All you need to know about travelling to the Pacific Northwest
Epic national parks
The USA has a staggering 423 national park sites, and our national parks holidays mean you will get to see some of the best. In the Pacific Northwest, there are some 20 incredible parks to visit including Crater Lake National Park and Redwood National Park, home to the tallest trees in the world. Prepared to be spellbound by the natural beauty of Crater Lake. It was formed over 7,000 years ago by the eruption of Mount Mazama, a 12,000ft volcanic peak that was inactive for thousands of years. The eruption caused the summit to collapse forming the caldera which we can see to today. Over time, rainwater and melting snow has formed the lake – and the water here is some of the purest in the world. Flanked by woodland reflected against the bright blue water, it is truly extraordinary. At Denali in Alaska, you’ll be met by sweeping tundra, seemingly impenetrable forests and snow-capped mountains. We might even spot wildlife including grizzly bears and caribou. An epic and raw wilderness, Denali will be astound.
From an abundance of art, culture and entertainment, the cosmopolitan cities of the Pacific Northwest are exceptional. You’ll discover museums and art galleries, jazz bars and theatre, as well as amazing cuisine (more of this below) in Vancouver, Seattle and Portland. Surrounded by mountains and water, the views across the Emerald City are magnificent from several different vantage points throughout the city’s neighbourhoods. And perhaps one of the best is up hight at the Space Needle. We’ll head up to the observation deck where we can see 360° views across the lakes, Mt Rainier and beyond. Portland is a culinary hub with a host of famous and up -and-coming chefs, as well as access to fine, fresh ingredients from the surrounding sea. You’ll discover leafy parks, the pretty Willamette River, as well as Mt Hood’s awesome presence. We’ll take a full day to explore and see sights including the Pioneer Courthouse Square and Japanese Gardens. Vancouver’s multi-diversity is at its core with an enviable natural setting plucked straight out of a picture book. With a blend of sea and mountain, it also has forests, marshland and coastlines to discover, as well as the largest urban park in North America – Stanley. Buzzing and eclectic, you won’t be disappointed.
You won’t have a problem find outstanding restaurants in Seattle, Portland and Vancouver. From fine dining to street food, the choice is endless – and no thanks to the wonderful conditions that the region has to grow local produce. Vancouver is considered the ‘Sushi capital of North America’ and you’ll also find some of the best Chinese food here, outside of China. In Seattle, you’ll discover fresh and excellent produce due to the fertile valleys and great weather – seafood is a must, as well as Rainer cherries that are served with chocolate or in cakes and pies. Portland is fast becoming a gastronomic destination in its own right – and the foodie scene celebrates food from all over the globe. Dishes that you must try in the Pacific Northwest include Seattle hotdogs, salmon candy, walla walla onions, cherries and seafood chowder.
The Pacific Northwest has an abundance of incredible natural wonders. From the volcanic presence of Mt Hood and its surrounding snowy terrain and deep gorges, to the Seattle’s iconic Mt Rainier and its sparkling lakes and roaring waterfalls, it will be difficult to tear your gaze from such captivating views. For coastal panoramas across the Pacific, we’ll stop at Yaquina Head, a grassy headland that has spectacular viewing points across the sea, Yaquina Bay Bridge and 19th century lighthouse. You may even spot whales and seals.
At the Columbia River Gorge, we’ll marvel at the tallest waterfall in Oregon- Multnomah Falls. Sourced by underground springs, the cascades of water plummets 620ft and is an awesome sight. Meanwhile, in Sonoma County, California, we’ll sip fine wines and take in the swathes of verdant vineyards that dot the undulating terrain. But not before winding our way through the old Highway 101 where we drive through forests filled with towering and magnificent redwood trees that extend up towards the sky.
If you’d like to find out more about our holidays to America and the Pacific Northwest, speak to one of our expert advisors or get your copy of our Worldwide brochure.
Article published on: 2nd September, 2021
Ting has a serious case of wanderlust. Having travelled to over 40 countries, it’s her mission in life to make her way through her ever-growing list. Her two young sons have also caught the travel bug, and recent trips have seen them making snow angels in Iceland while watching the Northern Lights, as well as walking alongside elephants in South Africa.