The Emerald City of the Pacific Northwest, Seattle is known for its stunning waterfront. “Catch” a salmon at Pike Place Market, ride to the top of the Space Needle, sample a local microbrew in funky Fremont, or down a cup of java in the coffee capital of the world.
For years Juneau’s livelihood, like that of many cities in Alaska, was tied to mining. The city itself is built on tailings from the A-J mine whose shafts perforate the hillside above town. Because it is Alaska’s capital, Juneau prospers through government work and tourism. This is a great place to sample salmon baked over an alderwood fire, pan for gold, and hike the massive Juneau Icefield. If you feel the need for speed, hop on a sled and let a dog team pull you across the surface of a glacier.
Bald eagles perch in the spruce and cedar trees of Sitka—often several to a branch. Russian Alaska is enthusiastically represented in a lively performance by the New Archangel Dancers. View holy paintings of the Czarist days, and visit recuperating eagles at the rehabilitation center.
In the heart of the Tongass National Forest, immerse yourself in Tlingit Indian culture and view the world’s largest collection of totem poles; kayak the colorful waterfront and stroll the boardwalk that once led to Ketchikan’s red light district.
Victoria, British Columbia
High tea can be taken at the Empress Hotel if you really want to discover what Victoria is all about. Then, walk over to the breathtaking Museum of Natural History or stroll through the charming downtown of that lives up to its British-flavored name with double-decker buses, turreted castles, fine British woollens and delicate china. A coach-ride away, the Butchart Garden earns every superlative of its impeccable reputation for glorious blooms and redolent scents.