What began as a small fishing recreation area has grown to become a destination
worthy of Skiing Magazine's number one slot for North American resorts. With 7,000 acres of skiable terrain that include the greatest
vertical rise on the continent, Whistler is a destination that draws skiers from all over the world. Between Blackcomb and Whistler, the area's
5,000-foot mountains, there are options for every level of skier and snowboarder - and, at the foot of the slopes, plenty to keep the non-ski
crowd occupied for hours.
With a population that falls predominantly in the under-35 age group, Whistler
is anything but a sleepy mountain community. The Village is home to more than 80 restaurants, boutiques, art galleries, and nightlife galore.
And, with the favorable exchange rate, visitors from the States can affordably indulge in them all.
Yet, Whistler is more than just a winter hot spot. In fact, due to the spectacular
natural scenery, the area is actually busiest in the summer months. For those who like exploring the outdoors in more temperate weather, Whistler
boasts breathtaking recreation opportunities, from championship golf courses to heli-hiking and mountain biking.
As an international tourist spot, Whistler offers hundreds of accommodation options.
For easy access to the slopes, the Delta Whistler Resort and the Delta Whistler Village Suites
are a full-service resorts located at the base of both Blackcomb and Whistler Mountains. The menu of rate packages range from the Great Golf
Getaway (includes accommodation and a round of golf), to Outdoor Adventure and Ski/Ride options.
Alaska / Alaskan Cruises
Filled with exotic allure and natural wonders, Alaska is one of the Northwest's
premier jewels. If the thought of visiting seems a trifle daunting, a cruise through the Inside Passage may be the perfect way to explore
the region. Holland America offers several roundtrip cruises to Alaska that leave
from the Seattle waterfront. The seven-day Alaskan Explorer Cruise tours local, Canadian, and Alaskan waterways and makes stops in Juneau,
Sitka, and Ketchikan. Not only do visitors get to enjoy the scenery from floating luxury accommodations, but they get the added bonus of having
an on-board Alaskan naturalist and Native American artist available for answering questions. Alaskan Park Service rangers also come on-board
to narrate and interpret the sights.
For those who want a more "hands on" experience, Holland America also
provides ample opportunities to go out and about. Among the tour options are a glacier helicopter expedition, dog sled rides, wilderness treks,
and kayaking trips. A cruise to Alaska allows visitors to escape into the state's untamed wilderness without foregoing comfort and safety.
The wide-open spaces of Alaska are a welcome change from the hilled and more
urban neighborhoods of Seattle. Unending summer daylight provides a perfect chance to catch glimpses of the Grizzly bears, polar bears, and
Kodiak bears roaming across the land. Or, if you'd rather fish, try to catch the world's biggest salmon as they come up the roaring, ice-cold
Sun Valley, Idaho
The home of Ernest Hemingway, the very first chair lift, and the location of numerous
Hollywood movies (How to Marry a Millionaire, The Mortal Storm, and Frankie Avalon's Ski Party, to name a few) Sun Valley
is a resort town that provides visitors with the perfect blend of sport and art.
Located on one million acres of wilderness (2,054 of them skiable), the area
has been named "The Number One Ski Resort in the United States" by Ski Magazine, Conde Nast Traveler, and Gourmet.
In addition to the slopes of Bald and Dollar Mountains, visitors flock to Sun Valley for its diverse array of cultural pursuits. Ranked number
18 in the book 100 Best Small Art Towns in America, Sun Valley has galleries, theaters; opera, symphony, and chamber music performances,
as well as annual arts events, such as the Twilight Jazz Series, a documentary film festival, and a writers' conference.
Being a resort town, Sun Valley has a profusion of places to stay. However, literary
types may want to spend the night at the Sun Valley Lodge (800-786-8259), where Ernest Hemingway wrote several chapters of For Whom
the Bell Tolls while staying in Suite #206. The Lodge also has a small Hemingway display that includes pictures and the last letter he
wrote before he died.
With it's brilliant, 21st century skyline, the gleaming city of Vancouver is crowded
with endless shopping possibilities, an excellent international arts scene, and extraordinary, world class cuisine. Combine this with an outstanding
exchange rate, and it's easy to see why the city is a popular destination among Seattle travelers.
Boasting stunning views of the both the mountains and ocean, Vancouver has plenty of natural beauty to behold. One of the best places to experience
some of these natural charms is at Stanley Park, the largest city park in all of
Canada. The 1,000-acre green space is close to the downtown core, yet contains gorgeous gardens, acres of giant trees, several beaches, and
Shoppers have hundreds of options, from the trendy boutiques on Robson Street to the artsy finds on Granville Island, not to mention the city's
colorful Asian markets. The Museum of Anthropology and the Vancouver
Art Gallery provide a perfect culture fix, as do the numerous summer art festivals.