Trip Highlights: Pacific Northwest
From the metropolitan city of Seattle to the charming Victorian seaside town of Port Townsend, from vibrant Victoria, British Columbia to the magnificent Olympic National Park and mystical Deception Pass, the Pacific Northwest offers up one of the most diverse adventure tours in our lineup.
The terrain on the Olympic Peninsula adventure varied from flat trails to steep hills with many surprises in between. For example, cycling Lopez island felt like a lazy Sunday afternoon as we rolled through the small villages, along the coastline sprinkled with anchored boats and small farms. Alternatively, our travels to Fidalgo Island via Deception Pass provided dramatic views of the islands far below. On Whidbey Island, home to the US Navy Air Station, jets practiced their daily maneuvers overhead as we rode the island trails.
The quaint Victorian seaside city of Port Townsend was our departure point to Marrowstone Island, where we encountered one of the most beautiful and scenic bike trails I’ve ever been on. Its 35 miles of paved trail took us over powerful rolling rivers and through quiet dense forest with tall, lush Fir trees and a spectacular view of Puget Sound.
Next, we hiked a six-mile route through the Olympic National Park, with grand views of Lake Crescent and the Olympic Mountain range. At the lake, we saw kids jumping from rock cliffs into a swimming hole called the Punch Bowl. Although it was tempting, nobody in our group was persuaded to join in the “fun.”
Victoria, British Columbia, also known as Vancouver Island was our next destination, where a network of bike trails took us throughout this very bike-friendly city. Victoria’s Harbor was bustling with water taxis buzzing passengers from one spot to another; seaplanes coming and going; a rowing team practicing for competition; local artists displaying their wares; and vistors enjoying libations and delicious meals. From the harbor, we followed a bike trail to the beautiful Butchart Gardens, one of Victoria’s top attractions for over 100 years. We continued on the trail into Sidney to catch the ferry back to Seattle. Traveling via the ferry system provided a close up view of the San Juan Islands chain and some rare whale spottings as well.
Our last two days of this adventure were spent exploring the beautiful Emerald city. Although the weather in the Pacific Northwest can be unpredictable, we were very fortunate to experience Seattle in full sunshine. A must-do on our itinerary was a visit to the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum at the Seattle Center. Seattle is so lucky to have a permanent display of this incredible work of art. Another favorite is a trip to Pike Place Market, where we enjoyed watching the antics at the fish market. If you’re unsure what these antics entail, you’ll just have to experience it for yourself. For the most dramatic and spectacular sights of Seattle we headed to the Space Needle where we had a 360° view of the city, and then took a ride on The Seattle Great Wheel at Pier 57, the tallest Ferris wheel on the west coast.
We found this tour to be exciting and so interesting, with a new adventure at every turn. The extensive, well maintained bike routes, our excellent accommodations, the friendly people we met along the way, and all the great restaurants culminated into a wonderful experience for everyone traveling with us.
We had a great time on this tour and look forward to getting back there. We hope you’ll join us next time!