We have a fascinating history and it helps to understand it as you travel through the area. I can’t possibly recommend this podcast more highly, almost regardless of what subject is being covered. Any history lover who comes across it will have discovered a new obsession.
From government accounts to hotels, restaurants, and ordinary travelers; there are some great things being shared on Facebook, Twitter, and more. Here is our most recent look at the Pacific Northwest Social Media Greatest Hits!
Penticton, British Columbia is a very quickly becoming more and more popular as a regional vacation getaway. It’s located not too far across the US-Canadian border from the North Central Washington area and, specifically, Okanogan County. Penticton sits on Highway 97 which is a major north-south route not only in British Columbia, but south through Washington, Oregon, and into California too. This helps make it easily reachable from the states. It’s also very easy to get to from the east and west within British Columbia too.
When you visit Penticton you are heading to an area known for outdoor recreation and beautiful scenery. This small community also offers some fun shopping experiences, great restaurants, and a nice list of things to do too. For example, if you’re a fan of wine and wineries, Penticton really has you taken care of there.
We reached out to the go-to Penticton travel resource recently for our “5 Questions With” series and VisitPenticton.com was gracious enough to help us out.
Five Questions With VisitPenticton.com
1st Question The Pacific Northwest features some beautiful and interesting names that have survived centuries of translation. What is the meaning of the name “Penticton”?
Penticton, as translated by the local Salish Native Americans, means “a place to live forever” (the commonly accepted translation) or “a place to live year-round”.
2nd Question Most communities have one or two local celebrations during the year. What are the best celebrations or festivals that vacationers can come and participate in while visiting Penticton?
Penticton is home to so many fantastic annual festival and events. Here are just a few.
3rd Question Penticton looks like a fun place to visit for people of all ages. In your opinion, what are the top three things that people shouldn’t miss out on experiencing when they go there?
*Floating ‘the channel’ between Okanagan and Skaha Lake. It’s one of the most popular activities in the summer here.
*Wine touring – with over 70 wineries within a 20 minute drive, it’s no wonder we are called Wine Country.
*Cycling/Mountain biking – whether it’s the Kettle Valley Railway or the many downhill mountain biking routes we have available.
4th Question Possibly my favorite question, is there a little known fact or piece of trivia that most people don’t know about Penticton?
Penticton is one of two places in the world situated between two lakes
5th Question Many travelers through our region are very interested in the local history of the area. What are a few of the top attractions in and around Penticton that a history buff would love to experience?
The S.S. Sicamous – The SS Sicamous is the largest surviving stern wheeler in Canada. The ship is now a museum, wedding venue and must-see tourist attraction. The lower deck hosts the original steam boiler, steam engines and a model of the Kettle Valley Railway (with working miniature trains!) The upper decks have been fully restored, and you can see the cabins, dining saloon and even the Captain’s wheel. Visits take up to an hour, and guided tours are available.
Once again, I’d like to thank VisitPenticton.com for helping us out by answering our pesky questions. You can check out all that Penticton has to offer and maybe even start the ball rolling on scheduling your own trip there by checking out their website below:
The format of the show usually has either a little known historical person or event as its topic. Sometimes, a more well known person or event is the subject but the hosts try and explore some lesser known facts about them. It really is a great show to listen to as episodes come out or to download and listen to more leisurely, like say while sitting up in the North Cascades or out on the Oregon Coast, for example.
An episode of the podcast from a few years ago, one that’s still available online, tells the story of an event some Pacific Northwest residents are familiar with and some aren’t, the Pig War. This famous disagreement between Great Britain and the United States of America over who owned the San Juan Islands is entertaining and interesting at the very same time.
That’s right… Two great countries almost “went to war” over a dead pig on San Juan Island. 🙂
The Columbia River flows out of Canada, south through Washington, and then forms the border between Washington and Oregon before emptying into the Pacific Ocean. Along the way, it passes by some incredible areas like Lake Roosevelt, the Grand Coulee Dam, Central Washington’s Columbia Basin, the Hanford Reach, the confluence with the Snake River, the beautiful Columbia River Gorge where the river cuts through the Cascade Mountains, and finally where it widens at its mouth. The Columbia River is a great attraction itself, as well as an accent for any place located along it.
When you visit one of the many attractions or destinations along the river though, you need to find a great place to spend the night. With that in mind, here are five great Columbia River getaway destinations.
Kettle Falls, Washington
Kettle Falls sits south of the border with British Columbia, and once was an important salmon fishing site for local Native American tribes. The waterfalls that the community is named after were flooded by the rising water behind Grand Coulee Dam, but it is still an interesting small destination to get away to. The scenery that surrounds it is gorgeous and if you can get out on the water there, your trip is sure to be a success. The China Bend Winery is a great stop in the area. Other attractions and places to visit or stay at in the area around Kettle Falls includes the Old Kettle Falls Recreation Site, the Gifford Inchelium ferry crossing, Quillisascut Farm, and Northern Ales.
Crescent Bar, Washington
Crescent Bar is a small resort community on the Columbia River, located southeast of Wenatchee. Just upriver is Rock Island Dam, the first hydroelectric dam built on the American stretch of the Columbia River. Downriver from Crescent Bar is Wanapum Dam. This means that water recreation is one of the big draws there as the river is wider and deeper and allows for plenty of room. Crescent Bar is home to two golf courses, rental condos, restaurants, beach areas, boat launches, watercraft rentals, camping options, and more. Crescent Bar is also conveniently located near the famous Gorge Amphitheater where world class music acts can be seen all summer long.
Hood River, Oregon
Hood River sits in the Cascade Mountains, right on the Columbia River in the extremely gorgeous Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. Hood River has been famous for years as a great place to either watch windsurfers, or to get out on the water yourself. If you’re a fan of large dams, this is a great getaway because either on your way there or back, depending on your direction of travel, you’ll be able to see McNary Dam, John Day Dam, The Dalles Dam, and Bonneville Dam. Most of these have great visitors centers, picnic areas, and scenic overlooks. The most popular attraction for those visiting Hood River usually ends up being the Columbia River Gorge itself. It simply is one of the most beautiful spots in the Pacific Northwest. Other things to see when visiting there include Horsetail Falls, the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum, Marchesi Vineyards, Double Mountain Ranch, Gorge White House, Naked Winery, Smiley’s Red Barn, Mount Hood Railroad, and more.
Kelso – Longview, Washington
The neighboring communities of Kelso and Longview are located on the northern shore of the Columbia River, just west of Portland and Vancouver. This area has long ties to the lumber industry and also offers several side trips that make for great drives. It’s also close enough to use as a headquarters if you’re visiting Portland too. Some of the top attractions there are the Cowlitz County Historical Museum, Lake Sacajawea Park, the Rutherglen Mansion, and Willow Grove Park. A great way to enjoy the area is to book passage on any of the many river tours available there or back in Portland that will allow you to explore this part of the Columbia River. Another great attraction to check out there is the Ape Cave Lava Tubes. Here, you and your family, can venture underground and explore the longest continuous lava tube in the continental United States.
Astoria is a very welcoming community on the south shore of the Columbia River, located just before it empties into the Pacific Ocean. Astoria also sits on the south end of one of the best attractions in the area, the Astoria-Megler Bridge. This amazing bridge is just over four miles in length and makes for a great drive because you can look out one window and see upriver, the water of the Columbia River coming your way, and then look the other direction to see it leaving out into the ocean. Many visitors to Astoria end up driving back across the bridge to experience it all over again. Astoria also offers a nice selection of restaurants, bars, and pubs too. Other attractions to see in and around Astoria include Fort Stevens State Park, the Columbia River Maritime Museum, Fort Clatsop National Memorial, the Astoria Oregon Riverwalk, Flavel House Museum, Shallon Winery, the Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks, Bumble Bee Cannery Museum, and the Oregon Film Museum. A must visit attraction there is the Astoria Column which allows you to climb the stairs to the top for the best view of the community and the surrounding scenery. If you’re traveling with children, you’ll also not want to miss out on a ride on the Astoria Riverfront Trolley.
We’re back today with another look around the Pacific Northwest via the area’s social networking hashtags and accounts. I’m always impressed with the quality of photos and amazing subject matter that gets captured out there. Without further wasting time on an introduction, here they are…
Sometimes passing by a little example of public art is an immediate call to stop and take a picture. That’s what happened last year when I pulled off Highway 2 in Skykomish. There, right in front of a beautiful, orange Burlington Northern train was something even more colorful, multi-colored bicycles attached to a fence!
I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t know the story behind this cart project, but I admired the time and effort it took to create such a sight.
It grabbed my eye and lured me in. And isn’t that one of the goals of almost any work of art?
Olympia is both an important and fun destination in Washington State. You can stop there on a road trip through the area and visit the State Capitol, several museums, breweries, and all sorts of local scenic attractions. Olympia is also popular because it is located very near some great things to see and do. Here are just five of the many great things to see and do within an easy drive of Olympia
Ocean Shores is located on the Pacific coastline just west of Olympia. This beachfront community that sits on a peninsula has a lot to offer. There are tourist activities available like bumper boats, go karts, moped rentals, miniature golf, and more. The best part of Ocean Shores though is of course the beach. There is plenty of beach space to explore and stake out for yourself too. There are also miles of drivable beach too which means you can roll down the window and feel the wind off the water while you motor down the beach and find a place all to yourself. Visiting Ocean Shores for a couple of hours or more while staying in Olympia is a great idea.
Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad
Travel east from Olympia to the tiny town of Elbe and you’ll be able to take part in a very cool activity, the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad. Here you’ll be able to climb aboard a historic train and enjoy a trip through the woods on a rail line that has been operating in the area for a very long time. The route gives you a view of many things you would never see from the road and you also get a chance to check out one of the best railroad museums in the region. There’s nothiung quite like a ride on the Mt. Rainier Scenic Railroad.
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is located in a scenic part of Tacoma known as Point Defiance. The zoo is historic in nature which is very interesting, but what will be even better for you and anyone you’re traveling with are all the animals there. The zoo includes great examples of exotic animals from around the world. There is also a nice section devoted to animals from the Pacific Northwest. You’re sure to leave Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium trying to decide which was your favorite animal that you saw.
Johnston Ridge Observatory
Located south from Olympia by about two hours is Johnston Ridge Observatory. This important scenic sight is the best place to observe the crater of Mt. St. Helens from. You can tour the visitor center and learn a great deal about the surrounding land and the eruption that changed the geography there in 1980. You can also venture out to the viewpoint and see the hugeness of this important location up close and in person. You’ll really want to have your camera along for this. It’s something you won’t want to miss.
Ferry Ride to Seattle
With a drive of a little over an hour north to Bremerton, you can drive or walk on board and take an hour long ferry ride across Puget Sound to the Seattle Waterfront. Once there, you can hang out in the waterfront area, get a bite to eat, do some shopping, and then get back on board for another ferry ride back. While the Seattle Waterfront is great and has a lot to offer, one of the best parts about this experience is the ferry ride across the water. Relax and watch the water go by and the scenery change. There’s always plenty of activity on the water too with other ferries, sailboats, and ships active in the area. A ferry ride to Seattle is a great way to make any trip to Olympia even better.