This post originally appeared on Two Scots Abroad’s “Hipmunk Hotels: The Forgotten Cities of the Pacific Northwest” on January 27, 2016.
The Pacific Northwest is fast becoming more than just foodie Seattle or quirky Portland. Lots of tourists are flocking there to see more of what the Pacific NW has to offer in Washington’s Kent, Spokane, SeaTac and Oregon’s Salem.
Kent, not Kerching!
Kent is not a big city like Seattle but offers big city things without stretching the purse strings. Washington’s sixth largest city is growing and shaking off its earlier comedic image. Locals are proud of the ShoWare Center, which plays host to concerts and more notably is home to the hockey team, T – Birds. Sports fans also enjoy the Riverbend Golf Complex, Hydroplane, and Raceboat Museum as well as the PGP Motorsports Park and Pacific Raceways. Of course, a visit to PNW would not be complete without breathing in some fresh air, nature walks can found at the Green River Natural Resources Area. For a hotel conmplimentary free breakfast check out the Ramada Kent Seattle Area.
Sports and Spring in Spokane
Washington’s second largest city, Spokane, is one for the outdoor lovers. In the summer months, visitors can grab a canoe and relax on Lake Spokane. It’s also popular with the fishing community. During winter, skiers and boarders will find the quietness of the mountains appealing; this is definitely not found at the likes of the West Coast’s Whistler or Mount Baker! When spring has sprung it is time of the Bloomsday and Lilac Festival. Spokane is blooming! For a hotel close to the action book with Hotel Ruby.
SeaTac, Not Seattle!
Due to its proximity to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, SeaTac is a popular arrival destination for those visiting Seattle but it deserves some attention in its own right! The city offers breath-taking panoramic views of the Pacific Northwest Mountains; Rainier, Puget Sound, and the Olympic Mountains. The city doesn’t stop at mountains! Tours of the Olympic National Park and Forest are available for hikers. When I say forest I mean rainforest! Lucky hikers may get a glimpse of a Roosevelt elk, black bear, and osprey bird. For a remote stay, see Cedarbrook Lodge.
Salem, the gateway city to Oregon’s coast, is not only picturesque but also family friendly. Popular attractions include Salem’s Riverfront Carousel, The Enchanted Forest Theme Park, and Gilbert House Children’s Museum. However, one of the hidden gems in Salem is the Oregon State Mental Hospital Museum. This museum uniquely takes you through the development in treatment of mental health patients – pretty unusual and invaluable for those interested in mental health. For the rest of society, Salem offers vineyards, cheese, and more vineyards! Crossland Salem North offers a cheap and cheerful stay in Salem.
These lesser know areas of the Pacific Northwest can only mean two things – good for tight budgets and avoiding crowds! So the next time you are considering a trip to Washington or Oregon remember the underrated cities in the Pacific Northwest, Kent, Spokane, SeaTac, and Salem.
Photo by J Brew / CC