11 great fall trips in the Northwest
The fall color is off the charts in Vernonia, a riverside logging town that’s home to more salmon than people this season.
Bike along the Banks-Vernonia State Trail, slurp on homemade potato chowder from Café 47, take in local art, and pick the seasons best crops like apples and peppers at Dairy Creek Farm and Produce.
Full story: Vernonia, Oregon's autumn escape
Visit the island's buzzy tasting rooms, take a walk through a local park to overlook Manzanita Bay, and end the day with a bowl of French comfort food before heading back to the mainland.
Just ask the lucky locals ― fall is the perfect time to visit.
The weather is likely to be cooler and wetter than it is in summer, and some attractions are closed for the season.
But there’s still a lot to do and see here -- great outdoors experiences, fascinating towns, amazing wildlife.
You can get lost on the backcountry roads but always find a good glass of Pinot around the bend.
And now, with new hotels opening and tasting rooms mustering in towns like Carlton, you can experience the valley’s off-the-beaten-path vibe yet have the comforts of a soft bed close by.
More: Oregon's wine country
Add to this the Okanagan's pristine lakes, orchards, and wide range of non-wine-related things for the whole family to do (from riding the century-old Kettle Valley steam train to biking and hiking), and you have a wine-country experience like no other.
After a brisk coast stroll, cozy up to your lodge fireplace, dive into a hearty dinner or breakfast, or gallery hop and get a jump on your holiday shopping.
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Fruit stand after fruit stand is filled with dozens of varieties, as well as local honey, melons, and squash. It's just two hours from Seattle to the heart of Washington's harvest ― the largest slice of fresh fruit in the state ― yet it's a world apart.
Casual hikers who might be daunted by the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail can dip in a tentative toe on the Kendall Katwalk trail, an hour east of Seattle.
In 6 not-too-demanding miles from Snoqualmie Pass to the Katwalk, a morsel of the PCT provides many of the scenic delectables of the full Mexico-to-Canada buffet.
More: PCT for beginners