Winter at Beach Drive Bungalow

It’s hard to believe that just six days ago (last Monday), we had several inches of snow at the bungalow!

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We had windy weather on Thursday and Friday, after all the snow had melted. Friday it was so windy that we had spectacular spray over the bulkhead. It was just strong enough to put on a great show and our built in pump was able to handle the water that came over the bulkhead. We never had to fire up our other pumps.
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This morning, as I write this post (9:11 am), we’re in the low 30s with temps predicted to hit a balmy 50 degrees. It’s going to be nice enough for a walk up to the West Seattle Farmer’s Market in the Junction. 🙂 We actually have three sunny days in the forecast with temps up to almost 60 on Tuesday! Of course, this will be followed by a couple days of rain. Afterall, this is winter in Seattle!

Do you need a car to stay at Beach Drive Bungalow?

2006-07-30-12-01-21Every so often, we have a potential guest ask us if they need to have a car to stay at Beach Drive Bungalow. The short answer is that you don’t need a car to stay at Beach Drive Bungalow once you have arrived, as long as you don’t mind walking, taking a bus or hiring a driver (like Uber or a taxi).

You can order groceries to be delivered to the Bungalow from PCC Market, Amazon or Safeway. We provide coffee and tea for the first morning.

The closest restaurant is LaRustica. This is a small, upscale Italian restaurant that will also provide your meal to go. It’s just a few blocks away from the Bungalow. There are also several aps you can use to order food to be delivered to you at the bungalow.

30 minutes away on foot…give or take… 

The walk to Alki Beach along the waterfront is flat. Along the way, you can see the Alki Point Lighthouse (open on weekends during the summer) and the “blue glass house”.  Alki has a sandy beach, several restaurants and fun things to do.

Walk to Alki Point (just past the light house) to catch the Dart Shuttle. This small bus will take you to Seacrest Park where you can catch a water taxi (foot ferry) to take you to Seattle. Or you can remain on the Dart Shuttle for a ride to the Junction.

If you don’t mind walking up some hills (some may be considered a little steep), the Junction offers several restaurants and shops. On Sundays, there is a farmers market with fresh produce, meats, flowers…today, we grabbed fresh oysters to cook up for dinner back home!  There is a QFC and Safeway located in the Junction for groceries too.

The Junction also has a metro hub where you can catch buses to take you to downtown Seattle.

There is a commuter Metro bus line (route 37) with several stops along Beach Drive. This will take you to downtown Seattle – however, since it’s a commuter line only – it only runs during work commute times.

You can also walk about 30 minutes or so south along the water to reach scenic Lincoln Park. Lincoln Park has a salt water swimming pool that is open during the summer.  Another 15 minutes walking will bring you to the Fauntleroy Ferry dock…which takes you to Vashon Island. You can catch a bus from the ferry dock which will take you to town.

So just to sum up, you can absolutely stay at the bungalow without having a car. There is plenty to do and see nearby and you can always nab a taxi, if needed.

If you have any questions about staying at the bungalow, please let us know!

 

Things to do in West Seattle and Beyond

We love it when our guest ask for suggestions for things to do while they’re staying at the Bungalow. Recently we put this list together for one of our clients.

Visit Seattle neighborhoods: Breakfast at Talouse Petite (base of Queen Anne hill), Seattle Center for Space Needle & Paul Allen’s Experience Music Project (aka MoPop), Ballard locks park where Lake Union and Washington connect to Puget Sound, backtrack to check out the quirky cool Fremont neighborhood, follow along north Lake Union and view the city from Gas Works Park, to Pike Place Market for picking up ingredients to BBQ on the grill at the bungalow for sunset.

Check out the ferries and nearby islands: Grab coffee at West Seattle’s Caffe Ladro then board the ferry at Fauntleroy to Vashon/ Maury Island for brunch at the old Hardware Store in town. Tour the laid back island to the light house at Point Robinson then back to the main road heading south to board the small ferry to Tacoma. Check out a few sites in Tacoma if something grabs you or just head west to Point Defiance Bridge to cross the infamous Narrows Bridge. Follow north to the great little town of Gig Harbor. Have a late lunch at the Tides Tavern. Keep heading north and either cutoff to the Southworth ferry which takes you back to West Seattle or… Continue on to the Bremerton ferry which will bring you straight into the Seattle waterfront

Or skip the local ferry rides and opt for the San Juan Islands trip that departs via Anacortes ferry to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Drive down to the lighthouse Lime Kiln Point that looks over the Haro Straits to Victoria B.C. & where it’s likely to catch a peak of the local Orca pods hitting on the coho salmon that run north that time of the year. If you get back to Anacortes before 5:00 pm, drive north 30 minutes up gorgeous  Chukanut Drive to the Samish Oyster shop for a few dozen oysters to pop on the BBQ. If you’re return arrival is later, take a detour on your way back south to LaConner for dinner and a stroll.

Another full day trip: Mt Rainier National Park is an all day round trip like the San Juans but totally worth it if the weather’s good. Excellent hiking up to the 10,000 ft mark of the mountain to Camp Muir.

Take in the falls. Take 1-90 about an hour to scenic Snoqualmie Falls. While you’re there, stop in Salish Lodge for a bite to eat or head out to North Bend. If you’re a Twin Peaks fan – you’ll probably recognize this area as a majority of it was filmed here.

Some local grub: Best local bakery’s for coffee & pastries are up the hill on California Ave. Bakery Nouveau beat the French at their own game in a competition. Gluten free goodies are a specialty at Great Harvest Bread Co located only 8 doors away. Also on the Ave are excellent restaurants including the best sushi in town – Mashiko’s (reservations recommended), local steakhouse Jak’s (also great for brunch and catch their happy hour hamburger!), Itto’s for delish Moroccan tapas and cocktails, fantastic brunch & gourmet fried chicken at Ma’ono’s or try the fish chips at Seattle Fish Company (you can also pick up some wonderful fresh seafood to cook up back at the Bungalow).

Closer to home. The best walk from the bungalow is north to Alki Beach and further north along the ave for a booming view of Seattle across Elliott Bay. Walking south from the house brings you to wonderful forested Lincoln Park.

Be sure to check out our other suggestions for things to do on our blog!

More Art for the Bungalow

My hubby and I have really enjoyed working on Bungalow. It’s been so much fun to continue to add to the home. Recently we splurged on a new chandelier from local West Seattle artist, Russ Morgan.

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Russ uses upcycled glass that he collects to create his unique and amazing pieces.

He also created the “fish” light that hangs over the dining room table.

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Check out more of Russ Morgan’s beautiful works of art here

Beaches near Beach Drive Bungalow

Beach Drive Bungalow is located on Beach Drive, a residential street that runs along the Puget Sound. Although the Bungalow is waterfront, it does not have beach access.

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The bulkhead and “back yard” at Beach Drive Bungalow are a great place to relax during the summer.

There are, however, several public parks nearby with beach access.

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Emma Schmitz Memorial Overlook

The closest park to the home with access to Puget Sound is Emma Schmitz Overlook and Me Kwa Mooks Park. The parks, located at 4503 Beach Drive, have steps on the north side, that go down to the beach. Emma Schmitz Overlook is a marine preserve. Here’s a fun post from our sister blog, Beach Drive Blog featuring a historic photo of the park.

A few blocks north, at 4035 Beach Drive, you’ll find Weather Watch Park. This post shares some history on park, when it once had a pier.

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Andover Place Park

Just another block north at 4000 Beach Drive is Andover Place Park. This is a “street end” park that is tucked between two residential buildings.

Continuing north along Beach Drive, with the sound to your left, you’ll find Cormorant Cove. This park is just north of condos that are built on piers extending over Puget Sound.

Continue on to 3521 Beach Drive to find Constellation Park also known as Charles Richey Sr. Viewpoint.  A portion of this park is a marine preserve. This park stretches to furthest point of Beach Drive. The Alki Light House is just a few blocks away and a little further on is Alki Beach.

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Lowman Beach at sunset

South of the Bungalow, you’ll find Lowman Beach Park at 7017 Beach Drive. A photo I took of windsurfers wound up being published in the book “Wings Over Washington”, a copy of which is available for your viewing during your stay in the bungalow.

Lowman Park neighbors one of my favorites, Lincoln Park. Lincoln Park has a salt water swimming pool that’s open during the summer months and plenty of trails and beaches to explore. You can watch the Fauntleroy to Vashon ferry run from many park benches or picnic areas. A portion of Lincoln Park is a marine preserve.

When exploring beaches at the parks, it’s good to know that beaches in front of homes are most likely private property and depending on the legal description, some properties have further property lines than others. Clams and other shellfish found in these parks are not be safe to eat. Speaking of shells, it’s important to leave shells and sea critters (like sand dollars) on the beaches. The Seattle Aquarium often hosts walks on some of the beaches – we do our best to publish them on the events page of this blog and to post them in the bungalow.

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Beach Drive Bungalow as seen during high tide.

 

 

Thanksgiving at Beach Drive Bungalow

When we started offering Beach Drive Bungalow as a vacation rental, I don’t think we realized how much people would enjoy staying in the home. It has been especially wonderful for families and family reunions. There is NO comparison to staying in a home that sleeps six, where you can cook together and be in one space to a traditional hotel…which is why hotels are aggressively lobbying against vacation rental homes…that’s another post for another day!

We were thrilled when the home was rented for a family gather on Thanksgiving.  As someone who enjoys traveling and cooking, I wanted to make sure that the home was equipped for the cook. This family reunion was parents coming to Seattle to enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with their adult children who live in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle.

They were so happy – they sent us pictures of their time together! Check out the feast they created while vacationing at the Bungalow.

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The delish food shown in these pics are NOT included in your stay! You’ll have to cook up your own wonderful meals. 🙂

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All serving ware shown in this pictures (posted with permission btw) are supplied in the Bungalow.

Here is their 5 star review:

We had the good fortune of staying at the Beach House Bungalow for the 2016 Thanksgiving Holiday. It worked out perfectly for our family, which included our son, daughter (and her fiance), my husband, and me. It is rare to find a reasonable rate/night for a house with a view that can accommodate all of us AND provide private sleeping space and two full baths for 5 adults. Rob and Rhonda are amazing hosts; knowing our intention to cook Thanksgiving dinner, they provided a folding table and tablecloth, which worked out perfectly for our buffet. Rhonda also made sure we had a meat thermometer, baster, roaster, and turkey platter for our use and they also had the BBQ set to go with extra propane. My husband decided to try a CrockPot recipe for the turkey breast instead of the BBQ, but it was great to know we had all these options available due to the home’s well-appointed kitchen and service ware. (Yes, they have a large CrockPot!) These hosts think of everything! My daughter and I were especially appreciative of the disposable makeup wipes and black makeup towels (many hotels could take a lesson here). Linens and bedding were all top-notch. The kitchen appliances and set up are all very new. Again, I can’t think of anything that was missing. Art and dĂ©cor is very charming. It was great to have the welcome basket with cheese, crackers and fruits, on hand, as we arrived late — so helpful to have a couple of things to munch on while we got settled. The hosts provide a VERY helpful Welcome Binder that answers all your questions on using the home’s provisions. The view from the home is incredible and the binoculars handy so we could look at the landmarks, birds, and sea lions (seals?). The home is relatively close to Sea-Tac and downtown Seattle, but has the feel of being away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The only downside was the internet signal was a tad bit weak, but it may just be due to the location, or because we all had two devices. We often got knocked off and had to retry connecting. Nonetheless, our daughter lives in Ballard, so we look forward perhaps spending another few days here at the bungalow soon!

We are so thankful for our guest selecting our home. We have enjoyed offering our home as a vacation rental more than we would have ever expected! I can honestly say that when we started this venture, we had no idea how much joy staying in the home would bring our guest. We are truly grateful and thank all of our guest! ❤

Watch the Argosy Christmas Ships from the Bungalow

The Argosy Christmas Ship schedule has been announced. This year, one of the sailings pass by the Bungalow! You can watch the ships from the warmth of the living room, out on the covered deck or join the festivities!

Here’s when the ships will cruise by:

Saturday, December 10, 2016:

Lowman Beach is south of the Bungalow on Beach Drive, next to Lincoln Park. You’ll be able to see the Christmas ships pass around 3:00 on the way to Lowman and again when they head to Alki Beach.

The Christmas ships will return later that night to West Seattle when they stop by Salties on Alki around 9:00 pm. You won’t be able to see this later cruising from the Bungalow, however you can go to the nearby parks by Salties to see the ships and join in on the carols.

As of the publishing of this post, December 10, 2016 is available for you to stay at Beach Drive Bungalow.

 
Here’s an article from Beach Drive Blog showing the Christmas Ships passing by a couple years ago.