4 Tips for Planning a Trip to the Pacific Northwest
The Pacific Northwest is a remarkably diverse corner of North America, and whether you love cities, deserts, beaches, or mountains, you can find something there for you. The tips below can help you plan your trip to this unique region.
Know Your Budget
It's hard to plan without knowing how much you can spend, so this needs to be your first step. However, if you're reaching for your credit card, put it away and consider low interest personal loans instead. Your credit card interest rates are likely substantially higher, and in most cases, it would be smarter financially to pay with a loan. However you pay for your trip, have at least a ballpark figure in mind for spending.
U.S. Or Canada?
The Pacific Northwest stretches across both of these countries, so the next thing you may want to ask yourself is whether you want to remain in the U.S. or head across the border to Canada as well. You could do a multi-city tour from Portland to Seattle to Vancouver, British Columbia. There is also beautiful scenery in both countries.
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Choose Your Activities
The Pacific Northwest is known for its wide array of outdoor activities and the many residents who love them. From downhill and cross-country skiing to hiking, kayaking, mountain biking and much more, there is plenty for active people to do. You can even day hike the famous Pacific Crest Trail, which runs from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada. The region has a beautiful coastline, but it tends to be cool and windy at the beach. It's great if you like surfing or walking, but they aren't conducive to lying in the sun reading a book.
In Oregon, there tends to be snow on the highest mountains year-round, so if you love winter sports, you're in luck. In eastern Oregon and Washington, you'll find high desert country. There are also a number of islands in the region, and whale watching by boat is a common activity. If you're not really into the outdoors, there is still plenty to do. Portland, Seattle, Vancouver and many of the smaller cities throughout the region have terrific restaurants and plenty of nightlife.
If you are looking to diversify your travels there are many special events throughout the year in the Pacific Northwest that people come from all over the world to attend. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland is a popular event as is the Bach Festival in Eugene, Oregon. Outside of Eugene, the annual Oregon Country Fair will make you feel as though the sixties never ended.
Portland and Seattle have a passionate soccer rivalry, and if you can get a ticket to a game played between the two of them in either city, you won't be disappointed. Seattle is also home to the popular music festival Bumbershoot. These suggestions barely scrape the surface of some of the events in the region, so be sure to specifically look up the dates you are planning to be there and find out what's happening then.