A Staycation Inside a Renovated School in Bothell

Say hey to Senator Patty Murray in Room 214 🛎️

Just 20 miles from Seattle, McMenamins Anderson School is grounds for a happy little redemption arc for last-minute staycationers and optimistic procrastinators.

This hotel complex is a quirky step back in time: Guest rooms are inside the 1930s art-deco-style building that housed Bothell’s first junior high school. The five-acre campus boasts bountiful gardens, a saltwater swimming pool, a movie theater, a brewery, and several restaurants and bars—reason alone to make the trip out to Bothell. Family-owned chain McMenamins transformed the property in 2015, making it the newest of their twelve Pacific Northwest hotels

How many sleeps? 🛏️

A one-night stay gives you plenty of time to take advantage of all the amenities at Anderson School. Stay two nights if you plan to spend a day wine-tasting in nearby Woodinville, just an 8-minute drive or 18-minute bike ride away. 

Stacked beers available to buy at Hop and Hound

📸: Hop and Hound


Cheers to the weekend! 🍻

The best part of a staycation might be the slow roll out of bed. Check-in here isn’t until 3 pm. Finish packing your bags and head to hyper-local craft beer bar, The Hop and Hound. The tap list features selections from around the Pacific Northwest, like a stout from Bothell-based, self-distributed Watts Brewing Company, and the owner and his coonhound Charlie have lived in town for ten years! Guests 21+ can grab a seat in the above-bar loft or the outdoor patio and sip on. Head around the corner to The Bine for a kid-friendly craft beer experience. 

📍 The Hop and Hound: 18116 101st Ave NE

Open Monday 4-9 pm, Tuesday-Thursday 1-10 pm, Friday-Saturday 12-11pm, Sunday 12-9 pm.

Rotating food trucks take over the parking lot every Friday and Saturday evening. 

A room inside McMenamins with a sun headboard

📸: McMenamins


School’s out, time to play 🤸

Fun fact: Original hand-painted murals of notable Bothell figures infuse each themed guest room with cheerful personality: Senator Patty Murray in Room 214, and high school coach Harold “Pop” Keeny in Room 109 (the stadium next door is named after him). 

Once you’ve dropped off your bags and taken it all in, get back out there or risk serious FOMO. Each restaurant, bar, and amenity has a style, menu, and mood. We suggest navigating the day in this order…

A big pool inside a McMenamins hotel

📸: McMenamins


Afternoon ☀️

Feeling curious? Two tours are available: Learn more about the impressive gardens and the school’s history Tuesdays at 10 am or Fridays at 3 pm, or explore the onsite brewery—now housed in the former woodshop—at 3 pm daily. 

Fun Fact: McMenamins is known for producing their own robust line of beers, ciders, wines, spirits, and coffees. You can order beer-tasting flights at most restaurants, and fill growlers to-go from the gift shop, The Market. Sip while you browse.

Next: Grab your swimsuit! The full-sized North Shore Lagoon pool is illuminated by skylights, heated to 88-90 degrees, and dotted with tropical plants and bamboo fountains. Upstairs, the Lagoon’s pub menu features over 80 varieties of rum alongside Island-inspired dishes. Split some blistered shishito peppers and coconut shrimp during happy hour, 3-6 pm Monday thru Friday. 

📍 North Shore Lagoon Pool: 18709 Bothell Way NE, Bothell

The pool is open every day from 9 am to 8 pm, and until 10 pm on weekends.

A drink at one of McMenamins bars

📸: McMenamins


Evening 🌆

The best spot for a nice dinner on campus is a cozy booth at Tavern on The Square. Stained-glass windows and antique hanging lamps set the mood: start with truffle fries or charcuterie, then try the ale-based crab mac and cheese or the elk burger with black garlic aioli for the main event. They serve breakfast in the mornings, too.

For a laid-back night, catch an evening showtime and a film-themed cocktail at the school’s movie theater. Pizza, burgers, and salads are delivered to your comfy rocker seat during the show. Adult tickets are $12 for first-run screenings or catch the matinee showings for $10. Showtimes vary. Don’t forget the popcorn. 

📍 Tavern on The Square: 18607 Bothell Way NE, Bothell

Brunch is daily from 8 am to 3 pm. Dinner is daily from 3 to 10 pm. Until 11 pm on Fridays and Saturdays.

A bartender at McMenamins shows off cocktails

📸: McMenamins


After Hours 🌃

Play a round of pool or shuffleboard at The Woodshop. This busy sports bar was designed around an old cigar shop‘s solid wood bar. Make sure to have quarters handy for pinball. 

If you’re in a sultrier mood, sip on a whiskey flight or a Black Walnut Manhattan at The Shed. A dimly-lit bar and crackling fireplace give off a cottage-speakeasy kind of ambiance. 

📍 The Woodshop and The Shed: 18607 Bothell Way NE, Bothell

Go see the Principal 👨‍🏫

Ask about the Principal’s Office. Last I checked it was closed due to COVID. This teeny-tiny bar is tucked into the top floor of the Anderson Schoolhouse, and it’s the perfect place for a nightcap. Guest rooms are steps away, and you can (quietly!) peruse the art- and archive-lined corridors before walking to bed.

A spread of baked goods behind glass

📸: Alexa’s Cafe


Where two trails meet 🏞️

Welcome back to the real world, McMenamins converts! Check-out is at 11 am.

Pick a parking spot, then make your way to Alexa’s Cafe for a hearty brunch menu with loads of reasonably priced breakfast sandwiches, including a vegan Just Egg option.

Nearby Sammamish River and Burke Gilman trails converge a short distance from Bothell Landing Park, making it the perfect launching point for some physical activity before you head home. Rent a kayak–or bring your own–then launch into the Sammamish River.

Kenmore’s Log Boom Park is a 19-minute bike ride or one-hour walk to the west. Jump off the docks on a hot day, then stop by the new Stoup Brewing location on the way back.

📍 Alexa’s Cafe: 10115 Main St, Bothell

📍 Bothell Landing Park: 9999 NE 180th St, Bothell

📍 Log Boom Park: 17415 61st Ave NE, Kenmore

📍 Stoup Brewing: 6704 NE 181st St, Kenmore

Beep beep 🛴💨

Lime bikes and scooters are available in downtown Bothell but are not allowed on King County trails like the Sammamish River Trail. Bring your own bike for trail riding, and don’t forget a lock and helmet. 


Meghna Jaradi

Meghna leads with her curiosity when writing about travel, food, and beverages. She previously wrote about cookbooks at Kitchen Arts & Letters, and has managed events and communications at Book Larder, Peddler Brewing Company, and Cascade Bicycle Club. She is newly pescatarian and a Seattle native. Follow along at @wanderingthali.

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