northwest tours

Island fun with Forts and Seafood

Spotlight: Whidbey Island – Deception Pass. Another favorite for locals and guests, this island tour has variety and isn’t too far to get to.

Deception Pass is a water-passage at the opening of Puget Sound where the tides come in and out, bringing an abundance of life to the Puget Sound Region. During the day, you’ll visit an historic military fort in Fort Casey State Park, and see the Admiralty Lighthouse. Because you’re on an island, you can see across Puget Sound to other islands too.

You’ll see a mussel farm and enjoy a seafood lunch, unless you don’t like seafood, in which case we’ll have something else!  Later you’ll undoubtedly see colorful sea stars lavishing under the end of the pier in historic Coupeville, and if the tide is out, you can easily see mussels, barnacles, sea stars, seaweed, and more, right on the beach. Great Blue Heron enjoy this area too and I love seeing these blue/gray birds.

You’ll walk across the 180 foot high Deception Pass bridge if you like, as well as walk a trail to the beach in Deception Pass State Park. At the other end of the island, you’ll take a short ferry ride, then return to your hotel. This is a very popular tour!

To book this tour, go to http://cherylsnorthwesttours.com/near-seattle-tours.php

Seafood dish

Seafood dish

Saltwater Driftwood

Saltwater Driftwood

Deception Pass Bridge

Deception Pass Bridge

Fort Casey State Park

Fort Casey State Park

About the Pass Bridge

About the Pass Bridge

Viewpoint

Viewpoint

Admiralty Lighthouse

Admiralty Lighthouse

Historic Coupeville

Historic Coupeville

Mount St Helens Ape Cave

A cave, under Mount Saint Helens! The Ape Cave, created over 1900 years ago and found in the early 1947s is amazing! About 1900 years ago Mount Saint Helens erupted and a gas bubble under the earth traveled over a mile through the earth. It formed a giant tunnel, unknown to humans until it was discovered in 1947 by a logger.  You can walk in it.  In 1951 a youth group explored the cave, and named the cave after a legend of Apes in the area. (There are no apes in the area.) We provide you with lights, and you will walk down the tunnel until it gets too small to pass through. About 40 minutes each way, it’s such an experience you’ll tell stories about it for years. A Natural Wonder.

On the way you’ll learn about the history of the area, and stop for snacks. You’ll visit one Visitor Center to see the 1980 information, and then you’ll proceed to the Ape Cave.

Another stop on this fun Ape Cave tour is the Trail of Two Forests. Not a long walk and on a boardwalk, you see wonderful cement chimney stacks which are really former trees.  Fun for kids to climb in, interesting scenery for adults.

Lunch is included.

 

Ways of Whales Workshop- Whidbey Island Orca Event

Learn about Orca Whales at this one-day-a-year whales workshop. For your information we share this excerpt from Whidbey-Camano Islands website:
Orca Network’s annual Ways of Whales Workshop will be held Saturday, January 20, 2018, 10:00 am until 4:30 pm at the Coupeville Middle School Performing Arts Center, 501 S. Main St, Coupeville, Whidbey Island, WA.
The 2018 Ways of Whales workshop features presentations on a wide variety of cetaceans, from blue and humpback whales to the endangered Southern Resident Community of orcas and their primary prey Chinook salmon.
You’ll need to take the Mukilteo – Clinton ferry to get on the Island, unless you come from the North, through Deception Pass. Who knows, maybe you see some Orcas on the way!

January 20 @ 10:00 am4:30 pm      $35

 for more information: http://www.orcanetwork.org
Whale book-Grannys Clan

Whale book-Grannys Clan

2 orcas

Orca Whales

Orca Whales

Whales feeding in Alaska-John Weeber

Whales feeding in Alaska-John Weeber

Guided Trail Hikes near Seattle

For light hikers and non-hikers who want to see waterfalls, our trail hikes tour, called Waterfalls,  Mountains and Bavaria, is perfect! We took this tour twice on one week. One day it rained, the other day very sunny.

When we meet, I’ll ask you your preferences and your interests about this tour. Do you like the trails? Do you just want to see waterfalls without walking far? Depending on your preferences, we’ll shift our focus for you, to spend more time on the trails, or more in the Bavarian Alpine Village of Leavenworth, with lots of shops and restaurant choices in this European-style town. If you only want the trail hikes, we can take out Leavenworth altogether and add in a 3rd trail instead. Let’s begin!

Deception Falls

Deception Falls

We have 2 versions of this tour, following is the Clockwise version.

Wallace Falls, outside Sultan on US Highway 2, is the perfect trail for an introduction to our State’s beautiful outdoors. Approximately a 2 mile walk, there are 3 falls and a lot of babbling brook -and river viewpoints to mesmerize you along the way. The first falls, Lower Falls, is an easy walk with only a few roots to maneuver. We turn back at this point for the non-hikers, and you feel like you’ve had the full trail because the views are so spectacular. Middle Falls, further on the trail, has a few short switchbacks but worth every step, and Upper Falls at the end is breathtaking. The entire walk is beautiful with mosses and greenery, the river, and many chirping birds.

Bridal Veil Falls, near Mount Index and across the valley from the Bigfoot Espresso Shop, is easy to see through the trees in April while the leaves are just budding out. A huge, tall waterfall, this falls is viewed from a distance on our tour, but very pretty non-the-less. There are several choices for trail hikes on this tour.  Even here, if you want.

Cheryl Deception Falls

Cheryl Deception Falls

Deception Falls

Deception Falls

July Snoqualmie Falls

July Snoqualmie Falls

March Snoqualmie Falls

March Snoqualmie Falls

Deception Falls on Stevens Pass continues our Waterfalls and Mountains Tour in full force.  The flow is so strong it takes you by surprise with it’s roar. We start with a walk over the bridge and river, where the roar of the water makes it impossible to hear each other talk without shouting. We then walk downstream to a lower falls area, where you see interpretive signs and the serene backdrop of the river and the woods. This trail has such beautiful views of the river, the flora, and natures dams of downed trees and rocks. One of the last known White Pine trees in the Pacific Northwest is on this trail.

What about Lunch! Depending on your decisions, we’ll proceed to Leavenworth or another trail. Leavenworth has such great history and large selection of restaurants to choose from, as well as unique shopping opportunities.

Snoqualmie Falls, the grandest of the grand, also has a trail walk. You view the falls at the top, overlooking the canyon where you are humbled by this 268 foot drop falls. The mist of the falls, according to Indian lore, assists the deceased Snoqualmie Indians to meet their maker. Some days you see the peregrine falcons who live across the canyon. Explore the gift shop if you wish. This summer we saw a mother black bear with her two cubs just down the trail.

Join us!  We’d love to show you this trail hikes tour.  www.cherylsnwtours.com  or call 206 353-3330.

Oregon Exploration and History

We recently did an Oregon Exploration with a trip from Seattle through Western Oregon. If you’re a history buff, you’ll love this! Our first stop in Oregon City was as historic as I had hoped, and I loved the museums, the river, churches, and yes, breweries too. I just finished the book Bell on the River, written by a nun originally from Canada near the East coast to join/start a mission. She and others persevered to Vancouver, WA in the early-mid 1800’s via boat & land, through the Panama Canal -before it was there- on this journey to the Pacific Northwest. There are only tidbits of information actually about the Pacific Northwest in the book, but enough to get me to Oregon City myself.

Salem City Street

Salem City Street

Oregon City Church

Oregon City Church

 

 

 

 

 

 

Before Washington and Oregon were states, the North half of the Oregon Territory was primarily occupied by Native Americans and Great Britain. The British, now Canadians, along with Spain, Russia and others, mainly used the land to trap for furs.  The United States joined in, and the British and then-called Americans traded with the Native Americans, acquiring furs from them by trading clothes, jewelry, guns, housewares and more.

In 1846 the United States and Great Britain determined the national border would be on the 49th parallel, following the already established northern border for the central and eastern portion of the United States.  The U.S. to ‘lock in’ and hold the land, offered free land to any emigrant in the U.S. who would travel to, and live in, what is now Washington and Oregon. This was to help preserve the national boundary line. Great Britain wanted the border on the Columbia River, where Portland is. Thus, the Oregon Trail and the West was born, and the beginning of Oregon Exploration.  Please refer to history books for more information and details.

Back to our Oregon Exploration story!

Our tour in March, 2017, continued from Oregon City down to Salem Oregon. We spent the first night of our 5 day journey in Salem, a wonderful city. It was a very clean city with lots of beautiful historic buildings and lots of places to eat and shop. We stayed in the Grand Hotel Salem; it was grand indeed and in the center of town. Go see the historic district while you’re there.

We continued on to Ashland, via Jacksonville. Jacksonville had a unique life of its own.  If you like history about the West, You must go there! Jacksonville is definitely a place to visit. Old historic buildings, a brief tour of the city and a lot about the past are for you to find. The individual shops and restaurants are fairly priced and have a wonder selection of foods and goods. I was delighted at what I found in the garden shop, and the food in the Mexican restaurant delicious. I was tempted, though, at the Italian restaurant, the ambiance is fantastically historic, and the smells enticing. The town has the Britt Festival, a music venue that sounds quite similar to that in Chateau Saint Michelle Winery, in Woodinville, WA.

Restaurant Jacksonville

Restaurant Jacksonville

Park bench

Park bench

Oregon City Church

Oregon City Church

McGlothlin House sign

McGlothlin House sign

Country Store

Country Store

Jacksonville

Jacksonville

Ashland Springs

Ashland Springs

Ashland Springs lobby

 

Ashland was our next overnight stay, and the Ashland Springs Hotel in downtown was as historic and beautiful as ever. If being in the heart of things is important, you should stay here. Only a block from the

Shakespeare Festival, it was a great place to stay with a beautiful lobby and restaurant. There were many bed and breakfasts in town too. If you want to be out of town, then stay at the Ashland Hills Hotel, a retro-modern hotel with lots of amenities including pool and hot tub. Only 10 minutes away.  A flashback to the ‘70s for some of us, it was updated, yet still funky and fun, with very comfortable beds!  The city of Ashland itself is a Foody city, and boy did we indulge! All types of menu items, all types of atmospheres, it was a culinary sensation.

Next we headed to the coast, to Coos Bay, where we stayed at the Mill Casino. It’s right next to a lumber mill, and faces East on Coos Bay. The mill was never heard, but it sure smelled good as we drove by. My room was the largest I have ever stayed in, a suite in fact, with lots of windows looking out at the bay. The clear glass walk-in shower and jetted hot tub made the bathroom huge, and really got the ‘relax’ into this trip. A couple of tug boats went by for our viewing pleasure. Go try the beach, too, for more adventure.

The Mill bedroom

The Mill bedroom

Sand dunes

Sand dunes

rocky beach trees

rocky beach trees

Road Scenery mossy trees

Road Scenery mossy trees

Bridge

Bridge

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Then to Portland. What a hoot. Staying at the McMenamins Crystal Hotel was an ideal location in downtown. My room was $125 per night, which was a room that shared the bathroom with other rooms. You can get rooms with bath, too. The basement had a 20 foot soaking tub, and the restaurant we had breakfast in (same building) was delicious. A little noisy, but for the price, a good stay. We walked through town all evening feeling safe and enjoyed the wonderful old buildings and architecture. The amount of restaurants full of patrons was surprising, and rivals Seattle. Does anyone eat at home anymore?

Cheryls Catering

Cheryls Catering

Powells Books

Powells Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

The last day was a straight shot back to Seattle.

Our company offers many regional tours across the Pacific northwest like this Oregon Exploration tour. Primarily Washington and Oregon, we also have a tour to visit Volcano’s in all 3 NW states, so includes Idaho. If interested in learning more, visit our website http://cherylsnorthwesttours.com.  Most of our tours are priced as private tours, but we do have several seasonal tours to festivals, mountains, the ocean and more that you can join in on at a lower price.  See our Seasonal Tours page.

 

PACCAR Technical Center and Tulips Tour

Open only 1 day a year to the public, you’re invited to visit the PACCAR Technical Center. Fun awaits, and you’ll have a few hours to explore on your own inside this secured-access truck testing facility.  Climb inside Kenworth trucks, see how they test windshield resistance, and see automated door slamming equipment as they run tests.  Fun and lots to see and do!  Hot dogs and other quick foods available for lunch, or bring your own.

You’ll also be right in the middle of the Tulip Fesival in Skagit Valley. Here you’ll visit both  major tulip flower bulb producers, Tulip Town and Roozengaarde.  The largest bulb growing area in the Unites States, it is beautiful when the flowers bloom.  With early, mid, and late blooming bulbs (all within a few weeks) you are sure to see flowers in bloom (but Mother Nature decides).

Date:  April 8, 2017
Price:  $89 per person plus tax

You receive a comfortable ride via coach, you’ll have an on-board tour guide.  Snacks and bottled water included.  Box lunch from Ingallina’s available for advance purchase for $20, or purchase food at either of the tulip farms or at the PACCAR Technical Center.

Another super bonus is that you get dropped AT THE FRONT DOOR of both tulip farms, and GET RIGHT IN.  No waiting in lines, no parking and walking issues.  Fast, easy, convenient!

This PACCAR Technical Center and Tulips Tour begins in the Seattle area with 3 convenient pick up locations: Star Lake Park and Ride, downtown Seattle Grand Hyatt, and Northgate Park and Ride.

Visit http://cherylsnorthwesttours.com/seasonal-tours.php and scroll down to the Tulips and Trucks Tour to book your tour today!

kw1 PACCAR Technical Center Rooz 780

like orange?

like orange?

wavy rows

wavy rows of flowers

 

 

Crab Cruise &Tulips – Skagit Valley

TULIPS & CRAB BOAT CRUISE in the Skagit Valley and Puget Sound.  A new and different way to see the flowers and do something new!

April 16 One Day Only

Seating still available.

We want crab and we need you!  go to http://cherylsnorthwesttours.com/seasonal-tours.php  then scroll down to the Tulips and Crab Cruise tour, and book today!

We begin this Skagit Valley tulip tour from Seattle, and travel to La Conner, where we meet the boat and set out for a two and a half hour boat cruise on Puget Sound.  Lunch of cracked crab is included and you also get chicken, and other items.

Upon your return to the dock, you’ll continue to the two famous tulip farms, Roozengaarde and Tulip Town.  You may know, Skagit Valley is the largest tulip producer in the entire United States.

Oh and I must mention, you get to skip the lines to get tickets, and you get dropped off at the gate!  Now more parking and walking and waiting.  Boom, you’re in!

Rather than do the usual 2 farms and lunch in a nearby town, try something new this year!  We’d love to experience this and get local, fresh crab as our lunch.

See some beautiful islands, feast on crab, then feast your eyes on the flowers!

$179 /per person, plus tax ~ all inclusive tour

Room for more!

20150401_151530

avoid this mess

avoid this mess

Swinomish channel

Swinomish channel

bigger than my hand

bigger than my hand

festival garden

festival garden

what a backdrop

what a backdrop

like orange?

like orange?

wavy rows

wavy rows of flowers

Ocean Beaches Tour- Long Beach Peninsula

New!  Ocean Beaches Tour to Long Beach Peninsula. This tour is loaded with activities, with the main background theme the Pacific Ocean.

This Northwest Adventure is one of the finest, and you’ll have 3 days and 2 nights, October 13-15, 2017 to relax and enjoy all the Washington Coast has to offer on the Long Beach Peninsula.  You really should book this tour!

Friday, beginning with the drive from Seattle to the ocean, you will stop for lunch midway in a great ale house, then continue to Long Beach, with time to relax before dinner.  Dinner is at a wonderful restaurant, then s’mores on the ocean beach. The hotel we’re staying is the Adrift Hotel and Spa.

Saturday, you’ll start the morning with razor clams and eggs at the famous 42nd Street Diner, and yes, you can choose something else.  Following breakfast, you’ll visit historic Oysterville for a tour of oyster farming followed by a visit to an art gallery.  Then to get a little more physical, you’ll go horseback riding on the beach, whether permitting. If unfavorable weather, you’ll instead visit the Cranberry Museum/Bogs area near Long Beach.  There’s time for rest before dinner and your day is not rushed at all.  The plan is to have fun and do some exploration.

Dinner is at the Shelburne Inn, on the National Historic Register, known for their creative 3-course meals, combining Northwest flavors with Old-World traditions and organic foods.

Sunday begins with breakfast at Cottage Bakery, then you’re off to Ilwaco, a fishing community, to visit the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum and tour Ilwaco’s waterfront area.

This area is well known for being the end of the Lewis and Clark Expedition.  They found the ocean!  You’ll visit the very well done Interpretive Center, the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse, the National Park, and the Northhead Lighthouse today, then we have to head back.

This tour is all inclusive (except for 2 lunches).  Included in the price: Hotel accommodation, breakfasts, dinners, and entry to the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, Northhead lighthouse, Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center, the National Park, and the State Park. Price also includes costs for guest speaker at Oysterville, horse back riding, and Carriage Museum.

There’s so much packed into this ocean beach tour, and we hope you’ll join us!  You can find booking access at http://cherylsnorthwesttours.com/seasonal-tours.php scroll down to Long Beach Peninsula.  For more information, contact us at cheryl@cherylsnwtours.com.

beach logs

beach logs and lighthouse

Lighthouse

Lighthouse

Long Beach

Long Beach

oysters

oysters

view from lighthouse

view from lighthouse

longest beach sign

longest beach sign

Glass Blowing Experience

Come have a Glass Blowing Experience with us!  We will pick you up at your hotel and take you to a glass blowing facility in Seattle where you’ll make your own glass blown piece. This is a private tour, no waiting for your turn. Here, you get some information about glass blowing before actually getting to it.  Start with choosing your item to make:  A bowl, pumpkin, glass float, or paperweight, and you choose your own colors.

This hands on activity is a favorite in Seattle, where the glass blowing experience is not too common but glass blowing companies abound.  Come make your personal item on our tour, and have a memory you’ll love sharing!  Visit our website at cherylsnorthwesttours.com for booking.

After the glass blowing experience we headed over to Theo’s chocolates where they have free samples, and while in Fremont, we provided a drive-by art tour seeing a variety of art pieces, including Waiting for the Interurban, the Troll, the Missile, Vladamir Lennon, three billy goats gruff, and others.

Then back to the hotel we went, and because the glass is so hot still, we will get our works of art tomorrow.  You can personally pick it up, or we will have it shipped to your home.  Come have some fun with us.

paperweight

paperweight

getting glass

getting glass

glass bowl

blowing glass bowl

green pendant

green pendant

glass bowl

glass bowl

Private Mount Rainier Tour

Our Private Mount Rainier Tour from Seattle covers all you can ask for and more for a mountain tour!  You get to see all sides of Mount Rainier as you travel all the way around it, we don’t go up and back the same way.

Trail hikes, waterfall trails, a canyon, and fast-flowing rivers will get your spirit active.  We provide a map and trail suggestions, and the Visitors Center can provide even more trail ideas, maps, gift shop, mountain animals to look for, geology, and more to help coordinate your time at Paradise.  Box canyon, near remnants of lava, are showcased along-side the trail, easy to see, get to, and enjoy.  Even a view of Mount Adams can be seen on a clear day.  Some waterfalls are right by the parking area, so no walking at all.

We offer tours for both hikers and non athletic visitors on our Private Mount Rainier tour; anyone who wishes to see the beauty and grandeur of our Cascade Mountains.  We modify the tour as we go along just to keep you having fun, and often make wow! stops for photos.

We also make several brief stops on our Private Mount Rainier tour to see unusual and interesting sights along the way (you’ll love it!) and to stretch our legs during the drive to and from the actual mountain roads. You ask, we stop.

Lunch is included at a restaurant along the way, unless you want more time on the trails.  In that case you’ll eat at the Visitors Center or we’ll pick up sandwiches and chips to eat on the way.

Can’t wait to meet you!  Call Cheryl’s Northwest Tours LLC at 206 353-3330 or book on line at cherylsnwtours.com.  We have limited availability due to these being private tours, but we’ll watch for you!

tunnels

tunnels

rocks

rocks

main mtn shot

main mtn shot

Narada top

Narada

Christine Falls

Falls

long waterfall

long waterfall

Rainier meadow

Rainier meadow