The Pacific Northwest states of Washington and Oregon are home to some of North America's most rugged and spectacular terrain, as well as two of the most forward-thinking cities, Portland and Seattle, both surrounded by soaring mountains, dense forests and sparkling water. This is a region of great natural beauty with deep canyons, crystal clear lakes, mighty rivers and a rugged shoreline offering a wide variety of outdoor activities.
Unlike California to the south, Washington and the coastal stretch of Oregon are resolutely rugged and unspoilt by mass tourism. Hurricane Ridge in Washington offers views over wildflower-covered meadows and evergreen trees to snow-capped peaks. Dungeness Spit is the world’s longest naturally occurring sandspit, while Hoh Rainforest is home to millennia-old trees almost 300 feet in height. In Oregon, the deep blue waters of Crater Lake mirror its surrounding mountains, and Mt. St. Helens, formed from a volcano explosion stronger than that of 1,500 atomic bombs, is a place of deep chasms and uneven crags.
St Helen's National Park, Washington
Seattle is America’s craft-beer loving ‘emerald’ in the north, its best recognised by the iconic Space Needle tower. Seattle Aquarium and the Seattle Art Museum are popular attractions, but it's the heart of the city that is most interesting – trendy Belltown in the south is often compared to Manhattan's Upper East Side. Portland, in the shadow of Oregon's Mount Hood, is an eco-friendly forward-thinking city, full of hip microbreweries and well-connected bike paths. A thriving arts and culture scene adds to its appeal.
Newport is the heart of Oregon Wine Country, and the region has grown steadily in popularity, now ranking among the world's best for great wine. The Willamette Valley is also famous for its beer, mead, cider and delicious farm-to-table cuisine. And of course, any stay at a winery in the Pacific Northwest is bound to be accompanied by scenic views and the opportunity for enjoying the great outdoors.