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  • Writer's pictureKathy Condon

Washington and Oregon Attractions

Updated: Jun 27, 2023

View from deck of friends in Bellevue Washington
Deck View at Friends Home in Bellevue Washington Photo by Kathy Condon

Many of you followed my quasi-vacation to the Northwest, specifically Bellevue, Vancouver, Washington; Gearhart, Oregon; and Astoria, Oregon. My 17-day odyssey included laughter, hugs, exploration of new areas, and fabulous food. My transportation included: Airplanes, which I can happily report were on time and had no lost baggage, a scenic train ride, and a road trip.

Now that I have recovered from Travel Fog, it is time to focus on the many articles queried and approved by publications before I left on the journey. Meanwhile, my brain dances with new possible queries, like writing about The Coffee Girls, a place hidden away on an Astoria, Oregon pier and frozen in time.

Planning a Visit to Bellevue Washington

The planning for the trip began when my friends in Palm Desert, Sheri of California Caftans, and her husband, David, came home from a date. I took care of their dogs that evening. When they came home that night, they took out their calendar and asked when I was coming to stay with them in their Bellevue, Washington, home next summer. We settled on the end of August.

Arrival in Bellevue the beginning of Exploring the Washington and Oregon Attractions

The August day came, and I flew into Everett Field, Washington. Immediately upon being picked up, David began a tremendously informative tour through easily accessible areas of the Boeing manufacturing complex. Believed to be the largest one-level building in the world, sliding open doors revealed planes in various stages of construction as far as the eye could see.

I got out of the car at their home and started breathing in the fresh evening air on the patio surrounded by evergreen trees. I sensed it was going to be a very good six days. Indeed, it was relaxing, filled with laughter, good food, and winetasting. I am grateful to Visit Bellevue for organizing some of our adventures.

Amtrak Depot Ceiling in the Seattle Washington a delight Washington and Oregon Attractions
Ceiling of Amtrak Depot in Seattle WA Photo by Kathy Condon

Amtrak Train Ride to Vancouver Washington

The bus ride from Everett to connect with Amtrak was filled to the brim. With its ornate cornices and snow-white interior, Union Station in downtown Seattle was a joy to see again. The train ride was filled with beautiful scenery, following along the Columbia River to my destination of Vancouver, Washington.

My friend of 30-plus years, Molly Silva, picked me up and ushered me into my room in her beautiful new condo, again with a lovely patio surrounded by tall evergreen trees.

Reconnecting with Friends in Vancouver Washington

Vancouver had been my home for 26 years before I moved to Palm Springs 10 years ago. I was thrilled to have breakfast with friends, coffee, dinner, and just quick conversations that resulted from people seeing my posts on Facebook.

Room View from AC Vancouver Waterfront Hotel in Vancouver Washinton one of the special Washington and Oregon Attractions Journey
Room View of AC Vancouver Waterfront Photo by Kathy Condon

Checking into the AC Vancouver Waterfront Hotel

I was asked to review the AC Vancouver Waterfront Hotel through my travel writing work and was granted a two-night stay. This beautiful hotel perched on the Columbia River's edge open in June of 2022. I quickly noticed the little things, cocktail cubes embossed with AC, Tug the robot ready to serve, a square-shaped toilet, and a spectacular view from my room overlooking the river. Again, more information will come out in my articles about this casual yet luxury feel hotel.

Morning Beach Scene at Gearhart Oregon one of my favorite stops on the Washington and Oregon Attraction Journeys
Morning Beach Scene at Gearhart OR Photo by Kathy Condon

Road Trip to Gearhart Beach

With the journey of Washington and Oregon attractions on the Washington side on Highway 4, we marveled that there was no traffic, even on a holiday weekend. This destination was truly a vacation for me, an arranged stay with a dear friend of 30-plus years. Her former beach house has now become her permanent residence, and the gardens surrounding it flourish under her green thumb.

We made morning trail walks to the ocean beach, dined in the area, and reveled in Mary's knowledge of history and places surrounding the beach towns of Seaside, Cannon Beach, Astoria, and Gearhart.

As a trustee of the Columbia River Maritime Museum in Astoria, her knowledge and tour brought to life the essence of the ships' perilous trips over the world's most dangerous bar where the Pacific Ocean and Columbia River meet.

Cannery Pier Hotel and Spa in Astoria Oregon one of the stops on the journey of Washington and Oregon Attracxtions
Cannery Pier Hotel and Spa in Astoria Oregon Photo by Kathy Condon

Checked into the Cannery Pier Hotel and Spa in Astoria Oregon

On this trip, I was assigned the great duty of reviewing the Cannery Pier Hotel and Spa on the ocean's edge in Astoria, California. On a hunch, we arrived mid-morning and were thrilled we could check into our room with a full ocean view. So much to share with you in the future. Let's say, for now, it was terribly hard to pry ourselves away from this luxurious yet casual, romantic hotel, newly opened after an entire remodel in April 2022.

Trip Through Portland Oregon on the Way to Lake Oswego Oregon

My final planned stop was lunch in Lake Oswego. I was hoping we would have lunch on my friends' deck, which I knew was surrounded by evergreens, so I could get one last time to enjoy the incredible weather of the Northwest that followed me for the entire time of my journey.

Paula and Scott did not disappoint. Greeted with Prosecco and a toast to long friendships, we thoroughly enjoyed a shrimp salad accompanied by fresh garden tomatoes. Let's say all had a good time.

Flight Home on United Airlines

An early-morning flight on United Airlines from Portland was made stress-free by my friend Pennie's ride to the airport. With no delays in Portland or San Francisco, where I changed planes, arrival was on time for a terrific greeting from Palm Springs friend Rob.

Final Part of the Journey

With a suitcase in hand, I opened the door to my condo. All was well, even though temperatures had hovered over 110 degrees a fair amount of the time I was gone, while I enjoyed perfect weather in the Northwest.

For many reasons, seeing Washington and Oregon attractions was a magnificent trip. I am thrilled I get to relive the adventure and will share more detailed descriptions of the places mentioned above. Now, it is time to settle in, tends to my dog-sitting duties, and write my promised articles for various publications.

Kathy Condon Palm Springs sharing Washington and Oregon Atrractions on her journey to the NW.
Kathy Condon Palm Springs Travel Writer

Kathy Condon is a journalist and travel writer who has been to 29 countries, 16 islands and 49 states (Alaska on the bucket list).

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