Pacific Northwest Top 10 Adventures is excited to have Liza Sussman as a guest author this week! Liza is a 4th and 5th grade inclusion teacher in New York City and I’ve known her since we were in high school. When I saw her photos from her recent trip to the Pacific Northwest, I asked her to share more on her trip. So here it is, a top ten list of their adventure!

My husband, Josh, and I left for Vancouver on July 30th, without a major plan in mind, which was a little different for him, but refreshing for me. We had our hotels booked, and a few ideas, but we only really knew that we were going to have to get on the train to Seattle by Tuesday, August 3rd at 5:45 and that we had Mariners tickets for Thursday night and needed to be at Port Angeles by Friday night. After that it was open.

What resulted was a great adventure, filled with our own ideas, based on what we read in brochures and guide books as well as recommendations from friends back home, locals and other tourists. I figured I’d share our adventure with a top 10 list of our favorite parts of our trip, hoping that someday others will get to head out to these fantastic parts of our own continent, and take some of our advice, as well as have their own adventures.

10. Seattle Space Needle
We were fortunate to find ourselves in Seattle on one of the rare, clear days. Great place to stop first before beginning our self-guided tour with map in hand.

P10105259. Grouse Mountain, BC

British Columbia is known for it’s skiing (which I’m not good at anyway). But the mountains are available to visitors year round and Grouse Mountain was a great place to picture ourselves skiing without having to wear all the gear J The mountain also hosts some animal sanctuary areas, which is where the bear picture from August 11, 2010 Wordless Wednesday came from.

Picture yourself gliding down the mountain in the green areas between the trees…

P10102658. Pike’s Market, Seattle WA

This was only a brief stop on our tour of Seattle, but it certainly yielded the prettiest pictures…Pike’s Market is filled with gifts and beautiful locally grown and fished food and flowers.

I took hundreds of photos of the foods and flowers here!

7. Seattle Underground Tour

Tour of early Seattle from beneath the modern city!

6. Biking around Vancouver

We rented bikes the first morning we were there at a local place called English Bay Bike Rentals (that wasn’t the HUGE bike rental place that everyone told us to go to, but bikes were comprable and the cost was the same). We started out exploring Stanley Park and ended up riding completely around the entire downton Vancouver Area. This was a great adventure!

The view of downtown Vancouver from Stanley Park is fantastic. The entire ride around the park is very scenic and most riders can make it around in a little less than hour depending on traffic from other bikes and the number of pictures they want to take.

5. Granville Island
This was part of our bike ride in Vancouver, actually the next stop. Josh and I, still on bikes, went to Granville Island, an artist village and tourist shop area where we came across a sign that said we could play at the glass shop and make our own flower (for a small fee of course). So we did! This is me experimenting with glassmaking. We were able to make the flower that day after just a short wait, and pick it up a few days later.

We also spent time in the village making plans to go whale watching the next day and had a lovely lunch by the water. We will be going to glass making class again (but probably in Brooklyn). We finished the ride by heading to the Olympic Village from the Winter 2010 games and went to see the Olympic Torch.

4. Whitewater Rafting / Bridal Veil Falls / Harrison Hotsprings, British Columbia

Ok, I’m cheating a little lumping these together…but we went whitewater rafting on the Chilliwack River, then decided we wanted to go on a quick hike, so we found the nearest hike we could complete fast by looking at the local hiking map and found Bridal Veil Falls, just off the highway. Then, as we took back roads back towards Vancouver, we saw signs for “hot springs”…so we went! The results were a magnificent adventure!

Josh is in the front on the left and I am directly behind him.

After cleaning up from rafting, we hopped into the car and after a short ride and a shorter hike, we found the falls. It is a little hard to see but Josh has his “Always Happy Life” t-shirt on. (I was a little chilly so mine is under the hoodie).

We then got back in the car and ended up at Harrison Hot Springs:

We didn’t actually go in the springs…but the town is very cute, and the lake looks like this! Amazing water surrounded by breathtaking mountains.

3. Amtrak Cascades Line from Vancouver to Seattle

Just get on the train, and you get to see this:

2. Hoh Rain Forest, Washington

One of the only temperate rain forests in the US. The wettest place in the United States…and we were there during the dry season! We felt really lucky to visit it and take a tour with a ranger which gave us a LOT of information about Temperate rain forests that we never knew before.

1. Hurricane Ridge, Washington

Overlook of the Olympic Mountain Range. The drive and the hike created one of the most incredible places to see that we have ever visited.

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