Who knew Everett was a romantic metro?
EVERETT — This Valentine’s Day it’s time to uncover the steamy truth about the city of Everett. Underneath its button-down exterior, the blue-collar town one of America’s 20 most romantic according to a report.
That surprising news was courtesy of an annual Amazon report and definitely not a fluke: the city has quietly listed in the top 20 for romance four of the past five years.
Everett’s best year was 2015 when it hit No. 13, but it took a little digging to determine why the Boeing bastion soared up the rankings past hundreds of contenders.
First stop was the mayor’s office for the official word on what’s to love in town. Mayor Cassie Franklin chalks up the city’s charms to “colorful sunsets, charming coffee shops, waterfront restaurants and a picturesque port… For anyone looking for a special moment, you’ll find it in Everett,” Franklin wrote in an email.
The Amazon rankings were based on its compiled sales data for products such as romantic comedies and music, romance novels and relationship books, and sexual wellness products.
“The romance book business is … one of our top sellers consistently, we get a ton of material in from the people selling to us. We’re very well stocked,” said Half Price Books manager Jaclyn Minkkinen.
Minkkinen said authors like Nora Roberts and Debbie Macomber enjoyed brisk sales at the store.
Macomber was one of a trio of local romance writers who chimed in on what makes the region uniquely romantic.
“It’s the big Navy base there, sailors looking for romance,” along with the scenery, Macomber said. She added that all the rain encouraged romance readers and writers who weren’t tempted by sunshine to be outside instead.
Novelist Shelli Stevens, known as the “author your mother warned you about,” wrote in an email that “for the pop culture lover, like my husband,” romance is “maybe exploring the Funko store and then having margaritas and Mexican food at El Paraiso just around the corner. When we don’t want to spend money, we’ll often find one of the numerous nature reserves or other trails to walk,” Stevens wrote.
“How could you not fall in love, watching a Valentine’s Day sunset sparkling off the water from Howarth Park,” wrote novelist Carmen Cook in an email. “Local romance readers, like those around the rest of the world, are some of the most accomplished women (and men) out there and aren’t afraid to go after what they want, finding love and joy in everything,” Cook wrote.
After some puzzled silences and a few laughs, other locals who learned Everett’s score on Amazon’s romance-o-meter chimed in on what they thought made the city so special.
“It’s a walking city,” which “gives people more chance to talk … it’s a really cool thing about Everett, especially since we have so much public art,” said poet and artist Duane Kirby Jensen. “Especially if you’re on a new date or early in the relationship, coming across new things, you start talking about it, and it helps you grow toward them,” Jensen said.
“If you really wanna cap off (a) night, drive down to the marina — a little moonlight, be serenaded by the sea lions,” Jensen said. “Some people legal or not have brought a bottle of wine up to the top of the parking garages to have a glass.”
Even someone specializing in couples splitting up found the romantic element in Everett: “It’s the scenic environment, when the sky is clear and you can see not only the Cascades but the Olympics and be surrounded by pinnacles of beauty, that’s where love and affection can bloom,” said divorce attorney Shayla McKee.
“People are real, that’s very important, it’s not like we have a lot of airs, people are down to earth,” said Linnea Covington, co-owner of Port Gardner Bay Winery and a matchmaker. “The best hidden treasure in Everett is the Everett Arboretum near Legion Memorial Park,” Covington said.
Finally, for people looking to add a little romance, a local expert had a little advice.
“Smell is the strongest sense, most primal, if you’re looking not for magic but even just in terms of aphrodisiacs that create moods to make for a fun Valentine’s Day, rose, vanilla, lavender, those three are all big,” said Lynn Moddejonge, owner of Moddejonge’s Herbals.
There’s not only a lot to love about Everett, but a lot of love in Everett. Single or coupled, residents can take advantage of the region’s natural beauty, quirky culture and sensory indulgences to create a customized menu of romantic offerings any day of the year.
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