Wenatchee Welcomes You

Wenatchee Welcomes You

The Wenatchee Indians (Native Americans) were the first to occupy the area of Central Washington where the Columbia River and the Wenatchee River confluence.

Wenatchee  is the County Seat of Chelan (she-lan) county.  Surrounded with a mountainous backdrop,  it is ideal for both city and country living.

Early History of Wenatchee

Fur traders of the British Northwest Fur Company (Hudson’s Bay Company) were some of the very first to come into the area.   These non-native settlers were mainly seeking gold.  Their groups were made up of chinese miners, cattlemen and even missionaries.

Growth in the early 1890’s came quickly as the Great Northern Railway chose Wenatchee to be one of their depot’s stopping places, just south of the city.  With that in mind, the city naturally grew to encompass the RailRoad stop.

Ideal Growing Conditions

Being surrounded by mountains did have its challenges.  Being a bit difficult to conduct regular business with the larger cities of Seattle and Spokane (spo-can), a Seattle businessman formed the Wenatchee Improvement Company in 1890 to build a township.

This in turn, would allow the potential agricultural region to grow by leaps and bounds, especially as the apple industry would soon show.

Perfect Location

Perfect Location for Water       (note  Leavenworth)

Apple Capital of the World

Being close to the famous mountain of Mount Rainier (ray-neer) and it’s volcanic soil, plus having plenty of fresh waters from both the Wenatchee and Columbia Rivers, proved to be an exceptional location for growing apples.

Quickly the entire Wenatchee Valley was covered with row upon row of young fruit bearing trees.  Within a short while, apples were being shipped around the world.  As word of this “valley of the apples” spread, more and more people came into the area making Wenatchee the most productive apple-producing region in the world.

Old-fashioned apple orchard harvest

Old-fashioned apple orchard harvest…..Apple Festival

Have a sweet tooth ?  Then you’ll simply love the famous Aplets and Cotlets.

City Growth And Hydroelectric Power

Industrial growth came quickly.  It also spearheaded much needed institutions such as, libraries, newspapers, educational systems, churches, theaters and even a highly successful commercial district.

Way back in 1940, the power created by the Grand Coulee Dam (1942) and Rock Island Dam (1932) made power readily available and cheap.  The “free water” source to turn turbines to create power was always at the ready for industry growth.

Alcoa and the Holden Mining Company (copper mine) were instrumental in the cities growth.

A Growing Community 

A beautiful community that invites you to come grow with us

A community that invites you to come grow with us.

Having a very desirable climate year round, more and more businesses are being attracted to the area.  The health community sees it as an ideal place for the Central Washington Hospital, Wenatchee Valley Medical Center and the Columbia Valley Community Health.

If you take up nursing as a profession (highly paid) then you will enjoy the benefits of the Wenatchee Valley community.

Colleges abound in the area along with Technology which is only a short trip over the mountains to the Bellevue Redmond area where the world famous Microsoft Company has always resided.

Enjoy the arts?  Then the Performing Arts Center of Wenatchee will draw you into it’s many local and entertaining events.

On the other hand, perhaps you are one of those that have the entrepreneurial spirit.  Here is the place to be.  In fact, the state of Washington encourages small business, whether home, or a store front type, to come and grow with the community.

Visit Grand Coulee Dam

Visit Nearby Grand Coulee Dam

Seattle itself was developed and has grown into a tremendous city because of self-starter type businesses.   Some are :  Amazon, UPS, Home Depot, and as mentioned above, Microsoft.

Why not come in for a visit to Wenatchee or the Seattle area?  You’ll be pleased that you did.

Written by: Tom McDaniel Be sure to share this site

Seattle Space Needle

Seattle Space Needle

The Seattle Space Needle is probably one of the most recognizable landmarks in the city. Created in 1962 for the Seattle World’s Fair, it’s 520 foot high observation deck is enjoyed by people from around the world.

Being a “sister city” to many of Japan’s cities, it has that international flavor permeating every corner.

With some 5,850 tons of concrete and steel making up it’s foundation, it has been considered to be superbly designed and built.

Top heavy?  Not this baby!

It’s center of gravity is a mere 5 feet above ground!  With a lower center of gravity, it does not need to worry about “toppling over” onto itself.  🙂

The Observation Deck

Observation Deck with safety rails

Observation Deck with safety rails

Initially, the observation deck was open when you arrived.  Today,  mainly because of safety reasons and to discourage any future parachute jumps, it now has high fenced areas around the deck.

B.A.S.E. jumpers from the Needle

B.A.S.E.  jumpers from the Needle

But don’t worry, you can still see the entire city of Seattle quite well.  Even picking out places of interest where you’ll want to go next.

The Ferries that scurry around the Sound and through the San Juan Islands can be seen from the Needle.  On the other side of Capitol Hill (a.k.a. Hospital Hill…also where Bruce Lee is buried)  you can see the Mercer Island floating bridge that will connect you to the East Side (a.k.a. Bellevue) of Seattle.

Don’t forget the Pike Place Market along with many other sights and restaurants that dot the Seattle waterfront  in and around the Seattle Aquarium.

The Eye of the Needle

Located at it’s top is the SkyCity Restaurant originally nicknamed “The Eye of the Needle” is known for it’s fine cuisine.   With a nearly 95 foot diameter eating area, there is plenty of “elbow room” for you and your party.

When you choose your reservations, be sure and request a window seat.  Why  so?  Because only the outer 14 foot ring of the restaurant revolves.  It takes about one full hour to make the 360 degree circle, allowing you to enjoy the sights of Seattle.

In it’s early days, the Seattle Space Needle was the second revolving type restaurant in the world.  Second only to the Ala Moana shopping mall located in Hawaii.

Today, because of it’s popularity, there are now hundreds of revolving restaurants.

Borrowing from the ideas of old style Round Houses for the railroad, this “simple” mechanism has been used countless times for rotating platforms.

Updating The Needle

With the Needle being so popular, it’s operators quickly realized there needed to be more restaurant space along with a souvenir gift shop.

Though the Seattle Space Needle when built was a “measly” $4.5 million, it received a revitalization  in the 2000’s upwards of some $20 million.

Here is when the construction of the Pavilion Level, the SpaceBase outlet retail store, the SkyCity restaurant and Deck were overhauled and given that much needed  facelift.

The Needle and it's lower restaurant

The Needle and it’s lower restaurant

Even it’s paint was updated and freshened along with the installation of the Legacy Light and more exterior lighting.

It’s Early Days

When the Space Needle was conceived, it’s original purpose was for the Seattle World’s Fair…only.  When the fair was over, the Needle was slotted to be torn down.  🙁

However, because of the outcry of Seattle residents, the Needle still stands today. 🙂

It was so popular that at one time, the small city of Fife, Washington, offered the sum of $1 million to have the Needle moved to their downtown area.

Clearly Fife recognized the Needles effects of city growth!

Practical Jokes At The Needle

When H.G. Wells broadcast his now infamous “War of the Worlds” radio program on Sunday, Oct. 30, 1938, many thought that there had been a real invasion from Mars.

Having that in mind, a few radio pranksters chose to capitalize on that mentality.   H.G. Wells broadcast had coincided with the 1938 observance of Halloween.

As an April Fool’s joke, a local TV station broadcast a report that the Space Needle had fallen over and rescuers were needed to volunteer to search for victims and survivors.

(See the results of the Needle’s collapse by clicking on the CHEESE committe)

Then there was the CHEESE committe for the Needle and the aliens from space.  Everyone got a real kick out of that one.  🙂

The Needle’s Use

The celebration of New Year Eve parties has grown since its inception in 1982.   It has also seen the welcoming of the Olympic Torch Relay as it went through the city of Seattle.

Sports team welcome messages have been seen for many years, decorating the Needle.

Even a Miss USA Pageant, Miss Washington, Stina McLynne,  wore her Needle hat during the costume portion of the pageant.

Come For A Visit To The Needle

Why not find out more about this multicultural city located in Washington?  Become familiar with Seattle and it’s entrepreneur’s that populate the city.  You’ll be glad that you did.

Written by :  Tom McDaniel Share this site

Images by:expedia,seattlepi,thousandwonders,pachid

Point Defiance Park Zoo and Much More

Point Defiance Park Zoo and Much More…..imagebyweedist

Point Defiance Zoo is a unique blend of animals.  You’ll see the aquarium, along with sharks, reptiles and seals that can either frighten or amaze every person that comes to this easy to locate, zoo.  What is Point Defiance Zoo?

Fort Nisqually is one of those amazing things that can give us a look back in time when the Pacific Northwest was still “in the raw” with developing settlements.  It’s very worth while to consider stopping there and learning of it’s living history.

There is much more to see and enjoy throughout the Point Defiance Park.   Regardless of the time of year, you’ll find yourself in a different setting.  Spring, you’ll be amazed with the blooming flowers, along with leafy trees.

Summer, the paved trails throughout the park make it great for families.  Even those with small children or toddlers in strollers.  If you do decide to hike the trails, then be sure and take in the beach front.

Just be sure to drive down to the water as the hike back up to the main road can be a challenge.  You’ll see for miles, out over the water and enjoy the folks on shore going about their routines of barbecue cook-outs.

What To See First

I would suggest that you get a Point Defiance Park Map.  If you are driving or perhaps riding a bicycle, why not go through the entire park first.  Then you’ll have an overall view and idea, of what the park is all about.

Fort Nisqually is one place that you’ll definitely want to stop and walk through.  I’ll put up another blog page just on that aspect of the park soon.

Point Defiance Zoo - Aquarium Map

Point Defiance Zoo – Aquarium Map

Point Defiance Zoo Hours

Daylight savings has to play a part in the opening and closing times of the zoo.   The following schedule is the Point Defiance Zoo’s  normal operations throughout the year.

Jan – Apr   Hours are :  9:30 am  to  4:00 pm

May – Sep   Hours are :  9:30 am to 5:00 pm and sometimes till 6:00 pm

Oct – Dec   Hours are : 9:30 am to 4:00 pm

Point Defiance Zoo Admission

Prices vary according to one’s age.  Here are the general guidelines for entrance to the zoo.

Two years and under…Free

Three and Four years…$8.75

Five through Twelve years…$13.00

Thirteen through Sixty Four years…$17.00

Over Sixty Five years…$16.00

Be sure and ask about the group discount if you come in as a family or with friends.

Point Defiance Zoo  address :   5400 North Pearl Street    Tacoma Washington 98407

One more thing to keep in mind is that all zoo parking is FREE !  

 Swim With The Sharks

If you are like most people, we are entranced with the power, and ferocity of sharks, especially the monstrous Great White Shark.  As long as they are in the open ocean, and we are on dry ground, we are not overly concerned with what they do.

But…have you ever considered “swimming” with these monsters?  This unique aquarium has made it possible for anyone to do so.  Whether we are a seasoned certified scuba diver, or a novice, we can “swim” with the sharks.

Certified divers can use the scuba equipment on hand while those of us (including me) don the underwater “dry diving suit” that go right over our street clothes.  Nothing gets wet but our face, hands and hair.

Oh, yes, and one more thing to keep in mind for the adventurous soul.  Novices (like me) are placed in a shark cage that is then  lowered into the shark pool.  Whew !   I was getting a bit nervous there for a few seconds.   🙂

Swimming with the Sharks Point Defiance Zoo

Swimming with the Sharks  At Point Defiance Zoo


Hotels Near Point Defiance Zoo

So you’ve decided to come see the zoo and aquarium have you?  Then you’ll need a place to stay while you are visiting the Greater Seattle/Tacoma area.  Here are a few hotels along with address’ and prices.  This will make it easy for you.

Rodeway Inn    3100 Pacific Highway East  Wa 99,  Fife Wash.  $57.

Days Inn located at the Tacoma Mall area… 6802 Tacoma Mall Blvd,  Tacoma Wash.  $54.

Travelodge of Fife   3518 Pacific Highway East, Fife Wash. $64.

Econo Lodge Fife   3501 Pacific Highway East, Wa. 99 Fife Wash.  $50.

Days Inn Fife    5601 Pacific Highway East, Wa. 99, Fife Wash.  $90.

Holiday Inn Express 8601 South Hosmer Street, Tacoma Wash.   $103

Comfort Inn   8620 South Hosmer Street Tacoma  Wash.  $127.

Red Lion Hotel   8401 South Hosmer Street Tacoma  Wash.  $129.

Quality Inn    5805  Pacific Highway East  Fife Wash.  $140.

Hampton Inn     8103 South Hosmer Street  Tacoma Wash.  $385.

Which ever you choose, you’ll enjoy the atmosphere of this amazing city of Tacoma.  It too, has a charm all it’s own.  Seattle/Tacoma have a “sister” type relationship between them.  Each city of which is unique in themselves.

Written by :  Tom McDaniel Be sure to SHARE this site!

All photos are a part of the Point Defiance Zoo Aquarium Brochure