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Travel news, consumer advice and trip reports for the Northwest and beyond.

May 2, 2013 at 6:00 AM

Get outta town: 3 quick ideas for your weekend (May 3-5)

Floating the Wenatchee River near Cashmere in August 2011. (photo by Joel Hawksley / The Seattle Times)

Floating the Wenatchee River near Cashmere in August 2011. (photo by Joel Hawksley/The Seattle Times)

Is your fridge so cruddy you’d need a hazmat suit to clean it out? Would it be easier just to leave town for the weekend? Here are some good reasons to go:

GO EAST

If you’re ready for a dose of “WINTER IS FINALLY OVER” heat, go east of the Cascades, where temperatures are promised to climb into the 80s this weekend. It’s a good time to go whitewater rafting or tubing on the Wenatchee River. (It’s snowmelt season.) Here’s a line from the website for Leavenworth-based Osprey Rafting Co., describing its “Main Event” float trip: “You’ll survive the bad boy rapids: Rock and Roll, Drunkards’ Drop, Snowblind, and last but not least: THE SUFFOCATOR.” (Bring a snorkel.)

GO SOUTH

Just about everywhere in the Northwest is supposed to be sunny and warm this weekend, even the ocean beach. If you’re not booked up for Opening Day of boating season in Seattle, maybe head for Ilwaco, at the mouth of the Columbia River, for Saturday’s annual Blessing of the Fleet (get a free scenic boat ride), along with the town’s Loyalty Day Children’s Parade. The parade’s at noon, the blessing is afterward (boats leave around 1 p.m.), along with the first day of Ilwaco’s summer-long Saturday Market. In nearby Long Beach, don’t miss the Long Beach Elks Oyster Feed, noon-6 p.m. Saturday, or the main event: the Loyalty Days grand parade, Sunday at 1 p.m.

GO NORTH

It’s the start of the 10-day Spring Okanagan Wine Festival, May 2-12, in British Columbia’s Okanagan Valley — just north of our state’s Okanogan with an extra “o.” Expect lots of food and wine events around B.C.’s busiest winegrowing region, with a Friday and Saturday wine-tasting event in Kelowna featuring more than 180 wines, food sampling, live music and more ($65).

Comments | Topics: Blessing of the Fleet, Ilwaco, Leavenworth

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