The Top 5 Destinations In The Pacific Northwest
Our world is full of stunningly beautiful locales and destinations, one of which is the western coast of North America, known as the Pacific Northwest. Although the boundaries of this stunning area are hotly contested, it is generally believed to include Oregon, Washington and British Columbia, Canada.
This stretch of land that includes rugged coastlines, the storied giants of the Douglas Firs and incredible mountain ranges, the Pacific Northwest has a bit of something for every traveler. “Cascadia” has long been known as the home of some of the most exciting modern cities in the world, including Vancouver, Portland and Seattle.
The area has been strongly influenced by its local indigenous cultures. The First Nations people carry a proud heritage that is collectively protected by all that live in the area. Whether you want to set sail from the Emerald Landing Marina to discover the San Juan islands, climb to the summits of Mt. Rainier or hike the glorious valleys of the John Day Fossil Beds, there are sights here to be discovered and remembered for a lifetime.
Mount Rainier, Washington
One of the most recognizable mountains in the country, Mt. Rainier is the Cascades’ highest point. An active volcano, this glorious colonial peak has a summit that reaches an incredible 14,411ft. Overlooking the serene waters of Puget Sound this state monument is surrounded by luxurious meadows and over 25 glaciers.
Take the opportunity to see some of the oldest glacier plains on the planet before they are gone. Outdoors enthusiasts can enjoy dozens of hiking trails and camping.
Crater Lake, Oregon
Located in Oregon’s only national park, Crater Lake is majestically located, nestled among surrounding mountains that will take your breath away. It has long been a popular destination for professional and recreational photographers. At 1,943ft, Crater Lake is the deepest natural lake in the country.
There are dozens of ways to enjoy the area surrounding Crater Lake. There are numerous hiking trails that accommodate all skill levels. Although the area is known for its mountains, the more common type of skiing in the area is cross country. Specialty trails are open year-round to enjoy the powder and spectacular views. Many visitors enjoy taking in the surrounding sights via the 33 mile long Rim Drive that takes travellers around the full circumference of the lake.
John Day Fossil Beds, Oregon
The Pacific Northwest looked very different a millennium ago and as such was home to remarkable ancient creatures. The area is known to be rich in fossil deposits, especially in the valleys where the John Day Fossil Beds are located. Discovered largely in the 1860s, this area made up of soft rock and soil is a must see destination for any fossil enthusiast.
Many of the fossils in the area date to over 50 million years. Sabre tooth tigers and mastodon fossils can be viewed on directed tours or at the area museum and interactive center. The whole family will be in awe of this wondrous display of dinosaur history.
Whistler, British Columbia
This picturesque northern town is nestled between the Whistler and Blackcomb mountains. Whistler is the largest skiing resort community in the world, rivalling famous downhill destinations like Aspen and Vail. The area covers over 8,000 square acres of stunningly pristine mountain valleys and hills.
This is a must-see destination for anyone that is a winter sports enthusiast. Whistler is home to Olympic Park that was the site of the Vancouver Winter Olympic games. Ski, luge or snowboard to your heart’s content on some of the most thrilling hills in the world.
Once the fun on the hill is over for the day you can enjoy the charm of Whistler Village. Packed full of entertainment, 5-star restaurants and hotels and steeped in northern culture, Whistler will charm all who visit.
San Juan Islands, Washington
This stunning archipelago that stretches along the Washington state coast is a pleasure to be seen and experienced. Composed of 172 pristine islands, this coastal gem is home to some of the most exciting whale watching experiences in the world. Tiny towns dot the islands filled with restaurants, inns, galleries and Indigenous culture.
Get on board a chartered sailboat and cruise through the waterways or scale down your tour and glide through the crystal waters on a kayak to take in the sites. Stop at one of the dozens of wineries in the area and enjoy some of the local vintages.
Victoria, British Columbia
This provincial capital city is a charming example of Old World architecture and First Nations culture. Located on the magical island of Vancouver, this lush city is filled with people who prefer the outdoor lifestyle. The city has been designed to accommodate anyone who prefers hiking and boating as recreation. The city center is filled with parks and trails for walking or biking.
Enjoy the warm climate while you visit some of the local attractions including the Butchart Gardens or Craigdarroch Castle. For anyone that enjoys the majestic beauty of the mountains and rugged coastline, Victoria is the perfect island getaway.
Travel is the most rewarding gift that anyone can give themselves. Discovering the beauty of this world, investigating cultures unlike your own and getting out and living life on a large scale cannot be found in any other endeavor. The Pacific Northwest is unlike any other area on the globe. Plan your trip today!