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Washington, USA
For several summers, I just couldn't seem to get the timing right for wildflowers while hiking around Mt. Rainier: too early, too late, too cold, rain...Finally, one summer, although the skies were grey and getting lower on the glaciers, I arrived...
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3002 Mt Angeles Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98362, USA
The views from Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park are spectacular. The Visitor's Center is just a short drive from Port Angeles, WA. Drive west from Port Angeles on Rt 101 to access desolate, windswept beaches and Hoh Rain Forest within...
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Vancouver, BC V6G 1Z4, Canada
Vancouver’s most famous urban space, the thousand-acre Stanley Park, epitomizes everything that locals here love about the outdoors, and visitors have many ways to explore the expansive grounds. Hiking trails weave around totem poles and hemlock...
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845 Avison Way, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2, Canada
Presiding over Stanley Park, Canada’s largest aquarium houses more than 50,000 creatures, from penguins to sea otters to three-toed sloths. Don’t miss the star turns from the rescued Steller sea lions Izzy and Rogue, who swoop...
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3663 Park Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7J 3G3, Canada
The Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, in northern Vancouver, is one of Lynn Valley's best-kept secrets. The 50 meter high bridge stretches across a beautiful canyon with waterfalls and deep pools below. The best part is, it's free of charge. Crossing...
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3735 Capilano Rd, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4J1, Canada
This 27-acre attraction in North Vancouver gets the heart racing with a suspension bridge that bounces 230 feet above a forested river gorge. Even more spectacular, however, is the Cliffwalk, a labyrinth of walkways along the granite flank of...
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6400 Nancy Greene Way, North Vancouver, BC V7R 4K9, Canada
Part of the North Shore mountain range, this 4,039-foot peak offers jaw-dropping views of the city. It’s busiest in the winter, when four chairlifts service 33 ski runs, but remains popular in the summer thanks to the steep, 1.8-mile Grouse...
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85 Pike St #500, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Walk, cycle or people-watch along the shores of Elliott Bay, a downtown stretch known for its circusy flair and spectacular vistas. You can ride the Great Wheel or visit the beloved Seattle Aquarium, home to wolf eels, sea otters, and the world's...
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1300 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Guarded by the Hammering Man sculpture outside, this superb museum collection romps from native tribal art to African masks to carvings from Oceania. Highlights include the 16th-century wood-paneled Italian Room and The Studio, a portrait of...
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1428 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Taking just the 'right' wrong turn on a visit to Pike Place Market can land you in Post Alley, where spearmint, wild cherry, and tropical punch bubble gum drizzles down the window panes and grape, peppermint, and lemon ice gum-cicles form from...
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108 Pine St, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Seattle has become a cupcake town; you can (and I have) had entire conversations debating the merits of various cupcake shops. Cupcake Royale is one of the best, and definitely worth a visit. They have rotating monthly flavors (pictured is the...
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1301 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Built in 2012, the 175-foot-tall Seattle Great Wheel is the newest, and most romantic, addition to Seattle’s waterfront skyline. (As you might imagine, the first midair marriage proposal happened almost immediately.) Rain or shine, you can take a...
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1001 Alaskan Way, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
Yes, you read that right... "Keep clam" is the motto at Ivar's famous Seattle seafood restaurants. Ivar's has plenty of locations around town, from the casual fish-and-chip stands to the fancier waterfront Acres of Clams and Salmon House, but all...
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2901 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98121, USA
Here's a bold claim: the Olympic Sculpture Park might just have something for everyone. Located on the waterfront, not far from Pike Place Market, it features great views of Puget Sound (well, on clear days) and the ferries going back and forth....
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370 Thomas St, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
Built as a people mover for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the Seattle Monorail is a surprisingly popular attraction, especially given that it’s not very practical. It goes from downtown to the Seattle Center and back, and that’s it. The ride is...
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400 Broad St, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
This "U.F.O. saucer on a stick" is an atomic age baby, dating back to the 1962 World's Fair. If you're lucky enough to catch the city's iconic symbol on a sunny day, take the 41-second elevator ride to the observation deck and behold the sweeping...
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305 Harrison St, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
I didn't expect to like the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit, because it seemed like yet another overpriced Seattle attraction. But I was pleasantly surprised by this colorful, photography-friendly collection of the one-eyed glass artist's work....
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325 5th Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
This sheet-metal fever dream of architect Frank Gehry is like a rock ’n’ roll Guggenheim, home to interactive and innovative exhibits that span music, sci-fi and fantasy, animation, video games and other scrambled bits of pop culture. A hands-on...
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Pioneer Square, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
One of Seattle's most postcard-friendly areas, Pioneer Square is a beautiful, historical neighborhood with plenty to do. The galleries come alive for First Thursday art walks, not to mention the delicious lunch spots, quirky boutiques, and vibrant...
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Once the tallest building on the West Coast, Smith Tower offered panoramic Seattle views long before there was a Space Needle. The skyscraper was built in 1914 by typewriter tycoon Lyman Cornelius Smith. Ride an old-fashioned copper and brass...
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614 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
The Underground Tour is one of Seattle's most iconic attractions and a definite must-do for visitors. Sure, the tour guides tell corny jokes, but the history really is fascinating: in the late 1800s, after a devastating fire and chronic flooding...
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309 3rd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
If you see a line stretching around the block and think, "No way," then Salumi isn't for you. But if you see a long line and think, "I want what they're waiting for!" bring a book and get ready for one of the messiest, meatiest, richest sandwiches...
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1521 10th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
The Elliott Bay Book Company is the Seattle bookstore and, thankfully, survived its move from Pioneer Square to Capitol Hill with soul and towering cedar bookcases intact. Elliott Bay lost a significant chunk of square footage during the move...
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1449 E Pine St, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
Opened in 2013, this gastropub is a new and welcome addition to Capitol Hill, incorporating traditional French dishes with local Northwest ingredients. The decor is simple and elegant, perfect for a romantic dinner date, as long as you don't mind...
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1635 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
Cal Anderson Park (named after Washington's first openly gay legislator) is located at the Pike/Pine nexus of gay-friendly, hipster-filled Capitol Hill. With plenty of grassy lawns for picnics, reading, or playing bocce ball, it's no surprise that...
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1622.5 N 45th St, Seattle, WA 98103, USA
Another food-truck-made-good in a permanent location, Molly Moon’s now has five locations around town, but still sends out its iconic baby-blue truck for special events — just follow your nose to the heavenly scent of their freshly made waffle...
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5500 Phinney Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103, USA
Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo is fun for visitors of all ages, but particularly exciting for kids. The grounds are large, so wear walking shoes and plan on at least a half-day to see everything. There are cafes and restaurants inside the zoo, but...
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3015 NW 54th St, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
The Great American Railway Bridge sits to the east of the Ballard Locks, here in the up position to let boats pass through below. I picked the Ballard Locks for the best early-morning photo opportunity for Seattle Before8 because it is such a cool...
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200 2nd Ave N, Seattle, WA 98109, USA
Another one of the buildings created for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair, the Pacific Science Center has a midcentury-space-age vintage-futuristic look from the outside. But inside, it’s all cutting-edge technology like the IMAX Theatre, laser dome...
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603 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
If you’re traveling with a little one (or you just like games), you’ll definitely want to make a stop at Magic Mouse Toys in Pioneer Square. It’s sensory overload the moment you walk in, with every shelf and surface in this two-floor store crammed...
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211 W Highland Dr, Seattle, WA 98119, USA
Kerry Park is a sliver of lawn halfway up the hill leading into the Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle. The park is noted for its excellent view over the city, featuring the famous Space Needle in the foreground. Walk into any shop in town and...
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1075 Lake Washington Blvd E, Seattle, WA 98112, USA
Amid the colorful, serene splendor of Seattle's Japanese Gardens, located at the entrance of Washington Park, the winding paths and dark, wet branches made me think of Ezra Pound's famous poem "In a Station of the Metro": The apparition of these...
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12001 Main St, Bellevue, WA 98005, USA
The Bellevue Botanical Garden puts a unique twist on the tradition of admiring holiday light displays with its hugely popular Garden d’Lights show. With thousands of hours of help from volunteers, the botanical garden is transformed into an...
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219 2nd Ave S, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
It’s easy to love Seattle and the benefits afforded by its diverse, dense, urban environment. However, like most big cities, on any given day in downtown Seattle, you can often be faced with the impacts of the hustle and bustle that goes along...
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2648 59th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116, USA
If you want to relax by taking a walk, why not take a long winding path by the beach? Walking not your style? Fine, you can roller blade or bike too. If it’s nice and sunny there’s also the option to sunbath or walk along the surf. It’s about a...
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1011 Western Ave # 500, Seattle, WA 98104, USA
From the skyscrapers of downtown Seattle, you look out over Puget Sound. Beyond this arm of the sea, the snowcapped Olympic Mountains beckon. Few cities are as easy to escape from as Seattle. Get to the downtown ferry terminal, and you'll be on...
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1530 Post Alley, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Rachel’s Ginger Beer is a local favorite, brewing up slightly spicy, not-too-sweet (nonalcoholic) ginger beer, in their original recipe as well as seasonal varietals such as strawberry rhubarb, Asian pear, carrot beet, and raspberry. RGB is...
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1600 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
World-renowned macaroni and cheese, grilled cheese sandwiches with tomato and basil, not to mention the tomato soup topped with—you guessed it—more cheese at Beecher's should be on every foodies list of things to eat. True to our gluttonous ways...
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Mount Rainier, Washington 98304, USA
Skyline Trail at Mt. Rainier National Park in August — wildflowers, beautiful scenery, moderate hiking conditions
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5400 N Pearl St, Tacoma, WA 98407, USA
Seattle's Woodland Park Zoo is deservedly famous, but there's another great zoo just a short drive away: Tacoma's Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium. Plan to spend a full day here, because there's plenty to see. Zoo highlights include the new...
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6049 Seaview Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
Seattle's seafood is justifiably famous, but the restaurants can admittedly be a little stodgy and over-formal. For a more casual and family-friendly ambience, try Ray's Cafe, upstairs from the more formal Ray's Boathouse. You'll get the same...
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800 Benvenuto Ave, Brentwood Bay, BC V8M 1J8, Canada
Nearly a century ago, Jennie Butchart, wife of cement manufacturer Robert Butchart, transformed a depleted limestone quarry into these stunning, world-renowned show gardens. Allow ample time to enjoy the 22 hectares (55 acres) of floral displays,...
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606 Campbell St, Tofino, BC V0R 2Z0, Canada
From Jamie’s Whaling Station, cruise the Clayoquot Sound aboard a 40-foot yacht with panoramic windows. Flannel blankets keep you warm as you watch seals and sea otters, and search for black bears hunting for crabs along the rocks. Don’t see a...
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8501 Stanley Park Dr, Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2, Canada
Vancouver has two really fabulous outdoor, public, beachside swimming pools, which are great places to cool off in the summer. I love Second Beach Pool in Stanley Park becuase of the views of English Bay and all the kids it attracts. The pool is...
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Gastown, Vancouver, BC, Canada
The permanent Olympic cauldron is the crowning snapshot to a picture-perfect day! I arrived back home from travels just in time for the Vancouver Winter Olympics. A good friend of mine and I went into the city for a fabulous day celebrating Canada...
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578 Carrall St, Vancouver, BC V6B 5K2, Canada
Amid the bustle of Chinatown stands this lovely 15th-century-style garden, named for the father of modern China. Even though it was built in 1986, artisans from Suzhou constructed the entire property without nails, screws, or power tools. The...
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1730 Mission Hill Rd, West Kelowna, BC V4T 2E4, Canada
You may not know but British Columbia has a wine region that is a worthy rival of Napa and Tuscany. Mission Hill Winery is one of the stellar estates that not only has some of the best wine in Canada but also serves the best food with matching...
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Vancouver, BC V6G 3E2, Canada
The Vancouver Seawall is the most popular recreation location in the entire city, if not in all of Canada, and it's for good reason. This stunning 22-km long trail leads from downtown along the shoreline of Stanley Park and offers some of the most...
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Americas
Highway 99, also known as the Sea to Sky Highway, is the major north-south artery running through the Greater Vancouver area of British Columbia from the U.S. border, up Howe Sound through the Sea to Sky Country to Lillooet, and connecting to...
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Alta Lake, Whistler, BC V0N, Canada
There are a few ways to paddle Alta Lake—you can head to Wayside Park and rent a kayak or you can head to Lakeside Park and rent a canoe or a stand-up paddleboard. Either way, drifting around amid this scenery makes a...
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1045 Millar Creek Rd, Whistler, BC V0N 1B1, Canada
Whistler Brewing Company has been passionately producing handcrafted artisanal beers in Whistler since 1989. WBC’s beers are uniquely flavored and the brewery produces tasty seasonal specialties like “Pineapple Express Wheat Ale;” a wonderful...
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Whistler, BC V0N, Canada
The Peak 2 Peak Gondola that connects Whistler and Blackcomb mountains was considered a glitzy and expensive PR move when it opened in 2007. Today the 1.9-mile span, the longest unsupported span in the world, ferries hikers, bikers, and...
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Garibaldi Lake, Squamish-Lillooet D, BC V0N, Canada
With aqua blue lakes, it is hard not to be tempted to hike into Garibaldi Lake Campground and explore the area of Panorama Ridge and Black Tusk. With phenomenal views, it is worth the work of getting there. Even though a day hike to Panorama Ridge...
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Cheakamus Lake, Squamish-Lillooet D, BC V0N 0A0, Canada
Hiking is an accessible and popular activity to partake in during the warmer seasons of Whistler. Many of the hikes are family-friendly and all are outstandingly beautiful. Some notable routes are the High Note Trail, the Cheekamus Lake Trail and...
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105 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
If you don’t have a car — or you just want a quick tour of the highlights — the Emerald City Trolley is a convenient way to get around town to popular sightseeing attractions. Destinations include the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Pioneer...
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925 E Pike St, Seattle, WA 98122, USA
If there's a single most iconic Seattle meal, it's probably fish and chips. We're rightly famous for our salmon, which is very tasty when given the batter-fried treatment, but halibut may be the most popular choice for locals (and well worth the...
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Peru
The reason most come to Aguas Calientes, or maybe even Peru at all, is Machu Picchu. The world-renowned Incan site, perched high above town amid dramatic mountains, is one of the best ways to appreciate the Quechua people’s greatness, since...