From the Northeast we head to the Northwest, which offers stunning sights of the northern Rockies, the Pacific Coast and unique frontiers that still remain in America. With such a great culture and climate, it’s no surprise this is one of the most traveled-to regions of the country. Check out these top five picks for vacationers who want to head west!
In this five-part series, we’re exploring the best destinations to travel to right here at home. With our coverage of the five main regions of the continental U.S. – Northeast, Northwest, Southwest, Southeast and right here in the Midwest – we’ll take a look at some of the top romantic getaways, family destinations, historic and sightseeing tours and unique locales that make the states so great!
Top City to See: Seattle
One of the top travel destinations in the U.S., Seattle has something to offer everyone, and a vibe that’s quite unlike anywhere else in the region. Dotted with incredible restaurants and coffee shops, Seattle is a city full of delicious food, art, culture and exploration. Find yourself spinning with awe atop the Space Needle, one of the city’s most recognizable features. Walking around Seattle you’ll enjoy street performances, museums and galleries filled with interesting and unique offerings, not to mention the great music scene – it is considered the home of grunge rock, after all. Make sure you check out the”Giant Troll” that lives under the Aurora Bridge while you’re in town, located in the downtown area of the Fremont neighborhood.
Best Place for Families: Astoria
One of the best ways to experience America with your children is by exploring the places where our country got its reputation as a nation of explorers and innovators. In Astoria, Oregon, you’ll be able to show your children both the wonders of the natural world and teach them about the history of our nation by walking in the footsteps of early settlers to the West Coast. Take the kids to the Fort Clatsop Visitors Center, one of the many paths that lead to the trail used by Lewis and Clark when they set their sights westward back in the day of the American pioneers. Enjoy a relaxing ride aboard the Astoria Riverfront Trolley, or visit the Garden of Surging Waves for a unique family outing. If you’re extra adventurous, Oregon is rich with natural wonders, which can be experienced around the clock if you decide to camp out. Keep an eye out for interesting rocks, too, as the geology of the area allows for a variety of beautiful and unique agates and quartzes to be found readily. Take a trip to Astoria with the family for a memorable and educational break from the everyday.
Spend a Romantic Evening in: Juneau
It’s no surprise that Juneau, Alaska takes the cake as most romantic getaway in the Northwestern U.S. At the peak of the northwestern states, Juneau is simply jammed with amorous offerings and easily could be described as Mother Nature’s ideal outdoor wedding location. Take a ride on the Mount Roberts Tramway for a break from reality as you take in the breath-stealing scenery of the mountains at almost 2,000 feet above the ground. Glacier Gardens Rainforest Adventures makes for a perfect lovers’ day out and offers 50 stunning acres of lush natural beauty, with waterfalls and even a small bed and breakfast. You could take your love onto the ice at Mendenhall Glacier or keep cozy as you soar over the Juneau Icefield in a helicopter. Cap off your trip whale-watching, and you may even get to see humpback whales in their natural habitat. There are plenty of great inns and cottages to stay in, making this capital city a fantastic destination for romance.
Sports teams are a bit sparser in the Northwest states, but the city of Portland offers a great blending of major and minor teams representing all walks of athletics. Two professional teams currently call Portland home – the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA and Major League Soccer’s Portland Timbers – but the city formerly hosted a professional baseball team, the Portland Beavers. While no baseball is still played within the city today, hockey and football are both still popular, with the Portland Winterhawks of the Western Hockey League and the Arena Football League’s Portland Thunder both holding residence in the city. Combine all these options with the unmistakably unique and charming character of this “weird” city as often spoofed in pop culture shows like IFC’s “Portlandia,” and you’re sure to have no shortage of great opportunities for fun during your stay in Portland.
Can’t Miss Slice of Americana: Cody
You may never have heard of Cody, Wyoming, but you’re sure to know the names of its most famed historical resident. Known as the hometown of Buffalo Bill, the town is dotted with memorials and statues of his likeness, as well as a historical dam and other namesake locations. You’ll feel like you’re in the Wild West as you tour the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, located in the world-famous Yellowstone National Park, another fantastic destination to visit during your stay in Cody. For added fun, this town hosts regular rodeos and cowboy-themed shows, and even wild mustang tours taking visitors to see some of the last remaining wild horses in the United States.
At Blue Horizon, we have connections all around the country to help you plan your perfect domestic getaway. We can help you find great deals and excellent accommodations at an even better price. Contact one of our travel experts today and get started on planning your next vacation!