Dec

1

The WaterHavens team has won the coveted Five Star Professional / Best In Client Satisfaction Award from Seattle Magazine, for the 7th time! The award is based on the results of independently administered surveys given to recent real estate sellers, buyers, and knowledgeable experts in the field of real estate. Only the top few percent of all area Realtors then get selected for the award.

Congratulations, Veronique, on yet another great year serving the interests of waterfront sellers and buyers.

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May

5

There are countless reasons to want to move to Seattle, and different reasons appeal to different people. But almost everyone can agree that this list of the top ten reasons to move to the Seattle waterfront covers the most attractive aspects of this unique Washington city.

1. Beautiful Bodies of Water
Seattle is home to dozens of breathtaking lakes, rivers, and Puget Sound. These views bring people from around the world interested in owning waterfront real estate in Seattle, and tourists and residents alike constantly fall in love with the water. Being close to the water provides easy access to fun activities like boating and fishing, hobbies thousands of Seattleites enjoy every year.

2. Business is Booming
Seattle is growing rapidly, and both big corporations and small family businesses are prospering. Companies like Microsoft, Amazon, and Boeing make their home here, and local restaurants and art galleries constantly bring tourists and locals to enjoy all that Seattle has to offer.

3. Sports are Popular
Not only are sports teams like the Seahawks, Sounders, and Mariners a big part of the culture of the area, but amateurs in all types of sports regularly practice and play their favorite sports. Whether it’s walking down to the waterfront for some windsurfing or playing some basketball with a group of friends, there are always fun ways to exercise and support your favorite sports in Seattle.

4. Four Seasons
Seattle boasts four varied seasons, and all are relatively mild compared to most other parts of the country. Enjoy a pleasant summer, cool fall, chilly but not freezing winter, and a reinvigorating spring.

5. Environmentally Friendly
It’s a well-known fact that Seattle is one of the most environmentally friendly metropolitan areas in the country. A high percentage of citizens bike to school and work, and if you select a nice location for your waterfront property, you can join the league of Seattle pedestrians who choose to stay active and help the environment at the same time.

6. Delicious and Varied Cuisine
Within walking distance from most waterfront homes, you’ll find a large number of restaurants that serve people with eclectic tastes. The Seattle cuisine originates from countries and cultures the world over, and no two dishes are the same. Seattle is the home of Starbuck’s coffee, and thanks to all the bodies of water, most waterfront property is adjacent to amazing seafood restaurants with tempting oysters and salmon.

7. Impressive Music Scene
Home to world-famous Nirvana, Macklemore, Jimi Hendrix, and many many more famous musicians, Seattle has grown to be more than simply grunge music. There are hotspots for all genres, and locals always love to see the latest band. Residents of a waterfront home can walk down to a beach concert near Lake Washington.

8. Amazing Sights to See
Seattle has some of the most impressive mountains in the United States that are home to breathtaking forests, waterfalls, and a view of the city itself. A quick hike up one of these mountains never disappoints, in either the Cascade Mountains or the Olympic Mountains.

9. Cultured People
The people of Seattle are generally educated and sophisticated, and enjoy the finer things, like the impressive extensive art collections in galleries and museums throughout the city.

10. Famous Landmarks
Famous sites like the Space Needle and the Experience Music Project, or EMP, call Seattle their home. It’s always great to be able to live near iconic places with cultural and historical significance.

There’s truly nothing like the Seattle waterfront scene. Whatever reason appeals most to you, you’ll find the waterfront in Seattle to be an amazing experience.

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Apr

7

In 2014, a new program called Puget Sound Bike Share is coming to King County. This program enables residents to rent bicycles for long or short periods of time before dropping it back off to a docking station. These docking stations will be strategically located throughout the cities in King County to make renting and using the bicycles more convenient.

How Did the Program Start?

Bike sharing programs are nothing new. They’ve been around for years and over 30 different cities in the United States have similar programs. There are even over 200 programs worldwide. The Puget Sound Bike Share will be the first program in Washington State, though some nearby states have them. There is currently one, for example, in San Francisco and one due to begin in Portland.

The program is non-profit and ultimately relies on user-generated money as well as public and grant funding.  The program will also accept donations and private foundation funding as well. During the beginning phase, Puget Sound Bike Share will set up docking stations throughout Seattle and on the waterfront including Downtown, Capitol Hill, South Lake Union, and the University District.

How Can You Be a Part of Puget Sound Bike Share?

Once the docking stations and bicycles are ready, you can rent a cycle from any of the docking stations and use it to get around town. There will be three different forms of renting once the bikes become available. These include annual, monthly, and 24-hour memberships. It will be run similarly to city bus passes, but be much more affordable.

The stations are planned to be spaced out every two blocks or so. This means you won’t have to walk far to find a bike or return one to a docking station. Along with bikes, helmet vending machines will be located next to the stations in order to comply with helmet laws in King County and Seattle.

Is King County A Suitable Place for a Bike Share?

One question that emerged when putting together the Puget Sound Bike Share was location. Is King County a good location for a bike share program? Ultimately, it was decided that a bike share program would indeed benefit the area since biking is now a popular form of transportation. King County is actually home to the largest biking club in the country.

In addition to this, the cities in King County are bike friendly in their design and there have been no fatal bike crashes and few injury accidents. The last problem encountered was on one of Seattle’s famous hills, which are not always a joy to bike up and down. The Puget Sound Bike Share program dealt with this, however, by providing bikes with seven gears rather than the traditional three. Biking up and down hills will be much easier for riders.

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Jan

31

As football fans everywhere look forward to a Seattle Seahawks/Denver Broncos Super Bowl, real estate experts are again pitting the two cities against each other in terms of their burgeoning real estate markets. Yes, it’s time for a hard-fought Real Estate Super Bowl.

Last year, Seattle dominated categories like median household income and education level. 58% of Seattleites over age 25 have a bachelor’s degree or higher, versus 45% of Denver residents. The teams were almost neck-and-neck in population (612,916 for Seattle; 604,356 for Denver) and average square footage (1622 for Seattle, 1671 for Denver). Forty-nine extra square feet doesn’t equate to a lot of yardage for Denver, but the Mile-High City did surge ahead in categories like average lot size (6250 vs. Seattle’s 5500) and number of homes for sale near the city’s football stadium (299 vs. Seattle’s 194). It was indeed a close contest overall.

This year will be another close call. According to projections, Denver’s “players” move the fastest—the median number of days a home spends on the market is just 18 days in Denver, vs. 32 in Seattle. Seattle, however, has the most valuable players, if you measure value in terms of a home’s selling price: Seattle’s average home price is $285,849, compared to $259,000 for Denver. Seattle also has significantly more veteran players—it has a higher ratio of existing homes on the market compared to new construction. This kind of matchup should make for a riveting Real Estate Super Bowl. Who will come out ahead?

To make an accurate prediction, it’s necessary to look beyond figures and investigate more subjective categories. Seattle leads in two such areas: coaching staff and home-field advantage. Seattle’s superior coaching staff consists of real estate agents who are deeply knowledgeable and totally committed to finding buyers the home of their dreams.

Seattle’s home-field advantage is equally impressive. While the football Super Bowl is taking place at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey, the Real Estate Super Bowl takes place on the home field of each competing city, and the Seattle waterfront home field is considerably more appealing than Denver’s. Ocean views and a wide variety of bay and lakeside homes put the Emerald City decisively ahead. Only in Seattle can home buyers find stunning properties overlooking Puget Sound, and amazing waterfront houses bordering Lake Washington and the other breathtaking bodies of water that dot the Seattle metro area. This is going to be the game clincher for Seattle.

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Dec

31

Seattle is composed of rich and diverse communities that offer their own holiday celebrations. While many people are celebrating around the downtown area, waterfront houses have family-friendly activities to help you celebrate as well. Whether you want to watch a light tour, take a cruise on Puget Sound, or venture on the Great Ferris Wheel, you can find Christmas fun along the waterfront that appeals to everyone.

Ride the Ducks Light Tour

Originally crafted for use in World War II, the Ducks are part automobile, part boat. The Ride the Ducks Tour takes you on a drive around highlighted parts of Seattle and then through the Lake Union waterfront area by boat. After Thanksgiving, the company offers a Holiday Duck Tour to view Seattle’s best-decorated areas such as Westlake Center and Toyland Village by Pier 57. Along with lights, you will enjoy the outgoing fun personality of your tour Captain. He will have you singing classic Christmas tunes like ‘Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer’ while sharing holiday facts. This tour lasts 40 minutes and is available for all ages.

Christmas Ship Festival

Since 1949, the Christmas Ship Festival has been cruising the Puget Sound waterfront communities to offer a relaxing celebration. There are three ways to celebrate: aboard a cruise ship, on your own boat, or from the shore. While aboard ship, you will listen to a choir as they carol to each of the 45 waterfront communities. Tours are available that include dinner or, for the younger crowd, morning Santa brunches. If you have your own boat, you can add lights and join in the Christmas Ship Parade. Each year, Seattle aims to have the largest floating holiday parade in the world. You can help make this a success while enjoying the view of lights from the water. The combination of the night waters and twinkling shore is made for memories.

Even those on the shore can take part in the Christmas Ship Festival. Each waterfront community in the Puget Sound area offers a place to view the boats as they pass by. You will hear a 20-minute session of Christmas caroling from the ship and others on land. There is a hospitality tent and a large bonfire to keep you warm as you mingle with others.

Ferris Wheel for the New Year

The Great Ferris Wheel has recently been added to the attractions in downtown Seattle waterfront. While it is currently open, you can bring in the New Year with a special dinner and ride. There is an early and late dinner, each taking place at The Fisherman’s with a three-course meal and party favors. Then, you can sip some champagne while you take in the night views and celebrations from the Ferris Wheel. This is a great way to ring in the New Year while admiring the views of waterfront homes and activity. Photos are included with your purchase.

Seattle’s diverse landscape gives you opportunity to celebrate the holidays in a way other cities cannot. When you want take in the holiday waterfront, options are available for everyone. Make it a romantic evening on the Great Wheel or enjoy the lights with your entire family. The Seattle waterfront can helps you create memories to last whether you are looking for a waterfront home or evening out.

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Oct

21

There’s a lot about the city of Seattle that’s special, but one of its most exciting and enduring features is the presence of so many pristine lakes and other bodies of water. From Lake Washington to Puget Sound, the greater Seattle Metropolitan Area offers a lot to appreciate when it comes to owning a waterfront home. Waterfront property owners get the benefits of a gorgeous view, a convenient new mode of transportation, and close access to downtown Seattle and a thriving business district. One good example of life in a waterfront community is an upcoming family event in the spirit of Halloween.

Trick or Treat

Kids have it good in Seattle. Not only do the little ones get the opportunity to trick or treat days ahead of Halloween, but they also have a wide variety of places to visit. On Sunday, October 27, from 11 AM to 5 PM, trick-or-treaters can visit the Seattle waterfront and get candy from the businesses there for free. The businesses that will be participating are located between Ferry Terminal and Bell Harbor Conference Center. On top of the free candy, the trick-or-treaters and their families can enjoy free parking on the street because it’s on a Sunday.

Other Festive Events

As if several hours of free candy from businesses along the waterfront weren’t enough, there are more events happening in the area. You can dedicate your weekend to the Halloween holiday by stopping by the Seattle Aquarium. The aquarium is putting on a special event called Aquarium Halloween 2013, and it features fun events like underwater pumpkin carving, face painting, games, and more. Also on October 27, from 11 AM to 1 PM, is a Seattle Fire Department show and tell. It’s clear that there’s no shortage of activity and festivities in downtown Seattle along the waterfront this year.

The Seattle Waterfront

The Seattle waterfront is one of the most memorable and captivating neighborhoods in Seattle. Along with the Seattle Aquarium, it features a variety of restaurants, souvenir shops, and more. You can experience one of the greatest pleasures of having access to the waterfront by simply walking along the pier and admiring the view of Elliott Bay. You can get even more up close to the water view by taking a scenic ferry ride. It calls to mind the kind of view that a waterfront home owner can enjoy every day, as well as the kind of convenience they get to visit Seattle’s bustling downtown business communities.

 

Along with some truly breathtaking views, residential waterfront property in Seattle offers several perks, including peace, prestige, and easy access to the action through transportation like the King County Water Taxi or ferries. With the ability to tap into a thriving and generous business community, waterfront residents can easily take advantage of some of the greatest benefits that Seattle has to offer. Be sure to take advantage of the one of them yourself when October 27 rolls around. Early trick or treating and Aquarium Halloween 2013 are just some of the many events that remind people why Seattle is a fantastic place to live.

 

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Jul

16

One of the most picturesque and exciting features of the Seattle area is its trademark waterfront real estate, complete with floating homes and houseboats. The city’s Lake Union and Portage Bay neighborhoods are home to a thriving community of waterfront houses and homeowners. These homeowners enjoy a fantastic view of Seattle water, as well as easy access to downtown Seattle. Even better, the area is privy to highlights that aren’t found elsewhere, such as Lake Union Park’s FarmBoat floating market. This attraction, held on the historic steamship known as Virginia V, has a storied tradition and a lot of charm.

A Brief History of FarmBoat Floating Market
When it comes to Seattle’s sites, waterfront attractions boast some of the longest histories around, and the FarmBoat Floating Market is no exception. The market is held aboard the long-lived Virginia V and docked at Lake Union Park Wharf, where it harkens back to another age. Around the turn of the 20th century, shipping vessels of steam and sails were the transportation of choice for agricultural goods. Hundreds of ships just like the Virginia V used to travel to and from Puget Sound to move farm goods around before there were trucks and highways. A floating time capsule, the Virginia V captures that unique old-world atmosphere and makes it available to Seattle locals and tourists alike.

The Attraction of Lake Union’s FarmBoat Floating Market
Like the water taxi and water-based firefighters, the floating market is a distinct fixture of the waterfront community. Market visitors can stop by the FarmBoat Floating Market to browse local produce and specialty foods, enjoy a scenic lunch, and even pick up a bit more knowledge about this fascinating bit of Seattle history, such as how the Virginia V once transported farm products from Vashon Island to Pike Place Market way back in 1922. In terms of local heritage and tradition, the FarmBoat Floating Market does a great job of shedding some light on this interesting locale. Even better, the entire experience is available free of charge, which is always a draw when trying to decide which of Seattle’s many attractions to see.

Placing FarmBoat Floating Market in Context
Lake Union FarmBoat Floating Market is managed by the Urban Public Waterfront Association, or UPWA. This organization is a non-profit with the mission of connecting people to the local maritime environment through water-centric events and activities. This alone shows how big a role the waterfront plays in Seattle’s culture and historical traditions. Ultimately, the Floating Market is a great choice for learning more about the area and experiencing what draws people to Seattle’s waterfront property. Whether visitors want to see the FarmBoat Floating Market as a slice of Seattle’s waterfront community, as a living relic of a bygone era, as a compelling shopping destination, or as a great vantage point for admiring Lake Union and the distinctive downtown Seattle skyline, FarmBoat Floating Market is a destination of choice. It has earned its place as a one of a kind attraction in Seattle.

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Jul

2

The Seattle, Washington area is home to a unique and interesting feature in the form of floating homes. Because of the location of bodies of water like the Puget Sound, Lake Washington, and many more, there’s a unique opportunity for homeowners not only to buy waterfront real estate, but also to live in floating homes on the water itself. Even better, many of these homes are located close to downtown Seattle, making them a highly attractive place to settle with a view of the water that can’t be beat. In celebration of this Seattle hallmark, the Seattle Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI) in South Lake Union is showcasing an exhibit called Still Afloat, which focuses on the subject of floating homes.

The Diverse Waterfront Neighborhood
For a number of years, the neighborhood of floating homes on Lake Union and Portage Bay has engaged in some fairly tumultuous history. There have been land use battles, evictions, and a host of political and economic challenges to the very existence of these floating homes. Recent changes have come, some of which enhance the stability and value of Seattle’s floating homes, others of which threaten to erase the waterfront property community itself. Fortunately, through it all, the iconic Seattle image of the houseboat has endured, and so has the thriving and diverse community on Lake Union and Portage Bay.

Still Afloat Exhibit
Billed as a contemporary history of Seattle’s floating homes, the Still Afloat exhibit is a unique look at the history of this Seattle trademark. The temporary Museum of History and Industry exhibit features images from the past, complete with accounts of what life is like in the floating waterfront home community. The exhibit includes everything from photographs and video interviews to underwater film and a scale model of a floating home, which reveals the technology that makes floating homes possible. Perhaps most importantly, the exhibit is a celebration of the community and its contribution to making Seattle the vibrant and storied metropolis that it has become.

Still Afloat Adds to Seattle Waterfront Community
For those intrigued by floating homes and their Seattle waterfront community, Still Afloat is an all-encompassing experience that’s perfect for Seattle tourists, locals, and even floating homeowners and residents themselves. It will run from June 15 until November 3, 2013, and it will be located in the Linda and Ted Johnson Family Community Gallery at the Museum of History and Industry. You’ll have a rare opportunity to see the sights and hear the sounds of life in this unique community, as well as witnessing the stories of residents who can track the changes in the community over the years. If a trip to Still Afloat doesn’t fully quench your thirst for floating homes, you can also look at the Seattle Floating Homes Association which includes great information and features current plus past newsletters about the community and its lifestyle.

There’s truly nothing like the houseboats community in Seattle, and the museum’s Still Afloat exhibit is a limited-time opportunity to take a glimpse into this fascinating piece of Washington history.

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Jun

18

There’s a unique and fun attraction in the Seattle area known as Ride the Ducks. The Duck rides have a long history as an essential tourist attraction, cruising past the city of Seattle and through the Lake Union waterfront community. The company describes its rides as a “party that floats,” coming with an eccentric captain who provides narration about the scenery as part of the tour. During the summer, the business really picks up, with more than 150 entrances and exits of Lake Union over the course of a 10-hour day. Now, the Duck boats are looking to dock at a new home that’s just 100 feet away from the houseboats in Lake Union.

A Disruption to the Community
Eastlake residents clearly respect and appreciate the role of the Ride the Ducks attraction, but they have recently expressed concerns over the appearance of a ramp that’s so close to their houseboats and waterfront property. Brian Tracey, the owner of Ride the Ducks, has met with the neighbors on at least two occasions to assuage their concerns about both the noise, safety, and pollution of a new Lake Union access point nearby. They have some valid worries, as the World War II-era boats run on diesel and would be active for many hours every day.

An Interesting Rebuttal
At the same time, Brian Tracey and his Ride the Ducks offer another side to the story. The particular area under consideration is actually an abandoned dock that could benefit from some new construction. Interestingly, the area was already zoned for maritime industrial use, so it’s not without precedent for the site to be home to a structure like a public boat ramp. In addition, the efforts could beautify the area, such as the overgrown street edge that’s already there. The other major concern is that the water traffic would get continually backed up without the additional point of access.

What Happens Next with the Ducks
Both sides of the debate have good points. On the one hand, Lake Union’s floating homes, houseboats, and waterfront houses are a beautiful and unique feature of the Seattle area. Many of these waterfront real estate owners paid a premium for the privilege of having a serene place to live, and it could be damaging to their way of life to have a constant stream of Duck boats streaming in and out of the nearby boat ramp. On the other hand, Ride the Ducks is a key attraction with a tradition of its own, and there didn’t appear to be anything illegal in how Brian Tracey purchased the property or intends to use it. The matter is before the Department of Planning and Development, with the Parks Board of Commissioners having voted back in February to oppose the entry ramp. The case is continuing to develop, but it’s a striking example of how scarce and special waterfront land is in the Seattle area.

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May

6

    Elegant living room with stunning puget sound views in Seattle area home for sale.

Water views from Seattle area home for sale.

Getting around Seattle is one of the biggest concerns for a lot of local residents. Traffic can get pretty congested along the major thoroughfares. Many commuters would probably relish the prospect of being able to skip all of that traffic on the road and arrive at work or home almost immediately, but that is obviously not something that’s possible for most Seattle drivers. Fortunately for some lucky Seattleites, however, it just so happens that there is an enticing transportation option for residents in West Seattle. While those living on the east side generally have to rely on either the toll-bridge Interstate 520 or non-toll I-90 to get downtown, West Seattle residents are able to cut across Elliot Bay on the King County Water Taxi.

Getting to Seattle
The big benefit for West Seattle residents who want to get to Seattle is that they can get downtown across the water using the King County Water Taxi. This useful service features a direct route from Seacrest Park in West Seattle over to Pier 50 on the downtown Seattle waterfront. The time it takes to cross is only about 10 minutes, and it’s open to people with bicycles for no extra charge. This unique situation is available to West Seattle residents in Puget Sound homes, and it’s one of simplicity and luxury. When passengers in the water taxi arrive at Pier 50 downtown, they can disembark and walk around the streets without having to worry about the cost or inconvenience of parking.

West Seattle Waterfront Real Estate
The waterfront coastline of West Seattle runs along the mouth of Elliot Bay and features gorgeous beaches and a satisfying mix of private property and public parks. Real estate consists of attractive condos and contemporary homes as well as mature homes. While the area of West Seattle itself is an enjoyable expanse in its own right, full of cafes and shops, many residents with a waterfront home in West Seattle have to go to work downtown. Others like the greater variety of shopping or entertainment options downtown. Either way, one of the main attractions of living in West Seattle is the amazing waterfront property, a view of Puget Sound, and the area’s proximity to the heart of Seattle.

Commute from the Waterfront
With so many reasons to travel to downtown Seattle, it’s fortunate that there’s a quick commute option in the King County Water Taxi, but the presence of Puget Sound and Elliot Bay is a double-edged sword. If it were land there instead, residents would have a direct route for driving. Instead, the water taxi service represents the only straight shot from West Seattle to downtown Seattle. Otherwise, residents have to go around using the West Seattle Bridge, which can result in a commute of 45 minutes to an hour during peak traffic hours. On the plus side, West Seattle and its residents in waterfront houses are geographically quite close to downtown, so there are a lot of viable commuting options, and the King County Water Taxi really makes it a great place to settle.

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May

3

The Environmental Science Center, located on the waterfront at Seahurst Park in Burien, has many fun summer programs oriented to living around the water and Puget Sound:

SEAHURST SUMMER SATURDAYS
10am – Noon (except June 8th)

May 18 Animal Detectives
Practice moving like different animals and make up your own track stories. Then hit the trail looking for animal signs (nests, homes, tracks, scat). Each participant will take home their own plaster track.

May 25 Stormwater Adventure!
Play games, explore tools, tell stories, and dance to learn more about the water all around us!

June 1 Science in Action! Fishery Observers
Place yourself in the shoes of a fisheries observer and conduct your own “fish population survey”! Learn about fish from different places and how to count and identify them. Recommended ages: 10 and up.

June 8 Bats, bats, bats! NIGHT PROGRAM 7-9pm
Visit Seahurst Park at night to learn about the bats of the Pacific Northwest. Spend time outside with an expert “bat lady” looking for signs of bats. Don’t forget your flashlight and hiking shoes!

June 15 & 16 Visit ESC at the Burien Wild Strawberry Festival!

June 22 Dog-Eat-Dog World: Food Chains at Seahurst Beach
It’s a rough life in the wild when everyone wants to eat you. Play games and examine marine plankton to look for earth’s most terrifying PREDATORS!! Also, spend time on the beach with naturalists.

June 29 Nature Scavenger Hunt
Explore Seahurst Park with all of your senses! Learn about the diverse life right here in the park and then explore with a fun and educational nature hike.

July 6 Insect Safari
This is your chance to view thousands of insects from all around the world! Then take a short walk around Seahurst Park to learn how to collect and sample for insects.

July 13 Scatology – Odd Digestion
in the Animal Kingdom
Compare human digestion to other animals then look for scat and food sources of animals at Seahurst. Upon returning to the center, learn about digestion in birds of prey by dissecting a real owl pellet!

July 20 Beach Exploration
Your little ones will love learning about what lives at Seahurst Beach through puppets, art, and hands-on exploration! Also, spend time on the beach with a trained naturalist. Recommended ages: 2-6 years, older siblings can join, too.

Burien Three Tree Point Puget Sound Olympic Mountains water view real estate for sale

New Burien Three Tree Point Puget Sound water view WaterHavens listing for sale

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Dec

1

The Environmental Science Center is a deserving local shoreline education organization (I was previously on its Board of Directors), and they are having more of their popular Moonlight Beach Walks this winter. They are fun, entertaining, and unique. Here’s the scoop from ESC:

Don’t miss the Environmental Science Center’s Moonlight Beach Walk this Saturday, December 4th, from 7:30-9:30pm at Seahurst Beach in Burien.

Imagine you are on the shoreline at a lovely low tide. Rocks that are covered all year lie exposed to view while the sea denizens remain happily cold and wet in the dark. All around you, people waving flashlights are intently studying the amazing and abundant sea life as local naturalists help you discover the wonders of your Puget Sound shoreline.

BUNDLE UP AGAINST THE WEATHER AND BE SURE TO BRING: Bright flashlight with good batteries, warm hat and dry gloves, and wading boots (you’ll be in ankle deep water).

For more information, contact Programs@EnvScienceCenter.org or call 206-248-4266.

Environmental Science Center logo

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Jun

22

Have you ever wondered what famous local folks live where – and in what kind of home – on the shores of Lake Washington? Well, local waterfront home owner David Dykstra wrote a book about just that, including lots of photographs: “Lake Washington 130 Homes“.

The King 5 Evening Magazine TV show recently interviewed the author and took a guided tour themselves.

 

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Mar

26

With all of the spectacular waterfront communities and views that we have in the Seattle, you’d think that there are some restaurants with great views. And you’d be right! Whether you are looking for a romantic getaway evening, or want to entertain some out of town guests by showing them what Seattle has to offer, there are many options to pick from.

We have put together a list of some of the best Seattle waterfront view restaurants. If you have any that you think should be added, let us know.

Lake Washington waterfront real estate for sale with home in Holmes Point Kirkland

Lake Washington waterfront home for sale in Holmes Point Kirkland

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Jan

24

Keep your eyes out on the Sound: there have recently been gray whale sightings a month ahead of the usual time, and the Pacific coast is reporting more whale sightings than have occurred in the past 5 years. That also bodes well for seeing some of those whales stop into Puget Sound on their winter rounds.

So keep your binoculars and spotting scopes at the ready!

Gray whale

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Apr

13

Upcoming events from Puget Soundkeeper Alliance:

Sunday April 19th
What: Gary Manuel Aveda Institute Cut-a-Thon
Who: Schedule a hair and/or spa service for April 19th between 10:00 am and 5:00 pm and the proceeds go to Puget Soundkeeper Alliance
When: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm
Where: Gary Manuel Aveda Institute, (206) 329-9933
Address: 1514 10th Ave, Seattle
http://www.gmaveda.com/
Puget Soundkeeper Alliance will receive 100% of the proceeds.

Wednesday, April 22nd
What: Gary Manuel Salon Belltown and Capital Hill Earth Day Cleanup Event
Who: Calling all volunteers
When: 9:00 am – 10:30 am
Where: Belltown and Capital Hill
Call Betsy Moyer at Puget Soundkeeper Alliance if you would like to volunteer (206) 297-7002

Saturday, April 25th
What: Everett Marina and Jetty Island Cleanup Event
Who: All Volunteers welcome – bring gloves, warm clothes and appropriate footware. No reservations needed.
When: 9:00 am – 12:00 (lunch served after). Transportation to and from Jetty Island provided.
Where: Popeye’s Marine & Kayak Center
Address: 814 13th St, No. Marina (access via 14th St)
Puget Soundkeeper Alliance has been involved for 15 years. Call Chris Wilke for info (206) 297- 7002.

Saturday, April 25th
What: Premiere Salon It’s the Water Event (live music, refreshments, raffle)
Who: All are welcome
When: 6:00 pm to 10:00 pm
Where: Premiere Salon and Spa (360) 753-3299
Address: 111 Market St #101, Olympia
Call or email Kelly Bakala at Kelly@premieresalonandspa.com. Tickets: $10
Proceeds support Puget Soundkeeper Alliance’s clean water work.

Sunday, April 26th
What: Aveda and Puget Soundkeeper Alliance Walk for Water
Who: All are welcome. Please pledge $25 to participate
When: 9:00 am registration (10 am to 12:30 pm walk & trash pickup)
Where: Golden Gardens Park
Address: 8498 Seaview Ave N, Seattle
Call Betsy Moyer for info (206) 297-7002

Sunday, April 26th
What: 2nd Annual Community Oyster Roast
Who: Anyone who likes Oysters, sausage, beer, wine and live music
When: 2-seatings – 1) from 2:00 pm to 4:00pm and 2) from 5:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Where: Golden Gardens Bathhouse
Address: 8498 Seaview Ave N. Seattle
http://www.pugetsoundkeeper.org/events/community-oyster-roast
Tickets available at: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/54821
Annual fundraiser for Puget Soundkeeper Alliance’s work to protect and preserve Puget Sound

Saturday, May 2nd
What: Clean and Green Boating Fair, free event to kick off the boating season
Who: All are welcome – free boat tours included
When: 10:00 am to 3:00 pm
Where: Delin Docks Marina on Thea Foss Waterway
Address: 1616 E “D” St, Tacoma
http://www.cleangreenboating.blogspot.com/

Saturday, May 9th
What: The Sweep – 7th Annual Lake Union and Portage Bay Cleanup
Who: All Volunteers welcome. Please sign up first (206) 297-7002
When: Volunteers check in at 8:30 am (for most)
Where: Lake Union Park (for most)
Address: 860 Terry Ave N, Seattle
http://www.pugetsoundkeeper.org/events/7th-annual-lake-union-and-portage-bay-sweep

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Sep

10

Fall is coming our way, and the salmon runs are on their way as well. Are you interested to see all the activity at our local riverfront communities? Here’s the scoop from the King County Spawning Salmon Viewing Locations:

Salmon Viewing Locations in the Snoqualmie Valley

Raging River, Fall City: From downtown Fall City, head south on the Preston-Fall City Road. Turn left, heading east, on SE 44th Place about .1 mile.
Tolt-McDonald Park, Carnation. From Highway 203, head west on NE 40th Street in Carnation and follow signs to the park. View salmon from the footbridge over the river.

Tolt River foot bridge on the Snoqualmie Valley Trail, Carnation: From Highway 203, just south of the Tolt River, head east on NE 32nd. Just before Remlinger Farms the trail crosses over the road, park and climb steps to the trail. Head north on the trail to the bridge.

Chinook Bend, Carnation: The turnoff is on the north side of NE Carnation Farm Road, just west of the bridge over the Snoqualmie River. Park and walk in until you come to the gravel bar.

Snoqualmie Valley Trail:
Salmon Signage & Artwork Locations

Learn about salmon through educational signage and salmon-inspired artwork while you walk, run or ride along the Snoqualmie Valley Trail.

McCormick Park, Duvall: Totem pole-like sculptures depict the many facets of the valley’s working rural landscape and the challenges facing salmon. The sculptures were created by students from Cherry Valley Elementary School in Duvall.

Tolt River Bridge, Carnation: Ceramic tiles emblazoned with salmon-inspired artwork can be found encircling a park bench at this trail site. The tiles were created by students with the Tolt Middle School Art Club. The bench was donated by the school’s recycling club.

Griffin Creek Bridge, (.5 mi. south of) Carnation: Interpretive signage only at this location.

Meadow brook Slough, Snoqualmie: “Water Echoes,” a steel arch inspired by the shape of Snoqualmie river’s oxbow at the slough. Students from Two Rivers Middle School in North Bend designed, welded and installed the arch.

There is also a printable brochure describing the best viewing locations and additional information on salmon habitat restoration.

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Aug

18

The Duwamish River Festival will come back to the Duwamish River Park this Saturday August 23rd from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm.

The festival offers live music and dance, kayak tours, homemade tamales, recycled art activity, photos with Bert the Salmon, fun, family-friendly activities, prizes, and information.

Duwamish River Festival

Event Schedule:
11:00 a.m. – Welcome by Masters of Ceremonies, Penny LeGate / DJ Vector
11:30 a.m. – Duwamish Tribe’s Tilibshudub (Singing Feet) dance performance
12:15 p.m. – Pinata Party with Carmen Martinez
12:45 p.m. – Joyas Mestizas folk dance performance
1:30 p.m. – Stanley Alleyne Caribbean steel drums
2:30 p.m. – Recycled Art Parade
2:30 p.m. – Stanley Alleyne Caribbean steel drums

• Kayak Tours at 1:00 and 2:00 p.m.
• Raffle awards each hour – Mariners tickets, a sunset kayak cruise, & prizes
• Kids activities, bounce-house, and dunk tank all day

The following groups will perform:
• Master of Ceremonies: Penny LeGate
• Stanley Alleyne – Caribbean Steel Drum Music
• Mexican Folk Dance group Joyas Mestizas
• Duwamish Tribe T’ilibshudub “Singing Feet”

Duwamish River Festival parking map for Duwamish River Park neighborhood

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Dec

1

Have you checked out the Christmas Ships around Lake Washington, Lake Union, and the Sound this year? Definitely worth a look, especially the December 23rd finale with the Best Decorated Boat Contest at Gasworks Park on Lake Union. Come bundle up and watch the festive sights at the different locations. It’s a great way to enjoy your WaterHaven, or visit someone else’s!

In local waterfront news, proposed land use regulations still dominate the talk among local rural WaterHaven owners. Both the Critical Areas Ordinance and a new ruling related to federal flood insurance / salmon protection have stirred up the debate something fierce. Petition drives and court cases are underway opposing restrictions on property usage, while other local organizations are educating people about environmental and community benefits. This should be interesting to watch…

Also, a team of divers discovered a World War II era fighter plane in the bottom of Lake Washington; certainly a more intriguing find than the usual array of old anchors and lawn furniture. If you haven’t mustered the time or courage to take up diving around our waterways, I highly recommend it. The lakes can be interesting, but the life teeming along the shores of the Sound are especially fascinating and world class. Yes it’s rather cold, but modern wetsuits or – even better – drysuits can keep you warm enough for your short explorations into inner space. Check out the Activities section of WaterHavens.com for a listing of local scuba clubs to get you started.

Unlike normal holiday trends, the real estate market is still very active right now. Last month saw new highs, available inventory has declined 18% from last year, and there are more buyers than sellers out there. Accordingly, prices have risen and time on market has declined. Some of the better priced properties are still moving very fast. For the November general King County market, the average residential closed sales price was $399,464 (as compared to $368,496 for November 2003) and the average condo sales price was $238,508 ($223,735 for November 2003). Average time on market has shortened from 61 days to 49 days.

In the WaterHavens waterfront market, house sales ranged from a Federal Way walk-down home on the Sound for $299,950 to a Mercer Island Lake Washington home for $5,250,000, condo sales ranged from $145,000 for a Redmond condo on Lake Sammamish to a Kirkland Lake Washington condo for $900,000, and floating home sales ranged from $135,000 to $1,135,000. Waterfront and water view inventory is down across the board, but that is usual for this time of year and is amplified by the still hot market plus excellent interest rates. There are currently 216 waterfront WaterHavens available in our local area, and even more water view and water access WaterHavens.

Enjoy a WaterHaven! Our waterfront and waterview is the best in the world.

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