Collected by Alyssa Jean Laird, AFAR Local Expert
3801 Discovery Park Blvd, Seattle, WA 98199, USA
Seattle's largest public park sits on a sea bluff that's high enough to pierce the city's infamous fog, revealing gorgeous views of the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges. Wander its 11 miles (18 km) of paths through forest groves, meadows...
12240 Second Ave #210, Richmond, BC V7E 3L8, Canada
Minkes, humpbacks, and gray whales often frisk in B.C.’s wild coastal waters. The scene stealers, however, are the orcas, especially the gentle resident pods that eat fish rather than other marine mammals. These “killer whales”...
15 San Juan Park Rd, Friday Harbor, WA 98250, USA
For a day or a week, paddle in the brisk clear waters of the San Juan Islands and get close with Orca (killer) whales, porpoise, seals, marine birds...relaxing sunsets and intimate campgrounds. Ferry from Anacortes to Friday Harbor, then paddling...
1503 1st Ave, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Have a fresh crumpet on a brisk morning—you'll learn that their reputation as 'dainty' fare is completely unjustified. In Seattle, "The Crumpet Shop" has been a family-run institution in Pike Place Market for more than three decades. Get some tea...
Goat Lake, Washington, USA
Both residents and visitors to the Pacific Northwest bemoan the region's seemingly eternal grey skies...But summer turns things around. By July, sun is (almost) reliable and the outdoors pulls you away from the indoor pursuits of bookstores and...
Neah Bay, WA, USA
Cape Flattery is the northwesternmost point of the contiguous United States. It is in Clallam County, Washington on the Olympic Peninsula, where the Strait of Juan de Fuca joins the Pacific Ocean. It is also part of the Makah Reservation, and is...
510 Bellevue Way NE, Bellevue, WA 98004, USA
With $30 family entry (two adults and up to four children) or $10 for adults, the Bellevue Art Museum is a great place for families looking to get out of the rain or the hustle and bustle of downtown Bellevue. The exhibits are beautiful and...
Mt St Helens, Washington 98616, USA
You've surely heard of Mount Saint Helens and its epic blast zone that leveled hundreds of square miles of forest less than 3 decades ago. Well, that is mostly on the north side of the still active volcano. Explore the south side, particularly the...
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...
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...
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...
1930 2nd Ave, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
Moore Coffee is a gem found in the historic Moore building. Look for the mini patio and wooden doors leading into this cozy Seattle coffeehouse. Alma, the head barista, has a talent for cute latte art, ranging from the typical latte leaf to bears...
Orcas Island, Washington, USA
At the strong recommendation of people familiar with the region, we were told the San Juan Islands are a "must." It didn’t take long to see why. Just the 75-minute ferry ride from Anacortes (90 minutes north of Seattle) to Orcas Island was one of...
47540 CA-1, Big Sur, CA 93920, USA
The Big Sur Bakery and Restaurant serves housemade granola, ginger scones, and seasonal fruit strudels in a cabin built in 1937. Wood-fired pizzas, with toppings such as squash and prosciutto, stand out on the dinner menu, and the blackberry...
Ruby Beach, Washington 98331, USA
Just before the 101 veers inland after winding its way up the coast of Washington's Olympic Peninsula, a smallish spur road leads down to Ruby Beach, an immense expanse of sand broken by dramatic rock outcrops and the tangled remains of cedar and...
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...
Presidio Blvd, San Francisco, CA 94129, USA
Artist Andy Goldsworthy's Wooden Line meanders its way through a grove of Eucalyptus in the Presidio, inviting all to take off shoes and balance beam through the forest. The sculpture, formed from the trunks of eucalyptus, gently curves its way...
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