EV Trip: Downtown Seattle to Suncadia Resort

By · June 25, 2014

The State of Washington boasts an extensive network of EV charging points that runs north to south and east to west throughout the entire state. The charging locations—many with both a DC fast charger and a Level 2 240-volt plug—create a system that makes real EV-based vacation travel possible in Washington. Adventurous EV drivers—especially those with CHAdeMO ports and a spirit to push the limits—can experience a wide range of activities, including outdoor adventures, seeing natural wonders, culture, and wine touring. But the network is strong enough to allow nearly all electric car owners to use their battery-powered vehicles to explore Seattle and its beautiful surrounding environs.

EV Trips: Seattle and Pacific Northwest

Source: Google Maps

1Downtown Seattle (Space Needle and Olympic Sculpture)

Olympic Sculpture Park and Charger at Seattle South Lake Union Discovery Center

The city of Seattle has more than 100 charging spots, which include five DC quick chargers. Therefore, the city makes an excellent hub for your EV tour. If you want an initial quick charge, park at either the Seattle South Lake Union Discovery Center at 101 Westlake Ave., or the Whole Foods Market at 2200 Westlake Avenue.

Either one is about a 15-minute walk to The Space Needle, the observation tower that serves as the symbol of Seattle. The observation deck, more than 500 feet above the city, provides a 360-degree panoramic view of the city, its waterfront, and the surrounding mountain ranges. The Needle is touristy, but every visitor to the Emerald City should experience it at least once.

Be warned: the elevator to the top takes less than a minute, but the wait sometimes takes more than an hour—so if you’re not in a rush, the starting point for your Seattle-area EV trip could be the Level 2 chargers at either the Seattle Center, less than a five-minute walk to The Space Needle—or the L2 at Seattle Post-Intelligencer, where you can use Pay-by-Plugshare. It's a similar distance to the must-see Olympic Sculpture Park.

The Olympic Sculpture Park uses a Z-shaped platform to display the art. The outdoor sculpture museum and beach descends 40 feet from the city to the water, with views of the skyline and Elliot Bay. The Olympic Sculpture Park, developed and built by the Seattle Art Museum, transformed a nine-acre industrial site into open and vibrant green space for art. Alexander Calder's “Eagle,” a 39-foot-tall artwork, is the signature piece for the park. Also, check out Richard Serra's “Wake.” Coming soon: a 46-foot-tall face of a young girl, called “Echo,” by Spanish artist Jaume Plensa. Admission is free.

More info:

2Future of Flight Aviation Center

Future of Flight Aviation Center and EV Charging

Drive 25 miles north of the Olympic Sculpture Park to your next destination: The Future of Flight Aviation Center. The museum’s Level 2 charging station, and Level 1 outlet, is located in the southwest corner of public parking.

The center is an aviation museum located at the northwest corner of Paine Field in Mukilteo, Wash. The center's Boeing Tour is the only opportunity to tour a commercial jet assembly plant in North America. If you ever wanted to know what it takes to make today’s modern airplanes, this is the place. Boeing makes the models 747, 767, 777 and 787 at this facility. The museum includes a 28,000-square-foot gallery, interactive exhibits, a 240-seat theater, cafe, and shops.

Your next destination will be Snoqualmie, Wash.—50 miles to the east. The route includes about five quick chargers along Highway 405 through Redmond and Bellevue. But an alternative (or additional) leg of the trip is to travel north on Highway 5, and then east on Route 2—which provides access to quick chargers in Sultan and Skykomish. You could stay at the Mountain Springs Lodge in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forrest. Ask about the Lodge’s Zipline Adventure package. There’s a Level 2 charger at the 59er Diner nearby on Route 2, and a DC quick charger just 12 miles to the south in Leavenworth at the city hall.

More info:

3Salish Lodge and Spa

Salish Lodge and Spa and nearby EV Charging

A weekend EV getaway moves directly from Mukilteo to Snoqualmie, and the Salish Lodge and Spa overlooking the gorgeous Snoqualmie Falls. The award-winning resort has 84 luxury guestrooms. The spa specializes in Pacific Northwest treatments featuring herbs from the lodge’s organic garden and honey from its on-site apiary. The lodge has two restaurants on site.

Snoqualmie Falls is a 270-foot waterfall on the Snoqualmie River. It is one of Washington's most popular scenic attractions. It’s best known as a signature image for Twin Peaks, David Lynch's 1990s cult television series. There are two hydroelectric power plants at Snoqualmie Falls, producing 44,000 kilowatts of electricity—enough to service 16,000 homes. The state provides some of the country’s cleanest energy for electric cars.

Just four miles away from the lodge, you’ll find a Level 2 charger at the Snoqualmie Casino, with abundant opportunities for gaming, Vegas-style live entertainment (from the likes of Joan Rivers and Kool & The Gang), upscale dining (at somewhat inflated prices), and one of the Northwest’s only cigar lounges.

There's another offsite Level 2 charger, about 1.5 miles away, at Snoqualmie City Hall (shown above).

More info:

4Suncadia Resort

Suncadia and EV Charging

If time allows, continue your EV drive into Pacific Northwest nature. After a 60-mile journey southeast, you’ll Suncadia Resort in Cle Elum. There’s a Level 2 and DC quick charging about halfway to the resort at the Summit Deli and Gas station—and another CHAdeMo quick charger right on the premises at Suncadia Resort.

The Lodge at Suncadia features majestic architecture, panoramic river and mountain views, and all the amenities of a full-service luxury hotel and conference center. There are miles of hiking and biking trails, golfing, and spa treatments available at the facility's Glade Spring Spa.

Suncadia adjoins 1,200 pristine acres along the Cle Elum River corridor, where you can enjoy horseback riding, fly fishing, white-water rafting, kayaking, and rock climbing. It’s adjacent to the 2.2 million-acre Wenatchee National Forest, where in the winter there is downhill skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling.

More info:

Back to Seattle

Cle Elum feels far from civilization, but Seattle is only 85 miles away. With an overnight Level 2 charge at Suncadia, or a quick charge there or in Snoqualmie Pass, you’ll have plenty of range to get back to town. To put your mind at ease, the last 30 miles of the trip has a half-dozen quick-charging locations near the main routes, as well as dozens of Level 2 chargers.

New to EVs? Start here

  1. Seven Things To Know About Buying a Plug-In Car
    A few simple tips before you visit the dealership.
  2. Incentives for Plug-in Hybrids and Electric Cars
    Take advantage of credits and rebates to reduce EV costs.
  3. Buying Your First Home EV Charger
    You'll want a home charger. Here's how to buy the right one.