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Washington

Washington State is known for its beautiful forests and mountains, providing a breath of fresh air, where relaxation comes naturally. Combining the breathtaking beauty of the great outdoors, while also providing quick access to the Pacific Ocean, it's easy to see why Seattle has grown into such a popular city. What better way to enjoy the Pacific Northwest, then to treat yourself or your family to one of the many fine bed and breakfasts spread throughout the state.

In Washington State you'll find a lot of bed and breakfasts that are built in the Victorian style, surrounded by evergreen trees amongst lush gardens and rolling hills. The Pacific Northwest is known for its hospitality, so expect a friendly greeting and a warm smile when you arrive, as well as affordable prices...read more »


Bainbridge Island

The island has several local and state parks that have been set aside to allow residents access to the beach, and to enjoy some of the wooded areas of the island. We stopped by Fay Bainbridge State Park, where we found it almost unused during our midweek visit. It wasn't for lack of appeal - this park has great views of the Mainland and even the skyscrapers of Seattle. This park has long wide beaches, driftwood galore, and plenty of spots to picnic.

But the piece de resistance of our trip to Bainbridge was a visit to the Bloedel Reserve - something we had heard about while living many years in the Northwest but had never had the chance to visit. The Bloedel Reserve is 150 acres of forest and gardens that were set aside by lumber baron Prentice Bloedel and his wife, Virginia. We were curious at first why reservations were necessary to visit the reserve but, once we got there, we completely understood. The experience just would not be the same if too many people were in the reserve at once...read more about Bainbridge Island »


Leavenworth

On our most recent trip to Leavenworth, Washington, we did just that when we rented a place called "Log Haven" that certainly qualified for prominent display in any magazine on log homes. It wasn't a sprawling house that almost looks out of place in the wild, but rather a classic two-bedroom log home that is really more of a log cabin. It was just the right size for a long-planned "Boys Weekend" bringing together four old high-school and college friends for a fun few days of relaxation and reminiscing.

Log Haven also is perfectly suited to a family getaway with sleeping accommodations for up to seven people. And, unlike some lodgings so impeccably designed and decorated, children are welcome. Dogs and cigarettes, however, need to be left behind.

This little piece of log heaven is situated about three miles outside of Leavenworth, known far and wide as the Bavarian Village because of its Bavarian-themed shops and restaurants, all nestled in a little valley bordered on the west by steep mountains that look like they could have been brought here from the European Alps....read more about Leavenworth »


Woodinville

In the old days, prominent Seattle families such as the C.D. Stimsons used to escape the Big City, traveling over hill and dale to what felt to them like the far reaches of the Northwest wilderness. Today, Seattle families and visitors hop on the 405 Freeway and reach the same destination – Woodinville – in a matter of minutes.

Woodinville was a true getaway experience for the sultans of Seattle commerce, and so it is today – although for slightly different reasons. Back in the day, it was duck hunting and wilderness that drew the bigwigs – today it's wineries, a micro-brewery and a luxurious resort that seems to embody the Northwest spirit....read more about Woodinville »


Seattle

Seattle is a tourist destination perfect for all seasons and any type of weather. No matter what your interests, it's a guarantee that Seattle attractions will grab your attention. A bustling, cosmopolitan city with profession sports teams, natural and man-made wonders, cultural and historical sites, and a wide variety of flavors and entertainments, Seattle will enchant every member of the family. While you are there make sure you check out:

Space Needle: The world-famous Space Needle was built in anticipating of the 1962 World's Fair. From the world-class cuisine served in the rotating restaurant at the top of the tower, to the Seattle Center at its base, the Seattle Space Needle is a must for every visit.

Seattle Center: This is the fairgrounds upon which the Space Needle was erected. Today it is still a hive of activity with rides, concession stands, art displays and a fascinating water fountain. It is also where visitors go for Paul Allen's Experience Music Project.

Pike Place: Pike Place Market is a charming collection of fresh produce stands, fish vendors, antique sellers and small-time entrepreneurs all nestled next to quaint restaurants. All this provides a background for innovative street entertainers and the gawking visitors that flock to this Seattle landmark....read more about Seattle »


Whidbey Island

Spend some time exploring Puget Sound and you'll be both surprised and enchanted by the islands, waterways and hundreds of miles of shoreline that provide visitors a thousand opportunities for scenic photographs that they will treasure for a lifetime. Visit the area on a sunny day and there is no more beautiful place on earth.

The amazing thing is you don't have to journey far from Seattle to experience some of the best island scenery this corner of the state has to offer. If you have the time, the San Juan Islands are an unforgettable experience. But if you don't want to travel more than an hour or so, many of the same attributes are found on Whidbey Island...read more about Whidbey Island »


Palouse
A golden glow covers the rolling hills. It is a gentle light, softly bathing the grasses and distant trees. Shadows fill the hollows as evening approaches and birdsong breaks the silence. A deer freezes into a statue, has a short staring contest with us, then bounds up the hill. The landscape is Tuscan in feel, but those aren't grapevines before us and we aren't jet lagged.

Gary and I are standing in a field, not north of Rome but south of Spokane, in the Palouse. It is a unique agricultural area spanning south-east Washington and north-west Idaho. It is one of the richest wheat and lentil growing areas in the world. The undulating hills are interspersed with small towns and dotted with old barns or crumbling flour mills. Long a destination for photographers, we intend to dawdle along the narrow roads with no planned route or particular agenda, taking in the rural flavour and photogenic landscape.

After following a portion of the Lewis and Clark Trail from the high altitude Lolo Pass, through rugged mountains and dense forest, we crest the bluff above Clarkston. Emerging into lush green fields under a vast canopy of blue sky, we instantly know we are in the Palouse. It is empty, quiet. The occasional tractor pitches at a forty-five degree angle along a furrowed hill. One third of the lentils in the United States are grown here and there is a Lentil Festival in August. Also farmed in the rich, silty soil are wheat, peas, barley, hay and canola. Many of the fields are vibrant spring time Irish green, while others are beginning to show the yellows of summer...read more »


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