Culture Dose: PNW Summertime Musts

Golden Gardens by Corinne Whiting

Before the season slips away—and we admit it’s suddenly sneakily picking up its gait—we’d like to add a few “musts” to your PNW playlist. From musical gatherings to tranquil getaways, these ideas might just add a bit more magic to your already rockin’ summer.

Golden Gardens by Corinne Whiting
Golden Gardens by Corinne Whiting

PICKATHON PERFECTION

Got (weekend) plans? If not, we have a tip. Get thee down to Pendarvis Farm (just outside Portland) stat. Here you’ll find Pickathon’s fairytale-esque village of twinkly lights and tree-engulfed stages; a most memorable musical experience awaits.

Shakey Graves at Pickathon 2014 by Corinne Whiting
Shakey Graves at Pickathon 2014 by Corinne Whiting

For the past several years, Pickathon has been a Seattleite summertime favorite (or, to be honest, an anytime favorite), and this weekend promises to be equally dazzling. Zale Schoenburn helped launch the impressively eco- and family-friendly gathering 15-plus years ago, since then annually uniting jaw-dropping talents in an enchanting setting. This year’s highlights include Mandolin Orange, Shabazz Palaces, Tinariwen, Ty Seagall and, our personal favorite, Langhorne Slim.

BYO food, or relish reasonably-priced fare provided by local vendors. New in 2015: Day passes to the fest can be purchased.

Pickathon by Corinne Whiting
Pickathon by Corinne Whiting

VINEYARD VARIATIONS

Sampling wine is no longer limited to a methodical, stand-and-sip checklist experience. These days, you can taste alongside live music in a warehouse-turned-swank-tasting-room in downtown Seattle (we’re talking about Kerloo in SoDo) or as you watch planes land next to the city’s latest arrival—Charles Smith’s buzzing Jet City in Georgetown. Go glamping in a vineyard (in central Washington), do yoga among the grapes at the Willamette Valley’s Raptor Ridge (next session: August 16, buy tickets here), or fantasize about your next travel adventure at Evergreen Escape’s SoDo Adventure Hub, which showcases the wines of Elsom Cellars. Check out a free presentation/reception on Iceland at the Adventure Hub on August 20.

PUTT-A-PALOOZA

Channel your inner child this summer at Seattle’s Smash Putt! (through July 31, in a “unique grown-up playground setting”) and at Kirkland’s Flatstick Pub, where a nine-hole mini-golf course complements 24 rotating taps that feature Washington-only beers and ciders. In Portland, Hotel deLuxe lures guests with a summertime mini-golf pop-up and packages to further sweeten the deal.

Ziggy Marley returns to Zoo Tunes on August 9, photo by Malia James
Ziggy Marley returns to Zoo Tunes on August 9, photo by Malia James

MUSIC, ALFRESCO

Outdoor concerts abound in the PNW at this time of year. Tune into series like the Sounds of Summer Concert Series at University Village, the Out to Lunch Concert Series that comes to various downtown stages and the popular return of Zoo Tunes, which consistently fills Woodland Park with beautiful sounds and happy picnicking revelers. From August 6 through 9, Summer Meltdown festival goers gather in Darrington, an hour and a half from Seattle, to mix movement with music. Think rafting, climbing and horseback riding plus vibrant sets by Greensky Bluegrass, Delhi to Dublin, Galactic and Polecat. Labor Day Weekend happenings? Why, Bumbershoot, of course!

Here’s to squeezing every sweet second out of this glorious, sun-kissed season.