THE EVERGREEN STATE | WASHINGTON
THE BEAVER STATE | OREGON
After a brief stint in Vancouver, I caught an Amtrak to Seattle with Mum before hiring a sexy little red Ford Mustang convertible to drive south along the Pacific Highway. My 6th and 7th US states on this trip were largely misty and wet, but I can honestly say the drive was beautiful. State Route 1 in California gets most of the cred for breath-taking views, but try not to miss this more untouched stretch.
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3 THINGS YOU REALLY CANNOT MISS:
THE OREGON COAST | whilst a few of the below entries are specific towns, the real highlight of this area is the dramatic coast line itself. We had truly abysmal weather!, but apparently that’s pretty common and in fact added to the mystery. Parts feel very isolated and bleak, yet in a romantic Bronte novel kind of way.
COLUMBUS CENTRE | has got to be one of the best spots in Seattle to view the iconic Space needle, from their 73rd floor viewing platform. Gives you a good feel for the expanse of the city in all directions. Also check out: a wander along 4th Avenue, and University Street past the Seattle Art Museum to get your bearings.
PORT ORFORD | is a particularly lovely headland with some small, easy walking trails that we were able to explore when the sun finally peaked out. The air is so fresh that the trees here are covered in beautiful pale green lichen.
3 THINGS WORTH A SNOOP:
PIKE PLACE MARKET | in Seattle, has lots to look at but not much you’d want to buy as a tourist: there are loads of gorgeous tulips, boisterous fishmongers, and a tatty flea market. Also check out: fish chowder at Lowell’s.
DEPOE BAY | makes for a good pit stop (read: jump out for emergency wee) plus caramel coated almonds and a wander around it’s small harbour. There’s a very friendly seal waiting to say hello. Also check out: Yaquina Head lighthouse – pretty, but very misty when we were there.
NEWPORT | has a lovely bridge and old fishing village feel, as well as loads of fat sea lions lounging around. Also check out: we stayed the night a little further south at the Bandon Inn.
3 THINGS TO STAY CLEAR:
RUSHING | I don’t have many valid ‘avoids’ for this state, in part because we rushed the drive so much. We had only allowed 2 weeks to get from Vancouver to LA which felt too hurried.
SEA MIST | unfortunately I think it’s pretty unavoidable, but do be prepared for the weather to really hamper your trip – and certainly your photo ops!
CO-PASSENGER ARGUMENTS | America is a big place, and big places require a lot of driving. Me and Mum argued quite a bit largely due to (dis)agreed speed limits, so pick your partner wisely – or at least remember to make friends at the end of each day!
1 THING I WISH I’D DONE:
PORTLAND | I continue to hear so many positive reports about eco-loving, progressive Portland. Unfortunately as we passed through it was pissing it down, and Mum wasn’t impressed by suggestions to go and check out artisan coffee warehouses and start-up craft breweries. Also check out: Elmer’s on the highway south for a good value diner.
AND KNOW THIS:
Nike’s swoosh was conceived by Portland State University student and Oregon native Carly Davidson in 1971 and sold to Nike’s co-founder Phil Knight, another Oregon native, for only $35.