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Historical Sites

Michelin Michelin Travel & Lifestyle ePub

Coast Salish peoples roamed the shores of what’s now Elliott Bay long before British naval captain George Vancouver sailed into Puget Sound in 1792. No serious settlement occurred in the area until the 1850s, when an Oregon Trail party chose Alki Point as a suitable site. Chief Sealth and his fellow Duwamish Indians welcomed the newcomers. Eventually a trading post and lumber mill were established, and throughout the late 1850s, Seattle continued to grow. With local timber depleted, coal became the city’s major export. In 1897 Seattle became the gateway to the Klondike, supplying gold prospectors who swarmed the city. As the gold petered out, timber barons Frederick Weyerhaeuser and William Boeing established industries that would fuel the area’s economy for years to come (Boeing switched from timber to a new technology: flight). Early 20C streetcar suburbs expanded city boundaries, drawing German, Scandinavian, Italian and Asian immigrants as workers and entrepreneurs, but the bombing of Pearl Harbor in 1941 prompted authorities to send the city’s 7,000 Japanese residents to detainment camps. The early 1960s brought construction of I-5 and Seattle’s second World’s Fair, and now famous icon, the Space Needle. The fair structures left behind formed the basis for a major urban renewal project. The latest such project will renovate the city’s waterfront. Home to Starbucks and lots of roasteries (plus high-tech giants Microsoft and Amazon), Seattle has a widespread cafe culture. It's known for sparkling seascapes and recreational opportunities.

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FRÉJUS AND THE ESTEREL MASSIF

Michelin Michelin Travel & Lifestyle ePub

Fréjus and the Esterel Massif

Tucked away in the farthest corner of Provence, on the eastern edge of the Var, Fréjus and the Esterel Massif may not have the “flash and cash” of Cannes to the east or St-Tropez to the west, but nevertheless impress visitors with their perched villages, natural beauty, unspoilt forests and red rock mountains framing the cobalt-blue sea. Many come to this part of the Riviera to escape the summer crowds, while lively towns like Fréjus and St-Raphäel, as well as the convenient proximity to Nice, keep it from feeling overly secluded. For those who enjoy sweeping panoramic views, coastal hikes, Provençal meals overlooking deep gorges, ancient history and sandy beaches, this is an ideal area to explore.

Highlights

1 Attend a musical concert in Fréjus’ 2C Roman arena

2 Take a guided tour of the ancient cloisters and baptistery of Fréjus’ Groupe Episcopal

3 Explore underwater wrecks with the diving club at the Port-Fréjus

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Long Beach Peninsula

Michelin Michelin Travel & Lifestyle ePub

Open year-round daily. Visitor center at 3029 Spirit Lake Hwy., Toutle; t 360-274-0962; www.parks.wa.gov/stewardship/mountsthelens; open May–mid-Sept daily 9am–5pm, rest of the year 4pm; closed major holidays. t 360-449-7800. www.fs.usda.gov/mountsthelens. $5.

One of the world’s most famous volcanoes, Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980 with the intensity of 500 atomic bombs, destroying its northern flank and blasting away more than 1,300ft of elevation. In 1982 the US Congress declared Mount St. Helens a National Volcanic Monument. Today the eviscerated mountain, surrounded by a 172sq-mi preserve, is a leading visitor attraction.

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
©MountStHelens.com

Practical Information

When to Go

July is the best time to see flower-filled alpine meadows at Mt. Rainier, but any summer day through September offers the best opportunity for clear weather and great views at both Rainier and Mount St. Helens. Summertime frequently brings fog to the Washington coast, so the best times to visit are the shoulder seasons or winter-storm season.

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Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

Michelin Michelin Travel & Lifestyle ePub

80mi northeast of Medford on Rte. 62. Open daily year-round. $10/vehicle. t 541-594-3000. www.nps.gov/crla. Steel Visitor Center open late Apr–early Nov daily 9am–5pm; rest of the year daily 10am–4pm; closed Dec 25. Rim Visitor Center open late May–late Sept 9:30am–5pm.

Crater Lake National Park
©Chrisboswell/Dreamstime.com

Crater Lake (elevation 1,932ft) is the world's deepest volcanic lake. The sapphire-blue lake rests in the basin of a collapsed volcano, surrounded by steep-walled cliffs. Wizard Island, a volcanic cinder cone, rises at its west end.

Ringed by mountains tinged with snow much of the year, the 6mi diameter lake attracts hikers and sightseers from around the world. The lake—so renowned for its clarity that its water has set new standards for water purity—was formed when the cataclysmic eruption of Mount Mazama 7,700 years ago created a bowl-shaped caldera that filled with snowmelt.

One of the most scenic drives in the world, 33mi loop Crater Rim Driveaaa has more than 20 overlooks, but there are ample other attractions here as well, including hikes through mid-elevation pine forests, and the famed boat touraa to Wizard Island.

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Portland

Michelin Michelin Travel & Lifestyle ePub

Lake Chelan aa

Hwy. 97, 103mi north of Ellensburg. t 509-682-3503. www.lakechelan.com.

This narrow, 50mi-long lake is a recreational haven at its southern end, anchored by the tiny town of Chelan. At its northern end, wilderness terminates at the deeply forested community of Stehekin, a backpackers’ launch pad into the rugged North Cascades National Forest. The Lady of the Lake passenger ferry and float planes carry travelers between the two points. In and near Chelan are pleasant beaches, including Lake Chelan State Park, with 6,000ft of shoreline. Slidewaters waterpark, in Chelan, offers another water-play option.

Dry Fallsa

On Rte. 17, 17mi north of Soap Lake. www.parks.wa.gov. Open summer daily 6:30am–dusk. Winter 8am–dusk.

Few places offer as raw and memorable a look at geological forces as Dry Falls. The “falls” are a bowl-shaped 400ft chasm, 3.5mi wide, carved into volcanic bedrock in the Columbia Basin desert. Thousands of years ago, catastrophic Ice Age floods surged through here as prehistoric Lake Missoula in Montana periodically broke though its ice dam and sent billions of gallons of water west to the Pacific, carving the Columbia Basin landscape.

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