North Sound Emergency Medicine’s operations are located in Snohomish County, Washington. With the snow-capped Olympic Mountains to the west, the Cascade Mountains to the east, and the vast Puget Sound in between, some of the most spectacularly beautiful scenery in the United States surrounds us. Just 15 miles north of Seattle, 100 miles south of Vancouver, BC, and a short ferry ride away from the San Juan Islands or Olympic Peninsula. Snohomish County is ideally situated for exploring the entire Pacific Northwest.
From the sparkling blue waters of Puget Sound to the towering Glacier Peak, our beautiful locale provides ample recreational and cultural opportunities. Residents enjoy hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, skiing, snow-mobiling, whale and bird watching, plus wildlife tours that follow salmon and eagles in their natural habitat. Taking a moment to appreciate picturesque sunsets overlooking one of the largest marinas on the West Coast, or the beautiful rugged terrain enveloping the mountaintops is well worth the time. Our “Evergreen” State’s moderate temperatures allow enjoyment of most of these activities year-round. Many are accessible within easy driving distance from the surrounding Snohomish County areas and from the city of Seattle.
Numerous cultural amenities can be found 15 miles south in the major metropolitan city of Seattle, (also called “Metronatural”). There is an abundance of attractions to captivate the attention of both adults and children alike in Seattle, including the “Space Needle”, “Seattle Center”, the “Experience Music Project”, the “Seattle Aquarium”, “Pike Place Market”, and “Woodland Park Zoo” to name just a few. There are also world-class shopping, fine dining, theatres, museums, art galleries, concert facilities, and parks. Seattle is home to several professional sports teams including the Seattle Seahawks, Mariners, Kraken & Storm and many collegiate sports are also nearby with the University of Washington’s main campus.
There is always a constant buzz of activity on Seattle’s waterfront, Elliot Bay. The downtown piers and restaurants provide a good vantage point to watch the tugboats assisting transpacific container ships and to watch cruise ships returning from Alaska. The largest ferry transportation system in the world navigates through the waters of the Puget Sound. Many visitors enjoy a trip aboard one of these ferries traveling to and from Whidbey Island or the San Juan Islands.
Lake Washington, and its sister offshoot Lake Union, surrounds Seattle to the North and West. There is much to do and see in these waters. To be expected, boating is the top attraction. Ski boats and sailboats are on the scene at all times, along with the many seaplanes that fly in and out. Some prefer to actually live on the lake in one of the many boathouses. Tourists and locals alike enjoy watching boats of all shapes and sizes come into the “Ballard Locks”, which allows safe passage into Lake Union, or out to the Puget Sound. Another anticipated event each year is “Seafair” when hydroplanes race across the waters of Lake Washington, while the Navy’s world famous Blue Angels” fly overhead.
Beyond the fast-paced cities, are the popular natural environments of Washington. One of which is the “Mt. Rainier National Park” a northwest icon. Rising nearly three miles above sea level, there’s a reason Mount Rainier appears in almost every photo of Washington. Affectionately known as “The Mountain” it exerts a powerful presence on residents and visitors alike. People come to this park for various reasons from experiencing its old growth forests dating back 200 years to appreciating its numerous waterfalls. Over 300 trails spread across the park. More than 90% of its lands under wilderness protection. The park is open year round.
Mt. St. Helens
Another well-known destination is the “Mount St. Helen’s National Volcanic Monument”. The story of this Cascade volcano’s major eruption on May 18, 1980 has been told around the world. Several visitor centers have been built to let the public see first hand the results of its eruption in the heart of the blast zone. But it’s not just about destruction. Over 40 years after that major eruption the area shows the remarkable and amazing comeback of all forms of plants and animal life.
San Juan Islands
The “San Juan Islands”, accessible by ferryboat are a favorite setting for weekend and extended getaways. The islands’ natural beauty and solitude draw many vacationers. More than 170 islands comprise this “San Juan” archipelago. The four islands serviced by the “Washington State Ferry System” are Lopez, Orcas, San Juan, and Shaw. In order to visit the other forty inhabited islands one must find his/her own transportation. Eighty-three of these islands are protected by the “San Juan” Wild Refuge home to seabirds, seals, and sea lions. About ninety orca whales journey through the waters year round. The serene and relaxed ambiance of these islands is appreciated not only by their guests, but the local farming and fishing communities, which reside on the main islands.
In addition to the above natural locales, Washington State is also the setting for the “Washington Wine Highway”, a mythical highway that follows many Washington State roads from western to eastern Washington touching many attractions and wineries in between. Northeast of Seattle is the city of Woodinville which has nearly half of the Puget Sounds Wineries, including “Wine Enthusiast Magazine’s” 2004 Winery of the year, “Chateau St. Michelle. Wine enthusiasts can take full advantage of the region’s excellent wine exhibits.
Washington is an area of endless exploration and timeless beauty. To name all of its many attractions would take hundreds of pages. The eastern part of Washington State with its desert climate possesses its own natural grandeur of sweeping vistas and spectacular views. Its unique, distinctive, characteristics make for a wide range of new discoveries. As an organization we are proud to be a part of this community and look forward to serving its citizens for years to come.