At times this past year, it felt like America (or some within it) aimed to shrink inward—to brick up borders, obstruct paths, strangle lines of communication. And yet, life on the Portland Monthly travel desk reminds us that this impulse runs contrary to something fundamental about humanity. We're curious. We quest. We explore. This drive takes us outward—to locations across the Pacific Northwest, and occasionally across the planet. Travel is the act of discovering what's just beyond, of literally expanding our worlds.
Among our many brilliant treks across the West in 2017, here are 10 that gave us life. And should you feel a certain wanderlust, scrolling through this list, consider launching the New Year with some adventures of your own. 2018 could probably do with a fewer bricks.
Sun Valley, Idaho, is America’s original ski resort, dating back to 1936. But quirky Ketchum—the resort's neighboring town, and the southern gateway to the Sawtooths' sprawling backcountry—has a fanbase all its own.
From wild land art to family-friendly outdoor adventures, editor in chief Zach Dundas discovered that Nevada's true gold is found on the canyon-riven outskirts of Las Vegas.
A Portland design team revamped an aging Marriott on Honolulu's up-and-coming Kuhio Avenue. The luxurious result "shimmers with an aura of midcentury, jet-set island fantasy."
Yes, there is a country-rustic route in the South Willamette Valley that links eight tasting rooms and some very tasty tacos. And you can bike it.
Tucked into Washington’s Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, the Heybrook Lookout Tower was closed for decades. Now, you can once again overnight in its snuggly, fully-equipped cabin,with 360-degree views and not another soul in sight.
From Clatsop Spit to the southerly Oregon Islands, our state’s entire shoreline is a ribbon of rocky, sandy sublimity. And thanks to our 1967 Beach Bill, it’s yours. We celebrate 10 superlative beaches on the 50th anniversary of this landmark legislation.
Back in the 1950s, the Minam River Lodge was a hunting retreat with no road access. In spring 2017, the lodge reopened—as isolated as ever, but with stunning new perks.
In October, the 30-mile Wildwood Trail was a mud bath. We set out to complete the entire length of Forest Park's trademark track. Pain was felt. Euphoria was achieved.
Sure, 2016 made “Malheur” synonymous with an antigovernment armed occupation. But Malheur National Wildlife Refuge isn't actually in Malheur. It's in neighboring Harney County. Put together, Oregon’s two largest counties make up 20 percent of the state—and that, managing editor Margaret Seiler found, means a lot of photo ops.
Orlando. Albuquerque. Detroit. In 2017, Portland's favorite carrier announced eight new nonstop destinations from PDX. (The latest? Direct to JFK!)