Resolve to Travel: Your 2017 Pacific Northwest Travel Bucket List

Photo: Tobin Akehurst / Shutterstock.com

Roaring waterfalls, towering mountains, lush greenery — it may sound like we’re referring to various places scattered across the continent, but we’re really talking about a single (and magical) region: our mighty and beloved  Pacific Northwest. While you may have already visited Seattle and Victoria on a past journey,  have you actually explored everything that these beautiful, bustling cities and their surrounding regions have to offer?

The New Year has almost arrived and now is the time to sit down and start mapping out those 2017 travel adventures! Whether you want to go sightseeing in Washington State next spring or traverse caves on Vancouver Island in the summer, we’ve done the legwork and highlighted the some of the best activities to help you build an extraordinary 2017 travel bucket list.

Discover Clipper Getaways

Winter

Experience an Aerial Zipline Tour in Whistler, BC

Fly through the tree tops between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Photo: ZipTrek
Fly through the tree tops between Whistler and Blackcomb Mountains. Photo: ZipTrek

If you love braving great heights (or conquering your fears) Whistler’s Ziptrek Bear Tour has 5 routes varying from 200 feet to over 1,000 feet long, all with incredible aerial views of snow-capped mountains. Insider tip – don’t miss out on a visit to the Scandinave Spa…a truly magical rejuvenating experience.

Go Storm Watching in Tofino, BC

You've got to try this classic Tofino tradition. Photo: nbiebach / Shutterstock.com
You’ve got to try this classic Tofino tradition. Photo: nbiebach/Shutterstock.com

Embrace the spectacular fury of gale force winds in Tofino. Throw on some rain gear and watch the waves crash against the shore or keep watch at a distance from a cozy suite at the Wickaninnish Inn.

Relax With Afternoon Tea and Treats in Victoria, BC

Chocolate cremeux dome tarts, pistachio raspberry delice, passion fruit strawberry pavlova and more top the Empress’ three-tiered platter. Photo: Lucas Anderson
Chocolate cremeux dome tarts, pistachio raspberry delice, passion fruit strawberry pavlova and more top the Empress’ three-tiered platter. Photo: Lucas Anderson

Looking for something cozier (that will keep you out of the cold)? Indulge in the quintessentially Victorian tradition of Tea at the Empress. Spend an afternoon living like a royal as you sip on a steaming cup of delicious tea and snack on sweet treats.

Feed Your Adrenaline in Leavenworth, WA

If you thought rock climbing was exciting, try climbing up a frozen waterfall. Photo: My Good Images / Shutterstock.com
If you thought rock climbing was exciting, try climbing up a frozen waterfall. Photo: My Good Images/Shutterstock.com

If you’re looking for something different this winter, try your hand at ice climbing. Leavenworth has peak conditions for scaling ice falls. Beginners can sign up at the Northwest Mountain School to learn techniques, so they’ll be equipped to experience a real thrill on the ice.

Spring

Tour The Butchart Gardens in Victoria, BC

Bursting with an array of plants and flowers in every shape and colorful imaginable, The Butchart Gardens are absolutely stunning. Photo: The Butchart Gardens
Bursting with an array of plants and flowers in every shape and colorful imaginable, The Butchart Gardens are absolutely stunning. Photo: The Butchart Gardens

If you’re headed to Victoria during the spring, visiting The Butchart Gardens is an absolute must. You’ll see tulips, magnolias and daffodils in full bloom — now that’s a feast for the eyes! 

Enjoy an Off-Road Adventure in Vancouver, BC

Aboard an ATV, you'll feel like an action hero. Photo: Serjio74 / Shutterstock.com
Aboard an ATV, you’ll feel like an action hero. Photo: Serjio74 / Shutterstock.com

Venture off the beaten path and sign up for an off-road course on a dirt bike or ATV at 5th Gear Beta in Vancouver. Instructors will teach you the basics so you can have some fun racing through the trees of Vancouver’s scenic forests.

Cross the Suspension Bridges in Kelowna, BC

Take in spectacular scenery as you cross the bridge. Photo: Christopher Gardiner/Shutterstock.com
Soak in spectacular scenery as you cross the bridge. Photo: Christopher Gardiner/Shutterstock.com

Scale to new heights and traverse Kelowna’s magnificent suspension bridges. Cross the Water Bridge, North America’s longest suspension bridge — where a majestic 100-foot waterfall will greet you on the cliff above.

Summer

Meet Mighty Orca Whales in the San Juan Islands, WA

A pod of orcas slosh and splash as they grab a quick breath before diving back underneath the water’s surface.
A pod of orcas slosh and splash as they grab a quick breath before diving back underneath the water’s surface.

As the days get warmer and the sun reappears once again, hop on the San Juan Clipper for a whale and sealife search day trip in the San Juans. Enjoy top-deck views of our friendly orca neighbors as they play and splash in the sparkling waters. Streaks of black and white race by just below the surface until out of nowhere…a breach! A day out on the water with these amazing animals will surely take your breath away.

Go Kayaking in Victoria, BC

Kayak through the waters of Victoria’s Inner Harbour for a unique perspective of the city. Photo: Tourism Victoria
Kayak through the waters of Victoria’s Inner Harbour for a unique perspective of the city. Photo: Tourism Victoria

Although very walkable, the best way to experience the city on a warm summer’s day is by water. Embark on an adventurous, yet leisurely, kayak tour through Victoria’s historic waterways and discover new views of the one of world’s most photographed ports, Victoria’s Inner Harbour.

Explore the Caves of Vancouver Island, BC

Venture pass stalagmites and stalactites in Vancouver Island's Horne Lake Caves. Photo: Kyle Greenberg
Venture pass stalagmites and stalactites in Vancouver Island’s Horne Lake Caves. Photo: Kyle Greenberg

Step into a whole new world when you go spelunking in Horne Lake Caves. Get a break from the summer heat and hike through the rocky Riverbend Cave or challenge yourself on a rappel expedition.

Fall

Sip Your Way Through the Cowichan Wine Country in Victoria, BC

Rows upon rows of grapes fill the vineyards of Cowichan Valley. Photo Courtesy of Island Time Tours
Rows upon rows of grapes fill the vineyards of Cowichan Valley. Photo Courtesy of Island Time Tours

Experience a tight-knit community of local farmers on a scenic wine-tasting tour of Cowichan Valley. You’ll try a mix of award-winning vinos, paired with local cheeses. Cheers!

See Epic Waterfalls in Portland, OR

Over 600 feet of rushing water, Multomah Falls is a truly impressive sight. Photo: John Fowler
Over 600 feet of rushing water, Multomah Falls is a truly impressive sight. Photo: John Fowler

Oregon is a known haven for mesmerizing waterfalls. A tour of the state’s most famous cascading waters  —  including Latourell Falls, Horse Tail Falls and Multnomah Falls — is truly an awe-inspiring experience.

Soar to New Heights in Squamish, BC

There's nothing quite like a view from a sky gondola. Photo: Paul Bridge, courtesy of Sea to Sky Gondola
There’s nothing quite like a view from a sky gondola. Photo: Paul Bridge, courtesy of Sea to Sky Gondola

Ride the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, where you’ll witness sweeping views of the Howe Sound as well as the surrounding mountains and forests. Grab a ticket and experience the Northwest landscape from above like never before!

View Colorful Foliage from the Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver, BC

Wander through the mists in Capilano Canyon. Photo: Capilano Suspension Bridge
Wander through the mists in Capilano Canyon. Photo: Capilano Suspension Bridge

There’s a reason why the Capilano Suspension Bridge is one of the most popular BC attractions: you can’t beat that mesmerizing treetop view. An excellent time to visit is during the fall, when the leaves undergo their kaleidoscopic transformation from lush greens to brilliant reds and vivid golds.

Holiday

DELIGHT IN FABULOUS WINTER TIME FUN at the Leavenworth Christmas Lighting Festival

Thousands of lights cover the town, from street poles to the Bavarian-style storefronts. Photo: Nick Bentley
Thousands of lights cover the town, from street poles to the Bavarian-style storefronts. Photo: Nick Bentley

Already planning for next year’s holiday getaway? Make it a day filled with holiday magic and cheer at Leavenworth’s Christmas Lighting Festival. Count down with Mr. and Mrs. Claus as the entire village is illuminated with countless twinkling lights, all set in front of the beautiful Cascade Mountains.

Discover Holiday Magic at The Butchart Gardens

Dazzling lights in a kaleidoscope of colors add drama to the trees and shrubs in the Sunken Garden. Photo: The Butchart Gardens
Dazzling lights in a kaleidoscope of colors add drama to the trees and shrubs in the Sunken Garden. Photo: The Butchart Gardens

Celebrate the holidays Victorian-style with a trip up north to the Butchart Gardens. Their Holiday Lights tour is one of the biggest around, with displays for all 12 Days of Christmas, carolers and even a frosty ice skating rink.

Wildlife excursions, scenic mountains and waterfalls, and expansive gardens and afternoon tea — the Pacific Northwest truly offers something for everyone. Start planning your travel bucket list now and make 2017 an unforgettable year. By the time next December rolls around, you’ll wonder how you could possibly top it.

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