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The majestic terrain of the Pacific Northwest is one of many reasons that visitors flock there and others call it home. And the natural beauty graces multiple popular regional destinations. From the charming cities of Seattle and Portland, to the picturesque backdrops of Boise and Provo, there is much to see when visiting the Great Northwest.
The Emerald City’s highest-profile tourist attraction is the 605-foot-tall Space Needle (206-905-2100), built for the 1962 Seattle World’s Fair. The futuristic and iconic Space Needle was built with a “flying saucer” on top. The five-level dome, which houses a revolving restaurant and observation deck, is balanced so perfectly that the restaurant originally rotated with just a one-horsepower electric motor.
Located in downtown Seattle, the Pike Place Market (206-682-7453) is internationally recognized as America’s premier farmer’s market. The century-old, nine-acre market is home to more than 100 farmers who rent tables by the day. Street performers, restaurants and shops also line this area. You’ll need reservations for a Market Heritage Tour (206-774-5249), which includes insider’s shopping tips and a few odd tales. The very first Starbucks Coffee store is located here and because of the historic area’s building restrictions, the store still looks like it did when it first opened in 1971.
Natural beauty abounds in Seattle’s 400 parks and green spaces, but the best-known is probably Mount Rainier National Park (360-569-2211). You can experience its stunning views from your car or on foot. The park offers camping, hiking, mountain climbing, picnic facilities, and other lodging and dining amenities.
Are you looking for a unique shopping experience? Or are you in the mood to get back to nature? Whichever you fancy, Portland has it. Start a weekend getaway at the nation’s largest continually operated arts and crafts market: the Portland Saturday Market (503-222-6072). Located in historic Old Town, you can shop for custom-made souvenirs, peruse the food carts and enjoy live entertainment. Can’t make it on Saturday? The market is also open on Sundays.
A tour of Portland isn’t complete without visiting Powell’s City of Books (503-228-4651). Since it covers an entire city block, it is hard to miss. With more than 1.5 million volumes in its inventory, you’re bound to find something worthwhile for yourself, your children or any book lover in your life.
For the nature enthusiast, check out the International Rose Test Garden (503-823-3636) in Washington Park. From May to September, wander down the pathways that lead to more than 8,000 roses in a spectacular garden setting.
Want to take in the mountainous view? Portland Aerial Tram is one of the best ways to see Mt. Hood, Mt. St. Helens, the Willamette River and downtown. Once you come back down to earth, stroll, bike or hike through Forest Park, located northwest of downtown. This “forest in the city” is an ideal way to get away without completely leaving the metropolis.
The great outdoors are easily found in Boise. For those staying in the center of the city, step out of your hotel to the Boise River Greenbelt, a 25-mile path that leads to the numerous parks and recreation areas (all Greenbelt paths are wheelchair accessible). Not far from the city are places to ski, hike, mountain bike, golf, fish and kayak — there’s definitely a breadth of activity in Boise.
According to RidgeToRivers.org, more than 130 miles of trails snake their way through the Boise Foothills. From mountain bike routes to walking trails for the entire family, check out the Trails section of Ridge to Rivers for your ideal trek. Another place to escape to is Bogus Basin (208-332-5100), one of the most renowned resorts for winter and summer sports.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s actually you in a hot air balloon soaring above Boise! I’ll Fly Away Balloon Adventures (208-887-6727) has hour-long sunrise flights for those who want to experience something different on their vacation. Sip on kidney-friendly sparkling apple cider as you take in the scenic Idaho landscape.
If you've had your fill of outdoor activities, browse the shopping districts of downtown Boise, visit the newly restored >Idaho State Capitol building, cheer on the >Boise State University football team or enjoy a live theater performance.
Nestled in the Utah Valley and only 43 miles south of Salt Lake City, Provo is home to Brigham Young University, one of the largest private universities in the United States. This college town is an ideal place to catch a game of football, basketball or other collegiate sport throughout the school year.
Provo isn’t just for a college crowd. Each January, celebrities and movie lovers alike flock to nearby Sundance for the world renowned Sundance Film Festival. If “star gazing” isn’t your thing, hop on the chairlifts of the Sundance Resort at the base of Mt. Timpanogos for some world-class skiing. In the summer, hiking, biking and horseback riding prove to be popular activities.
Provo has all the amenities of a city but is a small enough town to help you feel like you’re getting away from it all. Take a boat out at Strawberry Reservoir, Deer Creek or Jordanelle to try your hand at fly fishing on the pristine Provo River.
Whether you stroll through Seattle’s famous Pike Place Market, fall in love with Portland’s roses, roam the Boise trails or ski Provo, adventure awaits in the eclectic Pacific Northwest. And with numerous DaVita facilities throughout the region, a DaVita dialysis center is there for you during your travels. Call DaVita Guest Services at 1-800-244-0680 to get started. For more information about travelling on dialysis, go to Travel Tips & Articles. Make your next journey an unforgettable one.
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