Theme for May in Kirkland, WA is "Kirkland in Bloom"

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Kirkland, WA is one of Washington's only waterfront cities. It attracts visitors from across the state, the US and the World. In May the City of Kirkland comes alive with "Kirkland in Bloom"

As soon as temperatures begin to rise and the sun appears more often in the sky, those who live in, or love to visit Washington, head outdoors. In Kirkland, WA, the month of May is officially the start of "Kirkland in Bloom." As one of the state's only waterfront cities, bursting with opportunities to walk, run, bicycle and get out on Lake Washington, Kirkland hums with activity. The City's tourism site, http://www.explorekirkland.com, has a plethora of things to do, explore and experience for residents, staycationers and visitors alike.

In a city where cycling is a way of life, it is no surprise that the "7 Hills of Kirkland - Cycling for a Cause," which takes place on May 25 (Memorial Day weekend), is drawing cyclists from across the country. As one of the Northwest's premier cycling events, 7 Hills of Kirkland allows participants to choose from three scenic route options; the traditional 7 Hill Route (approximately 40 miles), the popular Metric Century Route, or the challenging Century Route. And because it is not a race, but a ride to support KITH, a nonprofit that works to combat homelessness on the Eastside, cyclists can ride at their own pace enjoying the scenery, cheers from onlookers, a bagpiper and strawberry shortcake at the finish line. For 7 Hills participants The Courtyard by Marriott is offering discounted room rates, and bicycles are available for rent at the Kirkland Bicycle Shop (http://www.montlakebike.com).

With numerous running and walking paths throughout Kirkland and along scenic Lake Washington, the warmer weather also brings more runners, leisure walkers and dogs on leash. On Mother's Day (May 10) all can participate in the Kirkland Half Marathon and 5K Run/Walk to support the Hope Heart Institute. The route starts and finishes at Juanita Beach Park but stretches across downtown Kirkland, its waterfront parks and more. Registration begins at 6 a.m. The walk starts at 7 a.m. and the run starts at 7:30 a.m.

Because of its location and charm, Kirkland has become a destination location for visitors to spend Mother's Day. But the celebration is not just for one day in Kirkland; it lasts an entire weekend. Local hotels like the Courtyard by Marriott, The Woodmark, The Heathman and smaller chains book up with family and friends who look forward to the various events that take place over the two days.

With numerous top-notch salons and spas in Kirkland, Saturdays are considered "Mom Pamper Days" with specialty spa treatments, massages, manicures, pedicures or the works. This year, while Mom is being pampered, husbands, children and aspiring artists of all ages can head over to the Kirkland Arts Center for drop-in workshops to make artful cards and one-of-a-kind Mother's Day Raku pots. While there, maps for the Kirkland Artist Studio Tour (KAST) which takes place from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both Saturday and Sunday, May 9 and 10, can be picked up to take Mom on a fun and artistic adventure. KAST is a free self-guided tour of 24 unique Kirkland home studios showcasing the work of more than 60 local artists. Visitors can browse original art, chat with artists, and purchase works directly from the artists themselves. More info is available at http://www.kirklandstudiotour.com.

During the month of May in Kirkland, if May flowers do bring May showers the weather won't deter from the charm that is Kirkland. The City hosts a number of art galleries, unique stores, consignment shops, restaurants and coffee houses, and is the home of some of the finest indoor entertainment venues on the Eastside, including The Kirkland Performance Center, Studio East, Laughs Comedy Spot, the International Ballet Theatre and the Parkplace Cinema. There are favorite nightspots like Hector's, Wilde Rover Irish Pub, Purple Wine Bar and more. The smooth sounds of Kirkland can also be heard on various nights at Brix Wine Café, Lucia and throughout the City during Kirkland's Monthly Jazz Nights and Art Walks.

While the weather is warming, the flowers are blooming and getting out is on the list of things to do, visitors and even staycationers won't be disappointed with the abundance of things to see, do and explore while the City of Kirkland is in full bloom.

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Susan Burnash

Susan Burnash

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