Those of us who live in Seattle have a joke about not going to the “East Side,” or the other side of Lake Washington. It’s only 15-20 minutes away without traffic when taking the 520 bridge over the lake, so I think this is mainly because most of us are comfortable enough with the number of bars and activities there are to do in Seattle.
I recently explored the city of Kirkland after not having been there for awhile and discovered the city in a completely new way. It’s a beautiful city that everyone needs to visit, so here’s how to spend an active day in Kirkland.
Brunch at Little Brother
To start your day, head to Little Brother for brunch in downtown Kirkland. This isn’t one of those places that will make you feel sick after eating greasy food, but instead focuses on all fresh, healthy options. I started with the fresh carrot, apple, kale, and ginger juice that was made right in front of me.
After that, I got a delicious salmon, quinoa, and kale bowl. This was the perfect amount of protein and carbs to fill me up for hours, as I had an active day ahead of me. I loved how there were plenty of dishes that were gluten- or dairy-free for people like me who have allergies. There’s also an outdoor patio to enjoy the sun on.
Paddle Board on Lake Washington
After filling up at brunch, head over to Juanita Bay to paddle out on Lake Washington. I went out with Northwest Paddle Surfers and got some new tips on how to navigate my board, even though I’ve been a handful of times before. I couldn’t believe how packed the company was with people wanting to rent a board, so I highly recommend reserving one online first.
Lake Washington is a gorgeous lake to spend time on, and you’ll see plenty of envy-inducing boats go by. We went over to the wildlife habitat on the far side of the bay, which I never knew existed. There were a few turtles enjoying the sun while we were there and I was told many other creatures call this place home.
Take a Walk on the Cross Kirkland Corridor
One of the recent projects Kirkland has been working on is the Cross Kirkland Corridor. It was such a peaceful trail to walk on and I saw many people taking advantage of the solitude on their lunch break. There are maps along the way so you can see where you are.
One of the most unexpected parts of this trail was the artwork close to where the trail intersects at 85th St. There’s a giant mural on the underpass and the artist himself was even working on it when I got there. I asked how long it would take to complete and he said he guessed about eleven days. For something this size, it would take me years to create this!
Sample Unique Beer
I wasn’t aware that Kirkland even had a brewery, but Chainline Brewing Company was exactly the type of brewery I look for when going out. It’s very laid-back and everyone who works there is extremely knowledgeable. They just completed an outdoor deck and since it’s right on the Cross Kirkland Corridor, bikers can now park their bikes in the bike racks they have and enjoy a pint outside.
We have many different breweries in Washington State, so it takes a lot for something to stand out as unique to me. The first beer I tried was their Polaris Pilsner, and I felt like I was back in the Czech Republic. I’ve never tasted a pilsner that tastes spot on to pilsners in Europe (which are very different if you’ve never tried them). They bought an 11 Hectoliter copper brewhouse from the Czech Republic to create this beer, and it definitely pays off. There’s even a unique tap handle they serve it out of.
I was next given a sample of their IPAs, which I’ll admit are normally my least favorite beer. Usually, I’d just say an IPA is “hoppy” or “too hoppy,” but I could actually taste the flavors in each of their IPAs. One even had a light taste of orange juice, which they said they had created to be a brunch beer. I’ll definitely be coming back here in the future again.
I loved exploring a city that is so close to me, yet I haven’t often visited. I’d love to get my bike out on the trail soon and discover even more of this city.
When’s the last time you explored a new city close to you?
This post was sponsored by Explore Kirkland, but all opinions are my own.
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