The Best of the West: Top Attractions in the Pacific Northwest
1. Pike Place Market, Seattle, Washington
This public farmer’s market opened in 1907 and is the only one to be named a National Historic Place; don’t miss the fish hurling antics in the fish mongers’ stalls.
2. Historic Columbia River Highway & Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
The majestic Columbia River slices between Oregon and Washington, separating the states and forming the Columbia River Gorge, one of the Northwest’s most visited attractions where you’ll find stunning vistas, scenic waterfalls, and endless hiking routes.
3. Capilano Suspension Bridge, Vancouver, British Columbia
Stretching 140 meters (460 feet) over the river bed 70 meters (230 feet) below, this historic suspension bridge is a must-see for those without a fear of heights.
4. Crater Lake, Oregon
This stunning sapphire blue lake, formed by a volcanic eruption, is Southern Oregon’s claim to fame as the country’s deepest lake.
5. Washington Park
Atop the western hills of Portland you’ll find Washington Park and the surrounding area that is home to more tourist attractions than anywhere else in the city, most within easy walking distance of one another, including the Oregon Zoo, the World Forestry Center, Hoyt Arboretum, the Japanese Garden, and famous International Rose Test Gardens.
6. Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland, Oregon
More of an institution than a festival, the bohemian town of Ashland’s Shakespeare Festival lasts from February through October and features a variety of contemporary and classical plays as well as theater-themed fun.
7. Stanley Park, Vancouver, British Columbia
Vancouver’s urban park is 10% larger than Central Park in New York City, and offers all-day entertainment for every type of tourist including hiking and walking paths, natural and manmade monuments, beaches, recreation facilities, and a swimming pool.
8. Breweries, Portland, Oregon
With more per capita than any city in the world, you don’t have to walk far before you stumble across a brewery in Portland; a few of the most legendary, Rogue Distillery & Public House, Deschutes Brewery, and Bridgeport Ale House are located in downtown.
9. Butchart Gardens, Victoria, British Columbia
Just outside the city of Victoria you’ll find this ornate collection of floral displays and gardens that are one of Canada’s National Historic Sites, receiving more than one million visitors each year.
10. Whistler, British Columbia
Not far from Vancouver you’ll find Whistler, a resort town that is home to year-round outdoor recreation and the site of the 2010 Winter Olympics.
11. Grouse Mountain, Vancouver, British Columbia
Board the aerial tram to reach this 1,200 meter (4,000 feet) peak where you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of Vancouver and the surrounding wilderness as well as summer hiking or winter snow sports.
12. Space Needle, Seattle, Washington
For amazing views of the Seattle skyline or just a little fun or fine dining, head to the top of this 518 feet tall tower and enjoy the view or a meal at the rotating restaurant.
13. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
14,000 feet tall Mount Rainier is the tallest peak in the Cascade Range and is the perfect place for outdoor recreation all year long.
14. Timberline Lodge & Mount Hood, Oregon
Northern Oregon’s most famous landmark is the jagged snowy peak of Mount Hood, home to several ski resorts and the National Historic Landmark Timberline Lodge.
15. Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, Washington
You might remember Mount St. Helen’s for its smoky eruption and ensuing destruction back in 1980, but even if you don’t know much about St. Helen’s this flat-topped volcano in central Washington is well-worth a visit to learn about the mountain’s history and explore the surrounding natural areas.
* The items on this article are listed in no particular order because it’s too hard to pick the best. This list is based on research regarding the most visited tourist attractions and destinations.