Every fall my family and I take a long weekend to explore some the best Pacific Northwest wineries. I’m bummed that this year we won’t be able to go. But I guess I shouldn’t complain, considering we’re not going because I’ll be galavanting around Italy and Stockholm instead. Whoops!
Luckily, my boyfriend and I were able to squeeze in an earlier wine trip. This time it was exploring the Willamette Valley wine country in Oregon. In just a 4 hour drive from Seattle, we were able to explore one of the best regions for pinots in the world. But the Willamette Valley is so much more than just the wine. That’s why I’m outlining not only what to drink, but also what to eat and do between winery visits.
We all know that Olympia is the capital of Washington state, but how many of us have really ever been there? I hadn’t until last month. My boyfriend and I wanted to take a quick weekend trip, but we needed it to be 36 hours or less so we’d have time do some life things that weekend, too.
Enter Olympia. Our state capital is about a 1.5 hour drive from Seattle, which makes it a great day or one-night trip. And there’s a whole lot more to do than just visit the capitol building. In fact, it’s a tight-knit community that shares a lot of my values: celebrate local farms, make good beer, and get outside.
Have a day or two to spare? Here are 8 ideas for how to spend 36 hours in Olympia, WA.
If you’ve seen my past guides to PNW wineries, you know I have a near reverence for wine. I’m constantly researching places to try and sipping my way through the best wineries in the region.
Washington is home to some of the best wine in the world, and people living or exploring Seattle have a great wine tasting area nearby: Woodinville. This wine-loving town is about a 30-minute drive from Seattle and has more than 100 wineries and tasting rooms.
I’ve explored most of the wine districts in the area, so I’ll break down the areas and give you a local’s perspective on the best Woodinville wineries.
I’ve been going to Whistler Blackcomb Resort every year for almost a decade…which means I’ve been hunting for the best restaurants in Whistler, BC for a while now. Whistler Blackcomb is one of the best ski and snowboard destinations in the world (and the best in North America). It has unparalleled ski terrain and one of the bigger après ski options at the base of the mountain in Whistler Village.
Yet, the shopping, eating, and drinking options in Whistler Village are…let’s just say diverse. You’ll find a lot of touristy shops filled with tchotchkes you don’t need or overpriced ski clothes. Tucked between those are dining gems like The Old Spaghetti Factory and Ruby Tuesday (cough sarcasm cough).
With all the high street options available, it can be difficult to find the restaurants and cafes worth eating at. And since the prices at this popular ski resort are inflated (mentally prepare for this!), you definitely want to make sure you don’t have food regret.
Over the years I found the secret places to eat in Whistler Village. These are mostly off the beaten path and are loved by both locals and discerning tourists alike. Here’s my carefully-curated, constantly updated list of the best restaurants in Whistler, BC. But shhh…don’t spread the word too much or they might be impossible to get into before you know it.
A few weekends ago my boyfriend and I went to Winthrop, WA to celebrate our anniversary. We planned our winter getaway around the Winthrop Balloon Festival because I’d bought him a hot air balloon ride for our anniversary last year (which we never took because I’m an idiot – more on this later).
Winthrop is in central Washington’s Methow Valley, which is home to the largest network of cross-country ski trails in the country. Plus, it’s only a 45-minute drive from Lake Chelan, a great wine region. These two facts, plus the fact that the Winthrop Balloon Festival is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen, make Wintrop the perfect location for a winter getaway in Washington state.