If you have a couple of hours to spare, hop in the car and discover our backyard. This 30-mile loop will take only an hour to drive, giving you just enough time to enjoy some vintage shopping or relax over lunch.
Start your Engines – Exit 208 Interstate-5 – Head West on Pioneer Highway
Begin your short tour tour of the Port Susan area in Silvana, a town of 90 residents lying in the floodplain of the Stillaguamish River. Stop in at Silvana Five and Dime. It says “Thrift Store”, but that’s because of the generosity at its core – all the items are donated and sales benefit Sherwood Community Services, helping those with disabilities. It’s set up like a classy vintage store and you’ll enjoy every minute browsing. Head down the street to Silvana Meats where you can buy a couple pepperoni sticks for the road. Just over the river is Stoffel Farm, a three generation pig farm with a friendly welcome and retail kiosk for your dinner fixin’s. If you’re in need of a cup of coffee, try Willow and Jim’s Cafe on the other end of town. If you call ahead you might get permission to tour the grounds of the Little White Church on the Hill (360.652.8739). It’s an iconic church built just above the river and overlooking the delta.
Drive west, past the rich floodplain and farmland and into the town of Stanwood. Cross Highway 532 and hang the next left into town. You’ll cross the railroad tracks at the Amtrak station and find yourself in East Stanwood. Nicknamed the Twin Cities for its historic two downtowns that were once independent of each other, both EAst and West downtown have something to offer. Westward, downtown has a vintage feel with rough brick roads. Shima Japanese Restaurant is next to some first-class salons, a vintage and a consignment clothing store. The east end of town sports a cupcake shop and multiple boutiques, vintage stores and several nice restaurants.
Feel like driving a little more? Head south on Marine Dr. Around Florence, there is a landmarked pull-out that borders the Stillaguamish. At S&T Espresso, a mobile espresso stand run by a Florence resident, you can refuel yourself. Continue on and you’ll see the Nature Conservancy’s estuarine preserve, providing habitat for overwintering and shorebirds. This is a great time of year to go bird-watching here. The Port Susan Bay property is available by appointment, so call or email ahead if you’d like to come back another time and do a little bird watching. (Pat Hampton, email@example.com, 360.419.3140). Or visit in February during the Port Susan Snow Goose and Birding Festival for access to the reserve.
Drive another five miles on Marine Dr. to the first stop sign and you’ll be at Lakewood Rd. Hang a left and head toward the seven lakes area. Another three miles, just past the Lake Goodwin Resort and Store turn onto 40th Ave. NW. Forgot coffee and snacks? There is an espresso stand inside Seven Lakes Gifts. Stay the course through a few sharp turns toward Happy Valley Rd. then Ole Larson Rd, over the river, bump across the railroad tracks, and you are back in Silvana.
- Drive Pioneer Highway West into Stanwood
- Cross Highway 532 & take the first left at Cedarhome Dr.
- Drive through own on 271st NW toward 270th St. NW
- Return past 271st and turn right on 84th Ave NW, becoming Marine Dri
- Take Marine Dr. to Lakewood Rd.
- Take Lakewood Rd. to 40th Ave NW toward Silvana via Happy Valley Rd. and Ole Larson Rd.