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Wild Wonders of the Pacific Northwest

Updated: Jul 21, 2020

The Pacific Northwest evokes some of the most iconic, atmospheric locations for famous films and TV shows like Twin Peaks, Twilight, and Wild, and you might recognize Cannon Beach in Astoria, Oregon (pictured above) from The Goonies. National Geographic once named the beach "one of the world's 100 most beautiful places." The entire region boasts abundant natural beauty, incredible wines, exciting arts and culture, and plenty of outdoor adventure and local lore. I'd love to wear a cozy sweater and sip delicious coffee on a fun doughnut-tasting walking tour in Portland someday or hike this gorgeous region. Here are some of my top Oregon and Washington recommendations for your own wild wanderings!

Oregon Coast 

This is a very long stretch of coastline that boasts legendary, stunning beaches - like Cannon Beach. Overleaf Lodge & Spa is your ideal hotel choice for marine adventures and more. 

Top Experiences:

  • Whale watching in Depoe Bay

  • Coastal fishing or helicopter tours

  • Beach horseback ride

  • Off-road RZR sand dune adventure

  • Private sandboarding lesson

  • Goonies touring - Filmed in Astoria and Cannon Beach area

Willamette Valley and Columbia River Gorge, Oregon

Willamette is often mispronounced, and if you're not familiar, you can remember it as rhyming with "dammit." Culinary connoisseurs know this is as a superlative wine region in Oregon. The area's luxury property is a real gem, The Allison Inn and Spa - a marvelous home base for touring! Skamania Lodge (across the OR border into WA) is also excellent for touring around Columbia River Gorge.

Top Experiences:

  • River Gorge and Mount Hood Loop tour

  • Kayaking or whitewater rafting on the White Salmon River

  • Customized wine touring

  • Helicopter vineyard hopping experience

  • Private wine blending workshop

  • Spring truffle hunt & wine paired lunch

Bend, Oregon 

Bend is the real adventure capital of Oregon, and with its location in the center of the state, it makes an awesome base for unique outdoor adventures in this volcanic region. I recommend enjoying the villas or lodge style accommodation at Sunriver Resort when you visit. 

Top Experiences:

  • Volcano hiking tour

  • Lava tube cave adventure

  • Painted hills biking excursion

  • Kayak, canoe, or paddle board adventure in the Cascade range

  • Fly or spin fishing in Sunriver

  • Extreme acrobatic flying experience

  • Full day Crater Lake excursion

  • Beer tour

Olympic National Park & San Juan Islands, Washington

Olympic is Washington's premier national park - a lush rain forest recognizable as the setting for the Twilight films. Accommodations here will be in small lodges and B&Bs as you set off to explore.

Top Experiences:

  • Whale watch kayaking tour in San Juan Islands

  • Private boat charter with naturalist guide

  • Olympic National Park fly fishing

  • Naturalist led tour of Olympic

  • Rafting, kayaking or stand up paddle boarding in Olympic National Park

Seattle, Washington

Seattle is the largest metropolitan area in the Pacific Northwest, with a beautiful mountain backdrop. Stay at Four Seasons Hotel Seattle or Thompson Seattle for great water views and walking access to the top sites downtown. 

Top Experiences:

  • Chihuly boathouse private tour 

  • Private tour of Boeing Future of Flight Museum - the largest building in the world by volume!

  • Pike Place Market culinary experience

  • Small batch coffee roastery tour and lesson 

  • Woodinville wine tasting tour 

  • VIP Seattle Mariners special access - Get on the field and throw the ball around!

  • San Juan whale watching (via seaplane) full day tour

  • Mt. Rainier full day excursion 

  • Luxury yacht sunset dinner experience 

Portland, Oregon

Another gateway to the Pacific Northwest, Portland also enjoys a mountain backdrop, excellent food scene, hip boutiques, and great hotels like The Nines and Sentinel Hotel. Fans of the series Portlandia will especially delight in discovering Portland's quirkier side.

Top Experiences:

  • Portland walking or biking city tour

  • Arts afternoon in Pearl District with art curator

  • Coffee and doughnuts breakfast walking tour

  • Portland culinary tour or cooking class highlighting farmers markets and local vendors

  • Day tours: wine country, Columbia Gorge, Mount Saint Helens, tree climbing adventure (not Redwoods) with professional tree climber 

Nine Muses Travel works with an exceptional North American tour operator who can customize private travel for you and your companions with these benefits for all my clients.

  • Expert guides: naturalists, adventure guides, and unique locals

  • Exclusive experiences

  • Comfortable, safe, and luxurious vehicles

  • Custom-designed routings

  • 24/7 real-time support

  • Competitive rates at four and five star properties

  • Deep destination knowledge

Contact Nine Muses Travel when you're ready to get wild in the Pacific Northwest and to learn more about me and what I can do for you!

I creatively customize luxury travel highlighting the best local arts and culture, history, and cuisine for intellectually curious clients longing to feel deeply inspired by exciting destinations, culinary delights, and unique cultural experiences on a life-changing, joyful journey of discovery.

-Danielle Dybiec, Founder and President of Nine Muses Travel

CLICK HERE for a free consultation!


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