The Pacific Northwest offers some of the most unique and beautiful landscape in the country. Lush green mountains, high waterfalls, and a dramatic coastline dotted with charming lighthouses. June’s connection of the month is between Portland and Seattle. Portland offers a massive selection of outdoor sightings from the towering Mount Hood to the iconic Multnomah Falls, while Seattle is filled to the brim with culture and cosmopolitan charm.
Travel Between Portland and Seattle
Portland to Seattle with Greyhound starting from $17.00
Explore the Outdoors in Portland
Famous from the popular show Portlandia, the city of Portland is known for its natural beauty, coffee culture and environmentally friendly denizens. The city has a laid-back atmosphere, and both tourists and locals enjoy relaxing in “Portland’s Living Room,” which is at the Pioneer Courthouse Square with steps appearing like an amphitheatre, fountains and an outdoor chess table. Book lovers will rejoice when they visit Powell’s City of Books, which has over two million books, and is the largest independent bookstore in the world. The city is also known for its thriving craft beer scene, with Deschutes Brewery & Public House, 10 Barrel Brewing Co. and BridgePort Brewery.
The city of Portland is full of extensive museums and art galleries to choose from. The Portland Art Museum is one of the country’s oldest museums with an impressive collection, consisting of over 42,000 pieces in its permanent collection alone. The Museum of Contemporary Craft offers multiple exhibitions about the history of craft, and the Museum of Science and Industry has over a million annual visitors. One of the city’s most famous structures is the Pittock Mansion, built in the French-Renaissance style, and featuring in several television programs and movies.
Portland also has a plethora of green spaces, both inside and outside the city’s limits, a real breath of fresh air. From the Lan Su Chinese Gardens, considered one of the most authentic Chinese gardens outside of China to the tranquil Japanese Gardens and the sizable Washington Park, Portland really is one of America’s greenest cities. The Hoyt Arboretum features over a thousand different plant species from around the world. About 30 miles outside the city, the Multnomah Falls Lodge is open as of March, and the falls are Oregon’s tallest. The viewing platforms are wheelchair accessible. If you want to see even more waterfalls, the Columbia River Gorge boasts about 90 waterfalls in general, including the aforementioned Multnomah Falls. Viewable from the city on a clear day, Mount Hood towers over Portland in the distance, as Oregon’s highest peak. The mountain offers summer skiing and plenty of hiking and mountain biking opportunities. And for all the wine connoisseurs out there, less than an hour’s drive from Portland will bring you to the Willamette Valley, which features over 250 wineries.
Unique Sightseeing in Seattle
Known for its unofficial motto, “De Libertas Quirkas,” or the freedom to be peculiar, Seattle is certainly a unique city that’s full of colorful people. This message can be heard loud and clear during the city’s annual Fremont Solstice Parade, which takes place before the Summer Solstice, and even features a naked bike ride. Seattle is Washington State’s most populous city, and has become a major metropolitan center in the Pacific Northwest, with a massive presence in the tech industry. As a result, the city has attracted a rather young and creative population that energizes the city, despite its notoriety for the weather.
Of course, everyone knows the Emerald City for the Space Needle, which dominates the city’s skyline, but you can save some money and do as the Seattleites do by going up the Smith Tower, which also offers stunning views of the city’s downtown. The Pike Place Market is the perfect place to pick up some keepsakes and sample an array of local foods while passing the Post Alley Gum Wall. The Gum Wall itself is also the starting point for the Market Ghost Tour, which includes Seattle’s first mortuary and a graveyard. The Frye Art Museum features a selection of European and American collections from the 19th and 20th centuries. The 98-year-old Ballard Locks are on the National Register of Historic Places, connecting the Lake Washington Ship Canal with Puget Sound, and is the perfect place for spotting all kinds of boats, like yachts and barges.
Like Portland, Seattle also boasts plenty of outdoor spaces to enjoy the summer weather in, such as Waterfall Garden Park in the Pioneer Square neighborhood. The park is a nice relaxing reprieve to take a break during a busy day of sightseeing with a charming 22ft waterfall. The ‘Gas Works Park’ matches the city’s unique identity by being ranked among the strangest parks in the world for incorporating parts of the gas plant that previously operated there. Today, the park is a quirky outdoor space with plenty of greenspace to enjoy and waterfront views. The Olympic Sculpture Park is a wonderful place to step outdoors on a sunny day while enjoying modern art, such as the park’s iconic red eagle. Over 500 acres, Seattle’s Discovery Park, is the perfect place for outdoor enthusiasts, offering a variety of different landscapes, such as rocky beaches and wooded trails.