This past week-end I found more free attractions right in my own backyard. One of them is an aquarium put together by the Marine Science and Technology Center (MAST) at Highline Community Center. Located next to Salty’s Restaurant in Redondo on the beach, this place shows visitors what’s going on in the surrounding underwater communities in Puget Sound. I never realized we had such colorful fish in our waters. I thought they’d all migrated to Hawaii.
See-and-touch tanks allow you to feel starfish the size of steering wheels. Did you know they are soft on the bottom of their legs or stars and spiny along the side of their legs? I braved it and touched one because I didn’t want all the kids in the building showing me up. Tanks also hold sea stars, sea urchins, sea pens, anemones, snails, a blue wolf eel, ling cod, black-eyed hermit crabs, peanut sea squirts and an entire tank full of moon jellyfish. Grab a laminated mat from the chair up front and you can match the pictures on the mat to the actual marine life and learn their accurate names. A staff member is available to answer questions.
You enter through a separate building which has lots of displays and some interactive exhibits for kids to do. Leashed dogs are allowed.
While you’re in the neighborhood, you’ll love dining at Salty’s (next door). This restaurant has a killer happy hour from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. daily (Sundays are a bit different) with delectable appetizers priced from $2 to $9 – appetizers that are very satisfying. My favorite is the smoked salmon with capers, egg, onion, dill cream cheese and crackers. I’m salivating just thinking about it.
Visit www.saltys.com for menus and other news.
Should you overindulge at Salty’s, when you walk out the door, you’re only steps away from one of the most scenic waterfront boardwalks ever. Walking the full length and back again is one mile. How many miles do you need to walk off your “indulgement”?
Along the boardwalk, you can read about the history of Redondo with its skating rink and dance hall. It used to be quite the entertainment destination for Seattleites.