Any time we’re puttering in the yard of our Edmonds home, my partner and I invariably hear the echoing horns of the Edmonds ferry. The sweet sound acts as a clarion call to once again pack up the kids and take them on one of our favorite one-day getaways – to visit Edmonds’ “sister across The Sound,” Kingston.
We love our Edmonds beaches, but there’s something special about spending the afternoon at the sandy oasis just north of the Kingston ferry dock. It’s quiet, secluded and, during late summer, the best source of fresh blackberries we’ve found.
We usually pack a picnic of fried chicken, potato salad and cold drinks. But if you don’t feel like cooking, just grab a small, insulated ice chest and swing by any of Edmonds great eateries for a ready-made meal. We’re partial to Red Twig’s fresh sandwiches and salads, Main Street Burgers (don’t forget those sweet potato fries!) or Petosa’s market for something from the deli. And no trip would be complete without each of us grabbing a sweet treat from Nama’s Candy Store.
The only other items we carry are a beach blanket and, if it’s blackberry season, a lidded container for berry picking. When the kids were younger, we’d always bring sandcastle tools – and truth be told, we usually still do. We always leave the car in Edmonds and walk on the ferry (the return trip is free!). If it’s cold, the ferry café has coffee and cocoa to keep hands warm on the outer decks. But be warned, the winds out on the water can be chilly even on the warmest days, so bring coats or plan to cuddle under your beach blanket.
After exiting the ferry in Kingston, we turn north and make our way down the steps and follow the rocky path to the beach near the dock. It’s almost always free of crowds so, finding a quiet place to picnic is no problem. In summer, the tree-lined cliff above provides plenty of shade in the afternoon. We typically spend the day beachcombing, picking berries and watching the ferries, cargo ships and sailboats drift by. Then, before it’s time to head home, we take a walk through Kingston for a little window-shopping (and usually ice cream).
At least an hour before sunset, we head back to the ferry for the ride home. There’s something truly special about seeing Edmonds from the water in the fiery glow of the setting sun. It always warms my heart to see the buildings of our little city shine bright orange as if to light the way. And if your timing is just right, you’ll pull into the Edmonds ferry terminal as the sun sinks in the west – its fading light making the windows of the town sparkle and wink as if to say, “Welcome home.” There’s no better end to an Edmonds kind of day.
David W. Edgerton is an Edmonds resident, parent and author of “Tear-Free in Disneyland,” A parent’s guide to less stress and more fun for the whole family – available at Edmonds Bookshop and Amazon.com. You can read our interview with Edgerton about that book here.