A FEW YEARS AGO I LIVED IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST, ALASKA ACTUALLY, AND WHEN I RETURNED HOME TO THE LOWER 48'S I STOPPED FOR A VISIT TO SEATTLE, WA AND VANCOUVER, BC.
THE MARK THIS REGION LEFT ON ME WAS SO STRONG IT MADE ME WANT TO PACK MY BAGS AND MOVE THERE FOR GOOD!
There is just something about the Pacific NorthWest that is magical, mystical, ancient, and inspiring. Maybe it is the totems of animals, the ever constant smell of salt water mixed with forests, or the laid back vibe of the locals....whatever it is I most definitely want to visit again...and again...and again!
PIKE STREET MARKET
Seattle holds a dear place in my heart - not only is it a haven for hippies like me but it is extraordinarily beautiful. Rain or shine (usually rain), Washington state is a sight to behold. Pike Street Market is one of the neatest places I have ever been - the picture above does not do it justice. The market itself stretches to the right for almost 3 blocks and contains indoor and outdoor shopping and restaurants. The market stimulates all of your senses at once - your nose will inhale the smell of flowers, homemade leather, seafood, etc. Your eyes will dance from following the whole fish being thrown from man to man, the Asians with their beautifully decorated masks, and all the colors from the vendors. It is a busy place so you need to be aware of your surroundings at all times. Also, while you wander the streets, sip on a latte from the original Star Bucks!
Gorgeous huh??? I love that you can be outside the city within a matter of minutes - I stayed in the town of Ballard and walked into the city everyday. The entire city of Seattle is very well laid out, it is incredibly easy to get around in - even for me ( a blonde with no sense of direction, that travels by herself)! You may be thinking, "that is not safe at all", but I always felt super safe in Seattle. Granted, I did not walk after dark but never did I feel threatened like I have in other cities.
Pretty fall colors
From Seattle you can take an Amtrak train to Vancouver, BC for about $40 and it only takes a few hours. The trip takes you around the Puget Sound and through some of the most beautiful landscapes America has to offer. I highly suggest taking the trip, it was one of the highlights of my entire visit!
VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLOMBIA
VIEW FROM DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER
Vancouver is a coastal seaport in British Colombia, Canada and is the 3rd most populated city in Canada. While there is a ton of natural beauty it is primarily an ethnic metropolis. Vancouver is one of the most ethnically and linguistically diverse cities in Canada, 52% of its residents do not speak English as their first language.
You can walk to the city limits to get into nature, I highly suggest visiting the Vancouver aquarium. The property is gorgeous, the size and diversity is shocking, and a great place to spend the afternoon. The whale totem pictured above is the center piece in front of the aquarium. Also, the picture above on the left is the view of Vancouver from a ferry. You can take a ferry ride over to a small island that has shops and restaurants - great place to spend the day!