Portland appeals because of its small-town but cosmopolitan aura, the friendliness of the citizenry, its lovely hillside parks, and its sweeping sense of history, starting with Lewis and Clark.
Outdoor travel adventures possible near Las Vegas include visits to Lake Mead, Hoover Dam, Red Rock Park, Valley of Fire Park, and the Overton Lost City Museum.
Las Vegas attracts with appeals far beyond gambling, including upscale resorts, spectacular entertainment, fine dining, and spas. Both the Strip and downtown Fremont Street have their fans. The Mob Museum, the zipline hovering above Fremont Street, and the Neon Museum are among the newer attractions. .
Yellowstone was our first national park and in many ways has advanced the concept of national parks more than any other unit in the system.
Seattle appeals to travelers for many reasons, starting with its Boeing Museum of Flight and its downtown Pike Place Market, featuring local wine and seafood.
The water-positive side of a Seattle visit includes possibly seeing orcas, lodging with water views at Inn at the Market Seattle, dining on crab and other local seafood at Chandler's Crabhouse, kayaking on Lake Union, seeing a sunset from Alki Park. and exploring the San Juan Islands from Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Possibly travel one way on the ferry Victoria Clipper III and the other way on a Kenmore Air deHavilland Otter seaplane.
Boise Idaho appeals to travelers because of its historic architecture, such as the Old Idaho Penitentiary, and its downtown greenbelt, the Julia Davis Park. Nearby you can raft the Salmon River, overnight at the Shepp guest ranch, and visit the World Center for Birds of Prey, where the peregrine falcon was saved.
Mt. Rainier National Park in Washington State intrigues with its white summit of glaciers, its volcanic legacy, the Paradise Visitor Center and Longmire family heritage, and the hiking and climbing opportunities as a visitor circles the mountain.
From Portland, an exploration of the Columbia River offers you Astoria, Fort Clatsop, Multnomah Falls, and the Bonneville Dam.
North Cascades National Park in Washington State, near Seattle, provides a traveler with good hikes, mountain scenery, and river views with salmon fishing along the Skagit River. Camping is possible at Goodell and Newhalen.
The Bohart Ranch (seven rooms) and the Lone Mountain Ranch (20 cabins), both near Bozeman in southern Montana, do a booming winter business for cross-country skiers.
Mt. Hood is the loveliest of the Cascade chain of extinct volcanoes in Oregon.While touring, see the Hood River Valley, lumbering at Elkhorn, and the Timberline Lodge.
Though the Grand Canyon of the Colorado is the best known "canyon" in the U.S., it is not actually the deepest. That honor falls to spectacular, 7,900-foot Hells Canyon on the Snake River of Idaho.
Washington State's Olympic National Park appeals to travelers because of its majestic mountain Mt. Olympus, its rain forests including the Hoh Queets and Quinalt , its rugged coastline with beaches such as Rialto Beach, and over 600 miles of hiking trails. Circle Mt. Olympus and Hurricane Ridge and visit Sequim, Winslow, the Scandinavian towns of Poulsbo, the historic lumber community of Port Gamble, the lovely Victorian legacy of Port Townsend, and the Makah Indian Museum at Neah Bay, Diversions to consider include the Kemper Brewery, an example of micro breweries, and the Olympic Game Farm in Sequim, as well as the state capital in Olympia.
Southwest Oregon presents itself as a friendly, unpretentious travel destination with three main pleasures: one of the two best-preserved Gold Rush towns in the west, Jacksonville, rivaled only by California's Columbia as a restoration; the most accessible of the eight designated wild and scenic rivers in the west, the Rogue, which you can see via jet boat or raft; and a nationally noted annual drama cycle, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland. Nearby Crater Lake is also a compelling one-act volcanic play, well worth a visit.
The 363-mile Oregon coast is one of the world's spectacular parks because it is all public land, owned by the people of Oregon.
The Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument celebrates the May 1980 eruption that blew nearly 2,300 feet of earth off the top of the volcano. Today you can tour the area and witness the recovering landscape.
Crater Lake National Park might be called the tour-de -orce national park. It is Oregon's great one-act play, a volcanic crater left over from a major eruption.
Beauty of nature in a high-desert setting and diverse outdoor sports attract visitors to the Bend region of Central Oregon.
The "dude" or guest ranch vacation continues to flourish in several western states despite the visible threat of urbanization and the invisible threat of skyrocketing liability insurance costs.
Anchorage is the gateway to many of the travel adventures available in Alaska. On your what to see and do list, put Resolution Park, Earthquake Park, salmon spawning, Anchorage Museum of History and Art, Alaska Native Heritage Center, Alaska Zoo, Portage Glacier, and Prince William Sound.
Alaska's Denali National Park lures visitors with views of the highest mountain in North America, Mt. McKinley, and with superb wildlife viewing of grizzly bears, moose, dall sheep, caribou, and wolves. Take the Wildlife Tour into Wonder Lake. Dogsled mushing demonstrations, flight seeing around the mountain and glaciers, and rafting the Nenana River are other special park experiences.
Hawaii's aloha spirit begins on the island of Oahu. Most travelers land in Honolulu, and hopefully will experience Waikiki Beach, the Bishop Museum, Iolani Palace, the King Kamehameha statue, the Hawaii Maritime Museum, Hokulea ship, Falls of Clyde ship, catamaran boats, Kapiolani Park, Waikiki Aquarium, Diamond Head, Queen Emma's Summer Palace, Senator Fong's Plantation and Garden, the Polynesian Cultural Center, and other great cultural resources.
A trip to Fairbanks takes you to the interior of Alaska, a landscape far more severe than the temperate coastal areas of Anchorage or Juneau-Skagway-Sitka. In Fairbanks, be sure to see dog mushing and the Musher's Museum, the Riverboat Discovery, the Athabaskan Indian Village, Log Cabin Information Center, the oil pipeline from Prudoe Bay to Valdez, and the Alaska Museum at the University of Alaska.
For Hawaii, a guidebook to the ancient historical sites on Oahu and an outstanding naturalist-hiking program on Maui are the treasures.