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Northwest Traveler

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

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You are currently viewing all posts written by Brian J. Cantwell.

February 12, 2015 at 1:54 PM

3 ‘Red Wine and Chocolate’ road trips for Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day on Saturday, and little likelihood of weekend snow on Snoqualmie Pass, it might be a good time to team up with your designated driver (and sweetie) for a road trip to one of the “Red Wine and Chocolate” celebrations in Washington wine country. Extra incentive: The National Weather Service predicts sunshine this…


Comments | More in List, weekend getaways, wine touring | Topics: Lake Chelan wine, Olympic Peninsula wine, Red Wine and Chocolate

February 9, 2015 at 3:24 PM

Need a skiing fix? Head for the Methow Valley

Heartbroken over lack of snow at your favorite downhill resort? Aghast at webcam views of what should be pristine, snowy slopes but are showing more dark spots than a Dalmatian? If cross-country skiing will fill your winter schussing deficit, the Methow Valley might provide your salvation. While just about everywhere else in the Northwest ski world…


Comments | Topics: cross-country skiing, Methow cross-country skiing, Methow Trails

February 5, 2015 at 4:55 PM

One-month anniversary: Reservations are new on San Juan ferry runs

Contemplating a summer sojourn to the San Juan Islands? Smile. The days of seemingly endless waits for a ferry may be over. A month into Washington State Ferries’ new Save a Spot reservation system for San Juans ferry runs, a recent ferry-system report indicates a healthy number of early adopters. In the first weeks, 46 percent…


Comments | More in San Juan Islands, Washington State Ferries | Topics: ferry reservations, San Juan ferry, San Juan ferry reservations

February 5, 2015 at 11:53 AM

3 things to do on a rainy Northwest weekend

I started out to look for suggestions on where you could go to get away from the rain this weekend. Eastern Washington, right? Nope. The National Weather Service says it’ll be raining in Yakima, raining in Chelan, raining in Spokane. Portland and Vancouver? Rain. (Environment Canada has even issued an official Rainfall Warning, for up to 4…


Comments | More in List, weekend getaways | Topics: Hoh Rain Forest, Rainy Seattle weekend, Snoqualmie Falls

February 4, 2015 at 3:01 PM

Save loads by renting your car away from the airport

I was just reminded, through experience, of this great trick for thrifty travelers. Booking a trip to California for some future Seattle Times travel stories, I found a decently cheap flight to San Jose ($160 round-trip on Alaska), but was crestfallen to find that a rental car was going to cost more than double that for…


Comments | More in airports | Topics: airport car rental, budget travel tip, off-airport car rental

February 3, 2015 at 3:56 PM

Trial allows dogs with skiers on easy trails at Chelan’s Echo Ridge

Beginning Saturday, Feb. 7, you may cross-country ski with your dog on some of the easier Forest Service trails near Lake Chelan. The Chelan Ranger District is staging a pilot program called “Pups on the Pops” on three trails locally known as the “Pops” at Echo Ridge Nordic Ski Area. From the Lower Echo parking lot,…


Comments | More in Outdoors, ski areas, skiing, snow sports, U.S. Forest Service | Topics: Chelan ski trails, dogs with skiers, Echo Ridge Nordic Ski Area

January 27, 2015 at 5:05 PM

$12 Super Bowl Sunday lift tickets at Stevens Pass (don’t wait long)

Don’t have the thousands of dollars to go watch the Super Bowl in Arizona? Then spend $12 — yes, it’s a 12th Man thing — for a ski lift ticket on Super Bowl Sunday at Stevens Pass. Starting at 7 p.m. Tuesday, you can go online and try to nab one of the 1,200 available…


Comments | More in ski areas, skiing, snow sports | Topics: $12 lift tickets, cheap lift tickets, Stevens Pass

January 26, 2015 at 4:37 PM

Presto, change-o at Rainier’s Paradise, where it can be rainy or sunny, but without much snow

Just to prove what they say about how quickly conditions can change on Mount Rainier, here’s a comparison of what I saw on a drive up to Paradise on Friday, when it was pouring rain up there (right), versus what was showing this sunny Monday afternoon on the park’s webcam (below). What it hasn’t been doing…


Comments | More in Mount Rainier National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, national parks | Topics: Mount Rainier snow, Mount Rainier weather, Paradise snow

January 26, 2015 at 2:06 PM

Whiskey Bend Road closed by slide in Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park‘s 4.5-mile Whiskey Bend Road, on the east bank of the Elwha River, is closed after the first mile due to a slide and extensive road damage, park officials reported Monday. Heavy rains and high winds earlier this month resulted in a slide that destroyed more than 50 linear feet of the roadbed…


Comments | More in national parks, Olympic National Park | Topics: Elwha River access, Glines Canyon viewpoints, olympic national park

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