Showing off Washington to first-time visitors
Editor's note: Earlier this summer, Seattle Times travel staff did an online Q&A with readers. Here's an excerpt: Q: We are having two...
Editor's note: Earlier this summer, Seattle Times travel staff did an online Q&A with readers. Here's an excerpt:
Q: We are having two Italian friends from Rome visit us in August ... This is their first trip to the U.S. We are all on a limited budget so flying to the Grand Canyon and then New Orleans is not happening. We thought we'd take them around beautiful Washington ...
Dona Mokin, Renton
A: Some suggestions on places to go:
For Western Washington, how about a loop around the Olympic Peninsula? Stay way out west at La Push if you can — perhaps at the Quileute Oceanside Resort — which is near great beach walks and shows native history/life since it's on the reservation. You can ignore or have fun with all the Twilight-themed stuff (from the vampire-love novels set in the Forks area). Or stay near Forks or at the beach at Kalaloch. Get lodging links, tourist info at www.forkswa.com
Then head toward Mount Rainier. Stay up at Paradise Lodge and do the meadow walks. I also love driving up to Sunrise on the northeast side of the mountain. Great easy trails and in-your-face Rainier views. www.nps.gov/mora For eastern/central Washington, drive the Cascades Loop. Take the North Cascades Highway (there's an easy, level walk at Rainy Pass where you can stretch your legs). Stay in the Methow Valley — maybe for two nights since there's lots to do there. Lots of cabins, lodges and the fun Western-style town of Winthrop. There's a great little local history museum plus horse-riding and loads of hiking and mountain-biking trails. www.winthropwashington.com
Then drive back to Seattle via Leavenworth and Blewett Pass. Or if you have the time and energy head to Lake Chelan and maybe take a boat ride up to Stehekin. That's a great and different day trip, or spend the night at Stehekin.
You can get more tourist information at www.experiencewa.com Your Italian friends will be impressed at the state.
Kristin Jackson / Seattle Times