Heed the call of the Northwest Coast

Westport Winery Sculpture Garden

There’s something about a visit to the coast that rouses the spirit. Some of us are inspired by the seemingly limitless opportunities that the ocean provides for adventure and discovery. Others are moved by the raw power of surf pounding against sand and rock or by the scenic tranquility found at land’s end. I could go on, but I think you get the point: the coast offers myriad qualities that resonate with people in different ways, including ways that are highly personal.

In the interests of providing Journey magazine readers with tips on where to pursue memorable coastal experiences of your own, our magazine’s editorial staff teamed with AAA Washington’s auto-travel experts to create the roundup of “Coastal Treasures” that appears in our July/August print edition. Our premise was simple: We asked our colleagues to tell us about their favorite things to see and do along the Washington-Oregon coast. We combined their recommendations with our personal favorites to create a “treasure map” of great places to stay, eat, explore or play between Cape Flattery and the California state line. After you read the article, we hope you’ll take a few moments to tell us about your own favorite coastal activities, amenities or attractions by email (journey@aaawin.com), so that we can share these additional recommendations on the Reader Response page of this website.

On a personal note, I am looking forward to venturing out to the Oregon coast during my summer vacation in August, and I don’t plan on leaving the Pacific Northwest until October, at the earliest. Why would anyone leave our region in summer or even early fall? However, before I fully set my sights on the weeks ahead, I need to look back for a moment and offer a shout-out to Michelle Wilkerson, the AAA travel agent who booked the flights, hotels and a car-rental for my trip to England and Scotland with my girlfriend, Kate, last April. Michelle found us great rates, and our hotels in London (Saint James Court, A Taj Hotel) and Edinburgh (Apex European Hotel) were clean, comfortable, centrally located and fun.

Kate and I enjoyed a truly memorable vacation, thanks to Michelle, and I’m not the only one with praise for her professionalism and expertise. Michelle also arranged a great vacation to Iceland last March for Lawrence Jacobson, a AAA member residing in Olympia. Mr. Jacobson enjoyed the trip so much that he offered to write about it for us just as soon as he returned. You can read about his experiences in the land of geysers and glaciers in our inaugural Travel Diary. With the launch of this new series, we invite you to submit short articles about your own travel experiences (up to 600 words) for publication on our website. This is a fun way to help fellow travelers pursue the types of memorable experiences that we all seek when we travel. These submissions are also accepted by email (journey@aaawin.com), and I can’t wait to read about your adventures.

Note: I took the photo of Lora Malakoff’s Fleur de Lis (above) during a stroll through the sculpture garden at Westport Winery, just a few miles away from beach, on my own coastal road trip two summers ago.