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The Pacific Northwest

The states of Washington and Oregon form the region known as the Pacific Northwest, and are home to some of the most breath-taking and varied scenery in the USA. Washington deserves its title as ‘The Evergreen State’ due to its lush scenery and rich vegetation, while for fans of rugged coastal scenery, windswept beaches and snow-capped peaks, Oregon provides some of nature’s finest. Add to this a reputation for fine wines and delicious sea-food, and you have the recipe for an ideal holiday destination.

WASHINGTON

Sophisticated Seattle is the gateway to Washington State and the magnificent National Parks of Olympic, Mount St Helens and Mount Rainier. Puget Sound, between Canada and the Washington coast is the summer home to a resident pod of Orcas which play in its cold waters. Pike’s Place Market features over 600 vendors and is a seafood heaven with delicious Dungeness crab, fresh oysters and salmon on display along with freshly baked bread and cut flowers. Don’t miss the distinctive Space Needle for incomparable views of the surrounding mountain ranges.

Olympic National Park boasts old growth forests, temperate rain forests and nearly every hue of green imaginable. Lighthouses guard craggy coasts and rock pools are filled with sea creatures that migrating birds feast on during spring.

The Cascade Mountains encompass thundering rivers and volcanoes covered with glaciers. Mount Rainier owns the landscape and stands over 14,000ft with a permanent dusting of snow, and is surrounded by Alpine meadows blanketed with wildflowers.

OREGON

Highway 101 along the Oregon coast passes some of the most dramatic coastal scenery in North America. Classic coastal resorts steeped in character, sea ravaged shorelines of dramatic rock formations and miles and miles of white sand beaches await. Cosy seaside villages provide whale watching tours and hundreds of sea lions sunbathe on headlands on warm sunny days. Huge golden sand dunes rise 600ft at Oregon Dunes National Recreation Center.

Oregon’s highest peak, Mount Hood, rises majestically above the Western Cascades between Mount Rainier and Mount Shasta. Hear the roar of Multomah Falls as it plunges 620ft down the slopes of Larch Mountain. Further south Crater Lake National Park houses North America’s deepest lake, formed by a volcanic eruption 7,000 years ago, now surrounded by forested mountains.

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