City of Kirkland, WA Positions Itself as a Staycation Destination

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The waterfront city of Kirkland, Washington is encouraging "staycation" travelers to "Fall in Love with Kirkland." With moderate temperatures and beautiful autumn colors, the months of September, October and November in Kirkland hold great opportunity for weekend or longer vacations loaded with great activities, excellent restaurants, shopping and entertainment.

As gas and airline ticket prices surge higher, taking a "staycation" has become the buzz word for singles, couples, and families looking for a vacation that doesn't break the bank. With so many destination possibilities for Washington and Oregon residents, the waterfront city of Kirkland, Washington is encouraging staycation travelers to "Fall in Love with Kirkland."

With moderate temperatures and beautiful autumn colors, the months of September, October and November in Kirkland hold great opportunity for weekend or longer vacations loaded with great activities, excellent restaurants, shopping and entertainment.

With hotel choices from budget to deluxe, spending a weekend or longer in Kirkland is a luxury many visitors are now opting in for on their staycations. National chains such as the Marriott Courtyards, La Quinta Inn and Suites, Comfort Inn, and other local hotels all include a variety of amenities, moderate pricing and are centrally located for easy access to the city's downtown area and Lake Washington.

For those looking to indulge, Kirkland's most luxurious hotels include The Heathman Hotel and The Woodmark Hotel. The recently opened Heathman Hotel is located in the heart of downtown just steps away from Kirkland's many art galleries, boutiques, and restaurants. The Woodmark Hotel, Yacht Club & Spa, recently awarded the 2008 AAA Four Diamond Award for Excellence, is located directly on Lake Washington at Carillon Point. The location provides breathtaking views of the Olympic Mountains with the quiet ambiance of a lakeside retreat. The Woodmark is also one of the few luxury hotels that is pet-friendly.

Kirkland boasts some of the best walks available for staycationers who want to remain active. With the most public waterfront parks of any city in Washington State and panoramic views of Lake Washington, the Seattle skyline, and the majestic Olympic Mountains, walking along Kirkland's waterfront parks and beaches is a popular pastime. Downtown Kirkland offers self-guided walking tours which feature notable houses and buildings, some dating back to the 1880s, and Kirkland's numerous bronze sculptures and public art.

Kirkland's Lake Walk has quickly become known worldwide to "Volkswalkers" whose vacations are focused specifically on walking. Juanita Bay Park, recently sited by the Audubon Society is considered one of the best urban wildlife preserves in the region for observing the habitat of shorebirds, nesting eagles, and nocturnal beavers.

For staycationers wishing to experience Lake Washington on a any type of autumn day, an Argosys Lake Tour provides expansive views of Mt. Rainier, the University of Washington Husky Stadium, and the homes of many of the area's rich and famous, including Microsoft magnate Bill Gates. Weather permitting, boat and kayak rentals are also available in several locations.

The City of Kirkland also features an extensive collection of art galleries, home décor stores, clothing boutiques, and gift and collectible stores. Several of Kirkland's most unique stores include: Bella Bambini, a favorite children's boutique owned by former ice skating Olympic champion Rosalynn Sumners, Simplicity Décor, Liberty 123 and several upscale consignment stores. One of Kirkland's newest stores gaining an international customer base is Trenditions, a Euro-style boutique carrying an eclectic mix of handmade French jewelry (not available elsewhere in the US), European influenced gifts, home décor, and a sprinkling of Haute Couture.

With the holidays fast approaching, one of Kirkland's most popular gift locations is Reasons to Believe. Owned by Santa lookalike Dennis Brown, the store carries hand-carved collectible Santas and holiday gifts. Many of his Santas currently reside in the White House, Governors' offices, Doll and Art Museums, and in numerous public and private collections.

Staycationers have many choices for casual or sophisticated dining. The city is the home to many long time favorites including, The Slip or Marina Park Grill (both offering outdoor seating), Hector's, Wilde Rover Irish Pub & Restaurant, and Purple Café and Wine Bar. For some ethnic flare, eateries include; Mexican, French Cuisine, Thai Indian, Greek and Italian. With the Northwest's reputation for serving some of the best seafood, restaurants specializing in its preparation are varied. Some of the most well-known include; Anthony's Restaurant, The Third Floor Fish Café, The Crab Cracker, and 21 Central.

Two of Kirkland's newest additions are Trellis and bin vivant. Trellis, located at the new Heathman Hotel, is a wine country inspired restaurant that serves true "farm to table" cuisine. Resident Chef Brian Scheehser grows much of the ingredients used on his own three-acre farm. At the Woodmark Hotel, bin vivant embraces a "vinocentric" approach where wine takes the spotlight and is thoughtfully paired with menu items that complement each selection. What makes this restaurant unique is its offering of more than 80 wines from across the world offered by the glass, to taste, try and sip.

For entertainment, staycationers visiting Kirkland have a variety of venues to choose from. The Kirkland Performance Center, with its 400 seat theatre, offers a variety of music, dance, theatre and family programs. Just a few blocks away, visitors can enjoy performances at Studio East Children's Theatre and the International School of Classical Ballet. Some of the best comedy acts in Washington can be found at Laugh's Comedy Spot, owned by long-time comedian and club owner Dave Dennison and his wife Angela. With an intimate setting, nationally acclaimed acts, a full service bar and quality food not usually associated with comedy clubs, Laughs has become a staycation destination for Kirkland

During the week, many local establishments like Wilde Rover Irish Pub and Hector's offer ongoing events and live entertainment too. And for those wishing to enjoy a quiet evening at the movies, Kirkland's Parkplace Cinema offers the most recent releases accompanied by fresh popped popcorn.

For those with vacation plans this Fall and beyond, Kirkland, WA is promoting itself as the "perfect staycation destination." As one of Washington State's only waterfront cities, with temperate weather, impressive scenery, and plenty to do both inside and out, it has much to offer to all.

ABOUT KIRKLAND: The City of Kirkland lies ten miles east of Seattle on the picturesque shores of Lake Washington and 22 miles north of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Visitors and residents enjoy fantastic views of the Seattle skyline, the Olympic Mountains and Lake Washington. A waterfront city, with unique shops, world class art galleries and an eclectic array of taste pleasing restaurants, Kirkland provides a cool oasis from the summer heat and a warm and charming getaway from the winters chill. Explore Kirkland and you will explore the best of Washington. Please visit Explore Kirkland website

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Susan Burnash
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