Pacific Northwest Travel Guide

The Pacific Northwest is a section in North America which extends from the sea to the continental divide, comprising all of Oregon, Washington and Idaho as well as adjoining fractions of Montana, Alaska, Yukon Territory and California. The region’s biggest cities are Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington. Forming a corridor where most of the people of the Pacific Northwest are concentrated, this area is sometimes regarded as a megalopolis.

Oregon presents a most diverse landscape, with dense forests, wide prairies, arid scrubland, deserts and a picturesque coastline. Most of the countryside, from mountain peaks to beaches, is unspoiled; thus the state has been dubbed ‘God’s country’. Particularly known for its pine forests that cover more than half of the area, Oregon also boasts numerous natural attractions and over 6,000 lakes. This makes it a real pleasure for nature freaks, though its value as a tourist spot is fairly marred by a plethora of rainy days.

Portland is the biggest city in Oregon but offers visitors little stimulation except for its multitude of roses and the locally brewed beer. Boasting 28 breweries—more than Cologne, Germany—it is promoted with the rather accurate nicknames of ‘Beertown’, ‘Brewtopia’ and ‘Beervana’.

A beverage of quite a different nature is preferred by the Seattleites in Washington, who have acquired a reputation for severe coffee consumption given Starbucks was established in Seattle. This scenically set young metropolis presents a fine performing arts and grunge music scene and has been repeatedly voted as one of the country’s most liveable cities, despite a large number of homeless persons who tend to occupy the streets when the commuters and shoppers have left.

Seattle’s major landmark is the Space Needle, the unmistakable 1960s tower that pops up in various Hollywood productions. Bordering Canada, Washington State features three national parks, one of the highlights being the 4,400 meter volcano peak at Mount Rainier.

For incomprehensible reasons, the Pacific Northwest has constantly had an exceptionally high concentration of eccentrics and rebels. The region used to be inhabited by strange characters such as chainsaw artists and backwoods hermits. Some long-time residents say it’s still as weird as ever, you only have to know where to look.


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