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Located along the Willamette River and its namesake lake, the city of Lake Oswego has a beautiful downtown area featuring riverfront parks, boutique shopping and speciality dining including a European-style farmers market open from May – October. Lake Oswego also offers visitors an active arts scene: Visitors can take a self-guided tour of the outdoor “Gallery Without Walls,” or attend the annual Festival of the Arts in June.
Steeped in history, Vancouver is the oldest city in Washington. Once the largest western outpost of the British Hudson's Bay Company, where supplies and food were bartered in the 1800s, it was closed in 1860 as Americans took over commerce. The outpost was later recreated as the Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. For more history, check out the Pearson Air Field, the oldest operating airfield in the West, where vintage aircraft are displayed at the Pearson Air Museum. If adventure is your bag, Vancouver is the perfect base for day trips to the Columbia River Gorge, the breathtakingly beautiful 70-mile river stretch that cuts through the Cascade Mountains, or Mount St. Helens, the site of the famous volcano, both of which offer a slew of outdoor activities. For calmer pastimes, cruise the picturesque river in the Columbia Gorge riverboat, or visit Beacon Rock, the world's second largest monolith, where a walking trail leads to spectacular panoramic views.
Oregon’s Mt. Hood Territory offers visitors an incredible range of experiences that reflect the diversity of the landscape, from the Willamette Valley’s wineries, flower farms and farm-to-table dining to the iconic 11,250-foot peak of Mt. Hood itself. Adventurers can enjoy skiing and snowboarding all winter long, as well as hiking and mountain biking in warmer months. Cities near Portland also offer a wide selection of craft breweries, tax-free shopping, and a thriving arts scene.
Named from the anglicized form of the Hebrew word "shalom," meaning peace, Salem provides visitors with exactly that - plus a horde of historic sites to explore and plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation. Oregon's capital, one of the oldest cities in the state, exudes simple, small-town hospitality with just enough politics and culture to keep things interesting. Tour the grand, gold-domed State Capitol to learn about the workings of the government, then head to the observation deck for a fantastic view of Salem and its surrounding area. Although the whole city is a living history lesson, brimming with old buildings and landmarks, the Mill Mission Museum is a definite standout. Art buffs should not miss the impressive Pacific Northwest collection at the Hallie Ford Art Museum. In between sights, take time to people watch or picnic at Bush's Pasture Park, or enjoy wine tasting at some of the local vineyards. Salem's idyllic setting, in the heart of the emerald Willamette Valley, coupled with its historic role as political hub for Oregon make it the perfect choice for a delightful and interesting weekend away.
Hood River beckons travelers with the scent of orchard blooms and the promise of adventure on the rushing waters of the Columbia River. The winds through the Columbia River Gorge provide the perfect conditions for windsurfing and kite surfing, making the city a hotspot for those sports in recent years. The surrounding area is ripe with orchards growing cherries, apples, peaches and other sweets. Take the Mt. Hood Scenic Railroad through the orchard route and take in the views of Mt. Hood.
With the distinctive Haystack Rock and Needles marking its shoreline, Cannon Beach is one of Oregon's quaintest and most picturesque destinations. Nine miles of beach make a perfect setting for strolling along the seaside, watching diverse wildlife in its natural habitat and building a sand castle in the annual sand castle building contest. With strict regulations in place limiting the infiltration of large chain stores or restaurants, Cannon Beach retains its small town charm.
Historic Astoria is the oldest American settlement west of the Rocky Mountains, first established as a fur trading post before it expanded to become the bustling port city it is today. Its storied past is documented in numerous museums, from the Columbia River Maritime Museum with its collection of nautical relics to the Uppertown Firefighters Museum, whose collections of firefighting memorabilia is complimented by the interactive Children's Museum on the second floor.
Surrounded on all sides by snow-capped peaks and set at the narrow head of a deep valley, Ouray touts itself as the "Switzerland of America." With no nearby ski area to attract the tourism of other alpine Colorado towns, Ouray has kept much of its authentic turn-of-the-century charm. The whole town is registered as a Historic District and includes many buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Its free Ice Park attracts amateur and pro ice climbers from around the world.
Although Tucson's fantastic weather, national parks and forests and desert provide the perfect environment for lots of outdoor recreational activities, this city of half a million people also has its share of history and culture. With a history that goes back much further than many of its southwestern neighbours, Tucson boasts turn-of-the-century architecture, historic neighbourhoods, museums and the Mission San Xavier del Bac, a still-functioning 18th-century mission considered one of the most beautiful in the USA. Mexican and Native American influences are pervasive, and the city has a distinctly Western flavour. There's also a college-town atmosphere, thanks to the University of Arizona, which has its own share of museums and a science centre. Whether golfing at a world-class golf resort, horse riding, hiking in the wilderness, discovering desert flora and fauna at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, or exploring pre-Columbian and other art at the Tucson Art Museum, you'll have a mind-boggling array of things to do.
Amarillo is the perfect place to get a big taste of Texas even if you only have a small amount of time. From canyons to old Cadillacs and gigantic steaks to grand scenery, the city is an Old West enthusiast's dream. One of the country's best collections of Western art and artifacts can be found at the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum. Mosey on over to the Amarillo Livestock Auction to mingle with real cowboys as they go about the business of buying and selling cattle. For those with interests that are more modern, the city boasts a great art museum and beautiful botanical gardens. If you're travelling with kids, don't miss the thrilling rides at Wonderland Park. The whole family will be in awe of the fantastic rock formations at Palo Duro Canyon State Park.
Perfectly positioned at the westernmost tip of sparkling blue Lake Superior, Duluth offers visitors a true escape from the stresses of everyday life and an opportunity to enjoy nature. You can opt for a more leisurely pace: spending time at one of the city's 23 beautiful parks, taking an unhurried drive along the scenic North Shore, bird watching at Hawk Ridge, skipping stones on the Lake with the kids. Or go for a more structured itinerary: the aquarium in the morning, lunch at a sumptuous restaurant on the waterfront plus a tour of the famous Sculpture Walk, then a visit to the historic Railroad Depot in the afternoon. Either way, you are sure to leave Duluth feeling relaxed and refreshed.
Kapolei, named for the volcanic cone Pu'u o Kapolei (loosely meaning "hill of beloved Kapo"), is locally known as Oahu's "second city" after Honolulu. Built on former sugarcane and pineapple plantations, Kapolei is an affluent and vibrant city that is growing rapidly. It has an ever-changing urban scene as well as the Ko Olina resort and marina community and the Disney Aulani Resort. Sportsmen can play a round of golf at the Ko Olina Golf Club before a sophisticated evening on the town.
Key West has great nightlife—and a perfect cover story for someone who wants to enjoy it. A Hemingway fan simply must toss back a few at their hero’s favourite bar! You’re not reliving Spring Break, you’re immersing yourself in great American literature. Yeah. That’s the ticket.