1. Travel
Send to a Friend via Email
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Why You Should Visit the Northwest US

By

1 of 5

Diversity: There's Something for Everyone
Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center

The Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center and the Olympic Mountains

© Angela M. Brown (2007)
The Northwest United States, which includes the states of Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming, is blessed with a wealth of activities and attractions, with something for every taste and interest. The region's climate and terrain offer a variety of conditions. Rugged beaches, temperate rain forests, wild rivers, and snow-capped mountain peaks provide spectacular scenery, as well as ample recreation opportunities. The Northwest has a rich history; the epic stories of the Lewis and Clark expedition, westward migration, and the Klondike Gold Rush can be experiences at locales and attractions throughout the region. Seafood, berries, coffee, wines, and microbrews make dining out a treat. In addition to wilderness and rural areas, the Northwest's major cities provide every kind of cosmopolitan amenity, including vibrant arts scenes.

DIVERSE CLIMATE & GEOLOGY
Think the Northwestern section of the United States is just one big evergreen forest? Think again.

Two Distinct Regions
The Cascades Mountain Range divides the Northwest into two distinct regions. West of these mountains, the climate is wet and mild. East of the Cascades the weather is drier and more extreme, with cold snowy winters and long hot summers.

Water, Water, Everywhere
Water is part of life in the Northwest, providing abundant opportunities to enjoy recreation and scenery. To the west you'll find the Pacific Ocean and Puget Sound. The entire region is dotted with lakes and rivers.

Dry Desert Conditions
The region that lies between the Cascades and Rocky Mountain Ranges is desert country. The terrain is flat and covered with sagebrush, junipers, and volcanic rocks.

Unique Geologic Wonders
The landscape of the Northwestern United States includes active and dormant volcanoes, fossil beds, river gorges, sand dunes, and ancient glaciers.

SCENIC BEAUTY

Rugged Coastline
The Northwest region is bounded on the west by the Pacific Ocean; the ocean beaches are wild and rugged and glorious. Beach combing, kite flying, and storm watching are popular activities along the Oregon and Washington coast.

Puget Sound
The Puget Sound provides miles of waterfront destinations and is filled with unique island communities and fascinating wildlife.

River Gorges
Steep-sided river valleys make for some gorgeous scenery and exciting recreational opportunities. The Columbia, Snake, and Rogue rivers create some of the major gorges found in the Northwest.

Temperate Rain Forests
Found in coastal areas, these dense moss-covered forests are a green wonderland that always inspires the artist within.

Lakes & Mountains
You'll find hundreds of lakes and rivers throughout the Northwest, ranging from tiny to huge. The mountainous terrain combines with all this water to create many spectacular waterfalls.

The Bounty of Nature
The Northwest is home to a thriving agriculture industry. The region's orchards, fields, and vineyards provide their own scenic beauty.

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.