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List of Itineraries For Pacific Northwest

As Published In The Karen Brown Guide.

Total Number of Itineraries in this list: 7

Edge of the World
A trip along the Oregon coast is like a trip along the very edge of the world, where one small piece of North America comes finally to an end and drops dramatically into the Pacific Ocean. Mist and mild temperatures, awe-inspiring scenery, and a wide range of recreational activities make this one of the state’s most popular regions for Oregonians and visitors alike. Here one comes to revel in quiet; in raw and rugged landscapes and unspoiled sandy beaches; in revitalizing ocean breezes; and for the liberating sensation of sheer space and remoteness. Town populations are small. The way of life is relaxed and unhurried. When deciding how you want to approach your visit, keep in mind that it is not at all necessary to make the entire 362-mile trip from the California to the Washington border (or vice versa, of course) to appreciate the beauty and wonder of the coastline. One- and two-day trips from many of the destinations we cover in other Oregon itineraries are not only realistic, but a great way to mix things up a bit and enjoy a variety of the landscapes that make the state so unique. The approach we’ll take here is to segment the coast into three separate sections: South Coast, Central Coast, and North Coast. We’ll highlight our favorite spots along the way and interject an alternative route or two to inland places of interest in case you do decide to mix and match itineraries to vary your experience. Use our interactive maps to locate some wonderful small hotels and quaint bed and breakfast inns that are sure to enhance your vacation along the Oregon coast.
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Emerald City & North Cascades
Think Seattle and think blue. Endless wide-open spaces of water appear at every turn: Lake Washington, Lake Union, Elliott Bay, Puget Sound. You’re never far from water’s soothing influence. Think Seattle and think green (hence its affectionate moniker, “The Emerald City”), where trees, parks, and woodlands abound even as the urban scene grows to ever-increasing levels of 21st-century sophistication. Characteristic of the Northwest generally, Seattle’s culture is friendly and casual, its pace relatively slow, its style never one to take itself too seriously. Like Portland, it is a city passionate about nature, devoted to ensuring that its gorgeous surroundings remain an integral part of city life rather than something to overcome. Hence you will always have Mount Rainer, Mount Baker, the Olympics, and the majestic Cascades within view. Initially little more than a logging town, Seattle has evolved over a period of 150 years to become one of America’s key urban destinations. It’s the perfect spot from which to explore much of western and central Washington’s immense beauty: its rich cultural life, its mountain ranges, its wineries, its ancient lava flows, its islands, and its close neighbor, British Columbia. Our interactive maps along the itinerary route will lead you to the finest small hotels and the perfect, quaint bed and breakfast in Seattle as well as the nearby wine region and the North Cascade Mountains. 
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From Craters to Caves

Southern Oregon has so much to recommend it. In fact, it’s one of our favorite parts of this beautiful state, and perhaps one of the least explored. The changes in topography will alone astound you: vineyards planted on gently rolling hills, great crashing rivers, labyrinths of subterranean marble caves, huge expanses of sylvan forest, and lake-filled volcanic craters 6 miles wide, to name but a few of the natural marvels here. There are many ways to approach the exploration of this diverse area but for the purposes of this itinerary we recommend making Ashland your home base and we guide you round its many delights. From there we visit a few local wineries, take you on a scenic drive through the Applegate Valley, and on to the Oregon Caves National Monument. We’ll also explore the beautiful Rogue River Valley, Crater Lake, and the Umpqua National Forest.

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Port Townsend, The Olympic Peninsula

Once you've ventured as far as Seattle, it's easy to get to British Columbia for a peek at West Coast Canadian life. That's what we'll do in this itinerary. We'll start in Seattle and cut a not-so-usual path to Victoria by way of the gentle bays and inlets of southern Puget Sound, the Victorian seaport town of Port Townsend, and the majestic Olympic Peninsula. There are many ways to get to Victoria and no one way is better than another. For our purposes here, we've chosen a route that mixes things up a bit.

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The Island Life
Truly ready to slow down? Good, because that's the only way to approach your exploration of the islands in Washington State, especially considering that ferry boats are in your imminent future and you are now at their charming mercy! In this itinerary, we'll downshift to "island time." Leaving Seattle far behind, we'll make the easy jaunt over to Whidbey Island, head north to Fidalgo Island, ferry hop our way through the lovely San Juans, and return to Seattle via the mainland, with a recommended side trip up to Bellingham via La Conner and the scenic Chuckanut Drive.
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Vancouver: Shimmering Gateway to Western Canada

Vancouver sparkles. The gateway to western Canada is the pride of the country, and top-rated as a world-class city by numerous travel magazines and newspapers. The city’s eye appeal may be its snow-capped mountains and ocean shores. When you add the city’s diversified ethnicity, numerous cultural events and outdoor attractions, it’s easy to understand why Vancouver attracts so many visitors.

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Vines to Volcanoes-The Portland Area

Where the Willamette River joins the mighty Columbia and the two head out together in search of the Pacific Ocean, the quietly sophisticated city of Portland flourishes. Ideally located for enjoying some of the Pacific Northwest’s most remarkable natural and historic wonders, Portland is less than 80 miles east of the Pacific Ocean, only 65 miles south of Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, 16 miles west of the arresting beauty of the Columbia River Gorge, minutes away from the heart of the wine country, and about 110 miles from Fort Clatsop National Memorial, where Meriwether Lewis and William Clark spent their first west coast winter in 1805–06. This itinerary introduces you to the many attractions that the city has to offer, then guides you on round trips through lovely countryside to explore the flourishing Yamhill County wine region, the scenic Columbia River Highway and Mount Hood, and the awesome Mount St. Helens.

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