Located an hour north of Seattle, Stanwood is a commercial center for nearby Camano Island to the west, and the residents of the river valley east of Interstate 5 and north of the Tulalip Indian Reservation. Though its proximity to Camano Island and Puget Sound establishes it geographically as a gateway to the recreational activities and natural abundance of the Sound and the San Juan Archipelago, for much of its history, Stanwood's economic fortunes were tied to the Stillaquamish River (named for one of the early, indigenous tribes) just west of town. Until the railroad and modern highway system, agricultural products and wood from the lumber mills were floated to market on steamboats that plied the river's waters. Though Stanwood's name is derived from the maiden name of the wife of one of the town's founders - D.O. Pearson in 1877 - one is more apt to today to find evidence of the town's predominantly Scandinavian influence. Names like "Viking Village" and "Off Da" are evidence of the influx of Nordic families in the late 1800s. Stanwood is surrounded by farms, shorelines teeming with wildlife, and breathtaking views of the Olympics and the Cascades. Aside from the awesome natural vistas everywhere around Stanwood, there are a number of attractions visitors should see. If you're a Richard Gere fan, the lighthouse located at the tip of Fort Worden State Park, north of Port Townsend, should look familiar. Gere's film, "An Officer and a Gentleman" was filmed around there. Another lighthouse, not similarly associated with filmdom, yet every bit as impressive, is the Point Wilson Lighthouse. Great for hikers, access to the lighthouse is via a sandy beach at the base of two high bluffs. No need to say, with the Stillaquamish River and Camano Island close by, that fishing, hiking, kayaking, and everything outdoors can be found in abundance. Golfers can try their luck at two beautiful and challenging courses: Camaloch, and Kayak Point Golf Course. You won't go hungry in Stanwood! There are 52 eateries serving everything from Thai, to trout, to tacos. Visit one of the many shops and galleries where you can purchase clothing made from alpaca wool or works of art. Visit the Pilchuck Glass School, an actual school where serious students can learn the art of glass-blowing! Or, delve a little deeper into Stanwood's history at the Floyd Norgaard Cultural Center. And Stanwood has their festivals too! In September, celebrate the harvest at Stanwood's annual Harvest Jubilee Festival & Farm Tour. Come around Christmas, and cut your own tree at two different farms in the Stanwood area. No matter when you come, Stanwood is ideally situated to all the great activities and natural beauty of Puget Sound.