If you’ve ever been to the west coast of America then you’ll no doubt be familiar with the likes of Vegas, LA and San Francisco all of which are well-known for their sun, sea and sand reputations.
However, if you’d prefer to visit a few locations further up the coast then you’ll find a bounty of experiences that don’t have to rely on the weather to tick all of your travelling needs.
Below are the heavyweights of the Pacific Northwest that will take you through Alaska and into Canada as well as providing a whole host of things to do away from the Californian beach scene.
Regarded as the coffee capital of America this is Washington state’s finest and you’ll never ever think of the beach again once you’ve checked out the Emerald City. The home of grunge music, Frazer Crane and America’s largest Pride festival, Seattle is a liberal and open-minded city as well as a bastion of culture and the high arts. The Space Needle, Woodland Park Zoo and the Seattle Aquarium are all perfect options if you’re stuck for things to do and if you’re a fan of fresh fish and micro-breweries then head to Pike Place Market and you won’t be disappointed.
Located in British Columbia, Canada, and often overlooked by casual tourists, the city of Surrey is definitely worth checking out if you’re in the area. With over 600 parks this is undoubtedly a great spot when the sun’s shining and if you’re hoping to get outdoors and active you’ll find plenty of woodland trails, golf courses and wildlife-filled wetlands, to ensure your day will be well spent. Shops, spas and no end of farmers’ markets add to the attraction and if you fancy sampling a drop of the local nectar then there are some great wineries that are ripe for a tasting tour.
Fondly regarded as one of America’s greenest cities, Portland, Oregon, is blessed with a wealth of gardens, parks and scenic spots which makes it the perfect alternative to a day at the beach. The Tom McCall Waterfront Park is a perfect example and from running tracks and basketball to cherry trees and fountains, this is certainly the place to come if you’re looking to hang with the locals. Oregon Zoo, Portland Art Museum and Oaks Amusement Park are certainly all worth a visit however, if you’re longing for peace and tranquillity then head to the Japanese Garden and you’re sure to discover enlightenment.
From the historic Gastown district to a wide range of galleries, theatres and museums, it’s easy to see why Vancouver is far more than just a gateway to the Canadian Rockies. This is the place to come to if you want to indulge in culture by day and dancing by night and if you’re hoping to let your hair down then the Granville Entertainment District is certainly the place to head to once the sun sets. Stanley Park, VanDusen Botanical Gardens and Queen Elizabeth Park are excellent options on a sunny day however, as mentioned, the Canadian Rockies are really accessible and taking the tri-weekly train service to Jasper National Park will deposit you right in the heartland.
Heading north into Alaska is about as far away from the Californian coast as you’re going to get however, a visit to Anchorage still presents no end of recreational and natural things to do all-year-round. With more parks and gardens than can be considered fair, Anchorage is just one of those cities that you can’t help but fall in love with and from the Chugach Mountains to Kincaid Park, anyone looking to trek America and discover the great outdoors will find themselves in paradise. Aside from all the glacial and mountain beauty you’ll find loads of shops, bars and an indoor waterpark that are all awesome options once you tire of life outdoors.