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AFAR Explorer′s Wishlist
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601 Vallejo St, San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Caffe Trieste, in the heart of North Beach just off Columbus, is an authentic San Francisco experience where little has changed since Kerouac's day. The North Beach location, which opened in 1956, is a great place to sit down, enjoy a coffee, and...
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1529 Fillmore St, San Francisco, CA 94115, USA
Nicole Krasinski describes the novel concept of her restaurant State Bird Provisions as “dim sum and a great hors d’oeuvre party morphed into one experience.” She and her husband, chef Stuart Brioza, prepare beautifully executed...
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San Francisco, CA, USA
Even if you live here, exploring San Francisco's eclectic neighborhoods makes a fun day out, and with City Guides, it's also free. Founded in 1978, the nonprofit organization has more than 200 trained volunteers who lead history and...
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Twin Peaks, San Francisco, CA, USA
The best views of San Francisco are from the top of Twin Peaks, the two hills that are located in the geographic center of the city. Only from Twin Peaks can you get a 360-degree view of the entire city. If you are lucky, on a clear day you can...
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San Francisco, CA 94133, USA
Alcatraz—the very name conjures dark images of impregnable prisons, infamous criminals, and daring escape attempts. But the island is not all murder and mayhem. “The Rock,” set a few kilometers offshore in the San Francisco...
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1250 Bridgeway, Sausalito, CA 94965, USA
For active types, on a beautiful San Francisco day, bike across the Golden Gate Bridge and up to Sausalito -- it's a gorgeous 10-mile ride). Once you've arrived, grab a few drinks and a pizza on the patio of Bar Bocce, which has stunning bay and...
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20215 Shoreline Hwy, Marshall, CA 94940, USA
What a great way to spend a spring day in the Bay Area. Hog Island in Tamales Bay has very tasty oysters, a fun staff and a very friendly, comfortable environ. It used to be solely shuck it yourself and bring your own beverages. Although that is...
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2 SW Naito Pkwy, Portland, OR 97204, USA
The #1 thing recommended to me to see in Portland was the Saturday Market. It lived up to its hype! I spent a few hours Saturday morning wandering around the market and was floored at the talent of the vendors. I was also shocked at how reasonably...
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701 SW 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97205, USA
We all love a free tour and this introduction to Portland was a perfect one. What’s the tour, you ask? Well, it’s the Secrets of Portlandia tour of course! The walk covers all of the weird facts, sites, and signs that make Portland the crazy fun...
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3229 NW Pittock Dr, Portland, OR 97210, USA
The mansion and grounds around this Portland icon are impeccably kept and constantly visited. It was even featured recently on CBS's Amazing Race. The views are stunning and if you're into hiking, there is access to the Wildwood Trail which...
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53000 East Historic Columbia River Hwy, Corbett, OR 97019, USA
Multnomah Falls is a gorgeous sight located about 45 minutes by car outside of Portland, Oregon, on the Columbia River Gorge. Several hikes of differing degrees of difficulty offer vantage points to view the falls. The sound of the rushing water...
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3303 SW Bond Ave, Portland, OR 97239, USA
The tram gives Portland visitors stunning views of the city, river, and mountains beyond. Grab the streetcar from downtown out to the waterfront. You're delivered to the lower terminal for the three-minute ride carrying you 3,300 feet at 20 MPH to...
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2225 NE Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Portland, OR 97212, USA
What was I thinking, accepting an invitation to dine with carnivore friends at Ox? OK, I'm more a vegetarian with a perchance for bacon and anything that swims. All my dining pals would judge the meat portions. Verdict? This Argentinean/PDX fusion...
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239 NW Everett St, Portland, OR 97209, USA
The Lan Su Chinese Gardens is a lovely place to regain some inner peace and admire the gorgeous gardens. The name of the garden comes from the relationship between sister cities Portland and Suzhou. Sounds from both Portland and Suzhou are...
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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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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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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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Mount Rainier, Washington 98304, USA
Skyline Trail at Mt. Rainier National Park in August — wildflowers, beautiful scenery, moderate hiking conditions
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5345 Ballard Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107, USA
“You can get anything—fruit, vegetables, cheese, honey—at the market. It feels like everybody in the neighborhood comes.” -Bill Frisell 5345 Ballard Ave. NW, (206) 781-6776. This appeared in the March/April 2014 issue. Read more about Bill...
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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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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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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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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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2300 Arboretum Dr E, Seattle, WA 98112, USA
Located on the shores of Lake Washington, the 230-acre Washington Park Arboretum is a lesser-known Seattle gem. It features a large botanical garden, a Japanese garden, a fragrance garden, and a waterfront walking trail. There are bike trails,...
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1912 Pike Pl, Seattle, WA 98101, USA
For many Seattle visitors, the original Starbucks is a Pike Place Market highlight. If you're a Starbucks devotee, take a quick peek inside to get a glimpse of history. The line will likely snake out the door and down the block, so if you don't...
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Paradise, WA 98361, USA
From Paradise Meadow, there are several short and easy hikes, even if you didn’t bring your hiking boots. The one-mile hike to Myrtle Falls is a gentle, paved slope that’s even wheelchair-accessible with assistance. Your reward is a stunning view,...
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Washington, USA
Sunrise is the highest-elevation area in Mt. Rainier National Park that can be reached via car. From here, you can see Mt. Rainier, Emmons glacier, beautiful wildflower meadows, and other volcanoes in the Cascade Range, such as Mount Adams. The...
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33914 Crystal Mountain Blvd, Enumclaw, WA 98022, USA
If you’re going to take a scenic gondola ride, it might as well be up the side of a mountain, right? Crystal Mountain’s gondola costs a hefty $25 round trip, but it does come with some lovely views and a surprisingly smooth ride. About six people...
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Reflection Lake, Washington, USA
Reflection Lake is the iconic Mt. Rainier view that you’ll see on all the postcards — and you just have to pull over on the side of the road to see it. (You do have to pay the national park fee, as it’s inside the park.) On a calm, sunny day, it...
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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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Burke-Gilman Trail, Washington, USA
Nineteen miles of paved path start at Golden Gardens in Ballard. Get a close look at the park's resident beavers—which dam the ponds on its north end—then head east along the saltwater shoreline, keeping an eye out for seals, sea...
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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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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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1669 Johnston St, Vancouver, BC V6H 3R9, Canada
The market community at the Public Market really makes Granville Island a must-visit in Vancouver. The vibrant colors of the fruits and vegetables that aren't on the East Coast really stand out, especially on farmers market days. The market goes...
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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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This one will make you smile, no matter how cool and rainy it may get in Vancouver. As part of the Vancouver Biennale, Chinese artist Yue Minjun replicates his own smiling face in his bronze sculpture, "A-Maze-ing Laughter." Vancouver has a lot of...