Best Pacific Northwest Travel Itinerary Ideas

by Tess Kirkpatrick

With its towering mountains, fragrant woodlands and crisp, ocean air, the Pacific Northwest is an ideal location for travelers. You can enjoy the bustling and vibrant cities of Portland, Seattle or Vancouver. Or, consider spending your time in small coastal hamlets and even enjoying some world-class skiing. The Pacific Northwest offers plenty of options for every kind of traveler.

Karen Brown, a popular travel writer, has explored the area thoroughly and has developed several interesting itineraries for guests to this region. One of her recommended journeys includes exploring the many islands of Washington State. Another option is to explore British Columbia, with its hot spots of Victoria and Vancouver. Exploring Seattle and the Cascade Mountain area is yet another good choice, including both city attractions and natural wonders. Travelers also might consider an itinerary that includes visiting Portland with trips to Multnomah Falls, Mount Hood or Mount St. Helens. For a quieter adventure, explore Oregon’s coastline, dotted with plenty of quaint villages and tranquil beaches. Southern Oregon offers caves to explore, lake-filled craters and plenty of scenic drives.

As for lodging, readers at Karen Brown’s World of Travel have chosen some of the region’s best hotels and inns. Here are some award winners:

For a romantic interlude, try the Channel House in Depoe Bay, Oregon. This secluded inn was named by Karen Brown readers as the Pacific Northwest’s Most Romantic place to stay. The guest rooms all afford a sea view and also include a fireplace and an outdoor whirlpool tub where guests can relax and listen to the waves as they crash upon the shore. You can take a whale-watching trip, drive to some of the area’s lighthouses or take a trip to the world’s largest sea lion cave.

Honored by Karen Brown readers for having the Pacific Northwest’s Warmest Welcome, the Tu Tu’ Tun Lodge is an extraordinary vacation spot. Relax in the lounge and enjoy the warmth of a crackling fire or gaze out along the wall of windows and take in the river view. The views are just as wonderful from the guest rooms and suites, several of which include fireplaces. Some also have private patios with outdoor soaking tubs. There is a gourmet, river-view restaurant that serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner. Guests can enjoy a swim in the lodge’s pool, explore the grounds or take a jet boat trip up the Rogue River. An hour’s drive will take you to scenic spots along Oregon’s coast.

At Otters Pond Bed and Breakfast, guests enjoy two unique settings in one. The bed and breakfast is located on Orcas Island and the ferry ride to the island is a scenic adventure in itself. Aside from the island setting, the bed and breakfast is located on a protected wetland, where you might watch as swans glide across the water or otters enjoy a swim. A trip to the outdoor hot tub is a relaxing treat, as well as a perfect place to enjoy the natural setting of this inn, which has been named by Karen Brown readers as the Pacific Northwest’s Greatest Value. The innkeepers offer five guest rooms, a few with a fireplace and some with clawfoot tubs. The innkeepers also serve a gourmet, five-course breakfast.

It would be difficult to pick a favorite guest room at the Sooke Harbour House, because they are so many wonderful and unique choices. In addition to the dcor, the island scenery is breathtaking. There’s even a full service spa. The guest rooms offer such amenities as en-suite clawfoot and whirlpool tubs, fireplaces and unique artwork and pottery. Each room has a touch of whimsy, from one room with a stained-glass shower door to another chamber that features a bed with a headboard that resembles a tree. It’s hardly surprising that this boutique hotel was rated as the Pacific Northwest’s top Splendid Splurge by Karen Brown readers.

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