Within an Hour: Kirkland

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Summer is just around the corner, and Kirkland is less than an hour away. Filled with beautiful parks, sunny waterfront spots, and neat shops to stop in along the way, Kirkland is the perfect day trip.

Follow this trail of shops and stops for a guide to a day-trip through Kirkland.

Julia Smiljanic
A colorful variety of French macarons fill the display cases at Lady Yum. To add the spice of fun and mischief champagne and wine are also available.

Lady Yum: Macarons & Mischief

Crunch, pillow-like sweetness floods the palate at Lady Yum: Macarons & Mischief. Lady Yum was founded on dreams from a childhood of baking in Alaska. More than just a French macaroon shop, Lady Yum lives up to the name of “Mischief” with happy hour Monday through Friday 4 to 7 pm, in addition to bottomless champagne on Tuesdays.

Sweet Cakes

Julia Smiljanic
Cupcakes, cookies, cake pops, and bars in addition to gluten-free options fill the cases of Sweet Cakes bakery.

Potato starch, rice flour, and tapioca flour: this is the foundation for Sweet Cakes’ gluten-free treats. Sweet Cakes caters to all its clients’ dietary needs upon request, but the cases are especially filled with gluten-free sweets from cupcakes to cookies. In addition, this shop offers up a variety of bars, including cake pops, seasonal cupcakes and the Canadian classic, Nanaimo bars.

Julia Smiljanic
Rich, creamy gelato in a variety of flavors and presentations is making an appearance in Kirkland with the family owned shop, Sirena Gelato.

Sirena Gelato

The heart of downtown Kirkland is home to a family-owned shop which makes gelato the traditional way: with milk instead of heavy cream. Sorbets, gelato, handmade gelato popsicles, gelato cookie sandwiches, affogatos, and espresso are all available in this tiny gelato shop. The name “Sirena” means “mermaid” in Italian, which the shop plays off of with antique divers masks hanging from the ceiling as light fixtures. Known for its winding line through the small shop and out the door, this gelato shop doesn’t disappoint.

Rocket Fizz

Hidden behind the popular Cow and Coyote statue of Kirkland lies an old-fashion candy store, owners call the shop a “one-stop shop for all your soda pop and candy cravings.” Rocket Fizz is the shop of all childhood dreams. Candies like salt water taffy and lollipops come in all shapes and sizes.

Sodas range from popular brands such as Dad’s Old Fashioned Root Beer to Butter Soda and The Real Red Soda: Stalinade. And for adventurous customers, grass flavored soda.  

However, Rocket Fizz offers more than just the old-fashioned candy store appeal. Alongside the soda fridges sit a table, inlaid with a video game screen. Games available include classics such as PACMAN, Space Invaders, and Donkey Kong. For those overwhelmed by all the options, mystery grab bags are also available at Rocket Fizz. In case the line at the counter is too long to check out, a claw-machine sits next to the door, chock full of candy.

Rocket Fizz is the shop of childhood dreams with a seemingly endless range of soda flavors, in addition to an assortment of candy.

Heritage Park

Nestled into the side of a hill, just a short walk from downtown Kirkland is Heritage Park. Though small, this park is quaint, with plenty of lawn in a space known for low-occupancy. Head deeper into the park for an overview look-out of the gorgeous waters surrounding Kirkland. At the tip of Heritage Park sits Heritage Hall, a classic white building, fit for gatherings.

Juanita Bay Park

Julia Smiljanic
Follow the wooden boardwalk out over the water at Juanita Bay Park to take in the astounding views of this wildlife habitat.

Tucked in a corner of Kirkland is a 110-acre wildlife habitat. Juanita Bay Park provides the perfect environment for wildlife and humans to coexist in harmony. The lush greenery of the park combined with trails guides walkers out towards the wildlife. Birds hide among the greenery as signs request humans remain off the vegetation.

Wooden boardwalks guide patrons over the water, and out to lookout points which sit over the water, perfect for observing the many varieties of birds and waterfowl that can be found. Out onto the pier, overlooking the water where turtles, ducks, and other birds preside. The fish-eating bird known as osprey have also been sighted at Juanita Bay Park. Fun fact: osprey are also known as Seahawks.

Julia Smiljanic
Italian food served up in a restaurant centered around antique motorcycles. These old bikes are the center of attention in Cafe Veloce dining room.

Cafe Veloce

Pizza, paninis, pasta, and more: this family-friendly restaurant serves up a variety of classic Italian dishes with a unique twist. Classic vintage motorcycles line the interior, and beer paddles keep the flowers company in flower boxes on the patio. Be warned: visitors should bring appetite and strength. Getting through the door is the first task, a caution of “PULL HARD” is labeled on the door in bold.  

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