Spring has come to the Pacific Northwest and there has never been a better time to daydream about your next adventure, even if it must remain just a daydream for now. Though we all are confined to our homes for at least a few more weeks, if not more, our minds are free to explore. This crisis has been devastating to the tourism and hospitality industry and when it passes, we want to make sure that our favorite places are still open to enjoy. Buying gift cards to use on future visits is one way to help. Plus, it’s fun to enjoy a virtual vacation as you browse your destinations.
The newly created showWAlove.com website is an easy way to find your favorite local businesses.
Created by the state destination marketing organization Washington Tourism Alliance, this website offers a way to search and find old favorites, local gems and new discoveries, so you’ll know where to go once it’s safe to travel again.
“Never has there been a more important time to come together as a state as we work to rebuild Washington’s tourism and hospitality industry,” says Scott Meis, Vice President of Marketing for Clipper Vacations. “ShowWAlove.com provides an easy curated gift card shopping experience to surprise someone you care about with the gift of travel to enjoy once the crisis has passed.”
What direction would you like to go?
Peninsulas and coasts
If a peninsula trip is in your future, anywhere from the mouth of the Columbia to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, how about lunch on the water in Port Townsend? Sea J’s Cafe is a vintage seafood joint with a laid back setting. Afterwards, you could go on a stunning hot air balloon ride with Olympic Peninsula Balloon Tours. Or if heights aren’t your cup of tea, consider donating to a special ADA accessible balloon ride nonprofit at Dreamcatcher Balloon. Further west to the town of Port Angeles puts you near Adventures Through Kayaking, Port Book and News and Harbinger Winery to fill your afternoon with adventure, culture and fine local wine.
Down through the state to the Gorge Region, reaching east from Washington’s Vancouver to Paterson, lends chances for another set of adventures. Three different white water rafting companies are available to get your adrenaline pumping or appetite up. Cap it off with a stop at Funky Fresh Juice or the Fleur Chocolatte for a treat, definitely something to look forward to once travel restrictions are lifted.
Wine Country in Washington now encompasses over 1,000 wineries, and 95% are in this area of Walla Walla to Yakima. Take advantage of 10% off your stay at Cameo Heights Mansion between wine tastings at vineyards or various breweries and delicious restaurants nearby; such as Bale Breaker Brewing Company or Walla Walla Steak Co.
The Southeast Region is also known as Cougar Country! This region is made up of the lands from the corner bordering Oregon and Idaho winding up towards Ritzville. MarDon Resort has some great BOGO deals for booking in April and a tackle shop for fishing the 28,000 acre Potholes Reservoir. Or maybe a guided river fishing jet boat tour with Beamers Hells Canyon Tours is more up your alley. In your down time, look forward to enjoying some cougar themed dining with Cougar Country Drive-In or The Coug historic bar and grill located next to WSU in Pullman.
Northeast Washington stretches from Tekoa to the Canadian Border and is home to Spokane, the City of Choices. With 87 city parks and every food imaginable from The Sushi House to The Scoop, the choices are endless. The Spokane Valley Mall offers gift cards for shopping, dining and exploring all in one place.
Wenatchee Valley Museum and Cultural Center is a great first stop in the North Central Region. You can stay updated until their reopening by subscribing to their email newsletter. After letting everyone out to stretch their legs and explore the rich North Central Washington history, head over to Atlas Fare. Enjoy a great variety of American food to please everybody, but elevated cuisine as a nice break. This region starts on the stretch between Moses Lake and Ellensburg and runs north to the Candian border in Oroville. Another fun and memorable stop is Studio 1890, where you can recreate old timey photos in full costume! Then while you’re in Leavenworth, don’t forget to stop at the Gingerbread Factory for a sweet treat everyone will love.
Catch a Fly Day event at Heritage Flight Museum in the North Cascades Region, an exciting way to honor veterans and keep history alive. This region spreads from the Skagit Valley in Mount Vernon to the historic town of Lynden. For the young and young-at-heart, Bunnies By the Bay is a sweet and thoughtful way for the gift givers and collectors to enjoy an afternoon in La Conner. For a coffee/tea/chocolate break, Reclamation Candle Company & Coffee Bar is a short stroll down towards the water at Swinomish Channel.
Washington’s archipelago, The Islands Region, provides unique travel options. From the ferry landing at Clinton on Whidbey, and north encompassing Camano, Fidalgo and the San Juans, there is much to explore. Bayview Farm and Garden features an exquisite laburnum arbor and cafe to enjoy a nourishing meal. A spa visit could be in order at Earthbox Inn & Spa, where they also have complimentary beach cruiser bicycles for guests. Just down the block is your choice of Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching or Western Prince Whale Watching & Wildlife Tours, both offering with discounts.
Rest a night in the Greater Seattle Region at The Inn at Mallard Cove, and join them in the morning for a guided kayak tour of Nisqually National Wildlife refuge. Be prepared for stunning views, glassy waters, and an abundance of wildlife. This region is defined as Olympia to Everett, and Pinot’s Palette – South Hill is having a two-for-one deal good for an entire year, so plenty of time to take advantage of that in the future. Plan for some delicious dumplings afterwards at Din Tai Fung in Tukwila.
Did you know that Rangers lead snowshoe tours in the Mount Rainier National Park? Stone Creek Lodge at Rainier in the Volcanoes Region has easy access to the National Park and all the hiking, climbing, and car-touring that it offers. From Longview to Packwood, this is a remarkable region. Another unique way to explore the area is with EZ Times Guided Trail Rides. Follow up your adventures with dining at the McMenamins Kalama Harbor Lodge and a night of entertainment at Columbia Theatre.
For all these treasures this state has to offer and more please visit showWAlove.com. Together we can help take care of the places we love and ensure they’re there to visit later.