Where: Kingston, a 30-minute drive and a 30-minute ferry ride (via the Edmonds-Kingston ferry; wsdot.wa.gov/ferries) from Seattle.
Why: To visit the spectacular Heronswood botanical garden (self-guided tours every Friday through October, 10 a.m.–3 p.m.; $5–$10; Kingston, 7530 NE 288th St.; 360.297.9620; heronswood.org), with rare and unusual plants from China, Vietnam, Chile, Myanmar, New Zealand, Tasmania and other far-flung places. Plan your trip around the spring plant sales (April 1, May 13–14). Continue your nature pursuit at Stillwaters Environmental Center (Kingston, 26059 NE Barber Cut Off Road; 360.297.1226; stillwatersenvironmentalcenter.org), where you can stroll the short trails and learn about estuary restoration, salt marshes and the Carpenter Creek watershed.
Fuel up: Enjoy a local brew at the Hood Canal Brewery (26499 Bond Road NE; 360.297.8316; hoodcanalbrewery.com) and locally sourced dishes—such as goat tacos, rabbit pot pie and kimchi pancakes—at the Mossback Café (26185 Ohio Ave. NE; 360.328.1254; mossbackcafe.com), located inside a century-old farmhouse.
If you miss the ferry: A converted historic firehouse now hosts the two-screen, stadium-seat Firehouse Theater (11171 NE State Route 104; 360.297.4707; kingstonfirehouse.com) just four blocks from the Kingston ferry and a five-minute walk from Mossback. Stay the night in one of the two rooms at the Phoenix Bed & Breakfast (9120 NE Kiwi Lane; 360.297.8175; thephoenixbedandbreakfast.com), built and featured in 2005 on the TV show Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.