Road trip in Washington/Pacific Northwest around New Year's Eve
October 20, 2014 9:42 AM   Subscribe

The Mr and I would like to take a 3-5 day road trip out of Seattle this December/January, including going somewhere that it would be fun to celebrate New Year's Eve. We are not interested in skiing or winter sports. We are interested in food, wine, and cultural events.

Portland and Vancouver BC are out because we already go there a million times a year and we want to do something different. The big limitations seem to be the probability of snow on the mountain passes (which we would prefer to avoid if possible) and the fact that things are closed down in smaller towns because it's the off season. We've already looked at Orcas Island and everything is mostly closed down.
posted by matildaben to Travel & Transportation (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
How about Vancouver Island? The climate isn't going to be much different (if at all) than Seattle, and you've got food, wine, cultural events galore. Depending on which ferry you take, you can take your car or not (or you could rent one there).

Bend might also be a little inundated with winter sport-ers at that time, but there is also plenty to do that isn't solely skiing related (good food, nice hotels, etc.)
posted by DuckGirl at 10:32 AM on October 20, 2014

Have you considered a visit to the Olympic Peninsula? I'd suggest storm-watching at Kalaloch, in a cabin. If you do this, take firewood and a latern, as there are frequent power outages out there.
The other place that could be fun, and it's a favorite place of mine to visit, Port Townsend. There's great food, some excellent hard cider producers, and the scenery can't be beat. It is also in the 'rain shadow' of the Olympic range, so not quite a rainy - but cold/windy, so dress warm.
posted by dbmcd at 10:33 AM on October 20, 2014 [2 favorites]

Salish Lodge is about an hour's drive east of Seattle, and it is the site of Snoqualmie Falls (an "iconic" waterfall also seen briefly on a television show called Twin Peaks). The hotel restaurant serves luxurious food. Not sure about New Year's Eve partying but you could call them and ask. There's also a local events calendar.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:42 AM on October 20, 2014

Indeed, come out the peninsula. It's lovely in PT today (not really).
posted by humboldt32 at 12:08 PM on October 20, 2014 [1 favorite]

I would suggest Eastern Washington if you like wine. There's a lot of incredible wineries in the Walla Walla and Tri-Cities areas and I think the desert scenery makes a lovely change from the relentless greenery of Western Washington. I-90 usually is an easy drive unless there's an active storm. Or, if you don't want to chance it, drive down I-5 to almost Portland but head east on 14. It's a lovely winding drive next to the Columbia river and it also has wineries on it!
posted by jezemars at 12:11 PM on October 20, 2014

If you want cultural events, that leaves you with towns of at least a moderate size. I'd say Victoria, BC, or maybe Bellingham, WA.
posted by tecg at 10:20 AM on October 21, 2014

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