Northwest Travel Ideas

Choosing Your NW US Vacation Destination

The Northwest is so rich with fun things to do and gorgeous sites to see, it can be difficult to narrow down your list of vacation options. Those who live in this region know that it would take a lifetime (or more!) to visit all the wonders that the Northwest holds. And while there are always new places to explore, old favorites can draw you again and again. You'll want to experience these places at different times of year, in different light and different season. For those who aren't lucky enough to live here, there are many reasons to choose the Northwest as your vacation destination.

This list will give you some getaway ideas and help you choose a destination where you can enjoy the experiences that fit your tastes and interests.

  • 01 of 09

    Family Fun in the Northwest

    Scenery in Glacier National Park
    ••• Scenery in Glacier National Park. Angela M. Brown 2006

    These Northwest destinations feature a broad range of activities in uniquely scenic locations. They offer opportunities to learn and play and share quality time with your loved ones.

    More Family Vacation Destinations in the Northwest

  • 02 of 09

    Romantic Getaways in the Northwest

    View of Hwy 95 Bridge over Lake Pend Oreille © Angela M. Brown (2007)
    ••• View of Hwy 95 Bridge over Lake Pend Oreille from The Lodge at Sandpoint. View of Hwy 95 Bridge over Lake Pend Oreille

    Charming lodging, fine dining, and romantic strolling options make these destinations ideal for couples who want to spend quality time focusing on each other.

    More Romantic Getaways in the Northwest

  • 03 of 09

    Wildlife Watching in the Northwest

    Caribou Browsing Among the Fall Color in Denali National Park © Angela M. Brown
    ••• Caribou Browsing Among the Fall Color in Denali National Park. Caribou Browsing Among the Fall Color in Denali National Park

    Whether you're interested in seeing creatures with fur, fins, or feathers, these locations offer the opportunity to view the region's gorgeous wildlife in their natural setting.

  • 04 of 09

    Golf Getaways in the Northwest

    View of Floating Golf Green at The Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course ©Angela M. Brown 2009
    ••• Floating Golf Green at The Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course. Floating Golf Green at The Coeur d'Alene Resort Golf Course

    These Northwest golf destinations offer a range of challenging courses along with a broad range of visitor services and amenities.

    More Golf Getaways in the Northwest

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09

    Experience History in the Northwest

    Grave of Jeremiah Johnson at Old Trail Town in Cody, Wyoming © Angela M. Brown (2008)
    ••• Grave of Jeremiah Johnson at Old Trail Town in Cody, Wyoming. Grave of Jeremiah Johnson at Old Trail Town in Cody, Wyoming

    These historically-significant destinations offer interesting learning experiences in combination with hands-on activities and recreation.

  • 06 of 09

    Water Recreation in the Northwest

    Windsurfer at Hood River (courtesy of Gorge Games)
    ••• Windsurfer at Hood River. Windsurfer at Hood River

    You'll enjoy a broad range of water activities on these Northwest lakes and rivers, including whitewater rafting, water skiing, windsurfing, and houseboating.

    • Hood River, Oregon
    • Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, Washington
    • Middle Fork of the Salmon River, Idaho
  • 07 of 09

    Winter Vacations in the Northwest

    Downhill skiing, cross country skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and sledding and tubing. You'll find it all in abundance in the Northwest.

    More Winter Vacation Destinations in the Northwest

    Top Ski Resorts in the Northwest

  • 08 of 09

    Wine and Wineries in the Northwest

    Picture of King Estate Winery in Oregon ©Angela M. Brown (2010)
    ••• King Estate Winery in Oregon. King Estate Winery in Oregon

    Tours vineyards and wineries and sample the fruits of their labor in these scenic Northwest wine regions that take pride in their hospitality.

    • Columbia Valley, Washington
    • Willamette Valley, Oregon
    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09

    Sample the Best of the Northwest

    When selecting where to go and what to do during your Northwest vacation time, you can choose to focus your travels around one major attraction, such as a national park, a historic area, or a scenic wonder. Another choice is to combine a few of the Northwest's great visitor attractions into a multi-day road trip. You'll enjoy a number of memorable visitor attractions along with the local flavor of the Northwest's lively cities and charming towns.

    Here are my picks for the best attractions in the Northwest US: