Spring is just getting started. But already, Seattle has experienced summer-like weather with temperatures higher than 80 degrees, and plenty of sunshine. In the Pacific Northwest, you learn to take advantage of such glorious days! There's a lot to do outside, in and around Seattle and Portland.
As much as I love food, music, fashion and art, a messy trek through the woods or a hike on a trail is right up my alley. And while the Pacific Northwest is full of culture and good grub, my favorite thing about living here is the plethora of recreation options mere minutes from my front door. I can literally run a few minutes down the road, and get lost in the dozens of trails buried in the woods. And I'm not the only one! Whether it's Seattle or Portland, in almost any neighborhood, the great outdoors surround you.
There are plenty of places I've yet to explore, but here's a shortlist of some of my favorite spots in Washington and Oregon.
Ocean Beaches (Washington & Oregon)
I've traveled up and down highway 101 several times, and the beaches of Washington and Oregon have a distinct beauty. Cliffs plummet into the ocean surf, covered in windswept trees. Massive rocks guard the shorelines. Sure, the water may be cold and you won't find as many folks lining the sandy beaches. But visiting these beaches (just a couple hours from Seattle or Portland) is relaxing and refreshing; a real escape worth taking.
Deception Pass (Washington)
Between Whidbey Island and Fidalgo Island, just south of Anacortes, is Deception Pass, a strait with a pair of bridges on the National Register of Historic Places. You can visit for free, exploring the bridges high above the dramatic whirlpools below. Breathtaking views are everywhere you look. Deception Pass State Park surrounds the area: camp out and enjoy the wildlife, sunsets, and amazing shoreline. You won’t regret it!
Multnomah Falls (Oregon)
Taking a road trip down I-84? This beautiful waterfall is literally right off the road. Parking is a cinch, and you don't have to hike anywhere to get a great photo; stunning shot can be snapped from the bottom. The hike to the top is a bit of a trek, but well worth it! Want to stay overnight? Check out Multnomah Falls Lodge.
Lake Quinault (Washington)
The Olympic Peninsula is lush and raw and wild, and at the southern edge of Olympic National Park lies Lake Quinault. Stay the night in the rustic Lake Quinault Lodge, built in 1926. It’s got all the charm and warmth you’d expect from such a place. Don’t miss the world’s largest Spruce tree, a Sitka Spruce with a circumference of 58 feet!
I still haven’t visited the San Juan Islands or gone whale watching. And though I’ve seen Mt Rainier and Mt St Helens quite a few times, there’s always something new to explore! Get out there and take it in. The countless trails, scenic views and natural wonders are just a few of the reasons we love calling the Pacific Northwest home.