northwest tours

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

Oregon Coast tour

We took an Oregon Coast Tour from Seattle recently, and had some great experiences.  Oregon has a beautiful coast line, and we saw sea lions, seals and pups, eagles, falcon, and deer along the trip, plus seastacks, caves, and fantastic rock formations on the beaches.

We also explored some wonderful attractions along the way and had so much fun!  We did a group dune buggy ride in the Oregon Dunes, at Florence. Taking 14 of us, it was a safe, slow, and well narrated 1 hour dunes-to-ocean-tour.  We also visited the Sea Lion Caves, America’s largest sea cave and actually has a bunch of sea lions in there!  We visited a lighthouse in a fantastic location on the coast, and did some wine tasting in the Willamette Valley at Rex Hill and Duck Pond.

Overnight we stayed first in Lincoln City at the Surftides, a great hotel on the beach with easy access to the sand and surf.  Hot tub, indoor swimming pool and wet/dry sauna really got us off to a great relaxing time.  The second night in Florence we stayed at the Driftwood Shores Resort, which was also on the ocean with a nice path to the beach.  They allow fires on the beach!  Night 3 we stayed in Astoria at the River Walk Inn.  They are doing some updating on this hotel and the location on the marina is a relaxing location.  We bicycled along the river walk path for some nice viewing, and hit the karaoke bar that was within walking distance from the hotel.

beach scene beach stream dune buggy dunes lake Florence bridge historic bridge hotel room view ice age rock remains Kingfisher look out location Newport crabpots ocean rocks oregon coast oregon dunes Oregon dunes2 Oregon state park Pelican brewing Rex Hill sand skiing sea cave the beach tillimook cheese Trident Seafood

 

Red Wine and Chocolate Tour

Holmes Harbor entry

Holmes Harbor entry

We did a new Red Wine and Chocolate Tour last weekend, a celebration coinciding with Valentine’s Day.  Instead of going to Eastern Washington’s vineyards, we went to Washington’s 3rd AVA in Puget Sound.  Specifically Whidbey Island.  We visited Holmes Harbor Cellars, Blooms Winery, Spoiled dog Winery and Comforts of Whidbey.  All four provided Red Wine and Chocolate, some of the chocolates were amazing.  The truffle at Holmes Harbor was large and scrumptous with a raspberry chocolate cream center, the salted caramel and chocolate mousse at Spoiled Dog were melt-in-your-mouth delights.  Comfort had nice dark chocolate and a delicious apricot treat to pair with a white wine, and Blooms

Bicycle

Bicycle

Boy statue w dog

Boy statue w dog

Ferry view lighthouse

Ferry view lighthouse

Grape vines winter

Grape vines winter

Parking Lot Park

Parking Lot Park

Spoiled Dog building

Spoiled Dog building

The group

The group

had a dark chocolate.

The wines were unique and in my 0pinion tasted different than the Eastern Washington wines; and they should.  The soil is different in each of Washinton’s AVAs, plus Puget Sound vineyards grow some different grapes altogether.  So we had a nice change of tastings, and a very different landscape.

Starting in Renton and then Seattle, we traveled to Mukilteo, where the ferry ride was perfect.  We arrived early; the tasting rooms don’t open until 11:00am, so we did a little driving around and landed at Greenbank Farms.  Though they were not participating in the Red Wine and Chocolate program, they offer daily wine tasting from a variety of local Puget Sound AVA wineries.  So we began, and it was a nice experience.  $1 per tasting for 1 oz, and 1 oz was a large serving.  We also visited 2 art stores with unique and very interesting works from locals.  Some of the Native American art work was fantastic. I especially liked the wood carved leaf pieces, they look just like leaves but are made from wood pieces and driftwood.  Also the glass blown pieces of bright colors for the garden were terrific.  Oh, we found a cheese shop at Greenbank, too.

Then off to more wine tasting.  All the wineries were well marked on the road and on the map, and not very far apart.  We found beautiful and interesting tasting rooms, tasted good wines and chocolates, and snacked on cheese all day between wine tastings.  We were spoiled.  Thank you Whidbey and Camano Islands.  For more fun Northwest Tours, visit http://www.cherylsnorthwesttours.com.

 

Mussel Festival Tour

Mussels! Black Shellfish from Puget Sound, are the highlight of the Mussel Festival on Whidbey Island.  Our tour includes all transportation to the festival, and a ride on a Washington State Ferry across Puget Sound.  Complete with tour guide on board, you’ll learn about the Mussel Festival as well as some interesting Northwest history and geology about the area before arriving in Coupeville.  Once there, you’ll receive your chowder cards and boat ride slips, and have the day on your own to explore and taste chowders and whole mussels all over town.

Penn Cove Shellfish grow, sell, and market mussels they grow in Penn Cove, on Whidey Island.  These tender, delicious mussels are sold all over the world.  One weekend a year, Whidbey Island puts on a fun festival to eat and celebrate these seafood delights.

The Mussel Festival plan:  You get a card for a selection of restaurants around town.  There are 2, and sometimes 3 different cards with different restaurants listed. Each card has 5 or so restaurants.  You receive one card with our tour.  If you want more cards for more restaurants, they are $10 each additional.  You then go to the restaurants on your card and get free samples of their chowder.  On our tour you will also receive a slip to go out on the boat (10 minute ride each way) that takes you to the mussel pens, where the company has a representative to show you how they raise and harvest the shellfish.

Pick up locations include: Sheraton Hotel Seattle, ($8 parking at the Cheesecake Factory), Northgate and Mukilteo Ferry. This tour fee is $110, and includes taxes, transportation, chowder samples and boat ride. Only $89 if you bring 2 guests (and they pay $89 too!)

This is a very fun tour, one of our favoritesMussels Mar 12, and we hope you will join us.  Visit www.cherylsnwtours.com for more upcoming tours.

 

Christmas Leavenworth Lighting Tour

Our premium Christmas Leavenworth Lighting Tour is just this:  a Premium Tour to Leavenworth!

Not just a ride there and back, you’ll enjoy holiday music on the bus, local information on the route there, Leavenworth history, and get inside information on what to do, where to go, suggestions for restaurants, maps, restroom locations, crowd secrets, and more.  We provide snacks on the way there and back, bottled water, and you’ll watch a holiday movie on the way back.

Bring your sleds if so inclined to slide down the snow-covered grass in the park! Enjoy hot cider or hot spiced wine in the cider tent, shop, explore the Wenatchee River walk, and eat, drink, and be merry!

Over 5 hours in Leavenworth, the lights at 4:45-5:00 will amaze you, especially if this is your first experience to the Festival.  For those who go every year, our premium Christmas Leavenworth Lighting tour to get you there and back makes all the difference.

Get your tickets early before the tour sells out. Book on-line on our website homepage:  www.cherylsnorthwesttours.com.

Town Lights

Town Lights

town without snow

town without snow

nice day shot-

nice day shot-

horse carriage ride

horse and buddy

lighted center

lighted center

lighted trees

lighted trees