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Trip Ideas

50 States of Awesome: Northwest

We can all agree that the Pacific Northwest rocks, from its otherworldly landscape and unmatched music and coffee scenes to the contagious creative energy and DIY spirit. Chelsea Bengier maps out the summer.

See recent posts by April Ellis

Want more? Check out the Southeast, Midwest, Southwest and Northeast.

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Washington Eat at Seattle's most buzzed-about new restaurants

Some food is worth waiting for, and we’ve been counting down the days for chef Renee Erickson to debut her two new Seattle restaurants. The James Beard Award–nominated chef and owner of the Walrus and the Carpenter will open her still-to-be-named hot spots this summer in a 4,500-square-foot space in the hip Capitol Hill neighborhood. What to expect? A 50-seat oyster bar and dishes blending French flavors with Pacific Northwest seafood, along with a Parisian-style café, which will feature a dry-aging room with meat from Erickson’s farm on Whidbey Island.

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Idaho Belt out twangy tunes in the Sawtooth Mountains

Blake Shelton. Brad Paisley. Florida Georgia Line. Thompson Square. Say howdy to the headliners at the first Mountain Home Country Music Festival. Hidden in the foothills of the craggy Sawtooth Mountains, the three-day party features an adults-only tent (read: booze and late night dancing), a KidZone for the wee ones, and a vast campsite clearing for more than 20,000 people. We’ve never been so stoked to head West.
(July 31 to August 2)

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Montana Get caffeinated across the state

America is about to get seriously buzzed. The Billings-based coffee shop Off the Leaf is bringing its potent brews and 30 trained baristas to 15 music festivals across the country as part of its #WakeTheWorld campaign. The retro-cool mobile coffee kiosks, built by the American Craftsman Workshop, are made from repurposed wood and steel and sport a burned black logo. Brace yourselves, caffeine addicts.

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Alaska Cruise, kayak and hovercraft along the coastline

Add this one to your travel bucket list. This summer the new 60-foot Misty Fjord from Alaskan Dream Cruises will sail along the state’s rugged coastline for eight jaw-dropping days. You’ll float past cascading waterfalls and glacial fjords while spotting humpback whales, sea lions and bears (departures are scheduled around seasonal animal migrations for prime wildlife viewing). Out-of-this-world excursions include a hovercraft flight to Juneau Icefield, a soak in the natural hot springs on Baranof Island and a kayak trip around gigantic icebergs. After all that exploring, you’ll head back to the boat for Alaskan salmon and king crab, before retiring to your plush stateroom, which has views of the water and snowcapped mountains.

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Photo by Bob Cronk

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Oregon Cycle across Portland’s Tilikum Crossing bridge

Portlanders will tell you that the landmarks they're most proud of are the city's 11 Willamette River bridges. In September a new span will be added to the collection (that makes a dozen) with the completion of Tilikum Crossing, known as Bridge of the People. Besides being a new path for cyclists, runners and MAX streetcars, this car-free stretch doubles as an art installation, with cables that light up at night to reflect off the river. Join the crowds of locals as they bike over it for the first time during the annual Bridge Pedal event on August 9.

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Wyoming Explore a new art hub in...Casper

In the southeast corner of Wyoming, the little-known city of Casper has cemented its place on the arts map. Head downtown to see the creative works on full display with the debut of Art Walk. Once a month the streets shut down and studio doors open up to showcase the best local photography exhibits, film screenings and author talks. Highlights: Art 321, which will feature three new installations from Wyoming-based artists, and Yellowstone Garage, where awesome blues bands play live shows.
(First Thursday of every month)

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