Why Travel to the Pacific Northwest?
This is the home
of Seattle and Portland, two lively cities set in
beautiful locations surrounded by a wilderness of water, mountains, forests and the beasts that inhabit them.
Rain is a running joke, running down your back most of the time.
for least rain, except for winter sports October-February; head
east of the mountains for flowers in April-May.
Worst: January-May, October-December for rain/drizzle/sleet/drizzle/downpours/drizzle/damp/drizzle.
101 runs through California and then continues its twisted way north
through Oregon and Washington State to the Canadian border. It remains
scenic and interesting all the way, so this could be part of an
epic West Coast self-drive adventure.
nirvana for high technology and caffeine addicts set in beautiful surroundings. More Seattle
The Olympic Peninsula, north west from
Seattle this popular recreational area consists of mountains, forests and occasional sightings of Zeus.
The Olympic National Park covers most of the area, offering great
hiking, mountain biking and lake activities among the natural splendour.
Popular regions are Hurricane Ridge, Mt Anderson, Hoh River and Queens
Other than the wilderness of the park, Port Townsend - a coastal
harbour - offers 19thC architecture.
Islands: north-northwest of Puget Sound and Seattle is Canada's Vancouver Island and in between are several noteworthy islands
good for hiking, sea kayaking, marine wildlife and some traditional
Whidbey and Fidalgo Islands are separated by a narrow bridged shoreline,
hike in or paddle in Deception Pass State Park and visit history
Orcas is the largest island and has good hiking around Mt.Constitution
and the lakes of Moran State Park.
Lime Kiln Point State Park is a whale watching mecca.
Cascades Mountain Range: running south from British Columbia to Columbia Gorge on the border with Oregon the northern section offers excellent mountaineering/climbing,
while the Cascades National Park is perfect for hiking,
Lake Chelan for camping and Methow Valley for cross-country
Below Seattle the range is more volcanic and has parks and recreational
areas such as Mt Rainier National Park, and infamous Mt St Helens
National Volcanic Monument.
Well known for its forward thinking politics and laid back lifestyle,
Oregon has a great city in Portland, arguably the most beautiful
coastline on the west coast and not-totally-unexpected wilderness areas of both
mountainous and arid terrain.
Seaside Resorts: from the mouth of the Columbia river on the Washington border in
the north, to the California border in the south are some excellent
Check out the Maritime Museum, Fort Clatsop and historic 19thC buildings
in Astoria, humour yourself with the seaside at Seaside, and build
sand castles at beautiful Cannon Beach - where they are taken very
Coastal Wilderness: watch marine life
at Newport and cave dwelling sea lions near Yachats, with more wildlife
to be seen at Cape Arago near Coos Bay, birds and migrating whales
Miles and miles of sand dunes can be hiked, biked or buggied at
the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, or kick off from Gold
Beach up Rogue River and visit one of the many state parks around
Brookings, especially Samuel H Boardman State Park for the spectacular
Wallowa Mountains: these Alps-like
glaciated mountains lie between the valley of the Grande Ronde River
and the Snake River on the border with Idaho.
Hells Canyon National Recreation Area is the main draw on the eastern
edge of the range, with the deepest canyon in the country dropping
into Snake River at around 8,000 ft below.
Portland, a relaxed city in a beautiful
setting with some old volcanic peaks, good architecture and surrounded
Some attractions include the Tom McCall Waterfront Park for summer
entertainments; the Portland building - the world's first post modern
building; and the Classical Chinese Garden and the equivalent Japanese
Shoppers may be interested to know that the Lloyd Center was the
USA's first shopping mall.
Hikers can avoid this mother of all malls by heading off to Forest
Cascades Mountain Range: Oregon also benefits
from this hiker-friendly mountain range which rises to the highest
peak in the state, Mt Hood.
Hiking: Olympic Peninsula, Coastal
Islands and Cascades range, Washington State; Coast Range, Cascades
Range, Wallowa Mountains Oregon.
Mountainbiking: San Juan Islands, Washington
State; Coast Range, Oregon.
Whitewater Rafting and Canoeing: Yakima,
Wenatchee, and Skagit rivers, Washington State; Rogue and Deschutes
Off-roading: beach buggies and dirt
bikes on the extensive sand dunes of Oregon Dunes Recreation Area,
Whale Watching: migrating whales along
the extensive coastline and islands.
Skiing: Crystal Mountain, and Methow
Valley Washington; Mt Bachelor and Mt Hood, Oregon.
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