Spring is undoubtedly upon us and for that we are grateful! With the warmth creeping in and the sun shining brightly, lots of folks find themselves pondering what adventures they’ll be taking in 2016 or where the next family vacation memories are going to be made. While it wasn’t easy, we managed to narrow down our list of destinations to 13 fantastic spots:
1. Seattle, WA – Bend, OR – Portland, OR
There was no way we were going to be able to fit all of these cities on a Top 10 list, SO we broke number one up a bit, for travels sake! Seattle is known for the Space Needle and other attractions that are worth the visit such as the Experience Music Project, but both Seattle and Portland encompass a large variety of scenery that is always thriving. From art and music to breweries and local flavor, they have it all. Bend, OR provides outdoor enthusiasts with much of the same except adds a whole other level of enjoyment to the mix for outdoor enthusiasts! Whether it’s biking, climbing, or fishing, gorgeous Bend is sure to have what you’re looking to dig your hands – or feet, into.
2. Langley, Whidbey Island
High atop Whidbey Island you’ll find Langley. Be amazed by the beautiful waters of Saratoga Passage and the awe inspiring view of the Cascade Mountains. The neighborhoods and city streets are filled with antique shops, café and eateries with scrumptious treats boasting local ingredients, historic buildings, and more. Make sure to save time and enjoy a surreal experience whale watching!
3. Snoqualmie Falls
While there are many beautiful waterfalls worldwide, it is undoubtedly true that the PNW is home to many of them. Snoqualmie Falls without a doubt is one of the top contenders. If you are in the area of Seattle, take a trip 45 minutes east and experience the beauty for yourself. Encompassed by an enchantingly gorgeous park like setting including a café, plenty of room for observation, and a gift shop, there’s plenty to soak up! The Falls here are a whopping 286 feet long with a 65-foot-deep pool of water below. Take your family or your honey, and experience the beauty for yourself. Don’t forget to take lots of pictures to share with family and friends!
4. Mount Rainier National Park
At a whopping 14, 411 feet at the peak, Mount Rainier in all its majesty is easily viewed from many places, however by entering Mount Rainier National Park, you will get to experience the full enchilada! Soak up all the beauty and glory for yourself and make some wonderful memories. There are beautiful waterfalls, a variety of landscapes and wild flowers, gigantic glaciers and more. You’ve probably seen Mount Rainier photographed and stuck on a post card with a fabulous view of the Mountain reflected on water – this is something you should definitely experience! Head over to Lake Tipsoo and feast your eyes on the gorgeous reflection on the beautiful waters for yourself.
5. San Juan Islands
This is another destination that you can’t afford to not squeeze in, especially if you’re already in the Seattle area. The adventure is majestic, view gorgeous islands as you make your way on the ferry. As the second largest Island, Sa Juan Island is the most beautiful without a doubt. Ensure you visit Friday Harbor and its numerous art galleries, shops, museums, and restaurants featuring local fresh seafood. YUM! The Pacific Northwest holds many opportunities for whale watching and the San Juan Islands are no different. Make sure to visit Lime Kiln Point State Park to catch a glimpse of the beautiful orca whales passing by within the summer season.
All the movie buffs out there were probably wondering on #2, “Where’s Astoria?!” Well, here it is! Wait no further. For those of you in the clouds on this one, surely you remember the film, “The Goonies”? No? Okay wait, how about “Hey you guuuuuys!”? There we are. Astoria is one of the major historic cities located in Oregon. The 1985 flick, “The Goonies” helped put it on the map. The home used as Mikey’s within the movie is still present and the current residents offer a sign at the end of the driveway directing tourists. While this is definitely a main attraction, views are plentiful at the Astoria Column which boasts breath taking shots of the Columbia River, Pacific Ocean, and snow-covered volcanoes on the Cascade Mountain Range. There are also plenty of water sports & activities to do for all those ‘fish out of water’.
7. Multnomah Falls
If you’re a nature or water fall enthusiast, or you simply love to feast your eyes on the beauty nature has to offer, you’ll want to visit Multnomah Falls. The Columbia River Gorge is home to many waterfalls; however, it is necessary that Multnomah Falls is mentioned apart from the rest. This is an absolute have-to-travel-to destination! If you’re within the Portland, OR area for an already planned vacation, make time to hit this spot in the process. A mere 30 minutes east of Portland, this majestic waterfall is a whopping 600 feet and takes the cake amongst ALL 77 (that’s right, there are 77 total) waterfalls within the area. Don’t be afraid to extend yourself beyond the glorious view that is a minimal 5 minutes from the parking lot, as the splendor of seeing Multnomah Falls up closer is worth the 1-mile trail taking you to the top!
8. Crater Lake
For all of you water lovers out there, this is a destination for you. Crater Lake, located in Oregon, is indeed the deepest lake in the United States at a whopping 2,000-feet deep! The beautiful, serene, and tranquil waters offer a glorious view as they reflect the surrounding mountains peaks. This is the views that post cards are made of! Crater Lake was the result of the collapse of Mount Mazama 7,500 years ago and is located within Oregon’s National Park. Enjoy hiking, swimming, fishing, tours and camping. The majority of visitors take a tour and boat the 33-mile loop Rim Drive, available from June to October. You won’t miss a thing with the offered 30+ viewpoints that surround the lake.
9. Ecola State Park & Cannon Beach
People love visiting the Coast whether you’re on the East or West. If you’re lucky enough to make it to the West Coast, you’ll want to make it a point to visit Oregon’s gorgeous coastline. Ecola State Park in Cannon Beach is home to rainforest, breath taking views of the Ocean and Tillamook Rock Lighthouse. Catch a glimpse of the peaceful meadows where you’ll often see Elk grazing too. Within Cannon Beach itself, there are numerous shops, restaurants and of course, beach. Cannon Beach is the center of attention with Haystack Rock – one of the most photographed objects in the state!
Now here is a true MUST SEE. Deception Pass might give you the willies when you hear the name, but don’t fret as there is nothing to deceive you. Undoubtedly, this is amongst Washington’s most gorgeous and most visited places. The views and scenery offered are unmatched, even amongst some of the most visited places on Earth. Travel amongst the salt water shoreline, embrace the gorgeous emerald like green waters and ensure to visit the historic bridge to catch a glimpse of some more breath taking views. Rosario Beach is home to coves that house tide pools for your exploration as well as the opportunity to see orcas and dolphins traveling through.