Welcome to Seattle, the city famous for coffee, grunge, tech and some talented fishmongers. Your trip starts with a group meeting at 10am, followed by a VIP food tour of the iconic Pike Place Market. Sample delights like freshly baked breakfast treats, seasonal produce and hot-smoked salmon. You’ll also get a lesson in bean-to-bar chocolate making and get to chat directly with local merchants, including those famous fish-throwers. If you’re still hungry afterwards, you can grab something for lunch in the market (at your own cost) before we take a short drive through the neighbourhood of Fremont for a bit of sightseeing and beer tasting. Check out the wonderfully quirky Fremont Troll statue – a massive sculpture under the George Washington Memorial Bridge created by local artists. Take in unrivalled views of the Seattle skyline from Gas Works Park, a former coal gasification plant that has been converted into parkland, with the old plant repurposed into the landscape.
Finally, finish your tour of the area with a stop at Fremont Brewing, a family-owned brewery featuring small-batch beers and zero-waste production processes. The brewery uses on-site generated steam and invests 60% of its energy into renewable sources to reduce its carbon footprint. Afterwards, you’ll be driven back to your hotel and have will be free in the late afternoon to explore Seattle at your leisure.
Washington's Puget Sound is a haven for whales. Today we drive to Puget Sound and board our boat in search of whales. In this area humpback whales, minke whales, grey whales, and orcas have been seen. Sit back, keep your eyes peeled and enjoy the cruise. Back on dry land you’ll enjoy an afternoon hike to Marymere Falls from Lake Crescent. You can expect fairy-tale scenes and you follow the picturesque path through towering forests painted in a verdant green moss. A relatively relaxed walk, you’ll experience flat trails until reaching a set of stairs shortly after two bridge crossings, from here it won’t be long until you reach the falls and marvel at the 90-foot cascades.
Our hotel for the next 2 nights is in Sequim which is located along the Dungeness River near the base of the Olympic Mountains.
Today we’ll explore one of the most iconic sites on the Olympic Peninsula: The Hoh Rainforest. This UNESCO Biosphere reserve offers a lush green canopy blanketed with mosses and ferns. Unchanged for thousands of years, this constantly misty and noticeably silent environment invites quiet contemplation as well as offering up a variety of walks and hikes. You may even encounter some of the herds of Roosevelt Elk that call the Hoh Rainforest home.
After breakfast we hit the road for Mt Rainier National Park. Upon arrival we will head out on the leisurely Nisqually Vista Loop Trail for views of the rocky river valley and the Nisqually Glacier. You’ll follow a paved path that’s lapped by a sea of greenery (featuring wildflowers if you’re lucky), framed by towering pine trees. Tonight, the evening will be at your leisure to settle into your new hotel.
Spend today exploring the iconic Skyline Loop Trail of Mt Rainier National Park. With creek-fed waterfalls, meadows of wildflowers, scampering marmots, and spectacular views of both Mt Rainier and the Nisqually Glacier, you can’t go wrong with a day hiking the park’s most famous path. On clear days, you may also get to spot the neighbouring peaks of Mt St Helens, Mt Adams and Mt Hood.
This afternoon we hit the road for Portland where you’ll have the option to join a food and drink tour (at your own cost) through one of the city’s neighbourhoods.
Your trip ends today in Portland. There are no activities planned, so you are free to depart at your leisure, or stick around and explore more of Portland on your own.