5 Summer Road Trips Around the Pacific Northwest

Hi friends! I hope our American readers had a lovely long weekend (and I hope everyone else had a lovely regular-length weekend). I was a little bummed that I didn’t get to travel anywhere over Memorial Day – last year Jules and I went to San Diego and it was awesome! – but now I’m extra motivated to plan a weekend getaway or two this summer. Here are five fun destinations within easy driving distance of Seattle that I have my eye on.

Cannon Beach, Oregon

5 Weekend Road Trips Around the Pacific Northwest // Cannon Beach, OR

Cannon Beach has a special place in my heart – it was my family’s favorite vacation spot when I was growing up. We’d come for a week every spring to frolic in the surf with our dog, explore the tide pools, and ride beach cruisers along the shore. I haven’t been in years, but I would love to go back.

Vancouver, British Columbia

5 Weekend Road Trips Around the Pacific Northwest // Vancouver BC, Canada

A weekend jaunt from Seattle to Vancouver, BC is perfect if you’re in the mood for an easy international excursion; you get to whip out your passport without needing to get on a plane or practice a foreign language on Duolingo. From shopping on Robson Street to taking a pulse-pounding stroll across the Capilano Suspension Bridge, there’s plenty to keep you occupied for a long weekend.

Ashland, Oregon

5 Weekend Road Trips Around the Pacific Northwest // Ashland, OR

Photo Credit: T Charles Erickson

 

A charming little town near the border of Oregon and California, Ashland is host to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, another time-honored tradition from my childhood. There’s nothing quite like watching a classic play in the beautiful, open-air Elizabethan Theatre. The festival offers much more than just Shakespeare, though – theater nerds of all persuasions will love it!

Portland, Oregon

5 Weekend Road Trips Around the Pacific Northwest // Portland, OR

Just three hours south of Seattle, Portland is always a safe bet for a fun weekend! My aunt and cousins live here, so I’m a somewhat regular visitor. If you go, you can’t miss Powell’s City of Books, the largest used and new bookstore in the world. It occupies an entire city block in the Pearl District; it’s so vast that they offer you a guide at the door. Seriously, it’s Disneyland for book lovers. Oh, and while you’re in Portland, don’t forget to pick me up some Voodoo Doughnuts.

Walla Walla, Washington

5 Weekend Road Trips Around the Pacific Northwest // Washington Wine Country

Dreaming of a trip to Napa but don’t want to splurge on a plane ticket? Washington wine country is a great alternative. The Walla Walla Valley is home to over a hundred wineries, beautiful scenery, and some of the cutest winery dogs you’ll ever meet. Admittedly, there’s not a ton to do in Walla Walla other than sip wine, but since when is that a bad thing?

What about you? Are you planning any trips this summer?

♥ Mil

 

Images: 1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

An All American Road Trip (Part 2)

all american road trip destinations travel
Today I’m sharing the second part of my cross-country road trip. If you haven’t read the first part, you can get caught up here.
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Joe and Aggies Arizona Route 66 All american road
After the Grand Canyon, we ending up stopping in Holbrook, Arizona for the night which is located right along Historic Route 66. We grabbed dinner at a cute little Mexican-American diner where we tried our first Navajo Tacos. Navajo Tacos are basically just Indian fry bread topped with taco ingredients. Fry bread can be sweet or savory; most of us know it from state fairs where it’s doused in cinnamon and sugar and sold as elephant ears.
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Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument Santa Fe all american road trip destinations travel
The next day, we visited Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument in New Mexico. It was another bucket list destination and was probably my favorite stop of the trip. Exploring the park involved a several mile hike that took us through a slot canyon. For about a half mile we walked through a narrow crevice with rock towering over us on either side.
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Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument Santa Fe New Mexico all american road trip destinations travel
Once we made it through the canyon, the winding route took us through a series of large conical rock formations for which the park is named. The “tents” were formed by volcanic activity and some of them were pretty massive.
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Kasha-Katuwe Tent Rocks National Monument Santa Fe New Mexico all american road trip desitnations travel
The payoff at the end of the hike was this incredible view. It was in the upper 60’s so it felt great basking in the sun while surveying the vastness of the lands surrounding us. New Mexico is a pretty pretty place. On a side note, please ignore my brother’s shirt. He has a fondness for t-shirts with weird sayings on them.
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Cafe Pasquales Santa Fe New Mexico all american road trip destinations travel food restaurants
That night we pushed on to Santa Fe, where we ended up spending an extra day. The town was beautiful. So much terracotta and stone. My favorite restaurant in Santa Fe was Cafe Pasqual’s, a recipient of the James Beard Foundation award for America’s Regional Classics Award. Let me tell you, that award is well deserved.
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pasquales santa fe new mexico all american road trip destinations travel
My brother ordered the mole enchiladas and they were not only beautiful to look at, they were absolutely delicious. I ordered the daily special, which was a combination plate of several salads and fancy toast.
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Museum of International Folk Art Santa Fe New Mexico all american road trip destinations travel
The Museum of International Folk Art was recommended by several friends as a must stop. I’m a huge fan of folk art, so off to the museum we went. I wasn’t sure what to expect, so I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the artifacts as well as the curation. The exhibit space itself were part of the experience, with cases of different colors and styles.  .
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Santa Fe New Mexico all american road trip destinations travel
The museum is located on Museum Hill, a hub of several cultural institutions.  This striking statue is located right in front of the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture. We didn’t get a chance to go inside, so I’ll have to hit it up on a return trip.
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Cadillac Ranch Amarillo Texas All american road trip destinations route 66 travel
After Santa Fe, we headed to Oklahoma City by way of Texas. As we cruised through Amarillo, Texas, we stopped to check out Cadillac Ranch, one of the quirkiest roadside attractions on Route 66. In 1974, ten Cadillacs were buried nose down in a field as a work of public art. Visitors are encouraged to spray paint the cars to contribute to the installation. As you approach the cars you can smell the paint in the air, and once you get close you can see the layers upon layers of paint just caked on.
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cadillac ranch amarillo texas all american road trip destinations travel
I couldn’t resist throwing in a second picture of this place. The sky was so beautiful that day, it almost looks faked. I brought my gold spray paint with me, but it turns out gold is not a great color for grafitti – not enough pop against day glo orange and neon green.
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After Texas, we swung through Oklahoma City, Memphis, and the Smokey Mountains on our way to our final destination: Durham, North Carolina. Unfortunately, I was under the weather for the final day or two of the trip, so I didn’t capture much. I do want to shout out Oklahoma City’s social media person though, who was super responsive with restaurant recommendations via their Twitter.
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I hope my trip has given you some ideas for an American road trip of your own. It was incredible experiencing the sweeping mountains and scrublands of the Southwest. You really don’t grasp the vastness of our country until you drive it, so I definitely encourage you to give it a try.
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XOXO,
Jules
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Linking up with Carylee from More Pieces of Me today.

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An All-American Road Trip (Part 1)

All american road trip destinations travel
A few weeks ago, my brother and I embarked on a grand adventure: driving across the country from Seattle, Washington to Durham, North Carolina. My husband moved to North Carolina for a new job a few weeks ahead of me, so I was tasked with packing up the final pieces of our personal life into our Ford Escape. Not one to waste a trip, I decided to take advantage of the move by planning out a series of stops along the way.
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tea pot gas station all american road trip washington state travel destination americana driving trip
First stop: The Teapot Dome Service Station in Zillah, Washington. I discovered this little gem on the Roadtrippers app and knew we had to check it out. Apparently whimsical gas stations were a thing in the 20’s and 30’s, as we drove by a few on the trip.
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Currie Nevada All American Road Trip destinations travel driving sites
Our first two days were spent driving through much of Idaho and Nevada. We often drove for more than hour before reaching any major signs of civilization. This was a little store set on the side of the highway in Nevada. It was the only bathroom within at least a 45 minute drive in either direction.
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Venetian Casion Las Vegas Nevada all american road trip travel driving trip
We made it to Vegas in the afternoon of day two. After checking into our hotel, we did a grand tour of the biggest and flashiest casinos. We had to stop by The Venetian for a little shopping along the canal. It was hard to capture a good shot of the ceiling, but the whole thing was painted to look like the sky. It was beautiful.
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Paris Casino Las Vegas Nevada all american road trip travel driving trip
I think my favorite casino may be the Paris. I mean, look at that Eiffel Tower! The property was just beautiful and really stood out as classically beautiful amongst all the flashing neon.
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Paris Casino Vegas Nevada Julia Malinowski all american road trip destinations travel
The Paris has a great little bistro called Mon Ami Gabi. While it’s known for its brunch, they serve a mean steak frites. This is me post-dinner. Happy and full.
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Bellagio Casino French Bakery Las Vegas Nevada all american road trip travel driving destination
The Bellagio was decked out for the Chinese New Year with an unbelievable display in their lobby. It was so busy and opulent it was a little hard to capture. If you’re ever in Vegas around January or February, I highly encourage checking it out. The Bellagio is also home to the world’s largest chocolate fountain at Jean-Phillippe Patisserie. It was all I could do to not lick the glass.
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Vegas skyline nevada all american road trip destinations travel
Vegas was interesting because it really transformed at night. During the day a lot of it looked kind of cheap, but at night, when those lights started shining, it really was beautiful. This is a view of the city skyline from the Bellagio fountain.
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grand canyon arizona all american road trip destinations travel
After our night in Vegas, we head to the south side of the Grand Canyon, one of my bucket list destinations. The canyon definitely did not disappoint. It was jaw dropping. We walked around the rim trail for a little bit to see a couple different views before we had to get back on the road.
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sunrise all american road trip destinations travel
One of my favorite parts of the trip were the mornings. We left early to make sure we had enough time to explore each stop along the way. There’s a peacefulness to the road at 7am and a few days we caught some pretty morning color.
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Stay tuned for part two of my trip. I had too many pictures and stops to share everything in one post!
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Have you been to Vegas? What are your favorite things to do or see there? I may want to go back to see a few shows since we didn’t have time.
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XOXO,
Jules

 

Weekend Adventures: Washington D.C.

This weekend I took a trip to Washington, D.C. to attend Teach for America’s 25th Anniversary Summit. I arranged my trip so I had about some extra time to explore and enjoy the city. D.C. is a great city to visit with access to so many free cultural experiences and great dining experiences. Here are a few highlights from the trip, along with recommendations for a few spots to seek out next time you’re in town.
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Lincoln Monument Washington DC Weekend Adventures Travel National Monument Julia Malinowski South by Northwest BlogI arrived Thursday late afternoon. After checking into my Airbnb apartment, I decided to do a night tour of the monuments. I’d never done this before and really enjoyed seeing the the famous monuments lit up against the night sky. The Lincoln Memorial was peaceful although about a dozen tourists seemed to have the same idea as me.
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Museum of National History Washington DC Weekend Adventures Travel Julia Malinowski South by Northwest BlogThe next day I swung by the Smithsonian National Museum of National History, which is always enjoyable. You can easily pick and choose which exhibits to see, so you don’t need to cram everything in during one visit. I like to stop by to see the dinosaur bones and just love the beautiful entrance.
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Holocaust Museum Washington DC Weekend Adventures South by Northwest Blog Julia Malinowski TravelI explored the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum for the first time and was throughly impressed. The curation and exhibits are incredible. The subject is somber, so be prepared to possibly cry in public. I know I did.
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Holocaust Museum Washington DC Weekend Adventures Travel Top Sites to See Julia MalinowskiThe shoe display was particularly striking. It’s a collection of 4,000 shoes confiscated from victims at concentration camps.
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The quote reads “We are the shoes, we are the last witnesses. We are shoes from grandchildren and grandfathers, From Prague, Paris, and Amsterdam, And because we are only made of fabric and leather, And not of blood and flesh, each one of us avoided the hellfire.” Moses Shulstein.
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slipstream washington dc weekend adventures travel coffee shopAnd now for a few restaurant recommendations. The apartment was located close to Slipstream, a great little coffee shop that also does brunch on the weekends. They make their own cashew/almond milk in house, so I indulged in daily chai lattes. It’s a little pricey, but the atmosphere was cozy and they have free wifi which is harder to track down in DC than expected.
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Daikaya Ramen Washington DC weekend adventures travel Thursday night I did dinner at Daikaya, a combination Izakaya bar and ramen shop in the Chinatown area. The space is small, so the average wait time can run 30-45 minutes for a party of 2-4. Since I was flying solo that night, I was lucky and got in pretty quickly. I ordered the Shoyu with the pork belly add-in and was not disappointed. The broth was rich and satisfying and the noodles had the perfect bite.
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rural society washington dc weekend adventures travelFriday night a group of friends got together for dinner at Rural Society, an Argentinian restaurant. Argentinian restaurants are typically known for their steak and this place is no different. Their walls featured photos of prize winning bulls! However my favorite dishes were the vegetable sides. The grilled wild mushrooms with truffle and roasted brussels sprouts with chestnut cream and pomegranate seeds were fantastic. I was stuffed and couldn’t stop eating them.
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Washington DC Teach for America 25th Anniversary SummitThe girls after dinner. Not the best picture of the group, but had to throw it in! I taught with Veronica and Erica who are on my left.
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Janelle monae washington dc teach for americaSaturday night, the Teach for America conference closed out with a performance by Janelle Monáe. She’s an “Electric Lady” both on and off the stage, so it was definitely a fun show.
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One of the perks of moving to the East Coast is that more weekend trips to DC may be in my future! Have you visited the nation’s capital? Any favorite restaurants or sites of your own? Mil’s good friend Sarah used to live in the city and she worked at The Kennedy Center, which hosts incredible arts programming.
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XOXO,
Jules

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Photo credit: Teach for America

 

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