Northwest Destination

Free tours are offered daily at the Parliament Buildings overlooking Victoria, BC’s Inner Harbour.

A Victoria Venture

Traipse back in time and across cultures on Vancouver Island, BC written by John Macdonald Note: At the time of writing in mid-August, Canada began welcoming back fully vaccinated leisure travelers from the United States who have proof of being fully vaccinated. We all have our own reasons for visiting Victoria. My reason was quite narrow. I wanted to walk Fan Tan Alley in Chinatown, also known as Canada’s narrowest street. In the era of social distancing and pandemics, I realize this may not resonate with everyone, but, for me, it was a grounding starting point to explore the history of Vancouver Island and Victoria. Vancouver Island’s largest ethnic groups are British descendants and Chinese, the former because it had been a fur trading outpost and then British colony, the latter population largely streaming in after the 1858 gold rush. Chinatown is Canada’s oldest and second in North America only…

Palouse Falls

Northwest Destination — Palouse Falls and Pullman

Visiting one of Washington’s zen wonders and its collegiate neighbor written by Kevin Max After years of hearing about the natural wonder of Palouse Falls, I finally put it on my schedule. Neither my regular driving nor typical flight routes would ever get me close enough to this remote southeastern Washington site to make it feasible. Starbuck, Washington, where Palouse Falls flows, is at least an hour-and-a-half drive north from Walla Walla, southwest from Spokane and northeast of the Tri-Cities. But, damnit, this was named Washington’s state waterfall in March 2014, and I was determined to see why. Kids from Washtucna Elementary School, 17 miles away, helped write the bill that would designate this as a state gem. I wanted to see what they saw. As a rule, I never overplan. Nothing unexpected ever comes to those who overwrite possibility with assurance. I packed a one-man, one-dog tent, a good…

Northwest Destination — Retreat to Camano Island, a pint-sized nirvana for all manner of play

written by Heather Larson In 1949, a group of 500 locals brought their tools and sweat equity to a beach site at Point Lowell on Camano Island and built a park in one day. Camano Island State Park became the first on the island, a place where residents and visitors could recreate. In 2007, Freedom Park, a 12,000-square-foot wooden playground, was constructed in five days by 1,000 volunteers. Camano Islanders love the outdoors and have developed some remarkable spots for all to enjoy. The island feel remains rural, peaceful and mostly undiscovered, yet there’s enough to do to keep you on-island for however long you stay.   A ninety-minute drive from Seattle—no ferry ride required—the “easy island” stretches to almost 16 miles in length and extends 6 miles at its widest point. Edged by Port Susan on the east and Saratoga Passage on the west, water sports flourish. The ideal…