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Seattle is a great city — a world-class travel destination! Situated in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, it has much appeal as a several day (or even week-long) stop especially when part of a circuit through other great sites in the region, such as Vancouver and Victoria B.C, or the Olympic and Long Beach peninsulas, or Mount Rainier and Mt. St. Helen’s. By far the largest city in America’s Northwest, with over four million residents, it’s a bustling growing metropolis with a memorable skyline set on the shores of lovely Puget Sound. Lush and green, fenced in by the Cascade Mountains to the east, with westward views of the Sound and …
For most travelers, the southwestern corner of Washington state is easy to bypass. It lies well over an hour’s drive from the busy I-5 Interstate Freeway. The broad mouth of the Columbia River limits access from the Oregon coast and the geography of the peninsula limits access from northern Washington. The peninsula is several hours drive from airports in the nearest major cities, about 2 hours (110 mi) from Portland and 3 hours(180 mi) from Seattle. So you really have to plan to visit here and can’t just drop by. My wife and I were definitely motivated to go as the Long Beach Peninsula was the last major region of Washington State we had not visited.
The Journey to Long Beach …
Tacoma is a city I’ve driven through numerous times but never thought much about. I was aware it was a port city situated on Puget Sound, and that it had a huge dome (Tacoma Dome) just off the I-5 freeway. I knew Tacoma is Washington state’s third largest city (Seattle and Spokane are more populous) and a gateway to Mt. Rainer National Park. But this time we weren’t going to Mt. Rainer, rather to Tacoma’s Museum of Glass, which Sylvia and I’d heard good things about. We had few preconceived expectations for our visit and as it turned out we were to be pleasantly surprised.
The Museum of Glass is an interesting hybrid …
What’s more fun than going whitewater rafting 15 minutes from your front door on a beautiful summer day? Not much — at least for me. I’m lucky enough to live in Spokane, the heart of beautiful Inland Northwest, one of the great places in these United States. Spokane is centered on it’s river and while long stretches of the river are urbanized, there are still miles of wilderness especially in the downriver portion beyond Riverfront Park. The Spokane River drains lovely Lake Couer d’Alene in the Idaho Panhandle into the Columbia River (the flooded Lake Roosevelt part upriver from the …
What’s a Walla Walla? It’s a Indian name meaning “many waters”. It’s also the name of a charming town in southeastern Washington; nestled close to the Columbia and Snake River valleys, and with a river of its own, the name is appropriate. This town of just over 30,000 offers visitors an interesting destination for a few day visit as it was witness to key events in the history of the American Northwest and is an important agricultural region, with wine production rising geometrically over the past decades.
A brief history of Walla Walla
Walla Walla and Cayuse Indians lived in the Walla Walla Valley when the Lewis and Clark Expedition arrived on their return journey from the …
In a most improbable feat of natural engineering, a beautiful nearly 200′ waterfall was plopped in the middle of nowhere. At least many would call the rolling grasslands and eroded lava formations of the Palouse “nowhere”, though not your humble narrator because I find this is a great region to explore in the springtime. It’s climate is milder than eastern Washington’s so the snow melts earlier and grass and wildflowers have a head start. And summer’s heat is a distant memory so spring is definitely the best time to visit — when the weather is cool and the water on the Palouse River fills its channel and pours over …
The North Cascades Highway (Washington SR-20) offers the northern most route across the Cascade range in Washington state, just south of the Canadian border. The eastern (and highest) part of the road is closed during winter because of heavy snowfall and the danger posed by avalanches from the thick snow-pack. Like most mountain pass roads, the date of its reopening varies from year to year, depending mostly on the weather and quantity of the snow, though usually it is open by early May.
The road follows a many thousand year old Indian trade route allowing passage from the central part of the state to the coast. About 150 years ago white settlers began using this route for access to the inland fur trade and for …
Like the black monolith sitting on the Serengeti plain in the film 2001:A Space Odyssey, the large basalt mass of Steamboat Rock is a distinct landmark in Central Washington state. Steamboat Rock State Park is a dozen miles southwest of the Columbia River’s massive Grand Coulee Dam. The Park is on a peninsula adjoining Banks Lake and is accessed by route 155. Steamboat Rock itself is a high wind-blown mesa above the lake, but the surrounding park is a popular recreational venue with campgrounds, a nice swimming beach, hiking trails, and boat launch providing access to the recreational fisheries of Banks Lake.
I have discussed …