Northwest Travel Summer 2021: Where to Go, What to Know



SUMMER:

Feather Friends

Birds come home to roost in two shows at Spokane’s Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, highlighting an Ellensburg artist and the famous John James Audubon.

Saints Alive

Chef Jason Wilson will head the kitchen at the new Lodge at St. Edward State Park in Kenmore, opening in what used to be a seminary.

Open Questions

The North American Bigfoot Center opened in the Oregon town of Boring last fall. And yet, despite its new hometown’s name, Sasquatch always fascinates.

High Tide

In a burst of optimism, Port Townsend’s Wooden Boat Festival organizers announced in March that this year’s event will take place in mid-September.

Hotel, But Homey

Bend’s new Element courts outdoorsy folks on lengthy stays, offering fully equipped kitchens and free bike rental.


 

 



SPRING:

Space Cadets

Though still subject to disruption by forces otherworldly and not (like Covid), the Oregon town of McMinnville plans to hold its 21st annual UFO festival in May.

Bloom County

Sneaking in before tulips take the spotlight, La Conner’s Daffodil Festival salutes the yellow flower whose bulbs are grown more in Skagit Valley than anywhere else in the U.S.

Takeout Takeaways

Hotel Grand Stark, a historic building turned boutique property, opens on Portland’s East side in May with eateries by the group behind the famed Ava Gene’s.

Par Easy

Gamble Sands Golf Club debuts a new 14-hole QuickSands short course near Brewster for quick play overlooking the Columbia River, but with no actual quicksand to explain your missing ball.

The Wine Cure

After a year of rejiggered tastings, Walla Walla wineries welcome back warm weather and new pours with May’s Spring Release Weekend.




WINTER:

Heavy Metal

One-up the sourdough bakers on the retro hobby front with brand-new Anvil Academy blacksmithing workshops in Newberg, Oregon.

Ice Escapades

The glassy, six-person outdoor Grand Terrace Igloos at Spokane’s Davenport Grand Hotel solve winter and Covid problems simultaneously.

Happy Little Trees

Portland’s Disjecta Contemporary Art Center channels the zen of a master in its Bob Ross painting classes with distanced canvases and projected video.

Novel Nosh

A wave of dining shakeups has swelled over Orcas Island, bringing a new chef to Rosario Resort (and a new Buck Bay Shellfish cafe come summer).

Rock and Roll

The state’s new Safety Stop law allows cyclists to slowly glide through most stop signs, reducing collisions and inventing the nonstop road trip (bikes only—slow your roll, drivers).




FALL:

Crab Grab

Jetty Fishery’s crabbing pros don’t believe in “off” months for crab-catching; they rent traps year-round and will steam up a whole Dungeness even if you don’t want to catch one yourself. 

DIY Drinkfest

Oktoberfests were canceled, not German beers: In Portland Zoiglhaus specializes in Bavarian brew and Olympia Provisions pours nomadic Rosenstadt’s lager.

Anchors, Uh, Away

Plans for Pioneer Square’s $200 million cruise ship terminal were put on indefinite hold in July; before Covid halted ship traffic, passenger load had grown to 10 times its 2000 size. 

Stampede East

The team behind Tacoma’s messy-burger haven Wooden City launched a Spokane outpost in August, dishing upscale pub food in the kind of airy spaces only found in smaller cities. 

Fruit Loop

The whole drive around Mount Hood is scenic, but the section near Hood River is so packed with produce farmstands it turns a road trip into a veritable buffet. 

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