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CALIFORNIA & PACIFIC S U M M E R 20 1 7

BEYOND NAPA’S VINEYARDS Explore past the grapes

UNTAPPED WINE COUNTRY From Alaska to Southern Cal

Discover

Coastal waves, wineries & wonders

9 AMAZING NATIONAL PARKS Glaciers, volcanoes, deserts and more

The Bixby Bridge on Highway 1 in California’s Big Sur region


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CALIFORNIA & PACIFIC

CONTENTS

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VINTAGE TREATS Wine can be found all along the West Coast

MAP: GETTY IMAGES; PHOTOS: JAY SINCLAIR; GETTY IMAGES (2)

Washington

PACIFIC COAST REGION

Oregon

Alaska

FEATURES

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DRINK IN THE EXPERIENCE There’s more to the Napa Valley than wine

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NATIONAL PARKS Nine great places to take in nature’s wonders

California Hawaii

ON THE COVER The Bixby Creek Bridge on California’s Highway 1 | Getty Images

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EDITORIAL DIRECTOR

Jeanette Barrett-Stokes jbstokes@usatoday.com CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Jerald Council jcouncil@usatoday.com MANAGING EDITOR

Michelle Washington mjwashington@usatoday.com EDITORS

Portland Art Museum PORTLAND ART MUSEUM

UP FRONT

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THE REGION

DISNEYLAND What’s new at the California parks?

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ALASKA A big state’s small creatures

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HAWAII Find the right island for you

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LATTE LOVE When it’s time for a coffee break, hit these hip spots

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CALIFORNIA Manhattan Beach and its laid-back scene

MELISSA HABEGGAR RYAN

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INTERNS

Antoinette D’Addario Rosalie Haizlett Brian Barth, Lisa Davis, Kristine Hansen, Lisa Meyers McClintick, Diana Lambdin Meyer, Nancy Mills, Katie Morell, Matt Villano ADVERTISING

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New trail gives L.A. denizens a place to hike

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Palm Spring’s modern architecture

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Sights to see in San Francisco

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Highway 1: the driving is the point

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OREGON Portland expands its food and lodging horizons

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WASHINGTON Lots of lavender to love

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DESIGNERS

Miranda Pellicano Gina Toole Saunders Lisa M. Zilka

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

CREATIVE TOURS Check out the region’s fabulous art museums

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UP FRONT | ENTERTAINMENT

DISNEYLAND DREAMS The Mouse clicks with new and refurbished attractions By Arthur Levine and Scott Craven

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ICKEY MOUSE WELCOMED CAPTAIN America, Thor and the rest of the Avengers gang into the fold when Disney acquired Marvel in 2009. But the superheroes have not made much of a mark in Mickey’s theme parks — until now. This summer, guests at Disney California Adventure will be able to help rescue the Guardians of the Galaxy in a repurposed attraction. Disney is trading out The Twilight Zone theme on the California park’s popular Tower of Terror ride and replacing it with one based on the intergalactic Guardians galoots. The finale will still till feature stomach-churning drops, but riders will brave extreme G-forces to free the quirky, space-traveling crew from the clutches of the evil Collector. The attraction will include randomized drop sequences (choreographed to the retro rock tunes favored by Peter Quill, otherwise known as Star-Lord) and randomized d movie scenes, which should keep park visitors coming back for multiple missions. Not everyone has been in the zone about losing the Tower of Terror theme, with some diehard fans voicing skepticism and outright disapproval. But unlike Florida’s massive Disney World, the more compact Disneyland Resort in California does not have much room for expansion. ion. “Sometimes that means we need to take something hing great and, quite frankly, make it greater,” says Bob ob Chapek, chairman, Walt Disney Parks and Resorts. Disney California Adventure, the park adjacent to the original Disneyland, will serve as the U.S. headquarters for the comic book and movie heroes. Because Universal had licensed Spider-Man and other Marvel characters for Islands of Adventure in Orlando before Disney bought the brand, the Mouse does not have rights to Marvel east of the Mississippi and cannot use the franchise at Florida’s Walt Disney World. In addition to Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!, the park will host Guardians-themed dance parties as well as meet and greets with the tree-like Groot and other Marvel celebs. For a limited run during what Disney is calling “Summer of Heroes,” visitors will also be able to participate in an Avengers Training Initiative, watch Black Widow arrive in style, and purchase Marvel-ous food and doodads.

MORE SUPER ATTRACTIONS

Disney CEO Bob Iger recently announced that the two Star Wars lands currently under construction at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disneyland would open in 2019. One of the star attractions will invite newbie pilots into the cockpit of the Millennium

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Visitors to California Disney parks can get the Marvel experience at the Guardians of the Galaxy attraction, top; fly the Millennium Falcon in 2019; and revisit the Rivers of America this year.

DISNEY/MARVEL; DISNEY/LUCASFILM; DISNEY PARKS; GETTY IMAGES

Falcon to fly a mission. A second ride will drop guests into a skirmish between the Resistance and the First Order. In other Star Wars news, existing Star Tours rides in California and Florida will include scenes from the next episode of the landmark series, Star Wars Episode VIII: The Last Jedi, set for release this December. And Disneyland traditionalists take note — the Rivers of America will reopen in summer, meaning you can once again ride the train and

paddle-wheeler through “Nostalgialand.” The attractions were among those shut down last year as construction began on the Star Wars attraction. Park officials announced that Rivers of America, Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island and the Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes, as well as the nightly Fantasmic! show, will be back in business by summer. Until then, visitors can tour the docked Mark Twain or drop by the Main Street or New Orleans Square stations for a close-up look at the steam engines.

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UP FRONT | CULTURE

INSPIRING TOURS Regional art museums take visitors to new worlds

By Antoinette D’Addario

This summer, immerse yourself in the fine arts along the West Coast. The museums along the Pacific rival their eastern cousins in ambition, scope, creativity and beauty.

THE SAN DIEGO MUSEUM OF ART

BRADY HARVEY/MUSEUM OF POP CULTURE

uTHE SAN DIEGO MUSEUM OF ART

uMUSEUM OF POP CULTURE, SEATTLE

Check out exhibits from around the world. The Arts of Iran shows off the beautiful and complex art from this country, some dating to nearly 560 B.C. The German Expressionism exhibit features works from 20th century German and Austrian painters who looked to Paris for ideas. 1450 El Prado; 619-232-7931; sdmart.org

Originally created in 2000 to commemorate the history of rock ’n’ roll, the nonprofit MoPOP — its futuristic building, above, designed by architect Frank Gehry — seeks to be a pop culture gateway for all generations. This year, the museum is celebrating the 20th anniversary of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, relocated from the University of Kansas, with the induction of 20 new creators and creations. From May 20 to Jan. 1, visitors also can check out the unparalleled career of Jim Henson, creator of the legendary Muppets, through artifacts that include puppets, behind-the-scenes clips and storyboards. 325 Fifth Ave. N.; 206-770-2700; mopop.org

PORTLAND ART MUSEUM

THIELSKA GALLERIET; THE MUNCH MUSEUM

PROVIDED BY THE LINDA PACE FOUNDATION

uPORTLAND ART MUSEUM, OREGON

uSAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART

uHONOLULU MUSEUM OF ART

The museum, founded in 1892, is the oldest in the Pacific Northwest. The CCNA: Connecting Lines exhibit, above, runs through Oct. 29 and details the forced removal of the Cherokee people from the southeast in 1838. The personal collection of noted Portland architect John Yeon — including Chinese furniture and ceramics, plus European decorative arts — will be on display through Sept. 3. 1219 S.W. Park Ave.; 503-226-2811; portlandartmuseum.org

SFMOMA is home to the global debut of the exhibit Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed, from June 24 to Oct. 9. It features 45 works from the artist who created The Scream (including one thought to be an early version called Despair, above left), six of them on view for the first time in the U.S. And don’t miss Andrea Geyer’s installation, To Those Who Have Eyes To See, which champions women in modern art. 151 Third St.; 415-357-4000; sfmoma.org

In its 90th year, the Oahu-based museum features Shahzia Sikanders’ Parallax (above; through July 30), a video installation of digitally animated images taken from her paintings, leaves viewers awash in imagery and sound. And the Camouflage Rhythms exhibit showcases paintings by Juliette Fraser done while she was working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers during World War II. 900 S. Beretania St.; 808-532-8700; honolulumuseum.org

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UP FRONT | FOOD + DRINK

ALASKA Alaska Coffee Roasting Co. A Fairbanks staple since 1994, Alaska Coffee Roasting Co. roasts beans daily sourced from ethically minded estates in places like India and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (the former Zaire). Pro tip: Pair the exclusive and ever-rotating espresso blend with wood-fired pizza. 4001 Geist Rd.; 907-457-5282; alaskacoffeeroasting.com

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA Coffee Colab Two veteran baristas opened Coffee Colab in 2014, stocking it with retro flair, including a 1970s-era espresso machine and a typewriter. Once you’re snug in downtown Los Angeles near the Fashion District, order Coffee Colab’s latte (crafted from Suits & Knives beans), because the milky art is Instagram-worthy. 305 E. Eighth St., #103; coffeecolab.com

NORTHERN CALIFORNIA Blue Bottle Coffee At Blue Bottle Coffee’s café in San Francisco’s South Park neighborhood, you’ll find Cold Bar, where single-origin coffee named Oji is woven into cocktailinspired, non-alcoholic drinks. Locals love the Gibraltar, an espresso double-shot topped with steamed milk, served in a special glass tumbler. 2 S. Park St.; bluebottlecoffee.com

LATTE LOVE

GETTY IMAGES

Find supreme caffeine at these Pacific Coast hot spots

HAWAII Daylight Mind Coffee Company Sip Daylight Mind’s flat white (a less dense cappuccino) brewed with Kona coffee while you enjoy the waterfront deck at the Big Island flagship of the company’s three cafés, open since 2014 . Don’t leave without trying the white-chocolate macadamia-nut scone. 75-5770 Ali’i Drive, Kailua-Kona; 808-339-7824; daylightmind.com

OREGON Stumptown Coffee Roasters To find Stumptown Coffee Roasters’ second-oldest café in Portland (a neighborhood landmark since 2001 ), look for the vintage emerald-green neon sign reading “coffee.” Order a pour-over of its seasonal, single-origin offering — lightly roasted, as all its coffees are, so as not to cover up the flavor nuances. 3356 S.E. Belmont St.; 503-232-8889; stumptowncoffee.com

By Kristine Hansen ITH BUZZ WORDS LIKE pour-over, no whip, nitro and single-origin, coffee is now couture. “We see cafés going back to purist coffee and the focus on where the coffee comes from ... how the farmers are treated, etc. Five years ago, it was more flavored drinks,” says Laurie Britton, owner and founder of Cafe Virtuoso in San Diego. From the coffee-growing region of Kona, Hawaii, to the unofficial U.S. coffee capital Seattle, here’s where to go along the Pacific Coast for a cup of more-than-average joe.

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WASHINGTON Craftworks Coffee Bar Craftworks Coffee — a year-old sleek, minimalistdesign café with a fun origami rhino logo in Seattle’s Lower Queen Anne neighborhood — curates beans from Pacific Northwest roasters. Spring for the nitro cold-brew coffee and you’ll never want to go back to ordinary drip. 110 Republican St.; 206-695-2518; craftworkscoffee.biz

COLAB: GARRET LLOYD ANDERSON; BLUE BOTTLE: MELISSA HABEGGAR RYAN; OTHERS: PROVIDED BY THE COMPANIES

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Irresistibly adventurous. Download our free app, now with virtual reality. Be transported to unusual destinations, must-see landmarks, and the hidden gems for your inner world-traveler.

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THE WEST COAST HOLDS MANY WORLDS FOR A WINE LOVER TO DISCOVER

TOURISM

By Brian Barth bout 100 miles north of the Golden Gate Bridge, near the small northern California town of Hopland, Barney Fetzer began planting wine grapes on his family ranch in the 1960s, launching what has become one of the best-kept secrets on the California winery circuit: Mendocino County. Unlike Napa and Sonoma, the better-known wine regions to the south, Mendocino County is laid-back with a capital L, with miles of winding roads leading visitors from one family-run winery to the next. “In Mendocino, you get a more intimate experience than in Sonoma or Napa,” says Bob Blue, the chief winemaker at Fetzer Vineyards. “It’s nothing but redwood trees, isolated valleys and stunning mountains up here.” The late Barney Fetzer was a pioneer of sustainable viticulture — rooftop solar panels provide power for the winery, while sheep trim the grass between the vines — and has inspired other area wineries to follow in his footsteps. With 25 percent of the wine grapes in the county certified organic, Mendocino has often been called California’s “organic wine mecca.” Bonterra, Fetzer’s organic wine label, was named American winery of the year in 2016 by Wine Enthusiast magazine. Mendocino is just one of dozens of West Coast wine regions stretching from the fjords of southern Alaska to the mountains outside San Diego that await anyone willing to bypass Napa and Sonoma for a different adventure. “The wineries there are world-class, but it’s like winery after winery after winery, and most charge heftily for tastings,” says Shannon Borg, a wine writer and educator who hails from the San Juan Islands in Washington’s tiny Puget Sound appellation (a designated wine-growing district). “I’m always trying to steer people off that well-worn path to places like Walla Walla or Yakima, where it’s still possible to find free tastings and have a laid-back conversation with the actual winemaker. You feel like you’re part of the community when you visit these small towns.”

Sip a glass of chardonnay near any of Oregon's glorious scenic views, such as this spot along the Interstate 5 bridge in Portland.

CO N T I N U E D GETTY IMAGES

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WASHINGTON Washington is the second-largest wine producer after California ding (washingtonwine.org), and according e, to sommelier Madeline Puckette, co-author of The New York Times mes bestseller Wine Folly: The Essential ssential Guide to Wine, Washington n State is known for Bordeaux-style style red abernet and blends — particularly cabernet h and malbec, merlot blended with syrah d outside a combination not often found the state. The Columbia River Valley in eastern Washington holds the vast majority of the state’s wine grapes, and encompasses six sub-appellations. At the center is Walla Walla Valley, an Old West sort of place replete with art galleries, boutiques and tasting rooms galore, including Charles Smith Wines (kvintners.com) — found in an elegantly reimagined auto repair shop just off Main Street, where hard-rocking local bands command a small stage most nights (the winery’s eponymous founder managed European rock groups in a previous life). The azure waters of Lake Chelan in north-central Washington form an enticing backdrop to another off-thebeaten-path appellation in the state. At the Cairdeas Winery (cairdeaswinery. com), which makes red and white blends in the tradition of France’s Rhone

Whidbey Island Winery

Cairdeas Winery's barrel house

Cairdeas Winery

Charles Smith Wines

Valley region, you can enjoy sting from the tasting ful property beautiful g the overlooking lake. For a winery haven more easily reached, look to the sea kayaking paradise of Puget Sound. Whidbey Island Winery (whidbeyislandwinery.com), across from Everett, produces its own “estategrown” white wines (white varietals thrive in the cool maritime climate), as well as wines blended with grapes from other Washington vineyards, with a nod toward the winemaking traditions of France’s Loire Valley and Alsace, Germany. Bring a picnic and treat yourself to a tasting in the century-old apple orchard on-site.

MAPS AND ILLUSTRATIONS: GETTY IMAGES; PHOTOS: CAIRDEAS WINERY

OREGON

THE EYRIE VINEYARDS

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Columbia Gorge Eyrie Vineyards region

Oregon, n, third on the listt est Coast wineof West ing states, plan nts t producing plants most of itss vineyards ot noir red with the pinot e more grape. One of the esrenowned (and accessible) of Oregon’s 17 e Columbia Gorge region reg gio ion n (colum (co olum lu appellations is found in the biagorgewine.com), a land off towering cliffs, primeval forests and raging waters 60 miles eastt of Portland. Snow-capped Mount Hood stands like a sentinel above the gorge, while more oothills along a 40 than 40 vineyards are nestled in the foothills 40-mile limatic varia corridor on either side of the river. The climatic variability in this small region means there is room for almostt every wine varietal. Most of the state's remaining appellations are stretched out along the I-5 corridor that runs south from Portland and into California. If you find yourself making this epic West Coast road trip, definitely stop in the Willamette Valley region, named the 2016 Wine Region of the Year by Wine Enthusiast magazine for the outstanding quality of the area’s pinot noirs. You can’t go wrong with local legend Eyrie Vineyards in McMinnville (eyrievineyards.com), which established the first pinot noir plantings in the area, and is recognized globally as one of the best pinot noir producers outside Burgundy.

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Volcano Winery

HAWAII The island state has just a handful of wineries. Most prominent are Maui Wines (mauiwine.com), in Kula, Maui, and Volcano Winery (volcanowinery.com) on the Big Island of Hawaii. Both are high on the slopes of volcanoes (Volcano Winery is nestled between two active ones — Kilauea and Mauna Loa). Each has a dry, temperate climate that allows grape production. The main variety is Symphony, a fruity perfume-y white grape cross between muscat of Alexandria and grenache gris; this grape is rarely planted outside of the islands. Not surprisingly, Hawaii’s wineries are also known for their tropical wines based on fruits such as yellow guava and jabuticaba, a sweet fruit similar to a grape.

Maui Wines Volcano Winery

PROVIDED BY VOLCANO WINERY

The haskap berry

Bear Creek Winery and Lodging

Alaska Denali Winery & Alaska Berries Bear Creek Winery

ALASKA

BEAR CREEK WINERY AND LODGING

Alaska Berries

ALASKA BERRIES (3)

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Like Hawaii, Alaska a has a i i mere handful of wineries, most of which are found along the state’s southern coast, a region of glacial fjords and untamed rivers replete with salmon and grizzly bears. One wine trail starts just south of Anchorage at the Alaska Denali Winery (denaliwinery.info) and continues down Highway 1 along the Chugach Peninsula to Alaska Berries in Soldotna (no grape wines here, just wines made from 100 percent Alaska-grown fruit including gooseberries, haskap and

Alaskan wines are made with a combination of berries, not traditional grapes.

rhubarb; alaskaberries. com) and then to Bear Creek Winery and Lodging in Homer (bearcreekwinery.com), where you can sip ice wine in the outdoor hot tub and gaze up at the Milky Way.

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Hotel Milo, Santa Barbara

Ridge Vineyards Folktale Winery

CALIFORNIA While Napa, Sonoma, and Mendocino are all outstanding wine regions north of San Francisco, you’ll find just as many vineyards to the south, tucked away in the Santa Cruz Mountains, which lie among the redwood trees between Silicon Valley and the Pacific Ocean. There aren’t as many vineyards here (about 1,500 acres), but among them is one of the best in the state: Ridge Vineyards (ridgewine. com), a 132-year-old winery perched atop the crest of the mountains. This winery produces Monte Bello, widely considered one of the best cabernet sauvignons in America (be forewarned, however, that a bottle will set you back at least $150). This would also be a fitting starting point for a multiday meander through the coastal mountains that run along Highway 101 from San Francisco to Los Angeles. If you make the trip, be sure to check out the wineries in Carmel Valley, the Paso Robles area and the hills outside of Santa Barbara. Carmel-bythe-Sea’s Folktale Winery (folktalewinery.com) is known for its dry rosé, an

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s wine Los Olivo g sign tastin

JAY SINCLAIR; HOTEL MILO

Wine tasting in Hopland, Calif.

Ridge Vineyards

VISIT MENDOCINO

idyllic setting along the Carmel River and live music on the weekends. Not that there aren’t other wine regions in California worth exploring. With more than 4,000 wineries in the state (Oregon and Washington each have about 700, for comparison), you can hardly throw a stick without it landing in

a vineyard. The mountains outside of both Los Angeles and San Diego have dozens of wineries within a two-hour drive of the city, while the Sierra Nevada foothills along the eastern spine of the state offer a more rural option for a wine-themed adventure (discovercaliforniawines. com).

ROBERT HOLMES

BONUS POUR

4,000+ WINERIES are located throughout the state of California

BAJA CALIFORNIA The Valle de Guadalupe, two hours south of San Diego near the Mexican city of Ensenada, is becoming a hot spot for Mexican wine. Its hundred-plus wineries range from those frequented by Hollywood types (singer Rihanna recently booked the entire Encuentro Guadalupe, a winery/resort known for its award-winning modernist architecture) to peasant chic (the restaurant at Mogor Badan winery has a tin roof and hay bales for walls) and everything in between. wineriesinbaja.com

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Culinary Institute of America at Copia

Balloon ride over Napa’s vineyards

Cruise the Napa Valley Vine Trail

VICTOR SAMUEL PHOTOGRAPHY; LOS ALCOBAS NAPA VALLEY HOTEL; NAPA VALLEY VINE TRAIL

DRINK IN THE

EXPERIENCE Napa Valley is about more than wine By Matt Villano

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IKE A FINE WINE, the Napa Valley gets better with age. With new outdoor diversions, restaurants and hotels, the wine capital of California has had much to celebrate in recent months. Here’s a rundown on the best of what’s new.

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FRENCH LAUNDRY 2.0

The best restaurant in wine country got even better this year when The French Laundry, helmed by Chef Thomas Keller, debuted a brand-new kitchen. The improved digs were part of a $10 million upgrade that included an annex, a wine cellar and a host of additional food prep areas. Keller says that after 23 years, he felt it was time to double-down on his commitment to excellence with a state-of-the-art facility. “To be able to give my team the space they need is very exciting,” Keller says. ▶ 6640 Washington St., Yountville; 707-944-2380;

VINE TRAIL OPENS

Bicycle mavens have dreamed for years about a paved trail from southern Napa Valley to Calistoga, in the north of the county. This spring, the first part of that dream came true in the form of the Napa Valley Vine Trail. The kick-off 12.5-mile section (the finished trail will stretch 47 miles) extends from John F. Kennedy Park, south of downtown Napa, to Yountville. Along the way, the trail passes more than a dozen wineries — all of which welcome cyclists with open arms. ▶ vinetrail.org ICONS: GETTY IMAGES; PHOTOS: DREW ALTIZER; NAPA VALLEY VINE TRAIL

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RIVER YOGA

TRY A TASTE OF NAPA WINE

One of the best ways to experience Napa proper: atop a stand-up paddleboard on the Napa River. Napa Valley Paddle offers two-hour guided tours. The Downtown Oxbow tour passes under four bridges and by the restored Oxbow Preserve before ending in the Oak Knoll appellation, a specially designated growing section in the central part of the county. ▶ 707-981-8290; napa valleypaddle.com

With roughly 475 wineries in the Napa Valley, there’s no shortage of places to swirl and sip. Three in particular are worth a closer look.

CIA’S NEW DIGS

The California arm of the Culinary Institute of America (CIA) has expanded from St. Helena to downtown Napa with the opening of The CIA at Copia. The new food and wine center offers cooking classes, wine tastings and a restaurant. It will also become home to the first culinary arts museum in the country, featuring the 2,000-piece collection of Chuck Williams, founder of Williams-Sonoma. ▶ 500 First St., Napa; 707967-2500; ciaatcopia.com

Trefethen Family Vineyards The circa-1886 winery building at this down-valley property was nearly destroyed in a 2014 earthquake, but the Trefethen family spent three years rebuilding it, and the new facility is scheduled to reopen in May. Tastings, which overlook the estate vineyard, are by appointment. ▶ 1160 Oak Knoll Ave.; 866895-7696; trefethen.com Covert Estate This exquisite winery gets its name from its location, tucked away in the hills of Coombsville, one of the region’s newest growing appellations. Rock-star winemaker Julien Fayard uses estate-grown fruit to make a cult cabernet that’s second to none; by-appointment tastings play out in a fancy room in the wine cave. ▶ 15 Chateau Lane; covert estate.com JaM Cellars You won’t break the bank by drinking JaM Cellars, which has made a splash by selling chardonnay and cabernet for less than $25 per bottle. The winery’s tasting room in downtown Napa has a noticeably “loungey” feel; on Friday nights there’s live music and hors d’oeuvres. ▶ 1460 First St.; 707-2657577; jamcellars.com

LAS ALCOBAS

Las Alcobas Napa Valley, the first U.S. outpost of a Mexico City-based boutique hotel, opened in late March. The 68-room hotel blends old and new with 2016 buildings that overlook Beringer’s estate vineyards and a 1907 main building that is home to Acacia House, the latest restaurant from offal expert Chef Chris Cosentino. ▶ 1915 Main St., St. Helena; 707-963-7000; lasalcobas napavalley.com

— Matt Villano NAPA VALLEY PADDLE; BOB MCCLENAHAN PHOTOGRAPHY; LOS ALCOBAS NAPA VALLEY HOTEL

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GLACIERS, VOLCANOES & BEACHES Experience the Pacific Coast’s most gorgeous national parks By Lisa Meyers McClintick

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HANDFUL OF HIKERS hop across slush and ice on the trails threading above Mount Rainier National Park’s Paradise Valley. They snap photos of avalanche lilies, make snowballs in July and marvel at the iconic 14,410-foot peak that seems to float above Seattle’s skyline on clear days. Setting up to capture the light of sunset, photographer and glassblower Jim Wiltschko of Davis, Calif., says that if you listen closely, you can hear ice shift on the glaciers of Mount Rainier (nps.gov/mora). Reaching

its summit — something he’s tackled before — and safely bridging ice crevasses requires climbs that start at midnight in order to get climbers down before the afternoon sun can turn the glaciers sloppy and dangerous. “You can see the line of lights (from climbers) in the darkness,” he says. And when day dawns, “it’s spectacular to see the sunrise from the mountain.” Awe-inspiring scenery and adventures such as these can be found throughout the Pacific Coast’s national parks. From watching whales to exploring volcanoes, here’s a look at some of the best.


CRATER LAKE NATIONAL PARK, OREGON Crater Lake appears to have distilled and concentrated every blue sky since it formed 7,700 years ago, when a giant volcano collapsed to create a 1,943-footdeep lake. Circle the 33-mile Rim Drive for scenic hikes, including a steep 1.1-mile trek to the lake’s only access for a chilly swim, or a boat tour of Wizard Island. ▶ 541-5943000; nps.gov/ crla

ILLUSTRATIONS: GETTY IMAGES; PHOTO: NATIONAL PARK SERVICE


DENALI NATIONAL PARK, ALASKA A lone 92-mile road carries visitors through 6 million acres of taiga forest and high-alpine tundra toward the majestic peaks of Denali, North America’s highest mountain, formerly known as Mount McKinley. Travelers to the park — celebrating its 100th birthday this year — can choose from six campgrounds, take guided hikes and see sled-dog demonstrations. ▶ 907-683-9532; nps.gov/dena

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

TIM RAINS/NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

GLACIER BAY NATIONAL PARK AND PRESERVE, ALASKA

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

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Fluorescent blue-green glaciers draw big cruise ships to the coast of Alaska’s southeastern panhandle, but experiencing the park on smaller, stealthier watercraft allows visitors to hear the bark of a harbor seal, the splash of a sea otter, the crack of glacial ice tumbling into the water and the songs of nearly 180 humpback whales that feast in these waters. More than 1,000 glaciers cover the park’s 3.3 million acres of wilderness, home to moose, bear and wolves. ▶ 907-697-2230; nps.gov/glba

NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK, WASHINGTON Families climb over giant drift trees — “the bones of the forest” — that wash onto beaches where sea stars and anemones fill tide pools and cling to mist-draped sea stacks. As one of the world’s most biologically diverse parks, Olympic includes 73 miles of beaches, the glacier-capped Olympic Mountains and old-growth forests, plus moss-carpeted rain forests 100 miles west of Seattle. ▶ 360-565-3130; nps.gov/olym

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HAWAII VOLCANOES NATIONAL PARK, HAWAII Darkness adds drama to the sight of the active volcano Kilauea spewing fiery lava into the ocean. Sightseers can drive to lookouts and visitor centers or explore more than 150 miles of hiking trails through rain forests, scalded deserts, volcanic craters or the 500-year-old Nāhuku-Thurston lava tube. ▶ 808-985-6000; nps.gov/havo

BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA Every year, more than 4 million visitors seek out Yosemite’s granitepeak grandeur and waterfalls that majestically tumble 2,000 feet or more. Another draw: the spectacle of top climbers tackling some of the world’s legendary mountains. Eight hundred miles of trails head into the landscape famously captured by photographer Ansel Adams. ▶ 209-372-0200; nps.gov/yose

J. WEI/NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

CHANNEL ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA

DEREK LOHUIS/NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

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Hikers trekking the 16-mile round trip across San Miguel Island can watch the more than 30,000 seals, sea lions and sea elephants that gather along the isolated beaches of one of the world’s biggest pinniped rookeries. One- to threehour boat rides from Ventura or Oxnard harbors in southern California take travelers to the five islands comprising the park. Visitors can backcountry camp at rustic sites, and kayak, snorkel or dive into marine sanctuaries rippled with sea kelp. Keep your eyes peeled for gray, killer and blue whales, as well as any dolphins and porpoises that may be passing by. ▶ 805-658-5730; nps.gov/chis

ROBB HANNAWACKER/NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

JOSHUA TREE NATIONAL PARK, CALIFORNIA The twisted, bristled plants after which this park (and a famous U2 album) is named stand silhouetted in the higher, cooler Mojave Desert while cacti dot the lower, hotter Colorado Desert. Together, they draw hikers, birders and climbers to otherworldly rock formations and stellar views of night skies. ▶ 760-367-5500; nps.gov/jotr

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PACIFIC COAST 36

ALASKA The biggest state’s tiny wildlife

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HAWAII Choose your own island adventure

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CALIFORNIA Beaches, trails, drives, urban sights

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OREGON Portland’s new food scene

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WASHINGTON Beautiful lavender festival

Bridalveil Meadow in Yosemite National Park, California

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ALASKA | PANHANDLE

Searching for sea life on an Alaska shoreline

Green sea urchins

Blue mussels

BIG STATE, SMALL CRITTERS Alaska’s unheralded fauna demand a closer look By Diana Lambdin Meyer | Photography by Bruce N. Meyer

N A TIDAL WALK along a remote cove in the southeast Alaska panhandle, marine biologist Carolyn Bergstrom grabs a wiggly little creature at the water’s edge between her index finger and thumb. It looks like a pale shrimp. “This is why whales come to Alaska,” she says. The slimy thing is a krill. Humpback whales love to munch on krill, so they swim thousands of miles from Hawaii to Alaska to eat their fill each summer. A few steps later, Bergstrom discovers two green sea urchins. If you love the adorable playful sea otters found throughout Alaska — and who doesn’t? — you have to be excited about green sea urchins, because they happen to be the otters’ favorite treat. No sea urchins, no sea otters. Alaska is a big place, and we often use big words to try to describe it. But the nation’s largest state is more than Denali and grizzly bears, more than calving glaciers, more than big moose and breaching whales. Alaska also is home to the tiniest of organisms hiding under rocks and in tidal pools, many of which exist nowhere else in the world, making life livable for the many big creatures that we all travel here to see. “Like so many other habitats, it’s the small things that maybe aren’t so flashy that make it possible for the big

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SPOTTING TINY WILDLIFE Once or twice each summer, biologist Carolyn Bergstrom is a guest lecturer and guide with Seattle-based UnCruise Adventures, usually sailing on the Safari Endeavour. 888-862-8881; uncruise.com Marine life education is also the focus of cruise programs offered by Lindblad Expeditions-National Geographic. 800-397-3348; expeditions.com Tidal walks are among the many ranger programs offered at the Visitors Center at Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve in Alaska’s southeastern panhandle. 907-697-2230; nps.gov/glba

TIP: When choosing private outfitters for kayaking and other Alaskan adventures, ask whether guides specialize in marine biology.

flashy creatures to survive and thrive,” says Bergstrom, an associate professor of biology at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau. A tidal walk in various parts of Alaska at different times of the summer reveals unique treasures. For example, colorful ochre sea stars can be found only in the outer exposed shorelines of southeast Alaska. It would be rare to find the ochre variety near Juneau or anywhere south of British Columbia’s coastline. Neither will you find melibe sea slugs near fresh water. An untrained eye might confuse these translucent little floaters for jellyfish, but these creatures attach themselves to kelp and float about to catch their prey. Pick one up, and you might notice the scent of watermelon. Bergstrom offers her tidal walk as a guest lecturer each summer on the small ship Safari Endeavour with UnCruise. Many of the national parks offer similar programs, and most outfitters have some familiarity with these coastal creatures as well. Take the guided tour, or just go for a walk yourself and observe what’s just below your feet. “When you look closely at a muddy, pebbly shoreline in Alaska, you’ll see a lot going on that makes the rest of this possible,” Bergstrom says.

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HAWAII

Waimea Canyon

Waimea Bay, Oahu North Shore

KAUAI Hiking and solitude This rural island is the oldest of the major islands and the most isolated. Be prepared: Squawking chickens will be your alarm clock. To-do list: ▶ Waimea Canyon, a miniversion of the Grand Canyon, is a must. Hike to the bottom, lounge on boulders and swim in the cool waters. dlnr.hawaii. gov/dsp/parks/kauai/ waimea-canyon-state-park ▶ Trek along the canyon rim of the Waipoo Falls Trail, which ends with an 800-foot waterfall. kauai.com/waipoofalls-trail

CHOOSE YOUR OWN

ADVENTURE

OAHU Shopping, food, surfing Oahu, the capital island, is home to famous places like Honolulu and Waikiki, but there are also plenty of hideaways for R&R.

Which Hawaiian island is right for you? Kauai Oahu

Molokai

By Sarah Sekula

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’M NOT A REPEAT-DESTINATION kind of girl, but Hawaii’s primordial landscape beckons me back continually. For first-timers, choosing one island to visit is tough. Don’t worry, though, I’ve done the legwork. Good news — you can’t go wrong.

Lanai

Maui

Hawaii

To-do list: ▶ Hike iconic Diamond Head for killer views. dlnr.hawaii. gov/dsp/parks/oahu/ diamond-head-statemonument ▶ Listen to live music at The Waikiki Shell, a historic outdoor venue. blaisdellcenter. com/venues/waikiki-shell ▶ Ride the North Shore’s big waves. gohawaii.com/en/ oahu/regions-neighbor hoods/north-shore

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HAWAII

HAWAII, the Big Island Moonbows, lava, rainforests The largest of the Hawaiian islands is a massive canvas for natural wonders: snow-capped mountains, a green sand beach and epic waterfalls. Four Seasons Resort Lanai gardens

Cliffs at Kalaupapa

Nāhuku-Thurston lava tube

BARBARA KRAFT; NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

To-do list: ▶ Explore lava-rock terrain and lava tubes in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park via bike. At night, snag views of the Milky Way and glowing lava from the active Kilauea volcano. nps.gov/havo ▶ Don snorkel gear with Kona Diving and make friends with manta rays (some with 14foot wing spans) in the calm waters off the Kona Coast. konadivingcompany.com ▶ Paddle across Kealakekua Bay and watch for spinner dolphins. hawaiistateparks. org

MICHAEL SZOENYI

LANAI Gardens, views, beaches This privately owned island — free of traffic lights and malls — makes for a quiet getaway. To-do list: ▶ Smell the roses in the Four Seasons Resort Lanai gardens. fourseasons.com/lanai ▶ Take in the Seussical rock formations at Garden of the Gods. gohawaii.com/en/ lanai/regions-neighborhoods/north-lanai/ keahiakawelo ▶ At Hulopoe Bay, walk to Sweetheart Rock and look for frolicking dolphins. gohawaii. com/en/lanai/regions-neighborhoods/ south-lanai/hulopoe-bay-lanai

MOLOKAI Wilderness, culture, adventure Molokai is as Hawaiian as it gets, with ancient fish ponds and untouched beaches. To-do list: ▶ Check out Papohaku Beach, possibly the most gorgeous beach in Hawaii. co.maui. hi.us/facilities/facility/details/193 ▶ Hike to the 250-foot Moaula Falls at the head of magical Halawa Valley. gohawaii. com/en/molokai/regions-neighborhoods/ east-end/halawa-valley-molokai ▶ Descend the world’s tallest sea cliffs via mule to the sobering yet stunning former leprosy colony of Kalaupapa. nps.gov/kala

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Scenic view from the Road to Hana GETTY IMAGES

MAUI Hiking, kitesurfing, forests The west side of the Valley Isle has five-star spas, a killer foodie scene and shopping. The east side is waterfalls and empty beaches; locals practice throw-net fishing.

To-do list: ▶ Follow the renowned Road to Hana for dreamy vistas of rainforests, waterfalls and beaches. roadtohana.com ▶ Watch an awe-inspiring sunrise from the 10,023-foot Haleakala volcano; reserva-

tions for this popular activity are required. recreation.gov ▶ Cool off with an outrigger canoe ride and snorkel session off the shores of Makena Beach, while turtles swim along. mauiinformationguide. com/makena.php

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CALIFORNIA | LOS ANGELES

Manhattan Beach

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L.A. BEACH GETAWAY

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South of busy downtown, a quieter, vibrant town awaits

By Nancy Mills

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OS ANGELES-AREA BEACHES ALL boast the same white sand, but they’re as varied as their users. If you want serious surfing, head for Malibu. If you’d rather gawk at tourists, Venice Beach is the place. But if you’d like an upscale and relaxed environment with sun, sand, surfing, sports, shops, sitting, snacking, supping (and parking), try Manhattan Beach. This beach town, with a population of nearly 36,000, is just 5 miles south of Los Angeles International Airport and is considered the gateway to what locals call “the South Bay,” an often-overlooked corner of Los Angeles County. Set up home base here and spend your vacation exploring laid-back life far from the noise and traffic of L.A. Because local government has kept chain stores out of the quaint downtown area, the city has maintained its small-town appeal, where residents and visitors alike stroll down one of several pedestrian-only streets to the beach, restaurants and boutique shops. Manhattan Beach’s restaurant scene is vibrant, with fervent reviews from major food critics. Stop by the 35-seat Fishing with Dynamite (eatfwd.com) for seafood. Manhattan Beach Post (aka M.B. Post; eatmbpost. com) has memorable bacon-cheddar biscuits and a diverse choice of meats and veggies. Little Sister (little sistermb.com) offers Asian fusion meals. Try Kogi’s famous tacos and burritos in nearby El Segundo’s

Whole Foods Market (wholefoods market.com/stores/elsegundo), or stay close to the beach and lunch al fresco at Ocean View Café (oceanview cafe.net). Once you’ve eaten, take a stroll on The Strand, the Manhattan Beach walkway paralleling the 2.1-mile-long beach. Stop by the free Roundhouse Aquarium (roundhouseaquarium. org) at the end of the pier for a closer look at the local sea life. On a clear day, you can look southeast and see Catalina Island. The beach also provides ample opportunity to watch sports in action, from surfing to volleyball, which residents play as they have for more than half a century. The 2017 Manhattan Beach Open volleyball tournament (avp.com/events) — popular enough to be televised on NBC — is scheduled for Aug. 17-20. General admission is free, but you can also pay for ritzy box seats. A few blocks away at Sand Dune Park, climb the steep, 100-foot-high dune where professional and college athletes train, but to control crowds and protect the environment, a reservation is required (citymb.info/ city-officials/parks-and-recreation/ parks-and-facilities/sand-dunepark#ad-image-1); you’ll pay $1 when you arrive. Looking for a place to stay? You can walk from the boutique Shade Hotel (shadehotel.com) to the beach in seven minutes or choose from a handful of other hotels spread throughout the community (ci. manhattan-beach.ca.us/visitors/ staying-in-manhattan-beach).

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BEYOND THE BEACH Take some time to explore the area surrounding Manhattan Beach. You’ll find these activities within a 30-minute drive:

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Bird-watch at the Madrona Marsh Preserve in Torrance and catch a few of the more than 150 species visible. ▶ friendsof madronamarsh. com

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Take a one-hour high-speed catamaran ride from San Pedro to Catalina Island 22 miles off the coast and spend the day on the beach, at a spa or walking around. ▶ catalina express.com

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Visit the Queen Mary in Long Beach and absorb history aboard the storied ocean liner. ▶ queenmary. com/tours-exhibits/tour-packages

Head for Los Angeles Harbor and explore the USS Iowa, a World War II-era battleship that took President Franklin Roosevelt to Europe during that war for meetings with Winston Churchill and Josef Stalin. Free for Iowa residents. ▶ pacificbattleship. com

Hike in nearby Palos Verdes, where the rugged setting can make you feel like you’re on a distant island. ▶ hikespeak.com/ los-angeles/ palos-verdespeninsula At the Point Vicente Interpretive Center in Rancho Palos Verdes, check out the museum, which features the history and nature of the region, and possibly catch sight of magnificent gray whales migrating. ▶ losserenos.org/ pvic.htm

DINUK MAGAMMANA; CATALINA EXPRESS; THE QUEEN MARY; JEREMY BONELLE/PACIFIC BATTLESHIP CENTER; SETH SMIGELSKI/HIKESPEAK.COM

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CALIFORNIA | LOS ANGELES

HAPPY TRAILS

The Milky Way shines over Boney Mountain along Los Angeles’ Backbone Trail.

New hiking route connects Los Angeles to 67 miles of backcountry bliss

By Matt Villano

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NE OF THE NEWEST backcountry trails in the West skirts the busiest, most trafficridden city in the country. The thoroughfare, dubbed the Backbone Trail, stretches about 67 miles through the Santa Monica Mountains northwest of Los Angeles, and opened in 2016 after more than 50 years in the making. The trail, which connects Point Mugu State Park in Malibu to Will Rogers State Historic Park in Pacific Palisades, has evolved slowly over the years. Volunteers worked with state and federal park employees to fund and build the path and to acquire the land necessary to connect the pieces. The final links fell into place in a flurry early this past year, when over just a few weeks, the Park Service closed escrow on four land parcels, including donations from former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and fitness pioneer Betty Weider. Those properties were among 180 individual tracts that have been purchased since the 1960s — land with a total value of more than $100 million. Last June, the Backbone was designated a National Recreation Trail, one of 1,200 in the country acknowledged by the American Trails organization for promoting conservation, recreation and health. Howard Cohen, president of the Santa Monica Mountains Trails Council during the trail’s development, says the distinction may make the Backbone eligible for more funding from state and local governments. “To see so much hard work come to fruition is a victory for everyone in conservation in the West,” says Cohen. “When you consider the views of the ocean and the proximity to such a major urban center, there’s nothing like this trail anywhere else in Southern California.” What makes the Backbone unique? For starters, the trail traverses one of the region’s largest remaining tracts of undeveloped landscape, a

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NATIONAL PARK SERVICE

well-preserved mix of chaparral-covered hillsides, oak woodlands and rocky outcrop spires. The wildlife is pretty spectacular, too: On any given day, hikers might spot rattlesnakes, coyotes, bobcats and other critters. The views aren’t too shabby, either. From the summit at the top of Sandstone Peak, you can see the Channel Islands to the south and the Tehachapi Mountains to the north. Also, if you’re hiking from east to west, the last 6 or so quad-burning miles back down into Malibu — a section known as the Ray Miller Trail — offer sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean. Still, the trail is not to be taken lightly. Hiked from end to end, the Backbone consists of many rolling hills, starting with a big climb from Will Rogers State Park as it ascends to the ridgeline with views of the San Fernando Valley, Santa Monica Bay and the Pacific Ocean. It’s so steep in some sections that runners may be reduced to a walk. And the roller-coaster terrain keeps coming. If you hike or run the whole trail, these hills will chip away at your strength, so be well trained for the challenge. In addition, water and overnight camping options

are minimal, which means visitors have to lug extra water or hike the trail in sections. Fire of any kind is not permitted. And despite the recent designation as a National Recreation Trail, signage at some intersections is simply nonexistent. “It’s an incredibly challenging course with lots of hills,” says ultra-runner Josh Spector, who has run the trail. “You’ve also got to be careful about when you run it — there’s very little shade on the trail, and in summer, when temperatures can get up over 100 and you’ve only got so much water, it can be rough.” For this reason, Cohen says he was “cautiously optimistic” about the impact of the National Recreation Trail distinction and the attention the trail has gotten since the last few pieces were procured. On one hand, he says, especially after all those years of waiting, the Backbone deserves the spotlight. On the other, however, certain sections aren’t large or sturdy enough to service the crowds that might be coming, and some visitors might come not knowing entirely what to expect. His advice: Plan ahead, and bring lots of water. “So long as you exercise caution, it’s a great way to experience an L.A. few ever get to see,” he says.

The Backbone Trail is part of the National Park Service’s Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. nps. gov/samo/ planyourvisit/ backbonetrail. htm

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CALIFORNIA | PALM SPRINGS

The Hotel Lautner in Desert Hot Springs, Calif.

MIDCENTURY MECCA

RICHARD LUI/THE (PALM SPRINGS, CALIF.) DESERT SUN

Modernism is always in style in Palm Springs

By Patricia Kime

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HE SUN RISES OVER California’s Little San Bernardino Mountains, casting its dazzling light across the city of Palm Springs. This desert gem is awash in color: vibrant reds and pinks of bougainvillea and oleander, deep green palm fronds, the brilliant blue of a cloudless sky. But the regional landscape isn’t the only thing prompting visitors to reach for their oversized Jackie O-style Francois Pinton sunglasses. The city’s showy homes and buildings — with incandescent white or desert sand facades, sparkling plate glass windows and pops of silver, metal, teal and orange on trim

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A community of roughly 45,000 and doorways — are just as blindingly people, Palm Springs basks in 350 beautiful. days of sunshine a year, winter highs In fact, it is the architecture of this in the low 70s and a year-round place — the largest concentration outdoor lifestyle that of midcentury modern has beckoned celebrities buildings in the U.S. — that since the 1920s, when is behind Palm Springs’ silent-screen legend Gloria revival as a Hollywood Palm Springs Swanson owned a home hideaway and top tourist Visitors Center here. destination. 2901 N. Palm Many celebrities followed “It’s an extraordinary and Canyon Dr.; — Clark Gable, Ava Gardner, surprising paradise,” says 800-347-7746; Cary Grant, Bob Hope, Robert Imber, a 25-year visitpalmsprings. Marilyn Monroe, Elvis resident and owner of Palm com and the entire Rat Pack, Springs Modern Tours. including Frank Sinatra “It’s a desert … that is and Sammy Davis Jr. The confluence surrounded by these mountains. of these moneyed vacationers We have oases; we have a 60-foot wanting getaways that reflected their waterfall, and then we have all this discriminating taste and the postwar historic architecture. It is beautiful building boom created a setting for and it’s unique.”

some of the era’s top architects — Albert Frey, John Lautner, Richard Neutra and Donald Wexler, to name a few — to build remarkable works. “The architects were responding to the environment. With air conditioning, there was a lot more they could do. They were experimenting with this new indoor-outdoor lifestyle, with homes opening to the swimming pools and glass walls to showcase the mountains,” says Chris Menrad, president of the Palm Springs Modern Committee, also known as ModCom. When midcentury modern fell out of favor in the late 1970s and 1980s, newcomers built larger, newer homes elsewhere in the Coachella Valley, leaving many of the city’s

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MAKE A TRIP OF IT Reservoir Diners at Reservoir in the Arrive Hotel sit in Scandinavian-style chairs underneath a butterfly roof, dipping into ceviche or shared tacos while overlooking the hotel pool, bar and toasty fire pits. 1551 N. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760-507-1640; reservoirpalmsprings.com Mr. Lyons Sink into the deep green velvet banquettes of this clubby steakhouse, order a classic dry martini, Manhattan or sidecar, and you’ll feel Rat-Pack cool in a restaurant that’s been around since the late 1940s when Frank Sinatra built his weekend getaway in Palm Springs. 233 E. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760-327-1551; mrlyonsps. com

RICHARD LUI/THE (PALM SPRINGS, CALIF) DESERT SUN; VISITPALMSPRINGS.COM (2)

Even new construction, such as this home designed by architect Lance O’Donnell, upper left, carries a midcentury modern feel. Historic homes of icons such as comedian Bob Hope, bottom left, and singer/TV personality Dinah Shore, right — now owned by Leonardo DiCaprio — are still part of the landscape.

iconic homes and buildings untouched by time, but also neglected. The late 1990s brought renewed interest, according to Menrad. Fashion photographers began scouting unusual spaces for photo shoots, and hipsters with an eye for architecture snatched up vintage 1940s, ’50s and ’60s homes at reasonable prices. A Vanity Fair article on Palm Springs in 1999 simply fanned the flames, Menrad adds. “That huge spread followed by a renewed zeitgeist for the style, with Mad Men and all, lit a fuse. Summer used to be a dead time, but now, weekends are always full.” Today, visitors can enjoy the city’s retro vibe in its boutique hotels, resorts and restaurants, as well as public buildings and thousands of homes. For a small taste, they can pick up a map of iconic buildings at the Palm Springs Visitors Center, itself a brilliant Albert Frey-designed former gas station

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saved from the wrecking ball in the 1990s. Or they can download the self-guided ModCom Mid-Century Modern Tour app (psmodcom.org) and design their experience around it. Narrated by architectural historians, the app highlights more than the exteriors of the midcentury buildings and includes videos of site interiors — an advantage over a map, since many buildings are privately owned and not tourable. Private tours also can be arranged through Palm Springs Modern Tours (palmspringsmoderntours.com), three-hour immersions into form and design from the comfort of a minivan. Imber, one of the city’s best-known architecture aficianados, serves as driver and guide, sharing his extensive knowledge of the area’s buildings and quirky insider tidbits on topics ranging from Hollywood-heyday gossip to California architects, designers and builders.

For those wanting more, ModCom hosts Modernism Week (modernismweek.com), which took place over 11 days in February this year and included more than 250 events, from specialty tours and lectures to panel discussions, education courses and, because this is Palm Springs, parties. A fall preview is scheduled for Oct. 20-22. American pop-culture connoisseur and comedian Charles Phoenix served as a bus tour guide during Modernism Week. When he drives from Los Angeles to Palm Springs and sees the Palm Springs Visitor Center’s distinctive sweeping canopy, any stress melts away. “I feel like the world, the rest of the world somehow, doesn’t even exist anymore,” he says. Imber agrees: “Even those of us, we who live here, are really awed by this place every day.”

L’Horizon This William Codydesigned Hollywood retreat built in 1952 has been reimagined as a 25room luxury celebration of modernism, from the George Mulhauser chairs and copper fireplaces in some rooms to a center court infinity-edge pool where guests enjoy complimentary foot and back massages. 1050 E. Palm Canyon Dr.; 760-323-1858; lhorizonpalmsprings.com Orbit In and Hideaway These authentic midcentury modern properties are under the same ownership. The Orbit In’s nine rooms boast themes centered on top designers of the era, including Eero Saarinen; the Hideaway’s 10 rooms have stunning mountain views. 877-996-7248; orbitin.com

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CALIFORNIA | SAN FRANCISCO

HIDDEN JOYS

A tour guide offers up his favorite out-of-the-way spots

SEWARD STREET SLIDES “Near the Corwin Community Garden you will find ... a set of concrete slides open Tuesday through Sunday. Take a piece of cardboard up there and slide down.” sfrecpark.org/destination/ seward-mini-park

By Katie Morell

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AN FRANCISCO IS KNOWN for its many iconic attractions — the Golden Gate Bridge, Crissy Field, Union Square — but there are also plenty of little-known places that are overlooked by tourists. We asked Ryan Curtis, founder of tour company Roam Local (roamlocal.com) for his five best-loved, under-the-radar gems.

TANK HILL “If you’re looking for a fun hike without the crowds, go to the corner of Clayton Street and Twin Peaks Boulevard. At 2 Belgrave Ave., on the top of the staircase, you will find Tank Hill. Up there, you can see 360-degree views of the city.” sfparksalliance. org/our-parks/parks/ tank-hill

Ryan Curtis

DIEGO RIVERA MURAL “Inside the old stock exchange building at 155 Sansome St., get in the elevator and go up to level 10, then look at the staircase. You will see a hidden Diego Rivera mural called the Allegory of California.” Free tours at the swanky City Club of San Francisco are at 3 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of the month. Register at sfcityguides.org RYAN KELLY

STOCK EXCHANGE TOWER ASSOCIATES/THE EMPIRE GROUP

RYAN KELLY

SAN FRANCISCO COLUMBARIUM

NEPTUNE SOCIETY COLUMBARIUM “This place is bonkers; it’s a mausoleum for urns. It looks like a church with a huge copper dome and is located at 1 Loraine Court. The stained glass windows are gorgeous, and if you look around, you will get a feeling for what people’s lives were like because there are photographs, stories and artwork of couples and whole families buried there — including a few famous people.” Call ahead for tours. 415-221-1838; neptunesociety.com

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PROVIDED BY THE FINE ARTS MUSEUMS OF SAN FRANCISCO

HAMON OBSERVATION TOWER “The de Young Museum is worth a visit, but if you don’t have time or want to save some cash, walk into the building and take the elevator to the top floor. It’s free and has floor-to-ceiling windows that overlook the city. You can sit up there all day long; it is really peaceful.” 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr., Golden Gate Park; 415-7503600; deyoung.famsf. org

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CALIFORNIA | NORTHERN REGION

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FOLLOW THE WINDING ROAD

Highway 1 leads you through Northern California’s rugged, fog-kissed scenery By Brian Barth

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ALIFORNIA HIGHWAY 1 WAS not made for fast-paced commuting, that’s for sure. Every quarter mile, you’re greeted by another 15 mph bend that slows you down. The sheer cliffs on the ocean side of the road — and the million-dollar views they afford — also take your speed down a few notches. But that’s the point. Get rid of the notion that “getting there” is why you are making the trip. Check that idea at the Golden Gate Bridge and head north, away from the bumper-to-bumper gridlock of San Francisco. Be careful not to miss the Highway 1 North exit about four miles beyond the

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bridge, where the main highway (the one with all the commuters) splits off. The correct exit will lead you to the buff-colored meadows and rolling hills of the Marin Headlands. If you like, follow the signs to the Muir Woods National Monument (nps.gov/muwo), home to groves of old-growth redwood trees, some more than 1,000 years old and just a few winding miles off the main route. Or stop in at the nearby Green Gulch Zen Center (sfzc.org/green-gulch) and breathe in good vibes as you stroll the organic gardens. Eventually, you’ll cross the headlands and reach the Pacific Ocean at Muir Beach, a pristine 1,000-foot-long strand tucked in a rocky cove between towering bluffs. Before you take off your shoes and head toward the

crashing surf, stop and congratulate yourself: You’ve completed the first 10 miles of the North Coast section of Highway 1, one of California’s most epic road trips. Hopefully you’ve told the folks back at work that you’ll see them in a month, because at this rate, that’s about how long it will take to traverse the remaining 400 miles to the Oregon border. And that, again, is the point. Another beach, waterfall, funky arts boutique, picturesque village, farm-to-table eatery or world-class vineyard awaits you on every curve, along with endless views of the majestic Pacific, where the fog is forever drifting in and out of the coastal hills, reminding you there is nowhere to get to, only another beautiful moment in which to arrive.

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California Highway 1

IF YOU GO Summer is the season for a Highway 1 road trip, as there is little to no rain and temperatures hover in the 70s. Bring a light jacket and cap, however, as foggy evenings on the water’s edge can be surprisingly cool. This is rugged country with sparse cell reception. Washouts, mudslides and downed trees frequently close portions of the route, so check the Caltrans QuickMap website or download their QuickMap app before you set out. quickmap.dot.ca.gov

The tiny Marin County town of Bolinas, about 10 miles north of Muir Beach, is home to the Coast Cafe, a cozy spot to fuel up for the drive northward. The restaurant features meat from San Francisco-based Niman Ranch, local seafood and organic vegetables from nearby farms. 46 Wharf Rd.; 415-868-2298; coastcafebolinas.com The artsy village of Mendocino, another 140 miles to the north, holds the best restaurants along the entire route, including the legendary Café Beaujolais, where you can sample the signature dish: pan-roasted sturgeon with a sauce made from “candy caps,” a locally foraged mushroom with a sweet aroma and maplelike flavor. 961 Ukiah St.; 707-937-5614; cafebeaujolais.com

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BIG SUR TRAVELERS, BEWARE

VERN FISHER/MONTEREY COUNTY (CALIF.) HERALD VIA AP

USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

Driving the road known between Monterey and San Luis Obispo as the Pacific Coast Highway — California’s iconic Big Sur road trip — is not possible until further notice. A major bridge is closed due to storm damage. Massive winter rains relieved California’s drought, but also brought mudslides that destabilized the pillars beneath the Pfeiffer Canyon Bridge, left, in the heart of Big Sur. A new bridge should open in late 2017, but until then, it’s a 250-mile detour to bypass the nearly roadless Santa Lucia mountains. Big Sur can still be enjoyed, but only in halves. From the south, you can drive as far as Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park; from the north, you can go to the village of Big Sur and Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. But most parks and beaches in the region are expected to be closed until June.

You won’t find big hotels or resorts along the North Coast, though the region offers many excellent “glamping” destinations, such as Windsong Cottage. Located just outside the Point Reyes National Seashore in Marin County, this yurt is outfitted with a full kitchen, cable TV and outdoor hot tub. 415-663-9695; windsongcottage.com There are plenty of places for “real” camping, too, such as the Usal Campground in Sinkyone Wilderness State Park. Roam the black sand beach and commune with the resident herd of Roosevelt elk here on the

remote “Lost Coast” of northern Mendocino County. 707-247-3318; www.parks. ca.gov/?page_id=429 For those seeking creature comforts, bed and breakfasts, often in old Victorian homes a stone’s throw from the water, are found in every town and village along the way. The village of Mendocino offers a handful of boutique hotels. mendocino.com

Explore Redwood National and State Parks, just south of the Oregon border, by horseback with Redwood Creek Buckarettes, a local outfit that will guide you through the awe-inspiring trees. Park: 1111 Second St., Crescent City; 707-465-7335; nps.gov/redw Tours: 1000 Drydens Rd., Orick; 707-499-2943; redwoodcreekbuckarettes. com Birdwatchers flock to the

Tomales Bay estuary in Point Reyes National Seashore, where more than 50 species of water birds can be seen. 415-464-5100; nps.gov/pore Sea kayak tours — the ideal way to see marine life up close — are available all over. Two of the best spots are the sea caves at Van Damme State Park in Mendocino (kayakmendocino.com) and Tomales Bay, part of Point Reyes National Seashore (bluewaterskayaking.com). Or explore Sonoma wine country by booking a restored 1926 biplane. 415-609-7273; coastalair tours.com

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OREGON | PORTLAND

PRETTY PORTLAND

Mount Hood

Explore Oregon’s trendiest town By Lisa Davis

AMOUS FOR ITS BEER and food scene, Portland, Ore., is also beautiful, surrounded by mountain peaks and bordered by a scenic river. The epicenter for hipsters and artists who have contributed to its chill atmosphere, the city is seeing even more additions to the list of restaurants, breweries and hotels that boost its attractiveness. “Portland has come into its own in the last few years,” says Marcus Hibdon, communications and public relations manager for Travel Portland. “We have more breweries than any other city in the world. We have an exploding urban wine scene. Our local neighborhoods are brimming with incredible shops and cafes. It’s a craft culture city where everything is done well.” Grab your appetite and camera and explore the local cuisine, style and landscape.

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TASTY TREATS

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One of Portland’s newest restaurants (opened March 2017) is Top Chef Masters Season 4 winner Chris Cosentino’s Jackrabbit. Its meat-heavy menu (items include sweetbreads and oxtail) is served amid décor such as chandeliers made from bikes and flooring built from local wood. gojackrabbitgo. com

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The city’s first food hall, (1) Pine Street Market, features nine local restaurants inside the historic Carriage & Baggage Building. pinestreetpdx.com

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Local favorite Pok Pok PDX has been serving Thai and Vietnamese dishes (try the fish sauce chicken wings) in Portland for more than a decade. pokpokpdx.com

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Nomad.PDX is another new choice, offering 10- and 20-course tastings. “It’s edgy, wild and delicious food,” says Hibdon. nomadpdx.com For French-inspired seafood, try Chef Vitaly Paley’s Headwaters, which is also home to a Russian-style tea service based on Paley’s grandmother’s recipes. headwaterspdx.com

DRINK UP With the world’s largest concentration of breweries, it’s tough to choose just one in Portland, but for starters, head to (2) Wayfinder Beer and enjoy a lager or ale (or both) inside the 110-seat taphall or on the outdoor deck. wayfinder. beer For wine tastings, there’s the urban winery ENSO, or

sip a glass of organic wine at Dame. ensowinery.com; damerestaurant.com

TUCK IN FOR THE NIGHT (3) The Society Hotel transformed a former sailors’ hotel into hip lodging. The rooftop has 360-degree views of downtown, the Lan Su Chinese Garden, the Willamette River and — on clear days — Mount Hood. thesocietyhotel.com Other new accommodations are popping up in Portland, including the 120-room Hi-Lo Hotel, which opened this spring in the historic Oregon Pioneer Building. Tip: It’s near the future site of the year-round, indooroutdoor James Beard Public Market, named for the famous Portland chef and set to open in 2020. hi-lo-hotel.com

GET OUTDOORS (4) The Portland Japanese Garden has several new additions, including three LEED-certified buildings designed by architect Kengo Kuma (who is also architect of the new National Stadium for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics). The buildings include classrooms, a library and a cafe that serves traditional Japanese tea. Five new garden spaces, including a public water garden and a bonsai terrace, are also part of the expansion. japanesegarden.com Nature must-sees not far from Portland include Mount Hood, less than an hour away to the east, and to the west, Oregon’s Pacific coast. The Columbia River Gorge, 30 minutes from Portland, has waterfalls and hiking trails. www.fs.usda.gov/ mthood

One of the best ways to experience nature in Portland is by bike. The Biketown bike-share program offers singleride and day passes. biketownpdx.com Ride through the Pearl District, known for art galleries and breweries — and the largest independent bookstore in the U.S., Powell’s Books, which takes up a whole city block. explorethepearl. com; powells.com Or take the MAX light rail over the popular carfree Tilikum Crossing Bridge, which at night transforms into an art installation of more than 200 LED lights that are said to correlate to the Willamette River’s speed, height and temperature. trimet.org/ tilikum

NATALIE BEHRING/GETTY IMAGES; ALAN WEINER; ORION LANDAU; LEAH NASH PHOTOGRAPHY; JONATHAN LEY

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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION


USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

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WASHINGTON | SEQUIM

MAKE A TRIP OF IT

See nature in its full, colorful glory at the Washington Lavender Farm. LISA MEYERS MCCLINTICK

LAND OF LAVENDER Sequim celebrates fragrant purple fields that thrive near a Mediterranean-like coast

sip lavender margaritas and lavender-infused wines. “You just get intoxicated with lavender in all its various forms in one visit,” says Paul Jendrucko, who calls himself HE EXCLAMATIONS ARE AUDIBLE as visitors “Dr. Lavender,” and whose wife, Mary, leads the Sequim arrive at Washington Lavender Farm, scrambling Lavender Growers Association. out of their cars to photograph the lipstick-pink The valley nestles between the Strait of Juan poppies and scalloped rows of lavender de Fuca, which moderates the temperatures, and that march along its white-fenced the Olympic Mountains, which shelter it from driveway. Here and across the acreage anchored heavy rains that keep the peninsula’s mossby the coastal George Washington Inn, lavender draped Hoh Rain Forest and towns such as Forks explodes into bloom like deep purple fireworks. Visit Sequim (where the Twilight books and movies are set) Thousands of bees stir the heady fragrance in 360-683-6197; famously cloudy and damp. Washington’s Sequim-Dungeness Valley, dubbed visitsunny Lavender fields across Sequim’s dry, sunny the Lavender Capital of North America. sequim.com farms bloom for about three weeks in July, More than 30,000 visitors from across the grabbing the attention of passing travelers such country and beyond gather here the third as Talie Lamolinara of Jacksonville, Fla. weekend in July for the region’s Lavender Festival and the She happily snipped stems of lavender into a pickchance to photograph or paint the colorful fields, stock up your-own basket at Purple Haze Lavender Farm. “I like on sachets and soaps, collect new culinary recipes, feast lavender-flavored anything,” she says, with a smile on her on crab cakes with lavender mayonnaise, savor lavender face and an armful of fragrance that will follow her home. lemon sorbet and lavender white chocolate ice cream and By Lisa Meyers McClintick

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Lavender Weekend:

Blondie’s Plate: Share

The Sequim Lavender Festival, scheduled this year from July 21-23, includes a downtown street fair full of art and lavender vendors, concerts by area musicians and regional foods including crab cakes, chowder and salmon, fresh berries, lavenderglazed walnuts and lavender lemon curd crepes. A handful of farms, such as Purple Haze and Washington Lavender, charge fees and host their own Lavender Weekend festivities with music, demonstrations and vendors. More than a dozen farms are free to visit. lavenderfestival. com

elegant small plates of local salmon, oysters and clams. 134 S. Second Ave.; 360-6832233; blondiesplate. com

Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge: Visitors hike down to the nation’s longest natural sand spit, where the Dungeness River meets salt water and tidal mudflats attract shore birds, crabs and clams. Watch for ships and seals on the 5.5-mile hike to the New Dungeness Lighthouse (newdungenesslighthouse.com), opened in 1857, which welcomes guest lightkeepers. 554 Voice of America Rd.; 360-457-8451; www.fws.gov/refuge/ dungeness

Alder Wood Bistro: Dine in the courtyard or indoors on wood-fired pizzas, fish and chips and seasonal meals with local produce. 139 W. Alder St.; 360-683-4321; alderwoodbistro.com

Dungeness Bay Cottages: Six units with full kitchens include views of Dungeness Bay in one direction and mountains in the other. 140 Marine Dr.; 360-683-3013; dungenessbaycottages. com

Sunset Marine Resort: Eight cabins with kick-back balconies overlook Sequim Bay. 40 Buzzard Ridge Rd.; 360-591-4303; sunsetmarineresort.com

▼ George Washington Inn: This bed-andbreakfast, a replica of Mount Vernon on the Washington Lavender Farm, below, features rooms overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca. 939 Finn Hall Rd., Port Angeles; 360-452-5207; georgewashingtoninn. com

LISA MEYERS MCCLINTICK

USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION


USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

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USA TODAY SPECIAL EDITION

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