Fall Getaways in the PNW
Have you noticed the air lately? Even with a full day of sun, it feels a little crisp and a bit cooler. The season has changed and here in the Pacific Northwest, we can be thankful for our gorgeous fall transition. The sky is blue, the trees are orange and there’s a gentle refreshing breeze swirling through the falling leaves.
Fall can be a great time of year to get out and explore the Northwest. With cooler weather and fewer crowds, many destinations are actually more enjoyable in the fall months. Not to mention the views, fall foliage can completely change the scenery and give you a whole new experience. Whether you’re looking to for the laid back island life to ease into fall or would like to take advantage of the harvest season and tour wine country, the Pacific Northwest is the place to go.
Just an hour north of Seattle you’ll find beautiful Whidbey Island, a quiet relaxing island that is so peaceful it feels much further away. Even though the island is close to Seattle, the rainfall is much different. Whidbey Island is located in the rain shadow of the Olympic National Forest giving it many more dry weather days to get out and explore which works out perfect because the island offers many activities to keep you entertained. You can spend one day visiting quaint shops, galleries, museums, another beachcombing, biking or whale watching, and the next touring wineries, breweries and farms.
Speaking of farms, Whidbey Island has a vibrant farming community which has in the past few years expanded to offering farm-to-table experiences. At some restaurants, your chef creates a meal for you made up of locally grown ingredients he/she hand selects. Other farm-to-table experiences include the farm. You might get to enjoy your meal right there on the farm. Some farms also offer a tour of the farm and include a chance to cook your own meal with their chef. There are plenty to choose from depending on how hands on you want to be.
If you end up having more than a few days on the island, Whidbey has you covered with over 55 miles from end to end and multiple towns in between. Some favorites to visit are Langley, Freeland, Coupeville and Oak Harbor. Here are a few websites with helpful information on Whidbey Island to check out upcoming events, places to stay and travel hints:
Many wineries call the Pacific Northwest home. In most regions you’ll come across at least a couple for touring or tasting. One of the younger up-and-coming regions is the Columbia River Gorge. Not only does the Columbia River Gorge have spectacular views of the Columbia River and Mt. Hood from both Washington and Oregon, its combination of weather and terrain make it an ideal environment to grow grapes. You will find roughly 50 vineyards and over 30 wineries along the gorge.
In addition to wine touring, the gorge offers many other activities to fill your days. The terrain that those grapes love makes it a great place for numerous fun activities. There a plenty of hiking trails, beautiful waterfalls, and the river to explore, as well as, zip lining, horseback riding, golfing and boating adventures. If you’re looking for something a little less strenuous to experience, there are art studios and museums to fill your time between wineries.
If you happen to travel with someone who prefers a brewery over a winery, there are plenty of those along the Columbia River Gorge too.
Whether you find yourself enjoying the island life on Whidbey Island or end up touring the wineries along the Columbia River Gorge, now is the to time get out and enjoy the Pacific Northwest. Fall is only here for a while…