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Introducing The Pacific Northwest

Microbrews, killer coffee, lush forests, a pristine coastline, eco-minded locals, and music and art galore – Pacific Northwesterners have it good and they don't mind sharing.

Outdoor Adventures

You can't escape the natural world in these parts. Even the big cities are peppered with verdant parks and punctuated by looming, snowy peaks: Seattle's Mt Rainier, Portland's Mt Hood and Vancouver's North Shore Mountains. And that's not to mention the raging rivers, rolling deserts, dense old-growth forests and hundreds of miles of glorious public beaches that are never too far from any urban landscape here.

The great outdoors offers endless opportunities to get into nature – think camping, hiking, cycling, climbing, skiing and mountaineering. And while it does rain aplenty, all that moisture translates into a perfect storm of water sports; you can raft down white water, surf gnarly waves, navigate a kiteboard through ripping winds, fish for everything from sturgeon to salmon, and watch majestic whales migrate up and down the coast.

Land of Locavores & Beer Lovers

The varied climates of the Northwest produce an abundance of locally grown, raised and harvested food, from berries and hazelnuts to wild mushrooms, seafood, cheese and grass-fed beef. This bounty has spawned a serious movement to eat locally by practitioners known as 'locavores.' They get their fix at specialty grocery stores, community gardens and restaurants that source ingredients locally – as well as at farmers markets, where farmers often sell their own fresh, seasonal crops.

In these parts, beverages hold equal clout. The nation's gourmet coffee scene may have started in Seattle, but dozens of artisan microroasters across the Northwest now produce some of the best espresso in the world. Microbrewing became famous here, within a stone's throw of the nation's highest concentration of hop farms. Today, all kinds of craft brewers pump out fragrant, delicious India Pale Ales (IPAs) and more. And don't forget wine; grape vines cover many Pacific Northwest hills, producing a harvest of intriguing reds and whites.

Art & Culture

While the region's outdoors largely define how Northwesterners recreate, there's no shortage of urban entertainment and culture. Think indie garage bands, world-class symphonies, jazz bars and an abundance of public art. There are offbeat film houses and art galleries tucked into even the smallest towns around the region, and nearly everyone seems to be making homemade crafts. Pacific Northwesterners pride themselves on being open-minded and accepting of all kinds of self-expression.

Seattle, Portland and Vancouver all support symphonies, operas, vibrant dance troupes (both modern and ballet) and all sizes of theater companies. Galleries and museums display visual work by locals, including Native American artists, wood- and metal-workers, ceramicists and painters, and glassmakers inspired by Tacoma's Dale Chihuly. You'll always have more than enough art and culture to appreciate in this region, the supremely creative Pacific Northwest.