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Northwest Lifestyle - 4 days
This fully escorted tour, with a professional tour director and transportation, will plunge you straight into the epic, natural beauty of Washington state. The sprawling Cascade Mountains and unique marine ecosystem of the Salish Sea are what truly define the rugged magnificence of the Pacific Northwest. You’ll get an authentic taste of Northwest lifestyle in the cities of Bellingham and Seattle, where endless outdoor adventure combines with an abundance of locally produced, farmed, fished, or foraged cuisine.
Bellingham is as Northwest as it gets, being the last major city in the contiguous U.S where the pristine coastline meets the wild Canadian border. Lying in the shadows of Mt. Baker, Bellingham is the place for exploring quirky little bookstores, sipping on award-winning craft beers, and choosing from an inexhaustible variety of outdoor activities. Seattle, cradled by sea, glacier-shrouded mountains, and ancient, evergreen forests is a dynamic, urban hub, home to tech giants Amazon and Microsoft, and chock-full with some of the most iconic Northwest sights and quintessential experiences sure to be on your bucket list.
Seattle > Bellingham
Get situated, check into your downtown Seattle hotel and meet your InquisiTours host. Prepare for the thrill of floating over Seattle’s sublime skyline with a visit to the iconic Space Needle. Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, today, the Space Needle features floor-to-forever glass floors that create the sensation of hovering weightlessly above the glittering city below.
Be captivated by the sheer intricacy of the world-class collection of breathtaking blown glass art set in both indoor galleries and outdoor gardens at The Chihuly Garden & Glass. In the evening, we’ll sample the delights of Washington’s premier wine culture with a delectable food and wine pairing dinner.
Meals included: Dinner
Hotel: Mayflower Hotel, or similar
After breakfast, we head north through the picturesque scenery of Skagit Valley to the city of Bellingham, Washington, and the Historic Fairhaven District with its red-brick Victorian-era architecture and quaint, neighborhood streets. You will have time to stroll the local shops, grab a latte at one of the unique little coffee shops, and meander in and out of bookstores.
In the afternoon, we travel to the seclusion and rural beauty of Lummi Island where we’ll take a kayaking tour on the shores of the Salish Sea. Let the wild air rejuvenate your soul as we paddle the coastal waterways, searching for Orcas and gazing in awe at the endless blue-green vistas. After checking into your hotel, you’ll meet your host for happy hour, where you’ll also get suggestions and top tips for an enjoyable night on your own.
Meals included: Breakfast, Reception
Hotel: Sheraton Four Points, or similar
Today the glacial mountains and lakes are calling! We will be exploring the rugged, remote, and awe-inspiring landscapes of The North Cascades and Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. From Bellingham, we’ll follow the spectacular and wild Nooksack River as it weaves and winds through towering evergreens, steep valleys, and farmlands towards the iconic snow-capped peaks of Mt. Baker and Mt. Shuksan.
The whole day stretches before us to soak up the idyllic beauty and classic vistas of this truly incredible landscape. The reflection of majestic Mt. Shuksan in the alpine waters of Picture Lake is a must-see, as is the staggeringly beautiful panorama from Artist Point. We’ll enjoy a picnic with these world-class views and follow accessible trails* such as the Fire and Ice Trail, winding its way through this impressive terrain. In the evening, you can discover the flavors of Bellingham’s highly decorated beer scene with a beer and food pairing dinner. *National Forest may be substituted depending on seasonal snowpack and road accessibility.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Picnic Lunch, Dinner
After a leisurely morning, we’ll hit the road southwards on Washington State’s most iconic and scenic byway – Chuckanut Drive. Hugging the weather-beaten shoreline, this historic highway takes us right to the forested trails of Larabee State Park, where we’ll enjoy a short hike in the 2000 plus acres of parkland, tide pools, and crystal lakes. Nothing says original Northwest seafood like a fresh oyster, so next up we’ll be heading straight to Samish Bay to indulge our taste buds.
After lunch, we wrap up our adventures and return to Seattle for your trip home.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch