc golf. Be sure to visit the Natural Discovery Garden before or after your leisurely picnic lunch. Park hours are 8 a.m. - 8 p.m. daily through September 14. Admission is free, but there is a $5 parking fee per car.

  • Vancouver Lake Regional Park - 6801 NW Lower River Rd., Vancouver, WA 98660
    One of the many benefits of Vancouver homes for sale is proximity to Vancouver Lake Regional Park. The sprawling, 190-acre grounds lie on the west shore of beautiful Vancouver Lake, which itself covers 2,300 acres. Swimming, windsurfing, canoeing, and kayaking are popular activities on the lake, which hosts a number of rowing competitions each year. Work up an appetite with a lively game of sand volleyball, then settle in around the picnic tables and barbecue grills for lunch. Take a stroll along park trails for scenic views of Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Adams. Vancouver Lake Regional Park is open daily from 7 a.m. - dusk. There is no admission fee, but parking is $3 per car. 

  • Buck Lake - Mt. Hood National Forest
    Discover (or rediscover) the joys of a good old-fashioned swimming hole at Buck Lake. This dog-friendly secluded spot, deep within Mt. Hood National Forest, is so serene that you'll forget you're near Sandy homes for sale. Fed from rain and snow melt, Buck Lake's crystal-clear, aquamarine waters create a calming ambiance that's perfect for relaxation. Not ready to leave? Primitive campsites are available. There is no admission fee or restricted hours.

  • Timothy Lake - Mt. Hood National Forest
    Mt. Hood National Forest doesn't have just one lake to stop at. There are 150 lakes to choose from! While you're enjoying your Clackamas County outdoor adventure, make sure to visit Timothy Lake, which is the largest lake in the national forest. This lake offers fantastic views of the mountain, plus there are ample fishing opportunities if you decide to bring your fishing gear along for your lake day. Trout and salmon are common in this lake. Plus, the nearby campsites make it so you can stay as long as you'd like. In fact, there are over 260 designated camping spots to choose from around the lake, making this one of the largest camping spots in the whole state. Reserve a camping spot online, so you're all set for a relaxing nature retreat.

  • Trillium Lake - Government Camp, OR 97028
    Breathtaking Trillium Lake, just a short drive from Government Camp homes for sale, is as pretty as the flower that shares its name. With majestic Mt. Hood reflected on the water, people enjoy non-motorized boating, swimming, and trout fishing on the 63-acre lake. Trillium Shoreline Trail, a two-mile pet-friendly boardwalk path that circles the lake, makes a nice walk that's easy enough for families. Plan your visit to include sunrise or sunset for some Instagram-worthy photos. Film and book lovers frequently make a side trip to Timberline Lodge, a National Historic Landmark approximately 10 miles away. Dating back to the 1930s, the resort served as a location in the movie version of The Shining. If you prefer less ghostly quarters, Trillium Lake also features a campground. A day-use pass for Trillium Lake is $10.

Outdoor adventures are one of the many things people love about living near Portland. Do your summer plans include buying or selling a home around Portland? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain to get started.

July
25

Best Trails for a Sunrise Hike in Portland

Portland Hiking

Few sights can match the awe-inspiring experience of a sunrise over the spectacular natural scenery around Portland homes for sale, and there are plenty of great trails in the area that allow you to get a front-row seat for one of nature's most amazing displays. As an added bonus, hitting the trails early allows you to beat the crowds and leaves you plenty of time to tackle everything else you need to do in your busy day. Our brokers appreciate the natural beauty of Portland, and we've got all of the key details on some of the best trails for a sunrise hike around the city.

  • Kelley Point Park – N. Kelly Point Rd., Portland, OR 97203
    Located at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, Kelly Point Park has a long, interesting history. In the early days of Oregon's settlement, this land was viewed as a place to start a city. Instead, it eventually became a city park, where you can watch the sunrise over the rivers with a pleasant breeze at your back. The Kelley Point Loop trail makes it easy to traverse the park with a short, scenic 1.7-mile hike.

  • Powell Butte Nature Park – 16160 SE Powell Blvd., Portland, OR 97236
    If you're in the mood for a hike with some elevation, Powell Butte Nature Park is an excellent choice. The park is located on an extinct cinder cone volcano, with about 600 feet of elevation to hike before you reach the highest point. There are a variety of trails here to choose from, and watching the sunrise from the top of an extinct volcano is one Portland experience that you won't want to miss.

  • Mt. Tabor Park – SE 60th Ave. & SE Salmon St., Portland, OR 97215
    Why settle for one hike on a cinder cone volcano when you can have two? Mt. Tabor Park is also located on a volcanic cinder cone, with paved trails that help you travel the 636 feet of elevation until you reach the top. This park offers some of the best views of the Portland skyline that you'll find anywhere, making it a great place to capture some sunrise photos during your hike.

  • Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge – SE Sellwood Blvd. & SE 7th Ave., Portland, OR 97202
    For a sunrise hike with a side of bird watching, try a trip to Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. The refuge features a 2.3-mile loop trail that offers excellent views of the blue herons that like to congregate here and allows you to watch the sunrise over the marsh. There are dozens of other species of birds to spot as you hike, with different species to see depending on what time of year you visit.

  • Forest Park – Portland, OR 97231
    With more than 40 access points located around Portland, 80 miles of trails, and over 5,200 acres to explore, Forest Park is one of the largest urban parks in the world. There's a trail here for hikers of every experience level, and the Trail Map makes it easy to find an access point to Forest Park near your home. With hilly, occasionally steep terrain, this park rewards your hiking effort with some of the best sunrise views in Portland. The longest trail at Forest Park is the 30-mile Wildwood Trail, which is recognized as a National Recreation Trail and connects with many of the park's access points.

  • Tom McCall Waterfront Park – 98 SW Naito Pkwy., Portland, OR 97204
    Located in the heart of downtown Portland along the Willamette River, Tom McCall Waterfront Park is a dog-friendly park ideal for a quick morning hike with your furry friend. While the scenery here is more urban than the other larger parks on our list, the waterfront views are still fantastic. There are also interactive fountains and splash pads perfect for keeping the kids entertained if you bring them along for your hike.

  • Hoyt Arboretum – 4000 SW Fairview Blvd., Portland, OR 97221
    Speaking of kid-friendly hiking destinations, Hoyt Arboretum offers a number of advantages if you're going for a sunrise hike with the whole family. The trails here are expansive, well-marked, and easy to traverse, making them ideal for young hikers. Hoyt Arboretum is home to more than 2,000 species of shrubs and trees, with educational signs that make it easy to teach your kids about each species. Watching the sunrise above the towering trees and lush green scenery is something that visitors of all ages can appreciate.

Searching for a home that makes it easy to enjoy the natural beauty of Portland? Our local team is here to help with all of your real estate needs. Contact us to buy and sell homes in the Portland, OR area.

July
11

Explore Portland: Get to Know the Pearl District

Portland Pearl District

Get to know the glittering jewel of Portland's incredible neighborhoods. Our brokers share their favorite must-see places in the chic and historic Pearl District.

History of the Pearl District

While the word "pearl" conjures up images of a shiny, polished gem, Portland's Pearl District was originally a gritty area that was home to railroads, warehouses, and industrial buildings. In the mid-1980s, urban renewal began transforming the neighborhood into a popular district known for art galleries, charming boutiques, and trendy restaurants.

At one time, the district was known simply as the Triangle, but a search began for a more satisfying name. The Rose Arts Magazine presented a list of suggestions, and the Pearl District ended up gaining favor as a reference to the artists who were setting up studios in warehouses being converted to lofts.

Activities

  • Jamison Square - 810 NW 11th Ave., Portland, OR 97209
    Green spaces were a major part of the plan for the Pearl District, and the best-known may be Jamison Square. This pocket-sized park, just under one acre, is a favorite of families because of its centerpiece fountain. Designed to replicate a tidal pool, the fountain features a waterfall that cascades into a continually refilling basin. Park hours are 5 a.m. -  midnight daily. 

  • First Thursday - NW 13th Ave. & NW Irving St., Portland, OR 97210
    First Thursday
    is one of three monthly art walks held in Portland. Artists are on hand at Pearl District galleries to discuss their work, as well as selling their pieces at street stands. Live music and refreshments complete the picture. Hours are 5 p.m. - 10 p.m. and admission is free.

Shops

  • Powell's City of Books - 1005 W. Burnside St., Portland, OR 97209
    Founded in 1971, Powell's City of Books is a true Portland landmark. The store takes up an entire city block with nine color-coded rooms that encompass more than 3,500 different sections. Book lovers from around the country flock to the Rare Book Room, which includes autographed first editions and other items of interest. Powell's is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. - 9 p.m.

  • Recycled Chic Boutique - 239 NW 13th Ave., Suite 209, Portland, OR 97209
    It's no surprise that Portland residents want to look stylish while still observing their commitment to the environment. Recycled Chic Boutique offers a thoughtfully curated selection of gently-used designer clothing and accessories, from casual streetwear to high fashion. You're likely to find brands such as Alexander McQueen, Burberry, and Jimmy Choo represented. Hours are noon - 4 p.m. on weekdays.

Dining

  • Fuller's Coffee Shop - 136 NW 9th Ave., Portland, OR 97209
    Tradition is alive and well in the Pearl District at Fuller's Coffee Shop. This old-school diner opened in 1947 and still retains the delightful retro ambiance. Instead of booths or tables, take a seat at the classic U-shaped counters with swivel stools. Breakfast is served all day, as well as comfort food favorites such as BLTs, burgers, and egg salad sandwiches. Fuller's is open 7 a.m. - 2 p.m. daily except Sunday when starting time is 8 a.m. 

  • Oven and Shaker - 1134 NW Everett St., Portland, OR 97209
    Pizza may be considered casual food, but it's serious business at Oven and Shaker. Chef Cathy Whims, a multiple James Beard award nominee, was inspired by numerous trips to Italy. Oven and Shaker's pizza begins with their signature 70-year-old sourdough starter and features fresh local ingredients for the toppings. Pies are hand-tossed and fired in a Milanese wood-burning oven that was transported brick-by-brick from Europe. Hours are 4 p.m. - 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 4 p.m. - 10 p.m. Friday, noon - 10 p.m. Saturday, and noon - 9 p.m. Sunday.

Entertainment

  • Portland Center Stage - 128 NW 11th Ave., Portland, OR 97209
    From its origins as a branch of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Center Stage has grown to become one of the top 20 regional theaters in the country. In addition to plays, Center Stage hosts events such as art exhibits, improv shows, and live music. 

  • The Big Legrowlski - 812 NW Couch St., Portland, Or 97209
    At The Big Legrowlski shows are on every night, featuring the best local musicians, open jams, and dance parties with top DJs. Hours are 7 p.m. - midnight Sunday through Thursday and 6 p.m. - midnight Wednesday through Saturday. Showtime is 7 p.m. Cover charge runs $5-$10, with no cover for open jams.

No one knows Portland homes for sale like our cheerful and experienced brokers. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain to learn more.

June
27

Get to Know Portland Community Gardens

Portland Community Gardens

Portland is affectionately known as Rose City, but the local landscape produces an amazing range of plants, flowers, fruits, and vegetables.

Nature and community are two of the most cherished aspects in Portland, so it's easy to see why these things combine at local community gardens.

Our brokers take a look at the ever-growing (no pun intended!) network of community gardens around Portland homes for sale and let you know how you can get involved.

Community Gardens

In 1975, city leaders got the ball rolling with the Community Gardens program. Residents team up with Portland Parks & Recreation employees to create and nurture 58 gardens throughout the city, with some welcome physical activity and social interaction as a bonus.

Each year, plots are assigned between February and June, with a limit of one plot per household. One person is designated as the primary gardener, who is expected to complete at least half the work on their household's plot.

Plot sizes run from 50 to 800 square feet, along with a smaller ADA-accessible raised bed. Annual fees are determined on a sliding scale based on household size and income, running between $5-$220. Scholarships covering up to 75 percent of the fees are available to qualified households.

In the spirit of cooperation, all gardeners complete a minimum of six hours of service per year on outside plots in their garden. Common tasks can include weeding the paths and fence lines or cleaning the tool shed.

Produce for People is a side project in which gardens contribute fruits and vegetables to local food banks and shelters. Produce grown in community gardens includes a variety of versatile, nutrient-rich foods such as tomatoes, green beans, winter squash, zucchini, collard greens, and cucumbers.

Friends of Portland Community Gardens

When budget cuts threatened to shut down the Community Gardens program in 1985, another group stepped in to form Friends of Portland Community Gardens. Like Community Gardens, the non-profit organization has a mission to promote the development of healthy food and community bonds.

FPCG does not have its own network of gardens. Rather, it functions as a support system for the city's program along with other non-Parks & Recreation gardens throughout Portland. This support takes the form of providing supplies, cash awards, fiscal sponsorships, and educational resources. Occasionally, as in the case of Crossroads Community Garden, FPCG will coordinate efforts of interested parties who want to create a new garden.

As with any non-profit, FPCG is dependent on volunteers. Supporters can sign up to work in the field or at special events. The organization also looks for help with committees like Finance, Fundraising, Volunteer Recruitment, and Marketing. Individual and family memberships are available for annual fees of $25 and $45, respectively.

Grow Portland

Grow Portland, founded in 2010, was initially built on the foundation so wonderfully established by Community Gardens and FPCG. Five years later, Grow Portland expanded on that mission by reaching out to the next generation of gardeners. 

When Grow Portland discovered that teachers wanted to offer garden-based education but lacked resources, the organization started programs to address the need. They later joined forces with Portland Earth, Art, & Agriculture Project to use gardens at public schools as an innovative way to teach kids about ecology, art, and food.

In the meantime, Grow Portland continues to support community gardening throughout the city. Their work is currently focused in East Portland.

Activities of Grow Portland have also placed an emphasis on refugees and immigrants. Expansion of community gardening access for this segment created an increase in "healing spaces" for families dealing with displacement and trauma. 

Results tell the story. According to studies of Grow Portland participants, 100 percent reported reduced levels of stress and increased physical activities, with greater consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables. Gardeners harvest an average of $500 worth of organic produce each year, for a significant financial savings. 

Want to support Grow Portland? The organization welcomes monthly and annual donations, and some companies have a matching program for charitable giving by employees.

Find out why life in Portland is all roses and no thorns. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain for more local intel as well as experienced help with all your real estate needs.

April
18

Where to Find Little Free Libraries in Seattle

Seattle Libraries

The Little Free Library movement has been gaining popularity in cities all around the country, but few places have embraced it with more enthusiasm than Seattle. All around the city, you'll find Little Free Libraries where you can freely exchange books with friends and neighbors. Find something new and exciting to read while supporting a good cause in the process. Our brokers have more information on what Little Free Libraries are all about and where you can find some of the many Little Free Libraries in Seattle.

What is a Little Free Library?

The Little Free Library (LFL) movement started with simple goals, to provide a way for communities to freely exchange books and foster a love of reading in communities all around the country. In order to accomplish this goal, charters are issued to people who want to set up a Little Free Library in their neighborhood. Most Little Free Libraries come in the form of book exchange boxes holding a few dozen books, which are open for all to enjoy. You can download the LFL app or check the interactive map to help you easily find libraries close to you. It's also easy to register online if you're interested in setting up a new LFL in your own neighborhood near Seattle homes for sale.

Little Free Library Locations in Seattle

  • Essentia Seattle – 2008 1st Ave., Seattle, WA 98121
    The employees at the Essentia mattress store in Seattle include many who enjoy a good book, so the team at the store came together to set up a Little Free Library to share that love of reading with everyone who happens to stop by. This LFL is located in the Belltown neighborhood, surrounded by other shops, salons, dining destinations, and residential properties.

  • Cayton Corner Park – 1625 19th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122
    The Friends of Cayton Corner Park are hard at work designing and building a new park at the corner of 19th Ave. and Madison for everyone in the community to enjoy. They've set up an LFL in a temporary location that will be there throughout the construction process of the new park and plan to find a more permanent location for the LFL once Cayton Corner Park is officially ready to open to the community.

  • Center for Wooden Boats – 1010 Valley St., Seattle, WA 98109
    Interested in borrowing books with a nautical theme? One of the more distinctive Little Free Libraries in Seattle can be found at the Center for Wooden Boats, where the library exchange box is built from the bow of an old wooden rowboat. Fittingly, you can find this LFL on the docks in Lake South Union, and it's open for borrowing during regular business hours for the Center for Wooden Boats.

  • Alison Marti Little Free Library – 211 Howe St., Seattle, WA 98109
    Created in honor of a parent who instilled a love of reading in her children, the Alison Marti LFL is all about sharing that love of reading with the next generation of young bookworms. This LFL is regularly stocked with fresh children's books, from old, classic books that have been passed down for generations to the latest releases in children's literature. Stop by to grab a book to read to your own kids or donate a book for other children to enjoy.

  • Bagley Blues Little Free Library – 3812 Bagley Ave N., Seattle, WA 98103
    One of quite a few Little Free Libraries along Bagley Ave., the Bagley Blues LFL offers a unique perk. Along with a great rotating selection of different books, this library is built next to an herb garden in planters. The library's owner encourages visitors to take home a few sprigs of fresh herbs for themselves, along with a book.

  • John Hay Jaguars – 2235 12th Ave. W., Seattle, WA 98119
    Constructed and signed by the 2020 fifth grade class from John Hay Elementary, the John Hay Jaguars LFL is a great example of the creativity that goes into building so many of the Little Free Libraries in Seattle. It includes a beautiful glass window, a shingled roof, and a red coat of paint to match the school's colors.

Ready to find a home close to all of the art, culture, and community spirit Seattle has to offer? Our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Seattle, WA, area.

April
4

Spend the Day in Woodinville

Woodinville

Looking for a break from the fast pace of Seattle? The picturesque and peaceful wine country of Woodinville is less than 30 minutes away. Spend a refreshing day visiting these attractions that are favorites of our brokers

  • Woodinville Farmers Market - 13205 NE 175th St., Woodinville, WA 98072
    Woodinville Farmers Market is more than just a place to get fresh, locally-grown fruits, vegetables, and flowers. Vendors are on hand with baked goods, specialty foods, and unique craft items. Add live music and kids' activities and you've got a fun day for the whole family. This year, the market moves to its new location, with triple the space and room for several new vendors. Hours are 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. each Saturday from May through November. 

  • Over the Rainbow - 16509 140th Pl. NE, Suite B, Woodinville, WA 98072
    If you think Washington is a beautiful state, just wait until you see it from up above. Over the Rainbow offers hot air balloon rides at sunrise and sunset, when the landscape can be seen in the most flattering light. Sunrise flights conclude back on solid ground with a champagne toast, while sunset flights are followed by a wine tasting at Suite C's Vino. Private flights for couples or groups of up to eight people are also available. Visit the website for reservations and pricing.

  • Molbak's Garden + Home - 13625 NE 175th St., Woodinville, WA 98072
    When you see Woodinville homes for sale with great curb appeal, chances are it was created with plants and supplies from Molbak's Garden + Home. Neighborhood gardeners and landscapers have been purchasing shrubs, perennials, and fertilizer from this family-owned store since 1956. But at Molbak's, it's not just the outside that counts. Their full-size gift store is chock-full of home decor, kitchen goods, bath and body care products, jewelry, and books. Take a break for a sandwich or coffee and a muffin at the Garden Café. Molbak's is open seven days a week from 9 a.m. -  6 p.m.

  • Chateau Ste. Michelle - 14111 NE 145th St., Woodinville, WA 98072
    Woodinville boasts more than 100 tasting rooms, but presiding over all the others is Chateau Ste. Michelle, the oldest winery in Washington. As the story goes, back in the early 20th century, the Chateau's founding fathers were motivated to show that great wine wasn't limited to France and California. Today, the Chateau is one of the few premium wineries in the world to have two separate facilities for red and white wine. Available tasting experiences include Charcuterie-Making, Chateau Igloos, and Sunken Garden. The tasting room is open 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. daily except on weekends when hours are extended to 7 p.m. Visit the website for information and pricing of tasting experiences. 

  • The Herbfarm - 14590 NE 145th St., Woodinville, WA 98072
    The accolades bestowed upon The Herbfarm are usually reserved for restaurants in New York, Paris, or London, but this unique spot is firmly ensconced in the list of elite restaurants in the United States and around the world. Each evening, a single seating is held in the elegant dining room, with a nine-course themed dinner accompanied by five or six matched wines. Before service begins, guests are treated to an outdoor hosted garden tour. Make it a romantic weekend with an overnight stay in one of The Herbfarm's luxurious guest suites. Prices vary based on the current menu.

  • Sammamish River Trail
    Spanning 11 miles from Marymoor Park to Blythe Park, the Sammamish River Trail provides a welcome opportunity to explore the green spaces and waterfront scenery that are a significant part of Woodinville's charm. The pet-friendly paved trail accommodates walkers, runners, skaters, and bikers, while there is an adjacent soft-surface trail for horseback riders. If you prefer, venture out on the river itself for kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. People who want a more challenging workout can continue on to the connection with the Burke-Gilman Trail, which proceeds for another 18.8 miles into Seattle. Trail hours are dawn until dusk and there is no fee for use.

  • The PicNic Table - 18672 142nd Ave. NE, Woodinville, WA 98072
    Inspired by the Mediterranean cafés of his native Tuscany, Chef Danilo Amato brings the same bright flavors and casual elegance to The PicNic Table. Enjoy upscale dishes such as duck rillettes and wild salmon BLT on-site, or get one of the gourmet picnic baskets to go for a day of touring wineries. The PicNic Table is open 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, 11 a.m. - 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday, and 11 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday.

Whatever your lifestyle, you'll find a perfect fit among the amazing Seattle homes for sale. For experienced help and up-to-the-minute market information, contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain.

March
14

7 Things to do in Old Town Chinatown

Chinatown

You never run out of interesting things to see and do in Portland. Old Town Chinatown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and offers some truly unique attractions in the Portland area. Our brokers love telling people about Portland and all it has to offer! Be sure to check out these 7 places in Old Town Chinatown. 

  1. Lan Su Chinese Garden - 239 NW Everett St, Portland, OR 97209
    A nod to Portland's Chinese heritage, the Lan Su Chinese Garden is a tranquil botanical garden in the heart of Old Town Chinatown. The garden was founded in 2000 in partnership with the city of Suzhou, which is Portland's sister city in China. In addition to its magnificent stonework and lush assortment of native Chinese plants and trees, the Lan Su Chinese Garden includes an authentic Chinese tea house, which is surrounded by beautiful foliage and water features. The garden is just minutes from many Portland homes for sale

  2. Portland Saturday Market - 2 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204
    Held every Saturday from March until Christmas, the Portland Saturday Market is the oldest continuously-operated outdoor market in the United States. Since 1974, it's been Portland's best destination for art, crafts, and freshly made food. The market overlooks the Willamette River, between the west side of the Burnside Bridge and the Old Town Archways. More than 250 vendors make visiting the Portland Saturday Market a fun, colorful, ever-changing experience. 

  3. Portland Oregon White Stag Sign - 70 NW Couch St, Portland, OR 97209
    The Portland Oregon White Stag Sign is easily one of the most iconic and often-photographed landmarks in Portland. The instantly-recognizable neon sign is perched atop the White Stag Building, overlooking the Burnside Bridge. Although it has changed a handful of times over the years since the sign was first illuminated in 1940, it remains one of the city's must-see attractions. You always know it's Christmastime in Portland when the White Stag sign is given its red nose for the season! 

  4. Portland Union Station - 800 NW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97209
    Portland was a major West Coast boomtown in the late 1800s, and its rapid growth was spurred on even more by the arrival of the railroads. The Portland Union Station has served as the city's primary rail hub since it opened its doors on Valentine's day in 1896. To this day, it's an active railway station in addition to being a link to Oregon's past. Portland Union Station is known for its Romanesque clock tower, which is a fixture of the Old Town Chinatown skyline. 

  5. Dan and Louis Oyster Bar - 208 SW Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97204
    There are plenty of places in Old Town Chinatown to grab a drink and a bite to eat, but none offer a taste of Portland's history quite like Dan and Louis Oyster Bar. This beloved local watering hole and eatery has been in the same location since 1907 when it was first opened as City Oyster Co. by Louis C. Wachsmuth. The name was changed to Dan and Louis Oyster Bar after a newspaper article noted that Louis' son Dan was always there working. It's still one of the best places in Portland to enjoy happy hour drinks and shuck a few oysters. 

  6. Voodoo Doughnut - 22 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR 97204
    If Dan and Louis Oyster Bar represents Old Portland, then Voodoo Donut must represent New Portland. Offering an eclectic assortment of colorful, flavorful pastries, Voodoo Donut was a hole-in-the-wall joint known only to locals until 2009, when it blew up after being prominently featured on The Amazing Race. They're known for creative offerings like their raspberry-filled Voodoo Doll donut, complete with a pretzel "stake" through its heart. A lot of their donuts are vegan as well. 

  7. Oregon Maritime Museum - 198 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204
    The Oregon Maritime Museum is a unique, must-visit attraction on the Portland Waterfront. This floating museum is housed inside the Sternwheeler Portland, a historic steam-powered sternwheel tugboat docked on the Old Town Chinatown waterfront in the Willamette River. The fully-restored craft dates back to the turn of the 20th century, and its the last operational ship of its kind in the United States. The ship is open to the public on guided group tours and houses a wide range of artifacts and memorabilia in addition to the Sternwheeler itself. 

Looking for more information on Portland's distinctive neighborhoods and historic districts? Contact us today to learn more about life in Portland, and talk to our brokers about finding your dream home in the Portland area. 

February
7

Winter Outdoor Activities Near Seattle

Seattle Outdoors

Do you love to experience the great outdoors? Winter is the perfect time to explore some of the vast natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest, and the great thing about Seattle homes for sale is that you won't have to travel far to find outdoor adventures. Whether you're interested in snow sports, hiking, outdoor art installations, excellent local parks, or other outdoor adventures, there is something for you in the Seattle area. Our brokers have all of the key info on some of the best winter outdoor activities to enjoy around Seattle.

Skiing, Snowboarding, and Tubing

  • The Summit at Snoqualmie – 1001 WA-906, Snoqualmie Pass, WA 98068
    The closest ski resort to Seattle, The Summit at Snoqualmie, only takes about 30 minutes to reach from the city with easy access via I-90. If you're new to skiing/snowboarding, are looking for a resort where your kids can learn, or you want to fit in a few quick runs without traveling far from the city, this resort is an excellent option. Most of the runs here fall into the intermediate category, providing a fun, accessible challenge for beginners or a relaxing day on the slopes for anyone who's more experienced.

  • Stevens Pass Resort – US-2, Skykomish, WA 98288
    Are you a more experienced skier or snowboarder, or someone looking for a little more variety than you'll find at smaller mountains? Then a trip to Stevens Pass Resort, which is located about 1.5 hours from Seattle, is more than worth the effort. With more than 35 runs to explore, including an excellent terrain park, this resort offers something for everyone. Kids and anyone new to skiing or snowboarding will find the lessons here very helpful. There's even night skiing available when you're in the mood to squeeze in a few runs after work.

  • Crystal Mountain – 33914 Crystal Mountain Blvd., Crystal Mountain, WA 98022
    While it's the farthest resort from Seattle on our list, Crystal Mountain also offers the most runs by far and the most challenging trails for experienced skiers and snowboarders. This resort packs in nearly 60 trails, most of them intermediate, advanced, and expert levels, with a few beginner trails sprinkled in to make the mountain accessible for everyone. There are also ample RV and camping sites available when you want to take a quick vacation without traveling too far from home in Seattle.

Seattle Area Parks to Explore in Winter

  • Bellevue Botanical Garden – 12001 Main St., Bellevue, WA 98005
    Long a local favorite near Bellevue homes for sale, the Bellevue Botanical Garden is the perfect place for an outdoor winter walk. In addition to the gorgeous gardens and the spectacular Ravine Experience, Bellevue Botanical Garden offers some great classes and lectures all winter long. Stop by for experiences like the Evergreen Botanicals in Winter art class, Houseplants 101, Educator Workshops, and many more.

  • Kubota Garden – 9817 55th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118
    Originally the private garden of renowned Japanese landscaper Fujitaro Kubota, Kubota Garden was designed in 1927 with an innovative mix of Japanese design concepts and plants from the Pacific Northwest. Now part of the Seattle public park system, Kubota Garden is a great place to visit when you're in the mood for some quiet contemplation in nature this winter. While the flowers won't be in bloom, the evergreens add color to the landscape of rolling hills, streams, ponds, and bridges.

Outdoor Art and Other Adventures

  • Olympic Sculpture Park – 2901 Western Ave., Seattle, WA 98121
    Located in downtown Seattle, the Olympic Sculpture Park is a public park operated by the Seattle Art Museum, which includes a unique outdoor sculpture museum that covers 9 acres with a diverse collection of modern and contemporary art. With views of the Salish Sea and the Olympic Mountains on clear days, this park is the perfect place to get a taste of nature without leaving the city. This park is also connected with the Elliot Bay Trail, allowing you to take a winter nature walk for as long as you'd like, with beautiful views all around you.

  • Woodland Park Zoo – 5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103
    For family fun on a winter day, try bundling up and making a trip to the Woodland Park Zoo. Winter is an excellent time to visit the zoo, with smaller crowds and many exciting experiences to enjoy. Woodland Park Zoo strongly recommends purchasing tickets online in advance, so be sure to plan ahead when you decide to visit.

Ready to buy or sell your next home close to all of the amazing outdoor experiences around Seattle? Our local real estate team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes in the Seattle, WA area.

January
10

Hidden Gems: Portland Parks to Visit

Portland Pocket Parks

Each year, visitors flock to the Pacific Northwest to take in the region's fabled sights. Even so, there are a number of delightful pockets of land, or pocket parks, around Portland homes for sale that manage to stay under the radar. Our brokers let you in on some of their favorite hidden gems in Portland.

  • Lovejoy Fountain Park - SW 3rd Ave. & Harrison St., Portland, OR 97204
    Need some time to get away from a hectic workday? Lovejoy Fountain Park is a secret oasis that sits below street level in the heart of downtown. The park's namesake, Asa Lawrence Lovejoy, was one of the earliest developers of the frontier town that became known as Portland. Life Magazine once described the park as "a piece of wilderness transplanted," with its centerpiece fountain and tree-lined borders. Lovejoy Fountain Park is open seven days a week from 5 a.m. - midnight.

  • Poet's Beach - South Waterfront Park, 2001 S. River Dr., Portland, OR 97201
    With a name like Poet's Beach, this hidden gem should be on everyone's must-see list. Located in South Waterfront Park, Poet's Beach sits on the west bank of the Willamette River, just north of the Marquam Bridge. The beach itself is small, but it offers some spectacular views. Swimming is allowed during summer, although there are no lifeguards on duty. Park hours are 5 a.m. - midnight daily.

  • Kelley Point Park - N. Marine Dr. & Lombard St., Portland, OR 97203
    Hall Jackson Kelley, a transplant from New England, was one of the more vocal supporters of the Pacific Northwest in the 19th century. He failed in his efforts to create a city at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers, but the spot ultimately became Kelley Point Park. Situated on an isolated point of land, across from Sauvie Island, the dog-friendly park is worth a visit for the beautiful views from the vista point. Hours are 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily.

  • Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge - SE 7th Ave. & Sellwood Blvd., Portland, OR 97202
    Take the whole family on an outing to Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge, a fascinating real-life classroom that's the first facility of its kind in Portland. The 163 acres of meadows, wetlands, and woodlands support a wide range of fish and wildlife, including many that have been designated as "special status." Kids will have fun spotting quail, woodpeckers, great blue herons, and others from more than 175 species of birds that live on the grounds. Oak Bottom Wildlife Refuge is open daily from 5 a.m. - midnight.

  • Two Plum Park - 4057 NE 7th Ave., Portland, OR 97212
    At less than half an acre in size, Two Plum Park is truly a blink-and-you'll-miss-it parcel of land. But this tiny park, just big enough for a walking path and playground, serves as an enduring tribute to the power of community. When King neighborhood resident Joe King grew tired of the overgrown lot down the street, he started cleaning it up himself. Others joined in the project, and they ultimately convinced the city to turn it into a park, named for the two plum trees that grow there. Hours are 5 a.m. - midnight daily.

  • Leach Botanical Garden - 6704 SE 122nd Ave., Portland, OR 97236
    Leach Botanical Garden
    is the culmination of two love stories. Married in 1913, John and Lilla Leach remained together until John's death in 1972. During their long and successful marriage, Lilla discovered an interest in botany, which she pursued at their "Sleepy Hollow" home on Johnson Creek. The couple bequeathed the property to the City of Portland to be maintained as a botanical park and museum. Hours are 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is free, but donations are gratefully accepted.

  • Wishing Tree - 2954 NE 7th Ave., Portland, OR 97212
    While it may not technically fit the definition of a park, the Wishing Tree certainly merits a visit. In 2013, owner Nicole Helprin wrote out some wishes and hung them on the tree before leaving for a trip. Upon her return, she found the entire tree covered in wishes from others. The tradition continues to this day, and tags and markers are available to add your own wishes.

No matter what your lifestyle or background, you'll feel right at home in Portland. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain for help with your real estate needs. 

November
8

Dine at Portland's Food Carts

Portland Food Carts

Los Angeles may claim to have started the food truck craze, but Portland has truly embraced the trend. With more than 500 trucks, or "carts," as they're referred to by locals, Portland's food cart scene has drawn raves from Bon Appétit, CNN, and other national sources.

Our brokers spotlight some of their favorites among the exciting food carts found just minutes from Portland homes for sale.

  • Yoshi's Sushi - Multnomah Village French Quarter, 3518 SW Multnomah Blvd., Portland, OR 97219
    So you're viewing Portland homes for sale and you get a craving for sushi. What to do? Pick up the phone and call Yoshi's Sushi. Owner/chef Yoshi Ikeda shows that you don't have to go to a glitzy, upscale restaurant to get fresh, high-quality sushi. Customers rave about the nigiri, especially salmon and hotate, or scallop. Yoshi's is open Tuesday through Saturday for phone orders only, with lunch served from noon - 2 p.m. and dinner from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m. 

  • Jojo - 3582 SE Powell Blvd., Portland, OR 97202
    Chicken sandwich wars are raging among fast-food outlets everywhere, and many will declare JoJo to be the clear winner. Their fried chicken sandwiches come in four different varieties, and the star is the Fried Chicken Melt. Two slices of toasted shokupan bread hold a patty topped with American and Cheddar cheeses, Crystal hot sauce, house ranch, coleslaw, and chives. Jojo is open daily from 11 a.m. - 10 p.m.

  • Viking Soul Food - 4255 SE Belmont St., Portland, OR 97215
    It's called Viking Soul Food, but their Scandinavian-inspired dishes will definitely satisfy your taste buds as well. Owners Megan and Jeremy put their own spin on dishes from Megan's childhood, such as the Norwegian meatball wrap that was sampled by Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives. Save room for a lingonberry lefse wrap, stuffed with plump lingonberries and smooth cream cheese. Hours are noon - 8 p.m. daily except Friday and Saturday when closing time is 8:30 p.m. 

  • Tierra del Sol Oaxacan Cuisine - 7238 SE Foster Rd. #1, Portland, OR 97206
    Mexico's famed street food makes it a natural fit for a food truck. Located in the lively Portland Mercado, Tierra del Sol Oaxacan Cuisine offers classic dishes made with fresh, locally-sourced ingredients. The showstopper is the tlayuda, a 14-inch corn tortilla piled with chicharrons, black beans, queso Oaxaca, and veggies. Meat is optional, and the tlayuda comes packaged in a pizza box. Tierra del Sol is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m.

  • MF Tasty - 3927 N. Williams Ave., Portland, OR 97227
    MF Tasty grew out of another food trend, when husband-and-wife Eric and Nicole operated a secret supper club in Phoenix, AZ. After moving to Portland, the couple opened a food cart serving "Southwest inspired, Portland made" dishes. The menu changes each week, but typical offerings include pumpkin-spiced risotto, harissa-BBQ glazed "beetloaf," and their award-winning chorizo mac & cheese. Follow them on Instagram to view the current menu. Hours are 5 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 11:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m. Sunday and Monday.

  • Birrieria La Plaza - 600 SE 146th Ave., Portland, OR 97233
    Hard to improve on perfection, but birria-style takes tacos to another level. Birreria La Plaza cooks the flavorful dipping consome for hours to bring out all the seasonings and spices. Owner Oracio Hernandez's secret weapon is his mother, Doña Sofia, and the recipes she learned growing up on a farm in Jalisco, Mexico. Cheese lovers go for the combo that includes one each of quesotaco, mulita, vampiro, and quesadilla. Hours are 10:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. - 7 p.m. Saturday, and 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. Sunday.

  • Stretch the Noodle - 223-269 SW Washington St., Portland, WA 97204
    A visit to Stretch the Noodle rates high on both food and entertainment factors. On most days, you can watch chef Xuemei Simard practice the esteemed art of noodle-pulling as he folds, twists, and stretches dough into delicate strands. Every dish is made to order, and well worth the wait. Try the biang-biang noodles, a wide noodle with hot oil, black vinegar, and garlic sauce, topped with a sprinkling of sesame seeds. Stretch the Noodle is open weekdays from 9:30 a.m. - 6 p.m.

  • Erica's Soul Food - 803 SE 82nd Ave., Portland, ME 97216
    Authentic down-home Southern cuisine comes to Portland via Erica's Soul Food. Comfort food classics such as meatloaf, pimento cheese fries, and shrimp & grits will make you forget you're on the West Coast. Check out the Soul Bowls, mash-ups of Southern favorites like the Grandma, with meatloaf, cornbread, black-eyed peas, and cabbage. Erica's is open Wednesday through Sunday, with lunch served from noon - 2 p.m. and dinner from 4 p.m. - 7 p.m.

Find out why everything's coming up roses in Portland. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain to learn more.

October
4

Pacific Northwest Fall Foliage Tour

Pacific Northwest Fall

Is it possible that Pacific Northwest scenery can get even more spectacular? While we love this area in all seasons, there's something extra special about the fall. See Washington and Oregon dressed up in their fall colors at these beautiful locations as recommended by our brokers.

  • Kubota Garden - 9817 - 55th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118
    Two words used most often by people to describe dog-friendly Kubota Garden: "hidden gem." Namesake Fujitaro Kubota and his son Tom envisioned their property as a public space to be enjoyed by all. In 1987, the City of Seattle purchased the land to complete that mission. More than 140 varieties of Japanese maples fill the garden with brilliant fall hues, while the waterfall and fish pond add a touch of Zen. Kubota Garden is open daily from sunrise to sunset, and admission is free.

  • Washington Park Arboretum - 2300 Arboretum Dr. E., Seattle, WA 98112
    Set in 230 lush acres on the shores of Lake Washington, the Washington Park Arboretum offers something different with each visit. Themed gardens, such as Rhododendron Glen and Azalea Way, highlight specific plants and landscapes. Take a canoe or kayak out on Union Bay for a chance to spot hawks, owls, and other magnificent birds. Kids have fun learning about nature while they complete the fall scavenger hunt. There's no charge to visit the Arboretum, which is open seven days a week from dawn to dusk. 

  • Discovery Park - 3801 Discovery Park Blvd., Seattle, WA 98199
    Framed by the Olympic Mountains to the west and the Cascades in the east, Discovery Park features some of the more spectacular scenery around. At 534 acres, Discovery Park is the largest city park in Seattle, and it provides a welcome oasis to the surrounding urban hustle and bustle. Surrounded by sand dunes, cliffs, and forest groves, you'll feel like you're in another world. Park hours are 4 a.m. - 9:30 p.m. daily.

  • Lincoln Park - 8011 Fauntleroy Way SW, Seattle, WA 98136
    Tucked inside West Seattle, one of the city's oldest neighborhoods, is Lincoln Park. While it's much smaller than many of the other city parks, Lincoln Park has a wide variety of attractions that make it a favorite destination for families. Features include 4.6 miles of walking paths, 3.9 miles of biking paths, picnic shelters, and a renovated play area. Fall is a prime time for spotting orcas, seals, sea lions and porpoise out on Puget Sound. Lincoln Park is open seven days a week from 4 a.m. - 11:30 p.m.

  • Pittock Mansion - 3229 NW Pittock Dr., Portland, OR 97210
    In 1853, 19-year-old Henry Pittock heeded the call to "go west, young man." After moving from Pittsburgh to Portland, Henry became a successful businessman and built Pittock Mansion. Today, the stately home serves as a museum dedicated to the legacy of Henry Pittock and the story of Portland's development over the years. The 46-acre grounds include trails for viewing trees, flowers, and panoramas of the city skyline and the Cascade Mountains. Pittock Mansion is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. except for Tuesday, when doors open at noon. Admission is $12 for adults and $8 for ages 6-18.

  • Hoyt Arboretum - 4000 SW Fairview Blvd., Portland, OR 97221
    When Portland purchased 189 acres of land for $10 in 1922, the property was earmarked for development. Thanks to the efforts of key supporters, the land became the home of Hoyt Arboretum. More than 2,300 different tree species from more than six continents can be seen on the grounds, which is a greater number than any other arboretum in the country. Twelve miles of hiking trails provide opportunities to view Japanese maples, redwoods, flowering dogwoods, and many rare species. Watch for hawthorne fruits, magnolia cones, and snowberries, which take center stage during fall months. Hours are 5 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily, and there is no charge for admission.

  • South Park Blocks - 1436 SW Park Ave., Portland, OR 97201
    Don't have time for a day trip? Just head downtown to the South Park Blocks, a charming green space just north of Portland State University. The 12-block area was one of the city's first parks, dating back to 1852, and the tree-lined corridor is still a popular spot to enjoy a slice of nature. Mosaics, sculptures, and other artworks along the way add to the visual appeal. Park hours are 5 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily.

Whether you're looking for natural or urban delights, the Pacific Northwest has it all. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain for help with all your real estate needs.

August
16

National Honey Bee Day: Plants Bees Love on the West Coast

Honey bee gardensOne of the best reasons to buy a home is to have enough land to practice all your hobbies. Gardeners know it's crucial to have enough space for their plants to flourish. By choosing the right plants and nurturing them in the right ways, they make a positive impact that reaches far beyond their own home.

Never is this more obvious than when it comes to the humble honey bee!

Support Your Local Honey Bee Population with Bee-Friendly Gardening

National Honey Bee Day, also known as Honey Bee Awareness Day, is observed every August 21 in the United States. What better time than now to learn precisely what you can plant to attract bees and other pollinators? After all, the great majority of plants need pollinators like the bee to help them thrive!

When gardening to attract honey bees, remember that these little creatures have preferences. Flowers that consistently attract honey bees have visible pollen or nectar, making it easy for them to reach. Long, thin flowers don't appeal to bees, whose short tongues can't reach in. 

Hybrid flowers bearing big, showy blooms tend to have less nectar and attract fewer honey bees.

In addition to bees, hummingbirds and butterflies are common pollinators. Just because you see one type, it doesn't mean that the other types have been scared off. Plant a variety of flowers and you will get plenty of different pollinators. For those who are wondering, blue is widely believed to be honey bees' favorite color!

For a more bee-friendly garden, our brokers encourage you to consider these additions:

  • Bee Balm
    These colorful flowers have a unique "frilly" appearance and attract a wide range of pollinators. In addition to bees, you can expect to see more butterflies and even hummingbirds. Their distinctive dark green leaves hold a surprise: When crushed, they provide a surprisingly strong citrus-mint smell.

  • Joe Pye Weed
    Don't be put off by the name – this perennial plant is far more than a simple weed! Beloved by butterflies, in particular, Joe Pye Weed adds a pop of vivid pink, purple, and white all throughout late summer and fall. The dome-like flower growths are supported by lovely vanilla-scented leaves.

  • Yarrow
    Throughout history, Yarrow has been prized in many areas of the world as a plant associated with healing. These days, this perennial is appreciated as a drought-tolerant and colorful addition to any garden. It is highly attractive to both bees and butterflies. Beginning gardeners love yarrow because it is so easy to care for.

  • Delphinium
    This flowering plant adds texture to a garden thanks to its tall spires of colorful flowers. Those flowers come in a full spectrum of colors including blue, lavender, red, pink, purple, and white. A delphinium is sure to attract its share of admirers of all kinds – but it is particularly favored by hummingbirds.

  • Hardy Fuchsia
    With long, tubular flowers, the hardy fuchsia is another plant that calls out to pollinators of many different kinds. Bird-lovers enjoy planting it as a rest stop for hummingbirds and other feathered friends. Multicolored flowers are not uncommon with the hardy fuchsia, which usually blooms from late spring until frost.

  • Penstemon
    Bees can be attracted to the gently fragrant penstemon in surprising numbers, visiting its tubular flowers from far and wide. Butterflies often choose to alight there, too. Penstemon is well known among gardeners for its propensity to thrive in hot, sunny conditions. Beware that it does require regular watering.

  • Catmint
    A distant relative of the catnip plant, catmint won't be quite as compelling for your feline friends – bees, on the other hand, adore it. Bees are by far the most common catmint pollinator and will be visiting from late spring through the summer. Catmint's loose spikes of pink, lavender, or white can fit in many places in your garden.

Plant a few of these flowers and you're more likely to see honey bees buzzing along happily in your garden. Local, native plants often get lots of attention from bees. You can make their job easier by creating a water source in your garden. Bees use the water to cool their hives.

Looking for a new home with a yard perfect for putting your green thumb to the test? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain to discover real estate opportunities throughout the area.

August
2

Outdoor Movies Now Showing Near the Portland Area

Outdoor Movies

Summer is the perfect time to enjoy an outdoor movie with friends, and there are a wide variety of options available to watch outdoor films in the Portland area. Many local communities make movies available for free in weekly events at popular local parks, and some even offer the classic drive-in movie experience. If you're planning to enjoy an outdoor movie, remember that it's wise to bring your own seating, along with some snacks and drinks. Our brokers have the details on 5 communities in the Portland area showing outdoor movies this summer.

Outdoor Movies Now Showing Near the Portland Area

  • Rooftop Cinema at Lloyd Center – 2201 Lloyd Center, Portland, OR 97232
    Some of the usual outdoor movie events near Portland, OR homes for sale have been put on hold for summer 2021, but the Rooftop Cinema at Lloyd Center is still here to offer a movie experience unlike any other. There are different movies showing every Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in August, with the schedule trimming down to every Saturday and Sunday in September. Be sure to order your tickets ahead of time because advance tickets get priority seating on movie nights.

  • Lake Oswego Movies in the Park – 200 1st St., Lake Oswego, OR 97034
    Millennium Plaza Park is one of the most popular parks near Lake Oswego, OR, homes for sale, and it's also where you'll find the Movies in the Park series this summer. The next big movie on the schedule is "Moana," which will be showing on August 10. While this event is totally free to attend, registration is required. Make sure that you register beforehand and that everyone in your group is registered in order to make your experience as enjoyable as possible.

  • West Linn Movies at Tanner Creek Park – 3456 Parker Rd., West Linn, OR 97068
    Enjoy a busy schedule of family-friendly movies on Wednesday nights when you attend West Linn Movies at Tanner Creek Park. August features a busy schedule of movies at Tanner Creek Park, with "Moana" showing on August 4, the classic "The Goonies" on tap for August 11, and "Toy Story 4" to wrap up the summer movies series on August 18. The movies begin shortly after dusk and are free for everyone to enjoy. Stop by after checking out West Linn homes for sale

  • Vancouver Friday Night Movies in the Parks – New Location Every Friday
    The parks near Vancouver, WA homes for sale will be popular destinations for movie lovers all summer long, with the Friday Night Movies in the Parks series happening in a different park every weekend. Upcoming movies include "Wonder Woman 1984" at Washington School Park (August 6), "Frozen II" at Hearthwood Park (August 13), "Onward" at Bagley Community Park (August 20), and "Scoob!" at Oakbrook Park (August 27). There's no admission fee, but visitors are encouraged to bring their own seating and snacks.

  • North Clackamas Drive-In Movies – 7300 SE Harmony Rd., Milwaukie, OR 97222
    Head south of Portland and get the best of both worlds by enjoying an outdoor movie from the comfort of your own car when you visit the North Clackamas Drive-In Movies series in Milwaukie. The series takes place on Saturday nights throughout the summer, with movies starting around dusk. Make sure to register ahead of time if you plan to attend this event, then get ready to enjoy movies like "Night at the Museum," which is playing on August 7 at the North Clackamas Aquatic Park.

Searching for a home close to all of the outdoor attractions and fun community events around Portland? Our team is here to help. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Portland, OR area.

July
12

Picnic Spots Throughout Seattle

Picnic Spots Throughout Seattle

With a city surrounded by water and mountains, is it any wonder that outdoor dining is so popular in Seattle? Pack a basket or grab some carryout and visit one of these amazing picnic spots around Seattle recommended by our brokers

  • Waterfall Garden Park - 219 2nd Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98104
    An urban picnic area may sound like an oxymoron, but Seattle is full of such unconventional delights. Waterfall Garden Park is tucked into an unobtrusive 60-by-80-feet spot in historic Pioneer Square. Until 1975, the site held the headquarters of United Parcel Service. Today, the charming park includes a 22-foot man-made waterfall and a dual-level patio with tables and chairs, making it a wonderful place for a lunch hour picnic or reading break. Park hours are 8 a.m. - 3:45 p.m. daily.

  • Green Lake Park - 7201 E. Green Lake Dr., Seattle, WA 98115
    The area around Green Lake Park features some of the most desirable Seattle homes for sale, and it's not hard to see why. Who wouldn't want to live just down the street from a beautiful three-acre lake surrounded by lush green space? The neighborhood is full of great restaurants, delis, and sandwich shops where you can pick up a picnic-friendly meal. Work up an appetite or work off some calories with swimming at the lifeguard-patrolled beach or a walk along the 2.8-mile path that circles the lake. Bring along a guidebook to identify the numerous birds and waterfowl you're sure to see. Green Lake Park is open 24/7.

  • Dr. Jose Rizal Park - 1007 12th Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98144
    Seattle has one of the most iconic skylines in the country. Take in some incredible views of downtown and Puget Sound during your picnic at Dr. Jose Rizal Park on Beacon Hill. With nearly 10 acres of grounds, including reservable picnic areas, the park can accommodate groups of any size. Be sure to bring Fido along and spend some quality time at the off-leash dog area. Park hours are 4 a.m. - 11:30 p.m., seven days a week.

  • Gas Works Park - 2101 N. Northlake Way, Seattle, WA 98103
    When someone in Seattle says, "Go fly a kite," people immediately head to Gas Works Park. The 19.1-acre site, once the home of the Seattle Gas Light Company plant, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Kite-flying on the park's spacious hills is a local ritual, while remnants of the original facility are incorporated into a play barn that's a favorite of families. Watch seaplanes land and take off from Lake Union against the backdrop of the downtown skyline. Gas Works Park is open daily from 6 a.m. - 10 p.m.

  • Washington Park Arboretum - 2300 Arboretum Dr. E., Seattle, WA 98112
    Nature is on display in all its glory at Washington Park Arboretum, a 230-acre extravaganza of gardens, wetlands, and wooded areas. The grounds contain 5,500 different plants from all corners of the world, including one of the top Japanese maple tree collections. Choose your favorite points of interest and create your own walking tour along the numerous trails. Print one of the seasonal scavenger hunts from the website and see how many items kids can find. Leashed dogs are welcome at the arboretum. Hours are dawn - 8 p.m. daily, and admission is free.

  • Carkeek Park - 950 NW Carkeek Park Rd., Seattle, WA 98177
    Washington state is known for apples because of spots like historic Piper's Orchard in Carkeek Park. Six miles of trails lead to the orchard, as well as spectacular views of Whidbey Island and the Olympic Mountains. The salmon-themed playground plays tribute to another notable product of the state. Check out the tide pool beach at low tide, when you can walk hundreds of feet out into Puget Sound. Park hours are 6 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily.

  • Woodland Park Rose Garden - 750 N. 50th St., Seattle, WA 98103
    With 2.5 acres filled with nearly 3,000 roses, Woodland Park Rose Garden is perfect for a romantic picnic for two or a delightful family outing. The garden is one of only two dozen American Rose Test Gardens in the country, displaying new hybrids before they're available to the public. Fun fact: since the garden went pesticide-free in 2006, the flowers have been used to feed animals in adjoining Woodland Park Zoo. Hours are 7 a.m. - 10 p.m. daily, and admission is free.

Picnics don't get more exclusive than the ones you hold in the backyard of your Seattle home. Have questions about buying or selling real estate? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain for cheerful and experienced help.

June
14

Nature Photography Day: Picturesque Parks Around Portland

Parks in Portland

Portland regularly ranks among the most beautiful cities in the United States, in large part thanks to its incredible natural scenery. What better place to celebrate Nature Photography Day on Tuesday, June 15? Our real estate agents will be taking their cameras to these stunning parks that are just minutes from Portland homes for sale.

  • Leach Botanical Garden - 6704 SE 122nd Ave., Portland, OR 97236
    Called Portland's "little jewel," Leach Botanical Garden is named after the couple who bequeathed their property to the city. Lilla Leach, an award-winning botanist, wanted their beloved home to live on as a garden and museum. The 16-acre grounds, once known as "Sleepy Hollow," are full of stunning flowers, trees, and plants that make for amazing photo opportunities. Admission is free, although donations are welcome, but tickets must be reserved in advance. Hours are 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday.

  • Peninsula Park - 700 N. Rosa Parks Way, Portland, OR 97217
    Peninsula Park has a colorful past as the site of a roadhouse and horse-racing track. After the grounds were purchased by the city in 1909, architects designed the park in conjunction with Portland's "City Beautiful" movement. Many of the original features, including the century-old fountain that forms the pet-friendly park's centerpiece, remain. Peninsula Park is open daily from 5 a.m. - midnight.

  • Mt. Tabor Park - SE 60th Ave. & Salmon St., Portland, OR 97215
    When it comes to urban landscapes, volcanoes don't often come to mind. Portland is one of a handful of cities that include an extinct volcano within their limits, and this cinder cone is the basis for Mt. Tabor Park. A number of paved and unpaved trails wind through forests and meadows and, alongside former reservoirs, turned reflecting pools. Make it to the top, and you'll be rewarded with panoramic views of the surrounding lands. There's also an off-leash area where Fido can get some exercise. Park hours are 5 a.m. - midnight, seven days a week.

  • Waterfront Park - 98 SW Naito Pkwy., Portland, OR 97204
    If you're looking for photogenic scenes of nature, how could you go wrong with a place called Waterfront Park? At one time, developments such as Harbor Drive cut city residents off from the Willamette River. In the late 60s, Governor Tom McCall spearheaded the creation of Waterfront Park, which now officially bears his name. While they don't technically count as nature, the bridges along the waterfront are a popular draw for visitors. Waterfront Park is open daily from 5 a.m. - midnight.

  • Lan Su Chinese Garden - 239 NW Everett St., Portland, OR 97209
    Mother Nature makes her presence known throughout the world. Enjoy a unique international perspective at Lan Su Chinese Garden, a collaborative effort between Portland and Suzhou, its sister city in China. In addition to combining elements from the names of both cities, Lan Su translates to "Garden of Awakening Orchids." Heavily influenced by Chinese traditions dating back two centuries, the garden is a harmonious blend of art, architecture, and nature. Kids will have fun with interactive scavenger hunts, photo challenges, and quizzes. Enhance your visit with the mobile app that provides facts about Lan Su's history and culture. Admission is $12.95 for adults and $9.95 for kids between 6-18. Lan Su is open 10 a.m. - 6 p.m. every day but Wednesday.

  • Washington Park - 400 SW Kingston Ave., Portland, OR 97210
    Can't get enough of Portland's iconic roses? Head to Washington Park, home of the city's International Rose Test Garden. The breathtaking display comprises more than 10,000 rose bushes, representing more than 610 different varieties. In 2006, the IRTG received the prestigious Garden of Excellence Award from the World Federation of Rose Societies. Don't miss the Frank Beach Memorial Fountain, honoring the man credited with coining the nickname "City of Roses." Hours are 7:30 a.m. - 9 p.m. daily, with free public tours conducted at 1 p.m. each day between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

  • Pittock Mansion - 3229 NW Pittock Dr., Portland, OR 97210
    Built in 1914 as the home of Portland's first "power couple," Pittock Mansion is a fascinating look at the city's transformation over the years, but the 46 acres of grounds around the estate are worth the trip by themselves. Hikers flock to the trails and their remarkable vistas of the Portland skyline from high up in the West Hills. The Pittock Mansion grounds are maintained as a public park open until 9 p.m. daily.

Portland is the quintessential Pacific Northwest city with a blend of natural beauty, history, and culture. Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain for experienced help with all your local real estate needs.

May
25

Mini Golf Courses in Portland the Kids Will Love

Portland mini golf

The weather is warming up, and the kids are bouncing off the walls. Wondering what to do with them? How about a fun, family-friendly round of miniature golf? 

There are many great indoor and outdoor courses in the Portland area to enjoy a round of mini golf! To help you prepare for summer, we asked our brokers which courses their families enjoy the most. Here are their recommendations. 

  1. Glowing Greens: 509 SW Taylor St., Portland, OR 97204
    Want to get out of the house right now? You don't have to wait for great weather to enjoy a round of mini golf at Glowing Greens. This indoor blacklight course is conveniently located in downtown Portland, not far from some of the best Portland homes for sale. The 13-hole course is appropriate for all ages and features 3D artwork, moving pirates, and more! It takes about 45-minutes to play through the course, making it the perfect family adventure or a great way to start off date night. If you're looking for a fun night out for the adults, you'll be glad to know the facility also has ax throwing, escape rooms, and a beer and wine pub!

  2. Laser Blasters: 8700 NE Vancouver Mall Dr., Suite 172 Vancouver, WA 98662
    While you're in the area looking at Vancouver homes for sale, you're sure to notice the Vancouver Mall where you'll find Laser Blasters. This fun location offers laser tag, virtual reality, escape rooms, and mini golf. Both adults and kids are sure to love the cool blacklight effects of this safari-themed, 14-hole mini golf course. You can also purchase combination tickets that allow you to play both mini golf and laser tag for one affordable price. 

  3. Chipper's Woods Miniature Golf: 7805 SE Oaks Park Way, Portland, OR 97202
    The Oaks Park Amusement Park offers locals and visitors various rides, midway games, and mini golf. While it's a ton of fun to visit the entire park, you can also enjoy the Chipper's Woods miniature golf course on its own. The whole family is sure to enjoy playing an 18-hole round of mini golf under the oak trees. The course also offers incredible views of Portland's West Hills and the Willametter River. 

  4. Clutch Putt: 700 SE 122nd Ave., Portland, OR 97233
    Adults and families alike enjoy visiting Clutch Putt Mini Golf. This 18-hole mini golf course is quite simple, yet each hole is unique enough to keep things interesting. It offers a fun, friendly atmosphere for players of all ages. Since the course is covered, you can play rain or shine. They also serve beer, wine, and hard cider and have a food cart. 

  5. Hollywood Mini Golf: 1510 Northeast 37th Ave., Portland, OR 97232
    Part mini golf course and part art gallery, Hollywood Mini Golf provides an exciting experience you're sure to love! This course "challenges guests to see things through a different lens." You never know what you're going to find when you visit this super-unique indoor course. In addition to mini golf, they also have games like ping pong, pinball, foosball, cornhole, and more. This is the perfect location for a rainy-day adventure that's sure to keep everyone entertained!

  6. Eagle's Landing: 10220 SE Causey Ave., Happy Valley, OR 97086
    Whether you're looking for a great mini golf course or 27 holes of the real thing, you'll find it at Eagle's Landing. This golfing facility is geared towards players of all skill levels. The 36-hole mini golf course is equal parts fun and challenging. You'll love the scenic views and the holes that strategically curve in and out of mountains, trees, waterfalls, fountains, and more. The facility also offers a par-three course that's modeled after a European pitch and put course and a 9-hole soccer golf course. When you're done playing, we suggest taking the scenic route home. There are many beautiful Happy Valley homes for sale nearby, and you may find the perfect one for you and your family. 

          If you're looking for a family-friendly place to call home, the Portland area is perfect for you! There are many great homes for sale, and our experienced brokers would love to help you find your dream home. Contact us today to discuss your goals and get started! 

          May
          10

          Walkability: About Portland's Walkable Neighborhoods

          Portland Walkable Neighborhoods

          Portland maintains an impressive Walk Score year after year, meaning it's convenient for residents to ditch the car when it's time to run errands or head out the park. Portland is full of quirky-cool neighborhoods that are just steps away from shopping, dining, and entertainment destinations. The streets are lined with pristine sidewalks and flourishing trees that make it easy to explore on foot the sights, sounds, and tastes available in Portland. To get a sense of which Portland neighborhoods offer the best pedestrian experience, our brokers have rounded up the ones with the highest ratings on Walk Score.

          1. Peal District – Walk Score 98
            Once an area occupied by railroad yards, industrial buildings, and warehouses, the Peal District has been transformed into an award-winning example of urban renewal. This upscale neighborhood boasts the highest walk score in Portland. The area is full of crosswalks and bustling streets lined with locally owned boutiques, acclaimed restaurants, coffee shops, art galleries, and unique home stores. The Pearl District is also home to Powell's Books, the largest used book store in the country. You'll find various living spaces, from newly constructed condos to funky warehouses that have been renovated to accommodate modern living.

          2. Downtown – Walk Score 97
            The second most walkable neighborhood is Downtown Portland, the center of the city and home to Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and Portland State University. Downtown has an energetic vibe with an abundance of places to explore. In fact, many residents live just steps from their workplaces. You won't find many single-family homes in Downtown Portland. It's mostly loft-style condos, traditional apartments, and new construction condos.

          3. Old Town – Walk Score 96
            Also known as Chinatown, Old Town is the Downtown neighborhood's next-door neighbor and the oldest neighborhood in Portland. It's home to the lovely Lan Su Chinese Garden and the first location of the popular Voodoo Doughnut. It also has an array of beautiful historical architecture and hosts the iconic Portland Oregon sign. And there's plenty to do, with shopping, dining, and entertainment options, either directly in the neighborhood or a few blocks away. When you include a Bike Score of 98, a Walk Score of 95, and a Transit Score of 92, Old Chinatown offers many ways to explore the city.

          4. Hollywood – Walk Score 94
            This well-established Portland neighborhood is known for having all your necessary conveniences just a few steps away. It was named after the Hollywood Theatre, which is located in the center of the neighborhood. Bungalows and craftsman homes surround the many businesses, including grocery stores, shops, restaurants, and boutiques grouped together in the center of the neighborhood. Residents enjoy convenient access to Hollywood Farmer's Market, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe's, located just off Sandy Boulevard, the district's main arterial road.

          5. Goose Hollow –Walk Score 93
            Located on the east side of Downtown, Goose Hollow boasts a unique mix of historic and modern. It's filled with turn-of-the-century architecture and is one of Portland's best communities for a tour of history. In addition to great dining and shopping options, this neighborhood also has scenic spots and entertainment for the whole family, including the Oregon Zoo and Washington Park. Goose Hollow is a great place for first-time buyers looking for a more affordable alternative to neighborhoods like Downtown and the Pearl.

          6. Northwest District – Walk Score 93
            This popular Portland neighborhood provides an ideal location for commuters. Situated northwest of downtown, the vibrant Northwest District has an abundance of attractions, including shops, restaurants, a renowned ice cream chain, and an urban forest reserve, within walking distance. All year long, locals and visitors line up at Salt & Straw for a taste of some local homemade ice cream. There's a slew of fantastic shopping options along 23rd Street, but if you want to escape city life, head to Forrest Park for verdant views. 

          7. Boise – Walk Score 92
            This quaint neighborhood in North Portland has become an in-demand area. Activity in Boise centers on Mississippi Street, a trendy tree-lined street with local eateries, shops, breweries, bars, boutiques, and more. Close to Williams Avenue, you'll find a combination of new condominiums, sparkling apartments, and historic homes boasting character and attractive curb appeal. Boise has the Portland funky vibe, but the streets are lined with beautiful trees, sidewalks, and well-maintained landscaping that provide a picturesque setting for your stroll.

          8. Sunnyside – Walk Score 91
            Sunnyside is essentially comprised of two smaller neighborhoods: Belmont and Hawthorne. Belmont is known for its hipster, boutique-y vibe, while Hawthorne, also known as Funky Hawthorne, has various vintage stores. Hawthorne Street and Belmont Street get lots of traffic as residents and visitors pop in and out of local coffee shops, boutiques, restaurants, markets, and other specialty stores, which are within walking distance from anywhere in Sunnyside. The neighborhood is also close to Mt. Tabor Park, featuring miles of hiking trails.

          Looking for Portland homes for sale? We would love to help you find your dream home among Portland's walkable neighborhoods. Contact us for more information on real estate in Portland.

          April
          26

          Campgrounds Near Portland for a Weekend Getaway

          Portland Campgrounds

          Portland homes for sale have a lot going for them! World-class shopping and dining, a diverse economy, and unmistakable local culture will have you exploring the city for years to come. But everyone needs to take some time out in nature, too – and the opportunities around Portland are abundant.

          Our brokers want to make sure you know all about them!

          Portland is the heart of the Pacific Northwest. No matter what outdoor activities interest you, you are in good company. Hiking, biking, backpacking, and fishing are all well-loved by the local community. The chance to see mountain and forest settings alike draws visitors from all over.

          Portland residents are looking for weekend getaways in the great outdoors. State and national parks beckon within a short drive. You can choose a new one every weekend and still have plenty to explore!

          Here are a few of the outstanding local sites for your next outdoor excursion:

          1. Portland Fairview RV Park – 21401 Northeast Sandy Boulevard, Fairview, OR 97024
            An RV adventure can make for a truly unique camping experience. Portland Fairview RV Park is one of the top RV parks in the region. It welcomes day-trippers as well as weekly and monthly residents. Just eight miles east of Portland, it offers a pristine respite along ancient evergreens and a babbling brook. A fitness center and pool round out the amenities.

          2. Jantzen Beach RV Resort – 1503 North Hayden Island Drive, Portland, OR 97217
            Another premium RV park right here in your Portland neighborhood, Jantzen Beach RV Resort distinguishes itself with its exceptional customer service. Amenities for all ages include a basketball court, game room, playgrounds, fully stocked clubhouse, a heated pool, and a fitness center. It's pet-friendly, so the four-footed members of the family can join in on all the fun.

          3. Mt. Hood National Forest – 16400 Champion Way, Sandy, OR 97055
            Just 20 miles east of Portland, Mt. Hood National Forest is without a doubt one of the truly iconic natural features of both Oregon and Washington state. With more than 1 million acres of remarkable land around Oregon's highest peak, it has all manner of camping: From primitive backcountry sites to tents, cabins, and even day-use sites around Mt. Hood proper.

          4. The Cove (Timothy Lake) Campground at Mt. Hood – See Website for Precise Directions
            The Cove is a popular campground complete with an outdoor amphitheater. Visitors seek it for picnicking, swimming, fishing, and as a base for long-haul hikes. It sits right on the serene Lake Timothy, with boat ramps available at campgrounds all around the area. Trout are stocked in the lake several times a year, and anglers have landed some record rainbow trout.

          5. Triangle Lake Horse Camp at Mt. Hood – See Website for Precise Directions
            If your horse likes to camp as much as you do, Triangle Lake Horse Camp is the place for you to be. Beautiful Triangle Lake is the setting for this hilly, horse-friendly locale, with eight sites available throughout the season. Picnic tables are available and campfires are permitted, but the "mane" attraction is the opportunity to visit with your horse.

          6. Bonney Crossing Campground at Mt. Hood – See Website for Precise Directions
            At the foot of the Badger Creek Wilderness, Bonney Crossing Campground is the place for a "bonny" good time in a captivating landscape. It is frequented by hikers going to Badger Creek Trail, anglers, and equestrians. Badger Creek itself is known for a staggering amount of trout and strong kokanee fishing throughout most of the year.

          7. McNeil Campground at Mt. Hood – See Website for Precise Directions
            McNeil Campground is one of the standout sites around Mt. Hood. Visitors praise its location along the scenic Sandy River, as well as its size: With 34 spots, there's usually plenty of room, even though it doesn't take reservations. It stands at the crossroads of many hiking trails. Coho salmon, steelhead, and chinook are just a few local fish that can be your "catch of the day."

          These may be popular picks, but there's always more to discover here in the Portland area. With Coldwell Banker Bain, you can get the expert advice you need. To learn more about local real estate opportunities, contact us today.

          April
          12

          9 Reasons to Live Near a National Park

          National Park

          National parks are a true American treasure, handed down from one generation to the next.

          The Pacific Northwest has so many wonderful national parks to visit, or better yet, live near. 

          Stunning Crater Lake National Park is less than half a day's drive from Portland homes for saleOr explore 73 miles of Pacific Coast at Olympic National Park, roughly a two-hour drive from Seattle homes for sale

          Our brokers share nine top benefits of living near a national park. Do some of these surprise you? 

          1. More Opportunities for Quality Family Time
            In today's families, both kids and parents are likely to have fast-paced schedules that have them moving in different directions. Even gathering around the dinner table can be hard. National parks offer accessible hours along with a wide variety of activities and attractions to suit everyone. Simply packing a picnic lunch to enjoy after a pleasant hike is a relaxing getaway. Admission fees are nominal, with several free days during the year, to fit any budget. And most parks are pet-friendly so that Fido can tag along!

          2. Low-Cost Outdoor "Health Club"
            Do you pay ever-increasing membership dues to a conventional health club to fight for a parking spot and wait in line for a treadmill or elliptical machine? National parks are incredible open-air "fitness centers" that aren't confined by four walls and a roof. Available activities range from hiking, mountain biking, and rock climbing in the summer to cross-country skiing, sledding, and snowboarding in the winter.

          3. Good for Mental and Emotional Health
            Physical fitness is only part of the equation for overall health. Spending time around nature has been proven to reduce stress and depression. In one study conducted in 2015, researchers examined the brain activity of two groups of people who took 90-minute walks, with one group in a natural setting and the other in an urban setting. The group from the outdoor setting had lower activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is where negative self-talk usually occurs. 

          4. Greater Earning Power
            According to experts, areas with national parks tend to have a thriving tourist industry, which in turn creates more jobs and better financial opportunities.

          5. Promotes Childhood Development
            In another revealing result from the OSU study, researchers discovered that kids under the age of 5 who lived near national parks were 10 percent taller than their peers who lived further away. While this is no guarantee for your child's height, there's no question that youngsters who have frequent exposure to nature gain physical and mental benefits, such as the development of cognitive skills that help with classroom learning.

          6. Less Risk of Natural Disasters
            When you respect Mother Nature, she returns the favor. Forested areas in national parks remain untouched, which allows the trees to protect water sources. In addition, the West Coast is vulnerable to flooding, landslides, and other natural disasters that endanger the environment, along with humans and animals. Protected habitats stabilize the surrounding land, reducing the risk of such devastating incidents. 

          7. Eco-Friendly Access to Nature
            There has been a long struggle finding a balance between outdoor activities that are enjoyable and accessible without causing damage to the environment. National parks provide a venue to spend time outdoors with minimal impact on our natural resources.

          8. Maintains Biodiversity
            Over the years, society mistakenly believed that natural resources were infinite. Fishing, hunting, mining, and other practices were conducted with no thought about their long-term effects. Sadly, a number of ecosystems and animal species are now endangered today due to this behavior. National parks create protection for wetlands, forests, and other ecosystems and endangered animals such as gray wolves. 

          9. Strengthens Friendships and Social Interactions
            How often do you attempt to plan an outing with friends and spend most of the time debating over dinner, a movie, or a ball game? A lively walk or vigorous bike ride on the trails of a national park are activities everyone can agree on. Being outdoors is also a great way to escape the pressures of daily life and focus on communicating with friends and loved ones.

          Want to learn more about the parks around the Pacific Northwest? Contact us at Coldwell Banker Bain for more information.

          April
          5

          April Showers: Guide to Installing a Smart System for Your Garden

          Smart System for Garden

          For nearly twenty years, smart homes have been surging in popularity as we embrace the technology that makes our lives easier. No longer limited to inside the home, technology has moved into the garden to make it more efficient as well.

          Our brokers know how important a lush lawn and curb appeal are when appealing to potential buyers. Whether you're getting your home ready to list or just want to enjoy an attractive landscape, consider installing a few of these smart devices.

          1. Smart sprinklers
            Setting a timer will certainly allow you to water whether or not you are home. But why stop there? You can control the sprinklers when you're away from home using an application on your phone or computer. If you prefer, you can use a sprinkler that gauges the amount of water your garden needs based on data from weather reports or even from sensing the moisture in the soil. Never again will your sprinklers go on while it is raining. 
             
          2. Weather stations or sensors
            These innovative devices monitor the weather conditions in your garden including temperature, wind, and humidity to deliver the information you need to care for your garden. You can receive detailed weather metrics to help keep the inside of your home comfortable as well. When integrated into a smart home ecosystem, adjustments will be made automatically. 

          3. Soil sensors
            Traditionally, while it is possible to get secondary education in agriculture, most home gardeners don't have the education required to analyze soil to determine what action is necessary to create the perfect balance of chemicals and moisture for a healthy garden. Add the questions of proper temperature and light and most of us would be lost. But we don't need to know all of that information when we have sensors to guide us. Are they necessary to grow a garden? No, but they certainly can make the process easier. Take your gardening to the next level and receive alerts on your mobile device for when you need to take action to keep the garden healthy. 

          4. Robotic lawnmowers
            Preprogrammed to operate on a schedule of your choosing, these handy tools ensure a  perfectly manicured lawn with little to no effort on your part. Powered by electricity, they run quietly and without fumes. Boundaries are defined by wires. If it should happen to rain, sensors will direct the unit back to its base. 

          5. Outdoor lighting
            One of the least expensive smart upgrades you can make to your garden, lighting options are also the most versatile. Fountains and other water features come to life with strategically placed lighting. Path lights with changing colors add magical hues to simple safety measures. Motion sensors illuminate spaces to stop would-be thieves in their tracks as spotlight cams capture their images. And who could deny the elegance of soft lighting in a seating area nestled in a flowery haven? Remote controls let you adjust the lighting according to your needs. 

          6. Wi-Fi booster
            Working from home and going to school online can be tedious and frustrating. But you can banish that cooped-up feeling by taking work and studies outside. It's possible for a Wi-Fi repeater or extender to do the trick, and add enough coverage to your garden to work or study efficiently. Unfortunately, that may not be sufficient. If not, you can dramatically expand your home network with a powerline adaptor. These exciting new options use the electric wiring of the house to transmit communication signals. They don't even require a complicated installation. 

          7. Entertainment options
            Whether you would enjoy dancing in the moonlight or watching movies under the stars, you can convert your garden to the perfect entertainment venue with waterproof Bluetooth speakers, outdoor television sets, or projectors. If you enjoy hosting dinner parties, smart grills and smokers can allow you to cook a delicious meal while socializing with your guests. They'll give you a short alert on your phone when you need to break away to attend to the food. 

          When you're ready to find the perfect place for your own garden paradise, contact us. We'll be happy to show you the finest homes throughout the area. 

          March
          22

          Where to Get Farm-Fresh Produce in Portland

          Portland Produce

          It's springtime in Portland, and life is good. There are countless reasons why our brokers are always excited about spring's return, but one of the biggest reasons is the unbeatable farm-fresh produce. 

          Oregon is home to some of America's greatest and most diverse growers. You can find their crops every week at these Portland area farm stands and farmers markets. Check them out, and enjoy some fine spring weather while you're out there!

          1. Bella Organic Farm - 16205 NW Gillihan Rd, Portland, OR 97231
            One of Portland's largest farms, Bella Organic Farm, offers everything from fresh vegetables at their farm stand to you-pick apples and berries. They even have their own winery and cider mill in-house. Although popular in fall for their pumpkin patch and corn maze, the farm has fresh offerings year-round, with dozens of crops that change with the seasons. The farm is located on Sauvie Island, just minutes from many Portland homes for sale

          2. Portland Farmers Market at PSU - 1803 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97201
            The Portland Farmers Market has grown to include six markets at different locations on different days, but their flagship market at Portland State University is still arguably the favorite. It's been going strong every Saturday, year-round, since 1992. There may be no better place in Portland to find farm-fresh produce, along with local goods of all kinds. More than 100 vendors bring everything from locally cured cheeses and fresh-baked bread to handmade crafts and local honey and jams. 

          3. Side Yard Farm and Kitchen - 4800 NE Simpson St, Portland, OR 97218
            Established in 2009, Side Yard Farm and Kitchen is a 1-acre urban farm, music venue, supper club, and catering business in Portland's NE Cully Neighborhood. They offer online and in-person markets where you can pick out your produce, as well as a "Garden Start" CSA subscription, which includes a selection of seedlings you can start in your own garden every month. Pick-up is every Wednesday and Friday. 

          4. Fox + Bear Urban Farm - 10524 NE Morris St, Portland, OR 97220
            A small farm with a mission to help bring a closeness and connection with the earth to city folk of Portland, Fox + Bear Urban Farm grows hand-tended, organic produce in small batches. Available in the form of CSAs and occasionally through local markets, their produce is always of the highest quality, and the care that goes into growing it is plain to see. 

          5. Topaz Farm - 17100 NW Sauvie Island Rd, Portland, OR 97231
            Formerly known as Kruger's Farm, Topaz Farm is a 130-acre family farm on Sauvie Island that grows organic, no-spray produce. You can browse their fruits and veggies at their farm stand, along with offerings from other nearby farms. The crops change with the seasons, so there's always something new and fresh to get excited about. Topaz Farm also hosts live concerts and farm-to-plate dinners throughout the warmer months. 

          6. Hollywood Farmers Market - 4420 NE Hancock St, Portland, OR 97213
            Offering produce and other local goods from farmers throughout the region, the Hollywood Farmers Market is a staple of Portland's Hollywood Neighborhood. And while you can certainly find an abundance of fruits and vegetables hare, their ever-changing lineup of vendors also includes everything from local bakers, brewers, and distillers to fishers, coffee roasters, and growers of all kinds. The market takes place on the first and third Saturdays of every month, year-round. 

          7. Coquine - 6839 SE Belmont St, Portland, OR 97215
            A beloved neighborhood restaurant in Southeast Portland's Mt. Tabor area, Coquine came up with some cool new ideas when indoor dining went away in 2020. Using the connections they had already developed with local farmers, they started putting together CSA-inspired farm boxes for their customers. It was a big hit. You can craft your own box using the form on their website, choosing among many fresh vegetables, eggs, meat, dairy products, and numerous other offerings. 

          Contact us today to learn more about life in the Portland area. From freshly grown goodies to wild scenery and unique culture, it's a truly special place to call home. Our team is dedicated to helping you find your dream home in the Portland area. 

          October
          19

          Plan Your Visit to Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo

          Woodland Park Zoo

          Lions, tigers, and bears — oh my! Seattle is home to those species and so many more, thanks to the Woodland Park Zoo. Located in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle, the zoo is committed to teaching guests the importance of conservation.

          Woodland Park Zoo — 5500 Phinney Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103

          History of Woodland Park Zoo

          Woodland Park Zoo is a beloved Seattle site, a destination that locals and visitors alike cherish. Our brokers included! After over a century of providing men, women, and children of all ages with an educational and immersive wildlife experience, it's hard to believe that once upon a time, this green space was once just a simple park along Seattle's Greenlake. Developed into a traditional English garden in the late 1800s by Englishman Guy Phinney, a large house, rose garden, pump house, and deer park once called this space home.

          Seattle's first zoo was housed in at Leschi Park and owned by the Lake Washington Cable Railway. After Phinney's death, the City of Seattle purchased Woodland Park, and the animals were donated as the zoo's first residents when it was founded in 1899. The park was then divided into "Lower" and "Upper" Woodland Park after the construction of Aurora Avenue. It wasn't until 1967 that the first zones of the children's zoo were opened. Since then, Woodland Park Zoo has continued to grow, making room for countless new animals and educational and interactive opportunities!

          Woodland Park Zoo Exhibits

          So what can you and your family expect during your visit to the Woodland Park Zoo? The real question is, how can you experience everything in just a single day? With more than 1,100 animals from over 300 diverse species, the zoo features 92-acres of diverse natural habitats. Explore these amazing areas and discover the wonders of the animal world right in Seattle's backyard. Exhibits include:

          • African Savanna: Journey into the African Savanna for a view of lion, giraffe, hippos, zebras, ostrich, and monkeys.

          • Ambassador Animals: Meet the stars of the show — the Woodland Park Zoo ambassadors. Mammals, birds, and reptiles are ready to make your acquaintance.

          • Assam Rhino Reserve: One of the most popular exhibits, the Assam Rhino Reserve, also features the Asian Brown Tortoise and Demoiselle Crane to keep the one-horned rhino company.

          • Australasia: Enjoy a bird feeding experience at the Willawong Station after you spot snow leopards, emu, kookaburra, and wallaby.

          • Molbak's Butterfly Garden: Opening up again for the Spring season, Molbak's Butterfly Garden lets over 500 butterflies take flight. The Microsoft Pollinator Patio is open year-round.

          • Humboldt Penguin Exhibit: Don't let the name fool you, this penguin exhibit features Humboldt Penguins native to Chile and Peru.

          • Northern Trail: Hike into the chilly Northern Trail to the Taiga Viewing Shelter and Tundra Center to feast your eyes on Steller's sea eagles, snowy owls, bears, wolf, and elk.

          • Temperate Forest: Venture into the temperate forests, the same types of forests found in our region.

          • Trail of Adaptations: Watch unique nocturnal animals like sloth, meerkat, and Komodo dragons frolic around at night.

          • Tropical Asia: The Trail of Vines and Banyan Wilds showcase Asia's tropical locals like tigers, bears, pigs, otters, and orangutan.

          • Tropical Rainforest: Featuring an Outdoor Tropical Rainforest and Indoor Tropical Rainforest, this area is home to Jaguar Cove. Animals like lemur, gorillas, anacondas, monkeys, ocelots, and tarantulas are waiting to welcome you.  

          Whether you're a long-time fan of the Woodland Park Zoo or this is your first visit, your family will love spending a day learning about wildlife from around the world.

          The zoo has been welcoming back guests and has made several changes due to COVID-19. Plan your visit and learn about their latest policies on their website. 

          If you're looking at Seattle homes for sale, you'll be excited to discover that the Woodland Park Zoo has a great relationship with its surrounding community. Contact us today to tour homes in this neighborhood!

          September
          21

          7 Ways to Improve Your Fall Landscaping

          Fall Landscaping

          Autumn has arrived in the Pacific Northwest! Our brokers love everything about the fall season. The exciting fall festivals, the crisp and cool breeze, and the ways the changing leaves fill our streets with color makes us wish the season would last all year. When it comes to caring for your outdoor spaces, fall is a wonderful time to complete necessary upkeep. Here are seven ways you can improve your landscape this fall.

          1. Embrace the Season
            The one downside to the fall season is that it seems to fly by which is why you shouldn't wait to embrace the season. Every September, you should begin putting up your fall decorations. Head over to the pumpkin patch for a few gourds, grab a hay bale or two, and consider setting out another seasonal lawn décor. Not only will you be able to enjoy it longer, but waiting until mid-October may offer slim pickings for pumpkins and another natural seasonal décor.

          2. Be Careful not to Fall into Bad Habits 
            As much as you may love allowing gorgeous fall leaves to grace our lawns, you must remember that it's important to not let fallen leaves overrun your lawn. Fallen leaves can grow mildew which can then kill your grass. Rake your yard at least once a week so you can preserve the grass underneath for the following spring.

          3. Loosen Soil and Spread New Seed 
            Raking leaves isn't the only way to prepare for a lush, healthy spring. Many homeowners make the mistake of neglecting their lawn in the fall when they should actually be giving it more attention than in the summer. Your grass should be watered until the end of October and adding fertilizer in the late-fall will help keep it healthy. Spread some new grass seed to protect against weeds and consider aerating your lawn once every few years to keep it resilient.

          4. Prepare for Other Seasons
            Although fall may seem like the end of your lawn maintenance duties for the year, it's actually a great time to start preparing for year-round success. The autumn season is the perfect opportunity to begin planning your long-term landscaping. Consider planting plants that will root over the winter, including bushes and trees. You can also plant perennials to make your spring seasons extra colorful. Don't forget that part of the fall season can clog up your gutters and prevent water from draining properly, too. Unclog your gutters in the late-autumn so that water will drain to your lawn properly over the next few months.

          5. Don't Forget to Focus on Hardscaping 
            With so many things on your to-do list, landscaping duties can be hard to juggle. Unfortunately, many homeowners forget to add hardscape maintenance to their lists as well. Your driveways, walkways, and other hardscape areas need attention too. As you create your to-do list, make sure you're addressing these areas so that they continue to look attractive, retain their integrity, and remain safe for you and your guests to use.

          6. Make Sure You're Not Neglecting Your Lawn Equipment or Home's Exterior 
            Your lawn equipment and your home's exterior directly impact your landscaping. As you complete your lawn care duties for the year, fall is the best time to clean and care for your equipment like the mower, trimmers, and hand tools. Remember that soil, debris, and moisture that sits dormant on your lawn tools can damage them as they sit unused during the winter. When your lawn maintenance is complete, take a step back and notice elements of your exterior that deserve attention. 

          7. Consider Tackling a Few Exterior Projects
            If you've considered enhancing your outdoor spaces, fall is the perfect time to tackle these projects. Installing a swimming pool, summer kitchen, fire pit, or outdoor entertaining area in the fall delivers a huge benefit. While you may not want to add more projects to your to-do list, imagine how relaxing it will be to enjoy these new features the moment spring arrives. Consider investing in your home during these transitional months so you can enjoy your new amenities throughout the year.

          Are you searching for a new house this fall? Let us help you find a cozy place to call home. Contact us today to begin touring our best Seattle homes for sale that you'll absolutely fall in love with!

          September
          14

          Historic Sites You Can See Around Portland

          Historic Portland Sites

          When most people think of Portland, our lively culture, delicious food, and gorgeous Pacific Northwestern backdrop often come to mind. Though the City of Roses is far younger than many cities on the East Coast, Portland still has a rich, fascinating history that is worth exploring. Founded way back in the 1840s, Portland's diverse history is accessible through our many museums, landmarks, memorial sites, and protected areas. If you're searching for a glimpse into Portland's past, our brokers encourage you to visit these interesting historical sites.

          1. Shanghai Tunnels – 120 NW 3rd Ave., Portland, OR 97209
            Portland's Underground, also known as the Shanghai Tunnels are located in Old Town Chinatown. Beneath the buildings, a series of interconnected tunnels running all the way to the waterfront. Sadly, most of the tunnels have collapsed, preventing anyone from uncovering a clearer definition of their intended use. However, these tunnels are often sited through local lore to have been used to smuggle illegal goods from ships to the shore. 

          2. The Pittock Mansion – 3229 NW Pittock Dr., Portland, OR 97210
            The Pittock Mansion
            is a historic house museum that was once the home of The Oregonian owner, Henry Pittock. As he built his financial empire in real estate, banking, railroads, and more, his wife used their wealth to start and support countless organizations benefiting the people of Portland, including the Martha Washington Home and the Ladies Relief Society. The mansion was acquired by the city and restored to act as a museum dedicated to this interesting piece of Portland's early history.

          3. Waterfront Park – 98 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204
            Waterfront Park
            is a relatively new site for the city, with its ideation beginning in the early 1900s. It wasn't until 1974 that ground broke on this park, but it was well worth the wait as its been a popular social spot for Portlanders ever since. This park features many historical landmarks such as the Battleship Oregon Memorial, which was constructed to honor the retired ship that served our country in the late 1800s. The Founder's Stone is also on-site, which acts as a tribute to the city's founders who actually flipped a coin to determine whether the city would be named Portland or Boston. The Japanese American Historical Plaza is also within Waterfront Park, which honors the Japanese Americans of the Northwest who served in the United States military during World War II.

          4. Oregon Holocaust Memorial – 95205 SW Washington Way, Portland, OR 97205
            The Oregon Holocaust Memorial is located outdoors in Washington Park. This memorial was dedicated in 2004 to the many residents of Portland and Washington that have had relatives who died in the camps; their names are engraved on the memorial wall. A soil vault panel, filled with soil and ash from six camps, sits alongside bronze tokens representing the everyday objects left behind as individuals from across Europe were transported to the camps.

          5. Ankeny Plaza – 2 SW Ankeny St, Portland, OR 97204
            Ankeny Plaza
            was one of the first public spaces in Portland and contains a number of historical features. Located in Old Town Chinatown, this plaza is surrounded by buildings built in the mid-1800s and contains the oldest public art sculpture: Skidmore Fountain. Meant to act as a drinking fountain for men, dogs, and horses, this 14-ft bronze piece of art continues to be a public space where Portlanders and their animals can come to cool off.

          Are you searching for an older, charming home in Portland that you can call your own? Our team can help! Contact us today to tour our listings of Portland homes for sale.

          September
          28

          Where to Pick Your Own Produce Near Portland

          Portland Farms

          When you want the best, pick it fresh. That could be the motto at any of the many great farms around Portland where you can pick fresh, locally grown fruit and vegetables with your whole family. Heading to a farm is a great way to enjoy the early fall weather, get out of the house, and stock up on your favorite produce. As the calendar flips to fall, you can expect new and different opportunities at your favorite farms. Our brokers have the details on 5 great farms around Portland where you can pick your own fresh fruit and vegetables.

          1. Douglas Farm – 15330 NW Sauvie Island Rd., Portland, OR 97231
            Many of the most visited farms around Portland homes for sale are located on Sauvie Island, and Douglas Farm is no exception. This farm has been in the same family for five generations, offering an excellent selection of fruit and veggies that you can pick yourself. Reservations may be required, so be sure to check the website before visiting. The farm will provide picking boxes for you to stock up on their farm. Current produce available for picking includes beans, peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, and many varieties of cucumbers.

          2. Albeke Farms – 16107 S Wilson Rd., Oregon City, OR 97045
            You can find plenty of great farms near Oregon City homes for sale, too! Albeke Farms, located close to the city, specializes in berries of all types, along with peaches, apples, and a smaller selection of vegetables. This farm is open every day from Thursday through Sunday during the late summer/early fall picking seasons. Call ahead to find out what crops are available for picking, and plan on bringing home plenty of fresh produce. 

          3. The Pumpkin Patch – 16511 NW Gillihan Rd., Portland, OR 97231
            One of the Portland area's largest farms, The Pumpkin Patch offers u-pick produce and so much more. Open for 52 years, this farm is a great spot to visit with the whole family, with a cafe, corn maze, animal barn, and tons of autumn activities. You can cut your own flowers from the beautiful blooms located on the property. Be sure to stop by the market as well, where you can find an excellent selection of freshly prepared farm-to-table food to take home. Their market is stocked up on 50 in-season fruits and vegetables grown on their farm and picked daily. 

          4. Bella Organic – 16205 NW Gillihan Rd., Portland, OR 97231
            If you're searching for a great selection of certified organic produce in Portland, then it's hard to top Bella Organic. This farm offers all of your favorite berries, along with corn, tomatoes, and pumpkins in the early fall. There is also a winery on-site with tastings available, and a corn maze that offers fun for all ages. The farm store and food pavilion are great places to stop and recharge with a fresh, delicious meal in between picking. Looking for fall activities besides locally grown produce? Be sure to check out their haunted corn maze for a memorable October weekend. 

          5. Topaz Farm – 17100 NW Sauvie Island Rd., Portland, OR 97231
            Family run and filled with activities for visitors of all ages, Topaz Farm is a great place to go picking this year. This farm is open every day and offers fresh, delicious outdoor dining on-site in addition to u-pick produce. Kids especially love to meet friendly farm animals and learn about farming from the team at Topaz Farm. Check out their website to learn about what's in season and plan ahead for their family-friendly events coming up during the fall months. 

          Fresh, local produce and fantastic food are just part of the package when you call Portland home. Ready to find your next home? Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the Portland, OR area.

          August
          3

          All About the Seattle Japanese Garden

          Seattle Japanese Garden

          Get out of the house and enjoy the beautiful sites at the reopened Seattle Japanese Garden. This serene space located in Washington Park is the perfect place to relax your body, calm your mind, and let your soul absorb the beauty, wonder, and peacefulness that this park projects. Whether the Seattle Japanese Garden is one of your favorite spots in the Emerald City or if you've only heard about it but have never been, our brokers believe that now is a great time to support this city landmark.

          60th Anniversary of the Seattle Japanese Garden

          One reason you should visit the Seattle Japanese Garden is that it just celebrated its 60th anniversary on June 5th. Opened in 1960, the Seattle Japanese Garden is recognized as one of the best Japanese-style gardens on the continent. This charming garden features elements of Japan's many diverse landscapes. This special occasion is known as "kanreki", which marks a rebirth or return to childhood. Throughout the year, the Seattle Japanese Garden will commemorate this anniversary with special activities.

          The Seattle Japanese Garden is Reopen for Visitors

          Seattle Japanese Garden – 1075 Lake Washington Blvd. E., Seattle, WA 98112

          • Hours
            Tuesday – Sunday 10 AM-7 PM during August
            Tuesday – Sunday 10 AM-6 PM during September

          • Admission
            $8, Adults 18-64 
            $4, Ages 6-17, 65+, and College Students
            Free, Ages 0-5

          After closing in accordance with local guidelines regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, the Seattle Japanese Garden happily welcomed back its first visitors on July 14th. The Seattle Japanese Garden has made a few temporary changes to ensure the safety of visitors and staff alike.

          • The Seattle Japanese Garden has implemented a new timed ticketing system that requires visitors to purchase their tickets in advance online. These tickets will be purchased for a specific timeslot and cannot be changed or refunded.  

          • Face coverings are required for all guests ages 5 and above.

          • Paths throughout the garden will now be one-way only.

          • Many areas and pathways will be closed until further notice, including the Tateuchi Community Room, the azumaya, various bridges, various platforms, and the Shoseian Teahouse.

          • Tours and tea ceremonies are not offered at this time.

          • You cannot bring in your own food or beverages, with the exception of your own drinking water as water fountains within the Seattle Japanese Garden are closed.

          • Your group size cannot exceed five individuals, including children.

          Planning Your Visit to the Seattle Japanese Garden

          Although these temporary changes may place limitations on how visitors can engage with the Seattle Japanese Garden, you can still have a wonderful experience even if it's your first visit. 

          How to plan your visit:

          • Plan your visit well in advance to ensure that you can secure a ticket for the day you desire.

          • Research the history of the Japanese-style garden and learn about the importance of the Seattle Japanese Garden.

          • Be sure to eat a meal prior to your arrival and consider bringing a bottle of water for each person in your group.

          • When you arrive, grab a brochure at the entrance so your group can complete a self-guided tour of the grounds.

          • Follow all guidelines including wearing your mask at all times and progressing through the garden according to the marked paths.

          • Most importantly, make sure to take a moment to sit and admire the beauty of each varied landscape of Japan certain areas represent.

          Types of Plants at the Seattle Japanese Garden

          Japan is a country with diverse geography, containing varied landscapes including mountains, islands, the sea, rivers, lakes, forests, and waterfalls. As you stroll the Seattle Japanese Garden, you'll encounter these unique regions of Japan and view some of the flora and fauna that call this country home. Some of the gorgeous species you'll find throughout the Garden include:

          • Japanese forest grass
          • Chinese silver grass
          • Bamboos
          • Miscanthus
          • Cherry trees
          • Japanese spicebush
          • Western red cedar
          • Arnold azalea
          • Osmanthus
          • Japanese camellias
          • Hinoki
          • Water lilies
          • Japanese iris
          • Corylopsis
          • Lily of the Valley shrub
          • Cryptomeria japonica
          • Koto no Ito

          The Seattle Japanese Garden is one of our favorite spots in the city. Recently reopened, we encourage you to visit this tranquil park before the summer ends. If you're interested in browsing Seattle homes for sale while you're in the area, feel free to contact us to schedule a tour.

          July
          20

          Take a Stroll in the Salmon Bay Wildlife Corridor

          Salmon Bay

          Living in Seattle means that you're never far from natural beauty, and the Salmon Bay Wildlife Corridor is one example of why that's the case. The corridor is located within the city but has been preserved so that visiting feels like a trip to the wilderness. It's a place where you can see nature, discover local wildlife, and watch the great migration of salmon in action throughout the year. Ready to start exploring? Our brokers have you covered, with our guide to the sights you'll see and the activities that you can enjoy along the scenic Salmon Bay Wildlife Corridor.

          • An Urban Wildlife Corridor in Seattle
            The Salmon Bay Wildlife Corridor is conveniently located close to Seattle homes for sale, running along Seaview Avenue by the water. Salmon Bay itself is located on the edge of the Puget Sound, just past the Ballard Locks and the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks Visitor Center. It's an estuary on the boundary where freshwater meets saltwater, which is a recipe for a bustling area of wildlife, activity, and natural beauty. 

          • How Salmon Bay Got Its Name
            As you likely have guessed, Salmon Bay received its name because you will often find a diverse selection of salmon navigating the waters. What you may not know is that Salmon Bay is a key point on the migration path of many types of salmon, from the endangered chinook to the ubiquitous sock-eye. You can also find rare species like the steelhead and the coho. The migration happens from March through October, so there will be ample opportunities to spot your favorite fish throughout the year.

          • A Haven for All Types of Wildlife
            While the salmon is a key attraction for visitors interested in spotting wildlife, the abundance of fish also attract many of the other types of birds and animals native to the area. When you visit, you might find a bald eagle perched majestically along the waterway, or a spectacular blue heron swooping down to catch a meal from the water. There are even sea lions along Salmon Bay, and you can often find them feasting on fish during the migration seasons. Whether you're interested in watching birds, spotting fish, or observing local ecosystems in action, there's so much to see on the Salmon Bay Wildlife Corridor.

          • Start Your Journey at Discovery Park
            The Salmon Bay Wildlife Corridor runs from the Environmental Learning Center at Discovery Park to Golden Gardens Park along the Sound. The Environmental Learning Center is the perfect place to start your journey, with information on the Wildlife Corridor, the species that you'll see, and the extensive efforts made to preserve the area. You can explore some of the miles of trails located within Discovery Park, or head straight to the Wildlife Corridor for the main attraction. Along the way, you'll find signs telling you about the ecosystems and wildlife you will encounter.

          • Watch Salmon Climb the Fish Ladder at the Ballard Locks
            If you're visiting the Salmon Bay Wildlife Corridor during the migration season, then you may be treated to one of the most impressive displays that nature can offer. Stop at the fish ladder, located at the Ballard Locks, to watch salmon make the uphill climb to the top of the ladder and set off toward their next destination. There are viewing areas that allow you to get very close to the fish, including the young salmon, using specially constructed slides to move in the opposite direction of migrating adults.

          • End Your Day with a Picnic at Golden Gardens Park
            At the end of the Salmon Bay Wildlife Corridor, you'll find beautiful Golden Gardens Park, which offers views of the Puget Sound, Salmon Bay, and all of the wildlife that calls the area home. The park is located in a restored wetland, which attracts birds, mammals, amphibians, and a wide variety of fish. There are picnic areas perfect for enjoying a meal after your stroll, and if you visit at the right time, you may be able to watch sea lions enjoy their meal while you enjoy your own.

          If you want all of the advantages of urban living while remaining connected to nature, then you will truly love living in Seattle. Contact us to buy and sell homes throughout the area.

          June
          8

          Control Weeds in Your Portland Garden with These Tips

          Portland Garden tips

          National Weed Your Garden Day is observed on June 13 each year to help remind gardeners to spend a few extra minutes combatting weeds. These unwanted plants can take over your Portland garden if you don't keep on top of them, and in addition to crowding out your plants, they'll take much-needed water and nutrients away from the soil.

          Our brokers suggest the following ways to combat weeds:

          1. Design Your Garden to Control Weeds
            A well-designed garden can help deter weeds from taking hold in the first place. Start by using mixed ground covers, so you don't have bare soil, which tends to provide a better growing environment for weeds. Choose plants that can be spaced closer together so they'll crowd out weeds, and make sure they're of different heights. This will help shade the soil and keep weeds out.

          2. Use a Layer of Paper 
            Remove any existing weeds and add a layer of paper before topping it with a layer of mulch to help keep sunlight from reaching weed seeds. Spread a layer of newspaper pages (not the glossy ads) about eight inches thick or use a single layer of paper grocery bags over your soil and moisten it, so it stays in place.

          3. Apply Mulch
            After adding a layer of paper in your garden, apply mulch. Straw is usually a good weed-free choice, and it doesn't need to be overapplied. Two to three inches is a good amount to let your plants thrive while deterring weeds.

          4. Deprive Weeds of Water
            Put drip or soaker hoses beneath your mulch to ensure that your plants get enough water while depriving nearby weeds of water. Keep an eye out for perennial weeds like bindweed, however, since they can thrive if they receive drip irrigation.

          5. Use Tools When Needed
            Your hands often work well for pulling up weeds, but you can also get help from a few weeding tools that will give you a little more power. Cutting and scraping tools let you chop stems from their roots, and fishtail or taproot weeders work well for prying roots from soil. And if you're trying to sever young weeds from in between rows of your vegetable garden, try an oscillating hoe. Move its blades back and forth to eradicate weeds. And whichever method you use to remove weeds, make sure to remove the entire root system, since some weeds can grow back if even a tiny piece is left behind.

          6. Use Fertilizer Strategically 
            Spreading fertilizer over your garden beds may help your plants grow, but it can inadvertently do the same thing for weeds. Instead of applying fertilizer to the whole area, target plant foods on the root zones of your plants and only use the amount the package recommends. 

          7. Take Special Care with Young Plants
            If you have newly emerging seedlings, make sure to give them extra protection from weeds for the first four weeks of their lives. Otherwise, they'll have to compete with weeds for space, soil nutrients, and moisture and a time when they're at their most vulnerable, and they'll find it harder to thrive.

          8. Keep Your Lawn Mowed
            Keeping your lawn regularly mowed will help reduce the chances that weeds will invade not only your lawn but also your garden. Pay particular attention to the edges and keep them mowed low.

          9. Weed Regularly
            Weeding isn't something you can occasionally do. Taking just 5 or 10 minutes a day to keep up a weeding routine can make it easier to maintain your garden. It should be a part of your regular gardening routine, so every time you're checking or watering your plants, make sure to keep an eye out for new weed seedlings and remove them before they have a chance to grow any further.

          Contact us to learn more about how to win the ongoing battle against weeds in your Portland garden. A beautiful flower or vegetable garden can enhance your enjoyment of your home, and when you're ready to sell, it can make your home stand out in a positive way when compared with other Portland homes for sale.

          March
          16

          5 Greenhouses in the Seattle Area

          Greenhouses in Seattle

          There's nothing quite like spending a warm, spring day with your hands in the soil, tending to a garden that will bring you joy throughout the coming seasons. Gardening has many health benefits, from reducing stress to burning calories, along with the incredibly satisfying feeling of watching all of your hard work come to life. As our brokers can tell you, a beautiful garden can also be a big help when selling your home, since curb appeal is a key component in making the all-important positive first impression. No matter what draws you back to your garden each year, rest assured that Seattle has greenhouses with everything you need to exercise your green thumb.

          1. Swansons Nursery – 9701 15th Ave. NW, Seattle, WA 98117
            It's never hard to find supplies for your garden close to Seattle homes for sale, thanks to great local greenhouses like Swansons Nursery. The team at Swansons Nursery loves helping gardeners of all experience levels bring out the best in their gardens, with seminars, clubs, classes, or simply friendly advice when you come in to shop. Swansons Kids' Club is perfect for connecting aspiring young gardeners with nature, while the cafe at Swansons offers fresh food from farm to table. Of course, you'll also find a huge selection of plants, gardening supplies, and art for your garden.
          2. West Seattle Nursery – 5275 California Ave. SW, Seattle, WA 98136
            Looking to turn gardening into a family activity? The West Seattle Nursery & Garden Center offers a robust program for gardening with kids, including a monthly gardening club and a large supply of gardening tools that are designed with children in mind. Adults love West Seattle Nursery too, thanks to the friendly, knowledgeable staff and a great selection of rare plants. West Seattle Nursery also offers consulting services for planning your garden, equipment rentals to help with your big gardening projects, tool sharpening to get your equipment ready, and classes to expand your gardening knowledge.
          3. Urban Earth Nursery – 1051 N 35th St., Seattle, WA 98103
            With a diverse selection of plants and a friendly, knowledgeable staff that loves to help gardeners of all experience levels, Urban Earth Nursery is sure to have what you need to bring out the best in your garden this year. If you're aiming to create an urban garden, this greenhouse is second to none. Find a diverse collection of unusual, hard-to-find plants, along with all of the supplies you need to create a beautiful garden in any setting. Originally a nursery dedicated to drought-tolerant plants, Urban Earth Nursery has grown larger but never lost its focus on offering plants that grow well in any climate.
          4. Ravenna Gardens – 2600 NE University Village, Seattle, WA 98105
            Established in 1997 as a friendly, creative neighborhood garden shop, Ravenna Gardens has since grown into one of Seattle's favorite spots for all things gardening. Visiting the shop feels a little bit like stepping into a lush, green jungle, with plants as far as the eye can see and unique garden art around every corner. Ravenna Gardens is focused on plants that thrive in the Northwest and is happy to offer helpful tips to bring the most out of your garden. You'll also find planters, pottery, outdoor furniture, and sculptures to add that perfect finishing touch.
          5. City People's – 2939 E Madison St., Seattle, WA 98112
            No matter the season, City People's Garden Store is sure to have that special something that you've been seeking for your garden. Every season brings a fresh selection of plants at City People's, and the team here is eager to show you all of their time-tested tips for Seattle gardening. There are free gardening workshops for the community nearly every week throughout the year, with useful tips for how to tend to your garden.

          Still searching for the right Seattle home where you can create the garden of your dreams? We can help. Contact us to buy and sell real estate throughout Seattle.

          June
          17

          8 Favorite Fishing Holes Around Seattle

          Seattle Fishing

          Our Capitol Hill Brokers and our Seattle Lake Union Brokers live and work right here in Seattle, just like our clients and future homeowners. When we're not helping people pursue the dream of homeownership, we're enjoying all our area has to offer – including fishing.

          Seattle is known for some of the best fishing in the Pacific Northwest. When you go angling around here, you can easily catch Chinook and silver salmon. Fishing reaches its first peak in mid-October through January.

          That said, the opportunities here go well beyond the winter.

          You'll find Chinook in Puget Sound from June through August, while silver salmon are out in force from July to September. When the salmon season closes in spring and summer, then it's time to enjoy bottom fishing with one of the many professional charter boats.

          Let's take a look at some of the best places around Seattle to get a world-class fishing experience:

          Seattle Fishing Puget Sound

          1. Puget Sound
            Puget Sound is legendary, giving a glimpse of pristine, protected waters sandwiched between the breathtaking Olympic Mountains. Fishing is abundant year around, and some of the best spots are only moments from the dock. There are 1,500 miles of shoreline to explore. Autumn is when you'll find anglers from all over the country visiting in pursuit of record-breaking Chinook.

            Seattle Fishing
          2. Belvoir Place on Union Bay – 3659 42nd Avenue Northeast, Seattle, WA 98105
            Renowned as one of Seattle's top fishing spots, Belvoir Place offers fishing that's both fun and convenient. Nestled right on the city waterfront, you'll have your pick of spots – although Pier 86 is one of the local favorites. It boasts a 400-foot fishing pier and a wide range of fish to hook. You'll discover skate, salmon, perch, sablefish, and various others.

          3. Green Lake Park – 7201 East Greenlake Drive North, Seattle, WA 98115
            Green Lake Park will tempt you with a social fishing experience just minutes from downtown. Yes, it's one of the more popular spots around, but that also makes it a great place to meet fellow anglers. Rainbow and brown trout can be found year-round at any time of the day or night. That's right: Green Lake Park will welcome you 24 hours a day.

          4. Fairview Park – 2900 Fairview Avenue East, Seattle, WA 98102
            Situated in the neighborhood of Portage Bay, Fairview Park shows off its best opportunities from March through October. Because it is a smaller location, it's easily overlooked. Patient anglers often snag a winning catch of steelhead trout or migratory salmon.

          5. Elliott Bay – 1301 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101
            Elliott Bay and its associated marina deliver iconic fishing for visitors of all ages. It may be the best place in the city to introduce youngsters to the joys of fishing. Plus, you can get all the bait and equipment you need right at the pro shop. Between Pier 57 and Pier 59, you can test your wits against squid, Dungeness crab, rockfish, halibut, sturgeon, and (of course) salmon.

          6. Lake Washington – 5895 Lake Washington Boulevard South, Seattle, WA 98118
            The state's second largest lake, Lake Washington is a 20-mile long landmark a short distance east of downtown Seattle. It's open all year long and is dotted with prime fishing locations. The Reverend Murphy Fishing Pier, not far from Seward Park, might be its best-kept secret: It will greet you with a lovely fishing pier and one of the best Mt. Rainier views.

          7. 365 Charters – Throughout the Seattle, WA Area
            An award-winning local charter company, 365 Charters provides a fresh, exciting sport fishing experience. You can choose to fish out on Puget Sound, the Skykomish River, the Snohomish River, Skagit River, Cowlitz River, or the famous Columbia River.

          8. Adventure Charters – Throughout the Seattle, WA Area
            If you want to enjoy the best in river and bottom fishing around Seattle, then Adventure Charters may be your pick. A family-owned Seattle fishing charter, it's known for a fun atmosphere and clean, modern boats. Tours can last up to six hours.

            Seattle Fishing

          Fishing is only the very beginning of what awaits you here in beautiful Seattle, WA. With help from our experts, it'll be easier than ever for you to find the home of your dreams, secure the funding you need, and get to closing day without a hitch. It's that easy.

          If you're looking for the experienced choice in Seattle real estate, our team is here for you. We combine years of local expertise with unbeatable customer service. Our advice will help you make informed decisions every step of the way.

          Contact us to learn more about the best Seattle homes for sale.

          June
          3

          10 Best Running Spots In and Around Seattle

          Favorite Spots for Running in Seattle
          National Running Day is June 5. Our Capitol Hill Brokers and our Seattle Lake Union Brokers want you to have the opportunity to enjoy it Seattle style.

          Seattle is well known for a wide range of hiking trails and other opportunities for runners. There are clubs to join and annual races for runners of all skill levels. Whether you are a seasoned 10k athlete or just getting started, the Emerald City is the place for you.

          Let's explore some of the best running spots in and around downtown Seattle:

          Seattle Washington Park Arboretum

          1. Washington Park Arboretum – 2300 Arboretum Drive East, Seattle, WA 98112
            Washington Park Arboretum offers a veritable maze of well-kept trails in beautiful natural surroundings. These trails are inviting for those who want to partake of the scenery with broad, flat paths. No worrying about hitting a tree root here.

            Seattle Running Lighthouse
          2. Discovery Park Loop Trail – 3801 Discovery Park Boulevard, Seattle, WA 98199
            Discovery Park has more than 500 acres to explore, but the Loop Trail is #1 for hiking. Discovery Park is a 2.8-mile trail that includes a remarkable overlook above the Sound. There's also a side path that can take you around the West Point Lighthouse.

            Seattle Running Green Lake Park
          3. Green Lake Park – 7201 East Green Lake Dr. N, Seattle, WA 98115
            Green Lake Park surrounds the 50,000-year old glacial lake of the same name. The path is nearly three miles long, and it's one of the most popular around. Jogging in the cool of the morning is best since crowds tend to be attracted in the later hours.

          4. Burke-Gilman Trail – Seaview Avenue Northwest, Seattle, WA 98107
            Burke-Gilman Trail is packed with more than 18 miles of jogging. It has a special place in the heart of Seattle marathon runners, who use regularly. It gets joggers acquainted with both Puget Sound and some of Seattle's best neighborhoods.

          5. Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop – 860 Terry Avenue West, Seattle, WA 98104
            Cheshiahud Lake Union Loop is where to go if you're hungry for a 10k. The majority of the trail is paved and carves past the Gas Works and Lake Union Park. You'll catch views of the world famous Space Needle and the downtown area, too.

          6. Interlaken Boulevard – Interlaken Boulevard, Seattle, WA 98112
            Interlaken Boulevard is an oasis of green in the middle of the city. You could almost forget where you are thanks to the swath of green trees on a steep, winding path. Interlaken gains quite a bit of elevation in a short span, making it a brief but challenging jog.

            Seattle Running Seward Park
          7. Seward Park – 5900 Lake Washington Boulevard South, Seattle, WA 98118
            With 300 acres of land right within the city limits of Seattle, Seward Park is situated for a lovely 2.5-mile loop around Lake Washington.

          8. Volunteer Park – 1247 15th Avenue East, Seattle, WA 98112
            A gorgeous park of 48 acres, Volunteer Park gives you your choice of paved or gravel paths as well as open meadows. A climb of 107 steps in the Water Tower brings you to the observation deck, the perfect place to see Mt. Rainier on a sunny afternoon.

          9. Rattlesnake Ledge – Rattlesnake Mountain Scenic Area, 15001 443rd Ave Southeast, North Bend, WA 98045
            Rattlesnake Ledge is a popular, well-maintained trail where you're likely to encounter other hikers. Giving a view into the highest and easternmost of the Issaquah Alps, it is a 4-mile loop that gains an astonishing 1,100 feet. An incredible view rewards those who brave it.

          10. Elliott Bay Trail – Near Elliott Bay Marina, 2601 West Marina Place, Seattle, WA 98199
            Elliott Bay Trail is a 10-mile roundtrip trail giving you a waterfront adventure between Pier 55 and Pier 66. It also sports a bike path. As an urban exploration with some on-road segments, you'll be catching an eyeful of public art plus the Olympic Mountains and the city skyline.

            Seattle Running

          Our team will help you run, not walk, to the Seattle home of your dreams. With our expert advice and excellent customer service, you could be settling in before the next big race later this year. Our deep insight into the Seattle market makes a difference. Contact us today to discover the best Seattle homes for sale.

          May
          27

          Heading Outdoors in Vancouver Washington

          Vancouver Washington OutdoorsIf you've spoken to any locals while exploring Vancouver homes for sale, you probably already know our city is considered a hotspot for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you enjoy biking, hiking, or relaxing on the beach, there's always something fun to do in Vancouver. 

          With the warm weather coming, there's never been a better time to start exploring some of the awesome outdoor adventures Vancouver has to offer. Not sure where to start? We've got you covered! Here are seven of our favorite places to connect with nature and spend a day outdoors. 

          Vancouver Outdoors

          1. Burnt Bridge Creek Trail: NW Lakeshore Ave & NW Bernie Dr, Vancouver, WA 98665
            The eight-mile paved Burnt Bridge Creek Trail is a favorite among our Brokers. It offers an excellent view of the Burnt Bridge Creek Greenway and is excellent for biking, jogging, or taking a leisurely stroll. The path offers a variety of different landscapes including heavily wooded areas and grasslands.

            Vancouver Outdoors
          2. Waterfront Park: 695 Waterfront Way Vancouver, WA 98660
            Popular among both visitors and locals, Waterfront Park is one of the highlights of the new mixed-use urban development known as Waterfront Vancouver. The 7.3-acre park runs along the edge of the Columbia River and is connected to Wintler Community Park by the five-mile Columbia River Renaissance Trail.

            Spend some time exploring the walking trails, relax in the open grassy areas, and watching the little ones play on the playground. Parts of the park are still under development, and the water feature opening this spring will be another welcome addition.
          1. Esther Short Park: W. 8th & Columbia Vancouver, WA 98663
            Located right in the heart of downtown Vancouver, Esther Short Park is Washington state's oldest public square and is an excellent spot to spend some time relaxing outdoors. It offers plenty of benches, and seating in the gazebos and on the open lawn.

            Our Brokers recommend visiting the Vancouver Farmer's Market, which is held here on weekends between March and October. If you enjoy live music, you also won't want to miss the park's Summer Concert Series.

            Vancouver Beach
          1. Vancouver Lake Regional Park: 6801 NW Lower River Road Vancouver, WA 98660
            Does your idea of a good time involve relaxing on the beach and enjoying a picnic lunch? Or are you the adventurous type who prefers to windsurf, kayak, canoe, and play sand volleyball? Either way, you'll love spending the day at Vancouver Lake Regional Park. Not only is this a beautiful beach, but it also offers gorgeous views of Mount Saint Helens, Mount Hood, and Mount Adams on clear days. 

          2. Columbia Springs: 12208 SE Evergreen Hwy., Vancouver, WA 98683
            Beautiful and historic Columbia Springs offers educational experiences for both children and adults and an opportunity to get up-close with nature. Located on 100 acres of natural land, visitors are welcome to enjoy the walking trails, practice nature photography, or enjoy a picnic.

            The whole family is sure to love the fish feeding pond, trout hatchery, wildlife viewing decks, trail-side art, and historical displays. Columbia Springs is dog-friendly, so don't hesitate to bring your furry friend. 
          1. Vancouver Land Bridge: WA-14, Vancouver, WA 98661
            Also known as the Confluence Project, the Vancouver Land Bridge is a 40-foot wide pedestrian bridge that links the Columbia waterfront and historic Fort Vancouver. Here you can soak in the elements of Native American and European culture, learn about the indigenous plants that line the trail, and enjoy a stunning view of the Columbia River and surrounding mountains. 

          2. Salmon Creek Regional Park/Klineline Pond: 1112 NE 117th St, Vancouver, WA 98685
            Salmon Creek Regional Park rounds out our list of the best places to enjoy outdoor adventures in Vancouver. This popular, family-friendly destination features a splash pad and a playground for the kids, roped swimming areas at Klineline Pond.

            Pack a cooler and use one of the six public grills to cook up some burgers and hot dogs. There are 36 picnic tables at the park as well as two covered areas that you can reserve for larger parties. 

          Vancouver OutdoorsOnce you start exploring all that there is to do in Vancouver, you'll understand why so many people love calling this city home. Are you ready to join them? Contact us today to discuss your home-buying goals and learn how we can help! 

          May
          20

          9 Things to Do in Tacoma on a Saturday

          Tacoma on a Saturday
          Tacoma is well-known for its lively culture, creative and friendly residents, and sophisticated options for dining, shopping, and nightlife. If you're searching for Tacoma homes for sale, you might wonder where to start when exploring first.

          Since our jobs give us plenty of opportunities to learn about the area's hottest attractions, our Brokers offer this short list of nine things to do in Tacoma on a Saturday. 

          Tacoma Breakfast

          1. Early-Morning Breakfast at Shakabrah Java: 2618 6th Ave. Tacoma, WA 98406
            Known as one of the best breakfast spots in town, Shakabrah Java is the perfect place for you to start your Tacoma adventure. It's busy on the weekends, so you'll want to get there bright and early. We promise that the giant pancakes, homemade corned beef hash, and great coffee make it well worth the early-morning alarm. 

          2. Spend A Few Hours Shopping on 6th Avenue: 6th Ave. Tacoma, WA 98406
            Once you've finished breakfast, spend a few hours browsing the shops on 6th Avenue. While we recommend you explore them all, some of our favorites include Cresent Moon Gifts, 9 Lives Vintage Wares, and Turntable Treasures and House of Records.

          3. Grab a Mid-Morning Pick-Me-Up at Legendary Donuts: 2602 6th Ave. Tacoma, WA 98406
            Our Brokers love making a run to Legendary Donuts for a mid-day pick-me-up, and we suggest you do the same! Stop by and grab one of the delicious concoctions that are handmade there every day.
            With exciting combinations like the Captain Jack Sparrow chocolate donut made with rum-infused frosting, and toppings including espresso beans, gummy worms, or even Captain Crunch cereal, you'll quickly understand what all the hype is about.

            Tacoma Arts Live / Pantages Theater
          4. Take In a Show at the Pantages Theater: 901 Broadway, Tacoma, WA 98402
            The Pantages Theater, part of the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts, as a new name, "Tacoma Arts Live." As a non-profit organization located in Tacoma, their goal is to energize the local community with live performances. Make Tacoma Arts Live a part of your next Saturday by attending one of their upcoming performances.


            Tacoma Shake

          5. Enjoy Lunch at Shake, Shake, Shake: 124 N Tacoma Ave. Tacoma, WA 98403
            For a casual lunch in a super-fun setting, head over to Shake, Shake, Shake for delicious burgers, hot dogs, and fries. Make sure you save enough room so you can have one of their delicious shakes. They come in a host of unique flavors, and if you're feeling feisty, you can even indulge in a famous boozy shake! 

            Tacoma Chihuly Bridge

          6. Walk across the Chihuly Bridge of Glass: Bridge of Glass, Tacoma, WA 98402
            The Chihuly Bridge of Glass is an addition to the Tacoma Museum of Glass and provides a pedestrian bridge to downtown Tacoma.  Just perfect for a Saturday walk in the city, the bridge crosses over major rail lines and links the Museum of Glass to Union Station and the State History Museum.

          7. Head Over to Happy Hour at Bob's Java Jive: 2102 S Tacoma Way Tacoma, WA 98409
            A day in Tacoma wouldn't be complete without a visit to the giant teapot-turned-dive-bar known as Bob's Java Jive. Here you'll find cheap drinks, friendly locals, and an unforgettable good time. This iconic building has been standing since 1927 and is a must-see for Tacoma visitors and new residents. 

          8. Dinner at Mandolin Sushi & Steak House: 3923 S 12th St, Tacoma, WA 98405
            After a full day of taking in the best of Tacoma, you'll be ready to sit down and enjoy a nice dinner. Our Brokers suggest you give Mandolin Sushi & Steak House a try as one of the last stops on your Saturday Tacoma adventure itinerary.  Start with some sushi from the extensive menu, then dive into a teriyaki entree, a hot stone pot, or a bento box combo. 

          9. Round-the-Clock Fun at Tower Lanes: 6323 6th Ave. Tacoma, WA  98406
            If you have any energy left after this amazing day, you can't go wrong with a stop at Tower Lanes. It doesn't matter what time you arrive since this bowling alley is open 24-hours a day! If bowling isn't your thing, you can also enjoy playing mini golf or billiards, or spend some time in the arcade or at the bar. 

          Let Us Help You Find Your Tacoma Home

          Tacoma Pier

          It's easy to see there's no shortage of exciting things to do in Tacoma, and this list is just the beginning! If you're looking for a trendy hotspot to call home, you've found it. 

          At Coldwell Banker Bain, we have our finger on the pulse of all of Tacoma's best neighborhoods. When you're ready to start exploring your options, contact us. We'll show you how easy home-buying can be with our team on your side.

          May
          6

          Explore Portland Using Biketown

          Portland Biketown Bike Share
          If you preferred means of travel is on two wheels, buying one of our Portland homes for sale just might be for you.  Portland has long been known as a city full of people who care about the environment and love to spend their time outdoors. Thanks to the innovative Biketown Bike Share Program, open-air travel is now easily accessible to all residents! 

          Our Portland Uptown Brokers love spending their free time biking around the city, and we're sure you will too!

          Haven't heard of Biketown yet? No worries! Here's everything you need to know about how the program works and some tips for where to go on your next cycling adventure. 

          Biketown: Giving You More to Explore 

          Biketown is a city-wide program that includes 1,000 bikes and 125 area stations. Users can choose to either pay as they go or sign up for an inexpensive monthly or annual membership.

          When you're ready to take a bike for a ride, you simply enter your code on the bike lock, hop on, and head out. When you're through with your ride, take the bike back to one of the stations, re-lock it, and you're done! 

          Because there are stations all across the city, users can easily combine Biketown, public transit, and walking to get to wherever they need to be. Whether you want to ride to the farmer's market, get in some exercise while checking out Portland homes for sale, or enjoy one of the area's great bike trails, Biketown is the way to go! 

          In honor of National Bike Month, we recommend you give Biketown a try and spend a day visiting some of the area's best bike trails. Not sure where to start? Check out this list of our favorites! 

          Wilamette River

            1. Willamette River Loop
              With some of the city's best views, the 30-mile Willamette River Loop will take you through Portland's south side and offers views of Lake Oswego and the three bridges crossing the Willamette River. The route is mostly flat, making for a relaxing ride, and there are some great breweries nearby! Want to enjoy some of the same gorgeous views without such a long ride? Opt for the six-mile route along the Willamette Greenway Bike Trail instead. 


              Sellwood Bridge

            2. Sellwood Bridge Loop
              If you're in the mood for an easy, relaxing ride, we recommend the 11-mile Sellwood Bridge Loop.  This ride offers several views of the Willamette River and is mostly on bike paths with just a few street intersections mixed in.  This is a fairly popular path, so expect to see plenty of other bicyclists and pedestrians. Short and sweet, the Sellwood Bridge Loop is the perfect ride to enjoy before heading off for a day of shopping or Sunday brunch with your friends. 


              Portland Bike Trails Mountain View

            3. Mountain View Trail
              Powell Butte Nature Park is a great place for nature enthusiasts to spend the day. With the gorgeous views of Mount Hood, you can't beat the bike ride along the 20-mile paved path known as the Mountain View Trail. There are also several other simple trails, each offering the opportunity to explore the park while enjoying grassy nooks and open fields. 


              Portland Biking Southeast

            4. Southeast Neighborhoods
              Possibly one of the most interesting rides on this list, the 13-mile Southeast Neighborhoods route begins at the iconic Salmon Street Fountain, then winds through some of the best historic neighborhoods in Southeast Portland. The homes here have plenty of charm, and you'll love riding through the tree-lined streets and off-street paths with occasional views of the river.  This route is extremely popular with both bikers and runners, so expect to share the roads with plenty of fellow outdoor enthusiasts. 

            5. Gateway Green
              Arguably one of the city's coolest parks, Gateway Green in East Portland is literally an urban island. Since it's nestled between I-84 and I-106, you'll have to navigate your way along the I-205 multi-use path to get there, but it's well worth it.  The bike trails here are a mountain biker's dream. They include a skills area where you'll find a jump line and pump track, a gravity area, and plenty of single-track trails. 

            6. Portland's West Hills
              When you're ready to take on a true challenge, our Portland West Brokers recommend trying your hand at tackling Portland's West Hills. This thigh-burning climb is only 15-miles long, but it guaranteed to push your limits.  While on the climb, you'll enjoy breathtaking views of both the mountains and downtown Portland. We promise you'll feel exhausted and starving after this ride, so plan to meet some friends at one of the local breweries when you're done! 

          Whether you enjoy outdoor adventures, an exceptional dining scene, shopping, or nightlife, you'll find it in Portland. In fact, this is more than just a city, it's truly an experience!

          There are so many things to love about living here, and we can't wait to show you around. Contact us today to get started! 

          Disclaimer: All information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. All properties are subject to prior sale, change or withdrawal. Neither listing broker(s) or information provider(s) shall be responsible for any typographical errors, misinformation, misprints and shall be held totally harmless. Listing(s) information is provided for consumers personal, non-commercial use and may not be used for any purpose other than to identify prospective properties consumers may be interested in purchasing. Information on this site was last updated 08/13/2022. The listing information on this page last changed on 08/13/2022. The data relating to real estate for sale on this website comes in part from the Internet Data Exchange program of RMLS (last updated Fri 08/12/2022 8:34:57 PM EST) or Willamette Valley MLS (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 8:57:18 AM EST) or COAR/MLSCO (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 8:51:23 AM EST) or NWMLS (last updated Sat 08/13/2022 8:54:13 AM EST). Real estate listings held by brokerage firms other than Coldwell Banker Bain may be marked with the Internet Data Exchange logo and detailed information about those properties will include the name of the listing broker(s) when required by the MLS. All rights reserved. --

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