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Northwest Traveler

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

April 9, 2014 at 3:30 PM

3 getaways for this weekend, from Orcas Island to Hood River

Are your taxes done? Feeling a little drained by the experience? Get your second wind. Take a little weekend getaway. Here are some quick ideas to get you on the road:

1 Birding festival on Orcas Island

Thursday through Saturday, April 10-12, around Orcas and nearby islands; $30 event fee, extra fees for boat rides; some events free. 360-376-2273

Bald eagles are among birds to look for on Orcas Island. (photo by Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times)

Look for bald eagles on Orcas Island. (photo by Steve Ringman/The Seattle Times)

As spring warms up, a trip to the San Juan Islands doesn’t need much excuse. But this weekend, the first-ever Orcas Island Bird & Wildlife Festival adds to the draw if you’re a fan of the feathered.  Take a guided bird walk on Crescent Beach, tour the island with the local Audubon president, or sign up for one of the boat trips to outer islands. Join in the Saturday Bird Parade through downtown Eastsound. Then tweet about it to your friends.

 

2 Blossom time in Hood River

Blossom Fest, April 12-27, Hood River, Ore.; Hard Pressed Cider Fest, noon-6 p.m., Saturday, April 12, Odell, Ore.; $10 includes mug + 4 tastes.

Mount Hood and Hood River Valley orchards. (photo by Peter Marbach/Hood River County Chamber of Commerce)

Mount Hood and Hood River Valley orchards. (photo by Peter Marbach/Hood River County Chamber of Commerce)

I just spent a weekend in Bend, Ore. (see my blog post) and drove home through the gorgeous Hood River Valley, where acres and acres of pear, apple and cherry trees were about to pop just in time for the Hood River Blossom Fest, which runs Saturday through April 27. Besides scenic drives and bike rides, expect craft and quilt shows, pancake breakfasts, wine and beer tasting and more. Included is Saturday’s inaugural Hard Pressed Cider Fest, with tasting offered by a dozen Oregon cider makers.

3 Beer fest in Little Bavaria

2-10 p.m. Saturday, April 12, Leavenworth Festhalle, 1001 Front St.; $22.09 in advance (buy here) or $25 at door, includes glass + 3 drinks.

Beer drinkers in the real Bavaria. Will Leavenworth match this? (AP photo)

Beer drinkers in the real Bavaria. Will Leavenworth match this? (AP photo)

If you missed last week’s food fest in the faux-Bavarian tourism capital of the North Cascades, pull on your lederhosen and dirndls and aim the SUV over Stevens Pass because Saturday is the Leavenworth Ale-Fest. Live music, food and plenty of beer at the Leavenworth Festhalle, and it all benefits the nonprofit Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum. More than 25 craft brewers from across the Northwest will be pouring.

Comments | More in List, Northwest, weekend getaways | Topics: ale festival, birding festival, blossom festival

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