Flanked by craggy mountains to the east and sweeping vistas of Whidbey Island to the west, Everett is a convenient stopover for those in search of recreational escape. Highway 2 begins its eastward march to Stevens Pass and Wenatchee here, and the Snohomish River curves north on the edge of town and creates a maze of islands and sloughs before emptying into Puget Sound.
Though the town is in the process of gentrification by commuters slogging through traffic to Seattle each day, it is at heart a blue collar community. The neighborhoods here are filled with sailors serving at nearby Naval Station Everett, lineworkers laboring at the town’s Boeing factory, and even some bastions of Everett’s oldest trade working away at the local lumberyards and paper mill.
Visitors will find South Everett a forgettable tangle of strip malls, chain restaurants, and used car lots, but venture north and you'll be rewarded with a small but pleasant downtown enclave of restored brick buildings and well-tended historic homes.
Getting to Everett
The impressive Everett Station is the biggest multimodal station serving Snohomish County. Settled at the junction of Pacific Avenue and Smith Avenue, this is a major hub for local buses, Amtrak trains, and Sounder commuter trains.
By Bus: Everett Transit (425/257-8803, www.everettwa.org/transit) buses provide transportation within the city and to the Mukilteo ferry dock. To get out of town, use Community Transit (800/562-1375, www.commtrans.org).
Travelers from Spokane or Boise may want to consider the Northwestern Trailways (800/366-3830, www.northwesterntrailways.com) line running across the mountains over Stevens Pass on Highway 2. Roundtrip fares to Spokane are about $75.
If you’re flying into Sea-Tac airport, Shuttle Express, (425/981-7000 or 800/487-7433, www.shuttleexpress.com) has door-to-door van service between Sea-Tac and Everett; reservations are required.
By Train: Each weekday Sound Transit’s commuter train the Sounder (206/398-5000, www.soundtransit.org) runs three times in the morning from Everett to Seattle, with stops at Mukilteo Station and Edmonds Station along the way, and three routes back again in the evening. The ride takes about one hour and costs $4.50 each way.
Amtrak trains serve the area from Everett Station (425/258-2458 or 800/872-7245, www.amtrak.com). The Empire Builder heads south to Seattle and east to Spokane and Chicago. The Cascades provides daily train connections between Portland, Oregon, and Vancouver, B.C., via Mount Vernon and Bellingham.
© Ericka Chickowski from Moon Washington, 8th edition