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Neighborhood Spotlight: Snoqualmie

Explore the charm and fun of historic downtown Snoqualmie

Krista Tsai

Published on: June 24, 2024

Families ride bikes over the Tokul Creek Trestle in Snoqualmie
Tokul Creek Trestle. Photo: Krista Tsai

The vibe

Snoqualmie is only 28 miles east of Seattle, yet it feels like a mini getaway with its proximity to mountains, snow sports and wildlife. Snoqualmie Falls, the traditional cultural property of the Snoqualmie Tribe, draws more than 2 million visitors each year. The Boeing Classic golf tournament and filming locations for the television series “Twin Peaks” also attract visitors.

The Snoqualmie Tribe remains an important part of history and culture today; its members have lived in this area since time immemorial. Snoqualmie was once known for logging, agriculture, a functioning power plant that the falls and the railroad that you can visit at the Snoqualmie Depot.

This once sleepy town has exploded in population, especially with the development of the sprawling Snoqualmie Ridge neighborhood. My family is drawn to the mountain backdrops, wildlife, nature trails, engaging playgrounds and the small-town feel of historic downtown Snoqualmie.

Play on

Choose your level of hiking challenge to marvel at Snoqualmie Falls. The upper observation viewing areas are less than 200 feet from the parking lot. The lower viewing areas are accessible via a steep 1.4-mile out-and-back trail, which includes some stairs; skip the climb via the lower falls parking lot.

Bike, hike or ride horses along the 32-mile Snoqualmie Valley Trail. Pedal 100 feet above the creek on the Tokul Trestle. In addition, the city of Snoqualmie maintains more than 20 miles of trails.

Snoqualmie Falls on a sunny day in Snoqualmie Washington
Snoqualmie Falls. Photo: Krista Tsai

Step into the historic Snoqualmie Depot at the Northwest Railway Museum, where kids can play with the train tables and listen during a free story time. Purchase tickets to the Train Shed Exhibit Hall or ride a historic train for a two-hour adventure. Halloween, Santa Train and Day Out With Thomas trips are all popular excursions for local families.

Play at some of our favorite playgrounds. Centennial Fields playground, which opened this spring, is inclusive of all abilities. Zoom down the double zip line at Fisher Creek Park. Train enthusiasts will appreciate the playground at Riverview Park, steps away from downtown. Cool off at Snoqualmie Community Park’s new splash pad, anticipated to open this summer.

Stroll downtown and find the perfect gift at the family-owned Carousel shop. Peruse the upscale children’s resale shop, Mini Treehouse. Modern floral arrangements and house plants abound at Down to Earth Flowers & Gifts.

If you’re in the Snoqualmie area in the early morning or around twilight, stop at Meadowbrook Farm to admire the elk herd that has a long history of grazing there. And don’t miss the fun free events each month, such as Big Truck Day, Movies and Music in the Park, and Snoqualmie Days.

Eats and treats

Hungry after all of your activities? Downtown Snoqualmie has several family-friendly options. Head to the Snoqualmie Falls Brewery, to dine inside or alfresco. Sip local wine and dine with a view of Mount Si at Sigillo Cellars’ tasting room. The Bindlestick brews locally roasted coffee, pours local beer and serves light fare. The family-owned Snoqualmie Ice Cream is currently scooping up locally inspired flavors from a temporary shop while the Snoqualmie location is being rebuilt after damage from a fire. The temporary shop is located at 8125 Falls Ave. 

"Honey from Heaven neighborhood spotlight Snoqualmie"
Honey from Heaven. Photo: Courtesy Salish Lodge & Spa

For a more upscale experience, secure a reservation at The Restaurant at the Salish Lodge & Spa, owned by the Snoqualmie Tribe. Its “Honey from Heaven” service is the sweetest touch: honey from the lodge’s own bee hives is dripped from above on warm house-made biscuits. Locally sourced ingredients, a quality kids’ menu and waterfall views make this restaurant a destination for both tourists and locals.

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