Love is in the air, and you want to plan a fun date but are low on funds. What do you do? Come to Mukilteo, of course. Mukilteo has plenty of opportunities for couples to enjoy each other’s company without breaking the bank. One of the best ways to enjoy a date is to plan a picnic at one of the picturesque locations in the area.
The most obvious of the group is Lighthouse Park featuring stunning views of Puget Sound and the historic Mukilteo Lighthouse. There’s a lot of scenery to enjoy while you share a meal with your partner. The park has plenty of tables and benches, or you may want to bring a blanket to spread out on the grass. Pack a basket with sandwiches, fruit, and sparkling water to complete the experience. You can also stroll around the park and tour the lighthouse when it is open. For an impromptu picnic stop at Ivar’s Fish Bar window and take the food to go. There is even a new seating area overlooking the water where the ferry terminal used to be.
Mukilteo Beach is a popular spot for locals and tourists alike. However, if you go during the off-season, you can enjoy a more intimate experience. The beach is a great place to enjoy a picnic lunch, play frisbee, walk the dog, or simply relax and enjoy the scenery. You can watch the ferries come and go, and stroll on the pier. Bring some marshmallows, graham crackers, and chocolate to make Smores by one of the fire pits to heat things up on a chilly evening. When the sun is shining take a dip in the sound or grab an ice cream cone at either Ivar’s or Diamond Knot’s to-go windows.
Edgewater Beach is a hidden gem on the edge of Mukilteo and Everett. It’s a favorite spot for kayaking, beach strolling, crabbing, and relaxing with your special someone. You will see plenty of boats, ferries, and even some wildlife. You can also see mount Baker in the distance on a clear day. Bring a blanket to hang out on or sit on one of the many large beach logs nestled along the shore.
If you want a more secluded picnic spot, head to Japanese Gulch Park. This beautiful nature reserve has miles of hiking trails and plenty of hidden places for a romantic picnic. Pack a backpack with snacks, water, and a blanket, and explore the park until you find the perfect spot. You’ll feel like you are miles away from civilization, even though you’re just a few minutes from downtown Mukilteo. If adventure is part of your dating, try mountain biking through the upper gulch trails. You can even make your way down to a culverted stream that sometimes has Salmon.
Big Gulch Trail is another beautiful hiking trail in Mukilteo that’s perfect for a romantic hike. The trail winds down from either 82nd street park or another trail behind the library. Work your way through a dense forest, all the way to the bottom for views of Puget Sound, but remember you still have to hike your way back up.
Mukilteo/Clinton Ferry Check out the new Mukilteo Ferry terminal which was built in the format of native longhouses used by the Coast Salish people throughout Puget Sound. The waiting area for passengers resembles the open gathering areas of these longhouses and features views of the water and mountains.
Original Native American artwork is featured throughout the terminal, including a shiny black 26-foot canoe hanging from the ceiling that was built in the traditional style. Native spindle whorls, made of metal and painted in brilliant red and black, cap each end of the building. An intricate, wooden carved spindle whorl highlights one end of the waiting area, with woven baskets and smaller carvings on the other side. Access to the terminal is free or spend a few dollars and take your date on a boat trip across to Whidbey Island. Walk-on adult tickets on the ferry are only $5.80 per person, Seniors are half-price, and the return trip is free, Youth 18 and under are free in both directions.
These are just a few ways you can enjoy Mukilteo on a budget. Did we forget your favorite spot? Let us know, and we will try to include it. In future installments, we hope to write about some other fabulous places to go.