Northwest Travel By Design
July 19, 2022 at 12:04 p.m.
Are you thinking of exploring your very own Evergreen State this year? We offer some unique getaway ideas and travel suggestions “by design” – including reader-favorites – whether your interest lies in exploring scenic byways, touring Washington Wine Country, taking in the Great Washington State Birding Trails, hitting the casinos, or following festivals across the state. The resources listed below are designed so that the journey, not so much the destination, will be sure to create rich and lasting memories. Enjoy!
Washington’s Scenic Byways
The Great Washington State Birding Trail
Birding is an “in” thing with millions of Americans participating in bird watching activities every year. The Audubon Society, in cooperation with the Washington Dept of Fish & Wildlife and others, has made it easy for you to find the best bird watching in the state. They have created birding trail maps with seven routes, including the Cascade Route, Coulee Corridor, Olympic Loop, the Palouse to Pines, Puget Loop, Sun & Sage, and the Southwest Loop. Birding trails might more accurately be called birding drives because they link existing roads known as good birding spots. Some trails include water routes where you can paddle your canoe or kayak to see birds; other trails include hiking or walking routes – but most are designed to be enjoyed as part of a road trip. The maps can be purchased online for $4.95 at https://wa.audubon.org/birds/great-washington-state-birding-trail or contact your local Audubon chapter.
Follow the Festivals
Exploring Washington’s Wine Country
Sip your way through Washington State by exploring the region’s acclaimed wineries. Washington wines have garnered worldwide fame and acclaim. With over 200 wineries scattered across all four corners of the state, touring Washington’s Wine Country is also experiencing a surge in popularity. One of the great things about visiting wineries is that many are family-owned, providing the opportunity to sample small-production, award-winning varietals that may not be available at stores. Growers and winemakers often delight in sharing their craft with visitors. When it comes to beverages, wine isn’t the only star of the show. In the Yakima Valley, which grows about 75 percent of hops in the country, visitors will find an emphasis on craft beer. A fun way to sample some of the area’s breweries is through a hop-on-hop-off shuttle.. For more information about touring and tasting opportunities and to design your own tour, visit https://www.stateofwatourism.com/regions/wine-country/.
Beyond wine country, Washington Tourism offers travel guides to all the regions of our state, including beaches, the Columbia River Gorge, island hopping, the Palouse, peninsulas, the Northeast’s “ponderosa,” the Salish Sea, trails and lakes, volcanoes, and Metro Puget Sound. Visit https://www.stateofwatourism.com/regions/ for links to resources and ideas for getaways in your own backyard.
Native American Culture & Hitting the Casinos
The Travel Guide to Washington State's Indian Country will help you become more acquainted with the Native American tribes who welcome you to journey through their lands, view tribal art, visit cultural centers, casinos, and learn of the diverse cultures and respect for native traditions. A list Washington’s Tribal Casinos is published by the state at https://goia.wa.gov/tribal-directory/washington-state-tribal-casinos.
Readers’ Favorite NW Getaways
Check out Washington Curiosities (a book detailing roadside oddities and other offbeat stuff), New Deal Destinations (WPA & CCC projects – for ideas, visit https://depts.washington.edu/depress/wa_new_deal.shtml), Historic Lighthouses (https://smalltownwashington.com/lighthouses-in-washington/), Gorgeous Gardens (15 Hidden Gardens To Visit In Washington), Trails for Slow Walkers (Washington Wheelchair Accessible Trails & Trail Maps) Traveling with Fido (Dog Friendly Washington), Driving Trips for History Buffs (5 Washington Travel Tips for History Buffs), Washington’s Scenic Rail Excursions (Washington Scenic Train Rides) – the list goes on.