Views from the Space Needle are still possible with limited admission, and views of the Space Needle are free from close-in city neighborhoods.

As residents of the Pacific Northwest, the people of King County embody the pioneer spirit, a unique brand of tenacity fueled by fresh brews, pristine wilderness, and community. With Covid-19, we are all in uncharted territory, and small businesses, from barbershops to food carts to hotels, need our support more than ever. Things are undoubtedly different, but meeting that change head-on is an adventure in itself, and people’s livelihoods depend on it. It’s pretty simple to play the hero—just throw on a mask and pay a visit to your favorite spot down the street. Or do your shopping online with a local retailer. Whatever your comfort level, there is always something safe and responsible you can do, so here are some ideas on how to start.

Eat locally | Sip safely | Treat yourself

There’s no shame in putting off going to the grocery store another day and eating out instead. Some would even say it’s honorable, especially when so many neighborhood restaurants, servers, and chefs are struggling to get by. In Phinney Ridge, filling your belly for a good cause at The Park Public House is a no-brainer. The eatery offers delicious burgers and other American fare, plus an extensive beer and cocktail list.

A day trip to wine country isn’t a bad idea either, as many of Woodinville’s premier wineries, including Chateau Ste. Michelle and Columbia Winery, provide covered patio spaces to sip vino socially distanced. For those who lean toward stronger, barrel-aged libations, the bourbon and other bespoke spirits at Sharps Roasthouse in SeaTac will certainly refresh the spirit.

Sweets are usually saved for last, but that doesn’t mean they can’t be your main priority. Medzo Gelato Bar & Travel Café in Burien takes you on a trip for Mediterranean-style treats, with scoops of delicious sorbet and gelato, as well as Italian hot chocolate.

Be a sightseer | Learn something new

No one will ever forget this year, but why shouldn’t those memories be positive? In fact, now is the ideal time to be a tourist in your own backyard because, well, there aren’t many actual tourists. The Space Needle is welcoming limited visitors, providing its breathtaking perspective of the city without the usual crowds up top, and Chihuly Garden and Glass has reduced capacity to 25%. Parking at Pike Place Market has never been easier, and extensive safety measures such as social distancing signage and hand-washing stations are in place for your protection.

Pike Place Market boasts not just incredible local produce and an array of enticements but also extensive safety measures such as social distancing signage and hand-washing stations.

Cultural foundations across King County need love as well. Museums are adapting to the new normal in different ways. Many still offer virtual exhibits and other resources to explore from home while they’re closed, keeping their vast knowledge and window to the past open and accessible. Buying memberships to your favorite institutions is a great way to show your support and encouragement during this unprecedented time in history.

Plan a staycation | Get outdoors | Invest in entertainment

With broader travel discouraged, a King County staycation is the ticket to relaxation. You could have all your stress massaged away at The Woodmark Hotel & Still Spa, or soak in the beautiful waterfront views during a weekend stay at Hyatt Regency Lake Washington.

After so much time spent inside, many are keen to stretch their legs and fill their lungs with crisp, clean air. Before you set out on any excursions, drop by Mountain to Sound Outfitters, where the knowledgeable staff will make sure you’re equipped to not only survive, but thrive in the elements. Just past Skykomish, Stevens Pass Ski Resort is a wintertime playground for anyone looking to shred the slopes. To keep everyone safe, workers will carefully manage access to the mountain, with reservations and face coverings required. At lower elevations, Alki Kayak Tours provides unforgettable skyline vistas (and an arm workout) during guided paddles around Elliott Bay and the Duwamish River.

Entertainment has been one of the hardest-hit industries, but the show must always go on. By donating to organizations like Keep Music Live WA and ArtsFund, people can do their part to ensure that musicians and theatrical performers stay afloat until they can dazzle audiences once again.

For additional information on public health protocols and how to safely explore King County, visit dosomethingnearby.org.

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