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Washington and Oregon Tour
The area of Lake Quinault has been a popular destination since the 1900s when Teddy Roosevelt proclaimed it as part of the Olympic National Park. However, the glacier-carved lake is not the only outstanding natural landmark in this area. The Quinault Rainforest is possibly the most beautiful of the rainforests within the park. With thick and impressive groves, which fan off from the road, the forest is scattered with various hiking trails. One of the best of these is the half-mile Maple Glade Trail on the north shore of the lake
Astoria, a fishing and cannery town founded in 1811, lays claim to be the first permanent American settlement west of the Rockies. In the 1840's the city started to thrive as a customs house town and shipping centre. With the now well-maintained Victorian homes lining the harbour hillside, Astoria is a museum without walls.
Newport, established in 1882, is a bustling fish town on the Oregon Coast. Its heart is along a working waterfront on Aquinas Bay where you'll find fishing fleets and fresh seafood markets living in tandem with galleries, gift shops, restaurants and family attractions. Two places of interest, which are definitely worth a visit, are the Oregon Coast Aquarium and the Hatfield Marine Science Centre.
Over 6,500 years ago Mount Mazama blew up, with an explosion which was 42 times stronger than the Mount St. Helens blast, leaving behind a deep crater that is now filled with Crater Lake. In 1902 Crater Lake became Oregon's only National Park when on 22nd May President Theodore Roosevelt signed the bill. The Lake itself is extraordinary and is surrounded by dozens of trails and climbs to magnificent lookouts over its eerie volcanic formations and impossibly blue waters.
Bordered by mountainous pine forests on the west, located in the high desert of central Oregon Bend has just about every outdoor activity on offer from kayaking and rafting to snow mobiling and skiing. After taking advantage of all the recreational opportunities relax in one of the many restaurants, browse through the unique galleries or learn about the region's setters in the Des Chutes Historical Centre.
In 1885 Portland was named after Portland, Maine, following a coin toss between its two East Coast founders. Although the city is a less obvious tourist destination it is a pleasant surprise to many of its visitors. With its many quaint bookstores, galleries, parks and restaurants people find there is more to do than imagined. Portland is also the perfect base for exploring the surrounding coastal and mountain areas.
Mount Rainier contains vast expanses of pristine old-growth forests, sub alpine flower meadows and spectacular alpine scenery. The glacier clad Mountain is the highest peak in the Cascades and is also said to be one of the most awesome mountains in the world.
The valley around Winthrop offers fine white water rafting, spectacular hiking in the North Cascades, horseback riding, fishing and cross country skiing. Winthrop itself is a pretty, tree lined, little quaint town filled with stores selling local crafts and jewellery, an odd outdoor cafe or two and small quirky restaurants. It's a delight to visit.