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Northwest Explorer - 6 days
With its collection of dynamic cities, charming small towns, striking waterways, and elegant, majestic mountains, The Pacific Northwest is one the most stunningly diverse regions in the world. The 6-day Northwest Explorer introduces you to Washington and Oregon and the Northwest lifestyle. Enjoy rugged mountain views and the rustic Bavarian charms of Leavenworth. Take a journey to the gently rolling hills of the Palouse and Washington’s iconic wine country. World-class vineyards and vintners will delight your senses as you travel the pioneer trail to Walla Walla, “Washington’s friendliest town.” and more!
Seattle > Leavenworth > Walla Walla > Portland
As you emerge from the dense, winding forests of the Cascade Mountains, the charming village of Leavenworth envelops you in a cozy cocoon of Bavarian charm. We’ll start by stretching our legs downtown on our favorite river-front walking trail, where the gentle gurgling of a fresh mountain stream creates the perfect ambiance to take in the 360′ mountain views, timber A-frame homes, and to catch a whiff of sizzling German sausage and cold lager served up in the many local stein houses.
During our stay, you’ll have plenty of free time to explore the village on your own terms, or for the more adventurous, take the opportunity to raft the roaring Wenatchee river and feel the exhilaration of crashing through some of its world-famous standing waves, surrounded by stunning scenery and plentiful sunshine. Or if you prefer an aerial challenge, jump on a high-flying zipline to soar above the towering pines and take in the unrivaled views of the Eastern Cascades.
Meals Included: Lunch, Reception
Optional Add-ons: Zipline, Rafting, Cider Tasting, Hiking
Hotel: Bavarian Lodge, or similar
Prepare to be awe-struck by the sheer immensity of the dramatic Columbia River Basin and its splendid vistas as we set off on our journey deep into the oasis that is the heart of Washington wine country. Surrounded by acres of lush orchard valleys and vineyards, you’ll admire the expansive views of this premier wine region with its diverse landscape and fertile soil as we head to one of the Red Mountain AVA wineries for a delicious lunch.
Onwards we drive, through the gentle, scenic charm of this beautiful region towards the foot of the Blue Mountains where the lovely town of Walla Walla awaits with its laid-back spirit and welcoming appeal. As soon as you set foot in Walla Walla, you’ll understand just what makes this community so special. A brief walking tour will give you a fun glimpse into this culturally magnetic town, with its restored 19th- century buildings, restaurants, art galleries, and wine-tasting rooms. Take the whole evening to get better acquainted with the place and choose from a plethora of top-notch dining possibilities catering to all tastes.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel: Marcus Whitman, Marriott, or similar
Walla Walla doesn’t stop with the wine, this town is built on authentic American history and you can jump right back in time, immersing yourself in the lifestyles, traditions, and crafts of the region’s most influential past residents including the Native Americans who first settled here, the Lewis and Clark expedition, and the Oregon Trail Pioneers.
The rest of the day is yours to design how you please. Savor a selection of full-bodied reds in the numerous tasting rooms, or dip in and out of the art galleries and neighborhood shops in town, soaking up the friendly vibe of Main Street and exploring downtown.
We’ll punctuate a perfect Walla Walla day with a special multi-course dinner in the evening.
Optional Add-Ons: Cycle tour, Golfing, Wine tasting (prices vary)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Who says the heyday of the American Cowboy is over? Decide for yourself as we visit the town known for the legendary 110-year-old rodeo, the Round Up in the wild-west town of Pendleton, Oregon. After you’ve had your fill of bucking broncos, you’ll get a taste of Western heritage with a side of pioneering spirit as we visit the famous Pendleton Woolen Mills and see how the tradition of rich craftsmanship continues to thrive here today.
Next up – Portland via the achingly beautiful Columbia River Gorge. We’ll wind our way through a series of scenic locations worthy of a National Geographic photo shoot, making countless stops to marvel at the deep blues and dark greens of this unique, magical 80-mile long river canyon, shaped by ancient volcanoes and floods.
All that awe-inspiring nature works up an appetite, once in Portland your only challenge will be deciding what dinner looks like with such a huge range of culinary delights at your doorstep, from unique food trucks to fine dining – this city is truly an epicenter of deliciousness.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel: Mark Spencer, Dossier Hotel, or similar
Join us as we explore Portland, the City of Roses on a walking tour, where you’ll understand just what makes this uber-cool city so appealing, with all its indie quirks, acres of green outdoor space, and distinct local character brought together by a strong, environmentally conscious and friendly community.
The rest of the day is free for you to choose your own adventure. Whether that’s adding a little outdoor exercise with a cycle or Segway tour, or getting to know the city your own way, exploring different neighborhoods, hopping aboard the MAX train, visiting museums, off-beat boutiques, or meandering along the riverfront. There’re so many different ways to experience what makes Portland special, and each one will give you a unique perspective into this vibrant, hipster haven of a city.
However, you spend your day, we hope you will find time to join us for a reception in the early evening.
Optional Add-Ons: Cycle tour, wine tasting, Segway tour (prices vary)
Meals Included: Breakfast, Reception
Today we return to Seattle, however, the adventure is not over yet! We’ll make the trip through the deep, dense shadows of the Cascadian Mountain Range, taking in the volcanoes that form part of the Pacific Ring of Fire, and marveling at the glacier-carved waterways of Puget Sound and stunning natural coastline of the Salish Sea with its diverse habitat, sustaining an incredible variety of wildlife. We pass through several towns scattered across the historic Pacific Highway including Centralia, Olympia, and Tacoma before arriving in Seattle in the early afternoon.
If you are flying home from Portland, arrange your flight afternoon.
If you are flying home from Seattle, arrange your flight 16:00 or later.
Meals Included: Breakfast