7 Wonderful West Coast Weekend Getaways [graphic]
The cool, rainy climate might make you hesitant about visiting the Pacific Northwest region of the U.S., but don’t let it! This area is full of lush forests, towering mountains and beautiful coastal cities. It’s also home to many vineyards, microbreweries, tasty seafood restaurants, great coffee and a fantastic music and art scene.
Here are some of our favorite Pacific Northwest cities and why we think each is a fun travel destination for a weekend getaway.
Visit Lighthouse Park to hear about the town’s history, eat some of Ivar’s Fish and get free admission to the lighthouse. For American history, go to the Historic Flight Foundation where you get to see a collection of aircraft dating back to 1927. After your history lesson, head over to Diamond Knot Brewery and Alehouse for a delicious dinner and one of their cold seasonal brews.
Whether rain or shine, you want to check out Manito Park for its 90 acres of gorgeous colorful flowerbeds. Spend your morning at the park, and then venture over to the Northwest Museum of Arts & Culture — the largest cultural organization in the inland Northwest with five underground galleries — or the Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox to hear the vibrant sounds of the Spokane Symphony.
Walla Walla is famous for its sweet onions, but it also has earned the nickname “The Next Napa Valley” for its flavorsome wines and wine tasting tours. Other stops to make include the Whitman Mission National Historic Site and the Fort Walla Walla Museum. The first teaches you about the 1847 Whitman “Massacre”, while the latter is a Civil War Exhibit featuring hundreds of rare items and displays about pioneers, agriculture, the military and the textile industry.
Portland is all about pleasing your taste buds. Here are the stops we recommend taking, but in no specific order. Get your drink on (really your taste test on) during a tour at any one of Portland’s 31 operating breweries. If you have a sweet tooth, Voodoo Doughnut is your place. Everything on the menu is good, but they’re known for their Voodoo Doughnut, which is shaped like a voodoo doll and oozes blood-red jelly. For a quiet scene and some hot tea, go to Lan Su Chinese Garden.
Bend is a great destination for outdoor adventures. Rent a kayak or canoe to get take on Sparks Lake or Hosmer Lake. At the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, which preserves accessible volcanic features, go on a hike and see views of the Cascades and the high desert. Another place to visit is the High Desert Museum, where you discover aspects of the high desert from historical performers and exhibits featuring live animals.
Grab your camera to capture images of your time at Humboldt Bay and your wildlife sightings. Besides seeing the ornate Victorian homes in Old Town, find out about the seasonal events and festivals happening when you’re in town. If picnicking, biking, hiking and swimming are how you want to spend your weekend getaway, then head to Avenue of the Giants.
Napa is wine country. Sample some of their famous wines on the Napa Wine Train, which is the U.S.’s only active and historic train, or at The Hess Collection Winery & Art Museum where they have daily wine tastings and tours, as well as a contemporary art museum. After your wine tastings, check out Uptown Theater for West End entertainment.
Don’t let the rainy climate keep you away from traveling to this breathtaking part of the country. Travel to any one of these Pacific Northwest cities for the perfect weekend getaway.