With its charming coastal homes, year round amusements, and lively ways to have fun, Seaside is a first rate family playground. Rain or shine it offers history that intrigues, shops to browse, and madcap activities that enthrall the young and the young at heart alike. Less than 100 miles from Portland, you arrive before anyone in the back seat asks "Mommy, Daddy, are we there yet?"
Imagine prairie grasslands and oak savannas surrounded by forests of Douglas fir. Lewis and Clark saw pristine wilderness when they reached Washington’s frontier. Although Capt. James Cook failed to find a northwest passage to the Far East, he discovered a land rich in animal furs. Mink, otter, fox, lynx, bear, and especially beaver made 19th Century Vancouver a fur-trading dynamo, with a cultural, commercial, and political history worth exploring.
Remember Aesop’s fable about the tortoise and the hare? A hare in a race with a tortoise that got so far ahead he became over confident and stopped for a nap. While he was sleeping, the tortoise plodded past and won the race.
Today, our lifestyles push us so fast we feel like the hare, and our ancestors feel like the tortoise. But there’s a link between throttling down and living a richer life. A trip through Washington’s rural Clark County will reacquaint you with the past and a sensible pace of living.
For a lovely evening with someone special or to relax on your own, visit Pacific City where sandstone cliffs meet the sea. Located at the south end of the Three Capes Scenic Loop-which includes Cape Meares, Cape Lookout, and Cape Kiwanda-Pacific City is a wonderful spot. Pristine sands give its public beaches a private feel. You can drive your car along the water, launch a boat, or amble peacefully beside the waves and throw a stick for your dog. Pacific City’s long waves make it a Mecca for surfers.
From its famous cheese to its cape-sheltered coast, Tillamook attracts visitors from around the world. Less than 100 miles from Portland, it’s an ideal spot to spend the day. Tillamook sits nestled in a valley of pastures between coastal mountains and the sea. Tillamook Indians gave the town its name: "Land of many waters." Its countryside, dotted with dairies, is lush and serene.
Tillamook County Creamery Association Read More
Gardens are magical, always changing and ready to please all the senses. The Oregon Garden in picturesque Silverton is no exception. Just fifty miles south of Portland, it blooms with charm twelve months a year. The space encompasses a cluster of sixteen gardens, each with its own theme and special appeal.
Around the world and throughout time people have wanted to fly. Airplanes let us follow this dream. They carry our hearts and imaginations into the sky. The kingdom of Babylon mints a coin with its king riding on the back of an eagle. A Chinese prince floats over the city of Ye, his body strapped to a kite. A Spanish inventor, wearing a set of cloth wings, survives his leap from the minaret of the Mosque of Cordoba.
Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum
You’re never alone in the Gorge. Whether it’s the Columbia River surging toward the sea, or basalt cliffs soaring like magical beings, the Gorge is alive. Towering conifers add to its majesty. Its wild beauty is a treat for the eye, and human life has pulsed here for thousands of years. People lived in the Gorge before there was writing. They left their stories in rock etchings called Petroglyphs, and rock paintings called pictographs. Read More
It’s easy to see how water shapes the land. Water has been called the most powerful element because it resists nothing and can wear down rock. A river like the Columbia shapes human lives, too. How about a trip that explores how the river has influenced human life? You can drive from Vancouver to the coast, and back to Portland in a day, and enjoy two states on one tank of gas.
To the Coast through Washington
Ridgefield, WA National Wildlife Refuge (off I-5 near Longview)