Invigorating and refreshing, the crisp autumn air begs to be enjoyed. So throw a chunky cardigan in your suitcase and set off on a post-summer sojourn. The Pacific Northwest boasts plenty of destinations that are far enough away from your luxury apartment to feel like a vacation, yet are close enough that you don’t spend too much time on travel. Here are a few of our faves.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Located just 80 miles west of Portland is the bustling beach town of Cannon Beach. This scenic stretch of rugged coastline includes Haystack Rock and Ecola State Park, not to mention some of the best tide pools around. By day, throw a Frisbee on the beach, explore more than a dozen hiking trails lined with old-growth pines while taking in stunning views of the ocean or wander through one of the many art galleries in the heart of town. By night, enjoy a hearty bowl of clam chowder then cozy up by the fireplace and listen to the sound of the waves. On your way home, be sure to stop at the kitschy Camp 18 Restaurant for a signature Lumber Jack Steak or some razor clams.
Once a logging town, Levenworth is now a favorite weekend destination about 30 miles to the east of Seattle. Stay in one of the quaint B&Bs peppering the banks of the winding Wenatchee River and explore Apple Country during the fall harvest. Family owned orchards offer fresh ciders in rare flavors, more than 150 different varieties of apples, petting zoos and hayrides. End the night with a tasting at the Tunnel Hill Winery before retiring to your comfortable accommodations.
Cave Junction, Oregon
Unleash your inner child and head down to Cave Junction for some fall fun. Located about 4½ hours from Portland, this quiet town reminiscent of yesteryear is home to Oregon Caves National Monument, where you can take a Haunted Candlelight tour of the caves on Halloween weekend, or go on a general tour all autumn long. Enjoy gorgeous views of the nearby Siskiyou National Forest from your perch in on of 15 different treehouses at the Out ‘n’ About Treehouse Resort. Some have full electricity and hot water, making them accessible year round, while others are out in the open air. An added bonus, rates are typically less expensive during September and October. The treesort is located on more than 30 acres of pristine land with zip lines, horseback riding, hiking and many other activities.