If you’re looking for a trip that is easy to get to and gives you a temporary escape from the hustle and bustle of city life, I would recommend a tour to Tillicum Village located on Blake Island. The tour lasts four hours, with a 45 minute ride each way via Argossy Cruises. It’s a great opportunity to enjoy the scenic views and learn about the arts, history, and culture of the Native American Indians. It’s surely a fun and exciting time with family and friends.
The whole cruise was very scenic as we got an excellent view of the Seattle skyline, gorgeous houses in West Seattle, the lighthouse, people kayaking, and wildlife activities along the way. The entire trip was guided with a Disney like narration by an eloquent tour guide, Cameron.
When we arrived at the Tillicum Village, we were welcomed with impeccable steamed clams served in a beautifully designed mug. The shells are then crushed onto the pathways to the longhouse of the Salish Tribe. This ritual is called the “clam dance.”
Then we explored the village and saw masks and totem poles with animal carvings that symbolized the tribe’s guardian spirits. Inside the longhouse, we witnessed an Indian tradition. The staff fillet the salmon and arranged them in a circle around an open flame. The orange color and aroma of cedar smoked salmon was truly mouth-watering. We couldn’t wait for dinner.
The buffet at the banquet was delectable. We were served with Northwest cuisines which included our much-anticipated smoked salmon, homemade bread, fresh fruits, green salads, polenta with mushroom, rice pilaf, bison stew, and dessert. The food was great that we definitely went back for seconds.
After the meal, we were entertained with storytelling and dances about the legends of the Coast Salish Tribe. The native performers wore heavy masks as they chanted and danced on stage in a dim light. After the show, the performers were kind enough to pose for pictures and answered questions about their tribe. Native American culture is both beautiful and interesting. At Tillicum Village, we get an authentic view and deeper understanding of them.
For about 45 minutes before boarding, we explored Blake Island which has hiking trails and little park that serves as an excellent picnic place. The island is reachable only by private or tour boat.
At sunset, we boarded the ship heading back to Seattle. The trip was worth it despite the rough ride brought about by changing tide and weather. It was spectacular to view the sun setting in the west reflecting on the cascade mountains to the east, which created a sunset glow and interesting designs in the horizon.
At Tillicum Village, not only do you get to experience history, it also provides a peaceful escape from “nervous irritation” of city life.