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Pacific Northwest Attractions


The Admiralty Head Lighthouse located in Fort Casey State Park has been transformed into an interpretive center on the fort’s history and is open from 11 am to 5 pm, Wednesday to Sunday and on holidays. ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

American Camp (San Juan Island National Historic Park) at the most southeastern point on the island was the American military settlement during the “Pig War” of 1859–72. At the time, there was considerable disagreement about who owned the San Juan Islands: was it the U.S. or B... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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The small town of Cashmere is home to a wonderful bakery that is most definitely worth a stop for its wonderful baked products, sandwiches and coffees. Anjou Bakery (509-782-4360) is located beyond the entrance to town, on the south side of the highway. ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Leaving Erath, turn right on Worden Hill, which becomes SW 9th Street. Enjoy the gorgeous orchards and vineyards as you head back to the town of Dundee. Unless you’re ready to turn back to Portland, make a right onto Hwy 99W and continue south. In the town of Lafayette turn right on Miner... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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Leaving Rex Hill, turn right on Hwy 99W and continue south for about 5 miles to the town of Dundee. Stop to visit Argyle on your left, which makes its home in a charming, two-story farmhouse built in 1900. Argyle owns 235 acres of prime Willamette Valley vineyard land. It is internationally rec... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Ashland Vineyards is set on 120 acres of private land—60 of them planted with some ten different types of grapes. Ashland Vineyards has been in business since 1987. The tasting room here is very simple, but Phil and Kathy Kodak will take great pleasure in introducing you to their award winner... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Climb the 125-foot-high Astoria Column, patterned after Trajan’s Column in Rome. The mural art that makes up the exterior of the column is truly impressive, depicting the westward expansion of settlers into the area and Oregon’s early history. From the top of the column, you’l... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

You might take a stroll through Azalea Park in Brookings (watch for signs off 101 just west of the Chetco River Bridge) to enjoy a display of some the area’s most prized blooms. In April and May the azaleas are at their most glorious, but you can count on a beautiful display no matter wha... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

But nature is what really calls to you in this corner of the world. At the west end of 11th Street, for example, right off Beach Loop Drive, you’ll find Coquille Point. Take a walk on the paved trail there and enjoy views of beautiful Bandon Beach with its strange sea stacks and profusion... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

For a fascinating and unusual introduction to the salty history of young Seattle in this area, take Bill Speidel’s Underground Tour. It’s an adventurous, 90-minute walking tour beneath today’s street level, for that’s where the original downtown Seattle was located befor... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Boardman State Park is only 4 miles north of downtown Brookings. (Open year round from dawn to dusk; 800-551-6949.) This is an absolutely gorgeous stretch of coastline, providing multiple opportunities to pull over and draw inspiration from the beauty of your surroundings. Two stops in particul... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

From Multnomah Falls, you’ll have to join I-84 again. Take Exit 40 to the Bonneville Dam, built by the federal government for $70 million between 1933 and 1936 at the urging of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It’s an impressive piece of engineering, to be sure. The five-story Bradford Island... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The five-story Bradford Island Visitor Center (open daily from 9 am to 5 pm) features exhibits discussing the purpose and building of the dam; as well as films about the Columbia River, fish migration, and current U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ projects. If you’ve never seen a fish l... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Beer aficionados may want to find out how Portland got its title of “Microbrewery Capital of the World.” Leaving at 1:30pm on Saturday afternoons, Brewbus offers a four-hour, behind-the-scenes tour of various breweries in town (www.brewbus.com). Reservations are highly recommended.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

We recommend driving to Bridal Veil Falls, in the state park of the same name, and venturing the short ⅔-mile trail to the falls if you’ve got sturdy footwear and don’t mind the sometimes steep and often rugged terrain. Back in the 1880s, this beautiful spot was home to the Br... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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There is a small toll to cross the Columbia River at Cascade Falls over the Bridge of the Gods. The name was taken from an Indian legend whereby the great spirit agreed to protect an old natural bridge that was important to the Indians.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Now that you’re here in the Illinois River Valley, consider a jaunt along the 7-mile Holland Loop to visit two of the area’s wineries. Keep in mind that these tasting rooms are still fairly simple compared with others but don’t let that stop you from experiencing the delights ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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Return to 99W South as you leave the McMinnville area and continue for about 5 miles in the direction of Amity. Turn right at Fifth (the Bellevue Highway) then after about 2 miles the road will veer to the right at a sign reading Bellevue/Sheridan. Here’s where you have the opportunity to... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Two miles north of Bandon on 101, a gentle 3-mile road through Bullards Beach State Park (open daily year round; 541-347-2209) guides you through coastal forest, along the north bank of the Coquille Estuary, and out to the Coquille River Lighthouse, one of nine stately lighthouses to stand guar... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The popular Burke Gilman Trail, a 34-mile walking/bicycling/horse trail, passes right in front of the Willows Lodge and these two restaurants. It follows the Sammamish River to the edge of Lake Washington, then continues on around the lake to the University of Washington and out to Puget Sound.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Also of note on campus is the excellent Burke Museum of Natural History and Culture at NE 45th Street and 17th Avenue NE. The Burke contains collections totaling over 3 million specimens. These collections are divided into three main divisions: Geology, Anthropology, and Zoology. We were moved ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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Even if you know don’t know a daffodil from a dahlia you will be impressed by Butchart Gardens in Brentwood Bay, less than a half hour north of Victoria. What started out, more than a hundred years ago, as Jennie Butchart’s ambitious project to beautify a limestone quarry near her home has ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Today, visitors are drawn here by three landmarks immediately southwest of Coos Bay via the Cape Arago midway: Shore Acres State Park, Cape Arago State Park, and South Slough National Estuarine Preserve. (Look for signs to the midway between Bandon and Coos Bay on 101.) At Cape Arago State Park... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

In Fort Canby State Park follow the path to the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, the oldest (1856) operating lighthouse on the West Coast. Unfortunately, the interior of the lighthouse is not open to the public.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Cape Disappointment State Park (formerly Fort Canby State Park) resides at the southernmost tip of the peninsula. It’s primarily a camping and picnicking spot, but Lewis and Clark historians will appreciate the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center there (open daily from 10 am to 5 pm; 360-... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The Cape Perpetua Scenic Area just south of Yachats (say YAH hots) has to be one of the most beautiful sections of the Oregon coast. Characterized by 2,700 acres of Sitka spruce rainforest, it’s a Sherwood Forest right out of your dreams. Stop at the Interpretive Center right off 101 to s... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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One of Vancouver’s most popular sightseeing attractions is the Capilano Suspension Bridge. Built in 1889, the wooden bridge is 450 feet (137 m) across, towering 230 feet (70 m) above the Capilano River. In addition to the bridge, the rain-forest park includes a First Nations Cultural Center a... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

If you venture to the Asian Art Museum, take a walk over to the nearby Capitol Hill Water Tower, also in Volunteer Park. You can’t miss it; it’s a circular brick structure, towering above you to a height of about 75 feet. From the top of the tower you’ll have an amazing panora... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Moran State Park is the fourth-largest park in all of Washington State. Totaling over 5,000 acres, it offers about 30 miles of trails, five lakes, beautiful forests of old-growth Douglas fir and cedar, and the highest point in the San Juan Islands: the 2,407-foot Mount Constitution. Take a driv... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Casey Park is one of a number that line the Rogue River. The park is popular for fishing, boating(there is a boat ramp) and picnicing.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

The enthusiasm of this friendly and informal community, home to about 8,000 residents, will not escape you. Port Townsenders love to live here. They are proud of so many aspects of their community life, not the least of which is the abundance of resident and visiting artists of all disciplines ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Virtually across the street from Columbia Winery is our next stop, Chateau Ste. Michelle, which has been producing European varietal wines since 1967. It is best known for its award-winning Chardonnay, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon. Its white wines are fermented and aged right in Woodinville, ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

There are many excellent delis and bakeries in town, perfect for stocking up on picnic fare. Ask your innkeeper for recommendations. Chateaulin Fine Wines & Gourmet Foods, for example, presents a marvelous high-end assortment of pâtés, cheeses, and wines. It’s located at ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Other attractions at the center include a wonderful Children’s Museum (open from 10 am to 5 pm weekdays, to 6 pm weekends; 206-441-1768; www.thechildrensmuseum.org)... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Return to Hwy 20 and travel west through scenic farmland; then turn north following Bayview Edison Road as it shadows the coastline and intersects with Hwy 11, otherwise known as the Chuckanut Drive. Park just off the road where you see signs for Padilla Bay, a national reserve, interpretive c... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Cloudcap (a 1-mile spur road west of Rim Drive) is the highest point accessible by car. You’ll have nearly an aerial view of the lake from this vantage, as well as a 360-degree view of the superb surroundings: dense forests, the Klamath Basin with its own lake, and Mount Scott, which at 8... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

In the community of Glide, stop at Colliding Rivers to admire the spot where the North Umpqua and the Little River converge. Apparently, this is the only location in the United States where two rivers meet head-on in this fashion. ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

If you’re up for more, however, cross the Bridge of the Gods again to return to the Oregon side and take I-84 east to Exit 64. Head south on 35, and turn left on Old Columbia River Drive. Follow signs to the Columbia River Highway State Trail (Senator Mark O. Hatfield West Trailhead). Thi... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Founded in 1962, the Columbia River Maritime Museum is home to one of the nation’s finest displays of model ships and nautical relics. In a 37,000-square-foot space, the museum presents more than 7,000 artifacts, plus the lightship Columbia, a National Historic Landmark. (1792 Marine Driv... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Our next stop around the bend from Silver Lake Winery (where the Woodinville-Redmond Road veers left to become NE 145th) is Columbia Winery. Watch for it on your left. Founded in 1962 by ten friends, six of whom were professors at the University of Washington, Columbia Winery is considered Wash... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Two miles north of Bandon on 101, a gentle 3-mile road through Bullards Beach State Park (open daily year round; 541-347-2209) guides you through coastal forest, along the north bank of the Coquille Estuary, and out to the Coquille River Lighthouse, one of nine stately lighthouses to stand guar... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

This is a city that goes to great lengths to ensure that nature plays an active part in daily life. Over 200 parks grace the city and an ordinance prohibiting the construction of buildings higher than 40 stories guarantees that the Cascade and Coastal mountain ranges are never obscured by &ldqu... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Take a self-guided tour (but mind you, there are nearly 100 stairs involved!) of Craigdarroch Castle Historic House Mansion. This impressive mansion was built between 1887 and 1890 for Scottish immigrants Robert and Joan Dunsmuir, who made their fortune from local coal. Now a national historic ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Certainly you might consider booking a room at the Crater Lake Lodge in Rim Village. While the lodge is not among our recommendations for best places to stay, it is convenient. Reservations are best made well in advance by calling 541-830-8700 Monday to Friday from 8 am to 4 pm. The lodge is op... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Crater Lake

Whether you want only a glimpse or a full day at Crater Lake National Park, you’ll enter from the southern entrance off 62 (follow the signs from Union Creek). At 1,932 feet, Crater Lake is the deepest lake in the U.S., which accounts for the intensity of its vibrant blue color. Only six ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Don’t return from Coupeville to Hwy 20 just yet. Instead, take Madrona Way (west of Broadway) from town. It’s a scenic 4-mile frontage road that guides you along Penn Cove and connects to Hwy 20 a bit farther north. Once back on 20, drive straight through Oak Harbor, home to the Whi... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

Diamond Lake, nestled between Mount Bailey and Mount Thielsen, and on into the thick of the gorgeous Umpqua National Forest. The small community and lake offer an abundance of recreational activities.... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

A great way to explore Orcas Island is to rent a bike at Dolphin Bay Bicycles. The bike shop is conveniently located adjacent to the ferry landing. They’ve got a full-service bicycle shop and can give you tips for touring. (360-376-4157.)... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

When you’re ready to move on, drive back up Anthes and turn right on Third, heading west. Third becomes Brooks Hill Road, and from here it’s a short and lovely drive out to Double Bluff Beach, not one of the prettiest, but certainly one of the better, beaches for collecting shells, ... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

In addition to featuring the wines of Ponzi Vineyards, the bar presents wines from local producers that don’t have tasting rooms and from those in remote areas of the state. You can buy wines by the glass, bottle, or case. Microbrews on draft, Italian coffee, and a selection of cheeses an... more

  • Karen Brown Recommended

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