In Places We Trust

Go-to destinations are sacred because they liven our weary selves. They are escapes to wild or urban places. Sometimes such places are recent discoveries; sometimes, they have been with us for years, yet still ring new. These are some coveted spots.

Interviews by Lauren Zondag | Illustrations by Michelle Kumata

Yenvy Pham

Co-owner, Pho Bac

I just discovered Pruf Cafe and Bar on 16th and Jackson in Seattle. Unassuming, simple coffee shop that the Little Saigon neighborhood badly needed. It’s a place where time just slows down and interpersonal connections are reignited. I also just ate at the first and only Vietnamese snail shop in Seattle—Bun & Oc right in the middle of Little Saigon. It burst with such Vietnamese pride and delightful dishes. I truly believe that if we want to preserve culture, we must make the city more accessible to entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs keep cultures and traditions alive, as well as create new ones.


Lynda Mapes

Environment Reporter, The Seattle Times

The crest of Swanson Mill Road overlooking the Columbia River, from the Okanogan National Forest—ravishing by early evening summer light, views sweep down to the valley and the shimmer of the river already in lavender twilight. The sounds are of wind and a rare quiet I crave. Best time of year is high summer, when the smell of cut hay is sweet, the sun warm and the fruit stands are packed with peaches and apricots so outrageous they need a prescription.

Naomi Wachira

Afro-Folk Singer/Songwriter

The Maryhill Winery has one of the most epic views of the Columbia River. What I love about the view is not just that I can sit with a glass of wine and soak in the expanse of the sky, but also the juxtaposition of the vibrant green vineyards and brown desert terrain across the Goldendale Bridge. I feel like the colors are more vibrant as the sun begins to set and is not as scorching; it’s easy to truly relax then.

Mark Dyce-Ryan

Partner, Why for Good

My favorite new place is our home. Not our house—but our HOME. Never in our lives did we know there was a place called May Valley on the Eastside, south of Cougar Mountain. We’re on nearly an acre—and it’s our paradise, filled with peace, joy, happiness and about a quarter million honey bees (We’re new bee daddies!). We’re surrounded by an older, quiet community, farm landsand lots of forest—our little slice of heaven.

Sarah Littlefield

Picker & Owner, Seattle Junk Love

The tiny, unincorporated community of Hooper is located in an absolutely gorgeous area of the state, amidst vast, rolling wheat fields that remind me of North Dakota, where I grew up. The contrast of colors—yellow and browns in the fields and the lush green along the river banks—are striking. All that remains is a handful of houses, a tiny post office, a couple barns along the railroad tracks and the McGregor building that once housed a store where you could get anything you needed.

Sharlese Metcalf

Audioasis Host, KEXP

I love taking the ferry over to Whidbey Island. My boyfriend’s mom has a farm that has flowers and organic fruits and veggies that are so beautiful to look at and harvest. Down the street from the farm is a beach nestled against a rocky mountainside that’s pretty majestic. As you look at the water, off in the distance is a small silhouette of Seattle. I love going to this beach during the summer, staring at the sand, the water, the clouds.

Ana Mari Cauce

President, University of Washington

Magnuson Park is a few miles from the UW and in the 30-plus years I’ve been going there, it’s always changing. I remember when they added a dog park where I’d take my pups for a run. More recently, a restoration project, designed and installed by UW environmental studies students, has transformed some of the park into a thriving bird habitat. This spring, I saw a pied-billed grebe carrying its chicks on its back. These duck-like birds are somewhat drab as adults, but the babies were a surprise—practically flamboyant, with orange bills and zebra-striped plumage. Watching the grebe family, Magnuson Park felt new once again.

Bob Ferguson

Washington State Attorney General

My favorite place is our cabin, and that special spot has new importance to me. I’ve had a busy year at the office, so it’s never been more important to get off the grid to recharge and focus on my family. There’s no cell service (unless I hike up to a waterfall!). It’s a wild area where I once saw a mountain lion prowling around. The cabin is rustic and on a remote mountain lake—one of only a handful in Washington where loons nest, so we frequently hear them calling. My nine-year-old twins can swim and explore. I can unplug and be present with them. My favorite time of day may be hot summer afternoons on the deck with my wife, listening to the kids whoop and holler in the lake while Colleen and I enjoy a cold drink.