Lakeside & Fireside at the Woodmark Hotel

Woodmark4         Woodmark4

Steve and I were lucky enough to attend a lakeside event last week at  The Woodmark Hotel & Still Spa in Carillon Point.  This classic Kirkland mainstay has done an amazing job reimagining its outdoor living space that shows off five custom firepits with surrounding Adirondack chairs on their sweeping waterfront lawn.  And don't forget the vino! Clearly, they know us well and have recently launched a wine program to accompany the firepits, which guests will receive information about upon check-in via QR code.  Expect to see bottles such as Treveri bubbles, Delille, Betz, and Patterson whites and reds to accompany the disposable fireside wine tumblers. Whether it's summertime views where you are watching the boats, kayaks, paddlers, and sunsets, or wintertime where you can snuggle up under one of their Pendleton blankets and watch the stars, this is an epic location to experience Lake Washington's shoreline.   The fire pits are available daily from 6-10 pm (weather permitting). 

Woodmark4   Woodmarkreno2022 (photo cred: The Woodmark)

The Woodmark has also renovated its lobby to represent a luxurious residential comfort where guests can lounge and relax in the color palette that emulates a timeless Pacific Northwest mood.  Don't forget about this long-standing lakeside gem the next time you have an event or visitors in town that want to experience the best of Kirkland.  

Go Duff Around on Lake WA

Perhaps we are not completely trapped this holiday season??? What if there was a Christmas miracle that allowed you to escape your home in a safe and special sort of way? Duffy Electric Boats to the rescue!  There are six of these tricked-out little rides docked right at the Kirkland Marina decorated with holiday lights so you can be part of your very own lighted holiday boat parade.  Bah-humbug to the pandemic,  THIS we can do-grab your family and masks and go. It's a one-hour ride for $149 plus insurance/tax and your household has a boat all to yourselves.  You are your own captain (or you can pay extra for one) and since they are electric, powered by 16 golf cart batteries, they are quiet and zero-emission. You don't even need a boater's license since your max speed will be 7mph.  This special 1hr rental with holiday pricing is available through January 3rd.

 Duffy3   Duffy3   Duffy3   Duffy4
When I asked my kids if they would like to do a holiday boat ride on our own Duffy boat, you would have thought I asked them if they'd like to go to the Caribbean.  "All of us?! On a boat ride? Where? When? This Saturday!!?"  they shrieked. We don't get out much anymore so putting on our big coats and holiday cheer and hopping in the car together for a mile ride to the marina for a new adventure was quite the novel experience.  We checked in at the tent on the south end of Marina Park and headed to the dock where the masked staff welcomed us and told us some super simple instructions about how to operate the boat.  The minimum rental age is 21. Each boat has a different color holiday-themed light trim and when it was time to go, we all launched off in a straight line to follow the lead yacht with blue lights.  My kids were not sad to discover a sealed container of iced holiday cookies that await the guests of each Duffy boat. The clear canvas sides of the 21' vessel zip up or down and there's even a little heater which keeps the adorable holiday-themed interior quite comfortable.  Onward! Our mini-parade headed south past Carillon's fabulous light display and continued on into Cozy Cove where we could oooh-and-ahhh at the homes and their displays also.  Staff is there to catch your boat and tie it up when you dock in the same area where you started. 

Duffyparade   Duffyparade
If you haven't heard of Duffy Boats, it's an interesting story how Marshall "Duffy" Duffield designed the Duffy boats over 45 years ago and they became an integral part of the lifestyle in his city of Newport Beach, CA where he also later became mayor.  The City of Kirkland did an RFP back in 2019 for tourism at the marina, which sparked hoteliers Troy Longwith (former GM of our Heathman) and Tanner Eriksen, who lives in Newport, to pitch the Duffy idea for Kirkland.  And so here we are, and the Kirkland Duffies have seen many marriage proposals, memorials, and even a wedding!  There are different themed boats too- Seahawks, Cougs, and Huskies are all represented in these cleverly named boats such as Duff'n Hawks, Duff'n Around, Duff'n Good Times, to name a few. The Duff'n Hawks boat was featured twice on the intro to Sunday Night Football on NBC and features the work of street artist Kelsey Montague, who is known for her collaboration with Taylor Swift and the Wings of Nashville.  I appreciate that Troy and Tanner have an enthusiasm for Kirkland and also that they bring their hotel expertise to their  Duffy boats.  There are four scheduled bookings for each Duffy in an evening, and the boats are cleaned, sanitized, and disinfected between each session. They also use a cold-fogging solution that is similar to the one hotels use to keep their guests extra safe. 

So, are YOU going to "Do the Duffy?" (<-- weird watching pre-COVID videos sometimes, right?) You can book your Winterfest Light Cruise online here or email or call/text 425-588-1716.  Enjoy!

Summertime Fun Coming Your Way!

Sat 7/30-8/6 at 
Everest Park, Kirkland is once again proudly hosting the Junior Softball World Series.  That's big time, people.  Nine teams..players from all over this planet are coming to our city this weekend for some serious competition, and it's really fun to watch.  Ok, maybe I used to play softball and am a little biased, but the coolest part is that our local girls are participating! Even ESPN will be there, so you should be too. Go Kirkland!  Great website with lots of details on the tournament here.

Sat 7/30- If you feel like doing a little bargain shopping- the Kirkland Highlands Annual Garage Sale is from 9am-2pm.  Access the neighborhood at the corner of NE 85th and 114th Ave NE and follow the signs to participating homes. 

This Sat 7/30: Music (and Motorcycles!)in the Park.  Marina Park will be thumping this weekend from 4-9 pm on Sat with concerts in the park.  Mirrorgloss will be headlining and you are encouraged to cruise your motorcycle down.  Sunshine and extra motorcycle parking expected. 

Motorycle        CarShow2016

On Sunday 7/31, the Kirkland's beloved Classic Car show rev's up between 10-4 at Marina Park downtown.  Larry Hanson  is co-host and Lance Lambert of  "The Vintage Vehicle Show" will be your emcee.   Anyone can come and register their car in the show- reg starts at 6am on Sunday or you can email   The favorite Motorcycle will receive a prize also! 

Plenty of volunteer opportunities still await you too for this weekend: 


And then....thinking ahead to even more fun, if that's our 5th Annual Summerfest on Fri 8/12 and Sat 8/13.  Problem is, they are a bit short on funding for things like police, permits, entertainment, publicity.   Go ahead and throw in a few bucks here. You'll be glad you did when you're sipping that cold Summerfest beer in a few weeks. 


Seaplanes at Carillon Point??

Carillon Landing
Kirkland citizens are raising concerns about the recent proposal that Carillon Point has submitted to the city requesting to operate sea planes from their dock.  This is open to public comment until June 20th.  Below is a letter submitted that summarizes the process and what to do if you would like to learn more or give your feedback on the proposal. You will also find a fact sheet provided by Carillon Point outlining their intent.  


Last chance for input regarding seaplanes at Carillon Point!

Carillon Point has submitted a request to be allowed to operate seaplanes out of their dock. June 20 is the last chance to submit comments!

The service would include two planes docking along the guest pier of the Woodmark Hotel, offering 20-minute flights. The planes would operate from 9 a.m. to one hour before sunset, year-round. If the permit is approved, it could open the door for similar operations elsewhere in Kirkland.

After city planners complete their review process, there will be a public hearing. A hearing date has not yet been set, but will probably be in September, and will be in the evening.

Any residents or property owners who received notices from the city will be notified of the hearing, as well as anyone who sends written comments. Those who send written comments will also have the ability to appeal. The public notice signs, city notice board at City Hall, and City website will also be posted with the hearing date.

After the hearing, the City Hearing Examiner will make a decision to approve, modify, or deny the application. The decision will be based on whether the application complies with Kirkland’s Zoning Code and other applicable codes. The final decision will be made by the State Department of Ecology.

If you have concerns about noise or other impacts, it is urgent that you send them before June 20 at 5 pm. If seaplanes are allowed at Carillon Point, it would set a precedent for seaplanes to be allowed elsewhere on the lake.

Permit information can be viewed at Enter permit number SHR16-00803.

In your letter, reference SHR16-00803 and send the email to:,,,,,,,
The above list includes:

Planner Christian Geitz
Planning Director Eric Shields <>
City Manager Kurt Triplett
Mayor Amy Walen
Deputy Mayor Jay Arnold
Councilmember Shelley Kloba
Councilmember Penny Sweet 
Councilmember Toby Nixon   
Councilmember Dave Asher
Councilmember Doreen Marchione



Carillon Point – Conditional Use Permit Fact Sheet
Proposed Seaplane Operation

Location:     Carillon Point Guest Pier, 7000 Carillon Point, Kirkland, WA 98033
Hours of Operation:     Seven days per week, 9am to 1 hour prior to sunset --- appointments via website with limited walk-on availability during summer evenings and weekends. Carillon Point is seeking permission to operate within these hours, however actual use will fluctuate depending on the time of year, weather and availability of the operator.
Flight Frequency:     Not more than one per hour --- the cycle of the flight procedure includes completion of paperwork, pre-flight check and approximate 25-minute sight-seeing tour.
Aircraft Specs:     Limited to Cessna 185F with a piston engine and 3 bladed Hartzell Propeller 1C160/DTM7557M (or similar). *** Please note, only one (1) plane would be present at any given time – this is not a proposal for a full-blown seaplane operation featuring larger, noisier aircraft similar to other seaplane operations on Lake Washington.
Operator:     Seaplane Scenics ---
Noise:     The overall maximum sound produced by Seaplanes is ~75dB, which maximum sound is only produced during takeoff (a duration of approximately 20 seconds) which shall only take place over 1,000 feet from the shoreline.
By way of comparison, the sound produced by existing motorboat and jet ski traffic on Lake Washington can fluctuate between 65-110dB for the entire duration of travel time on the lake.
As part of the proposed operation, it is estimated that during the busy season (Apr-Sept) Seaplane Scenics will only produce a total of 18 minutes of maximum sound per week (equivalent to 74 minutes per month). During the off season (Oct-Mar) only intermittent flights will be scheduled.
Impacts: As part of the permitting process a qualified, third-party Wildlife Habitat Assessment was prepared and submitted to the City of Kirkland. This assessment concluded the following:


Existing Uses:     Carillon Point is a Class-A, mixed use commercial development featuring an existing, full-service 200-slip marina offering year round private moorage of personal boats, yachts and jet skis.
Waterfront Adventures seasonal rentals featuring, passenger boats, jet skis,
paddle boards and kayaks.
436 feet of Guest Pier moorage facilities offering short-term, first-come, first-served (2 hour) docking for individual and private vessels along with access for commercial tour vessels operated by Argosy, Waterways Cruises and various other commercial tour companies.
Proposed Flight Plan: