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Brittany

Michelin Michelin Travel & Lifestyle ePub

BRITTANY

Populated by Celts since its birth, Brittany retains many affinities with the other Celtic lands fringing the Atlantic. Its identity, quite distinct from that of the rest of France, is expressed in its language (Breton, akin to Welsh), traditions and landscape. The province’s long and mysterious past makes itself felt in the abundance of prehistoric remains, menhirs, dolmens and megaliths. Granite distinguishes Breton building whether in church or castle, harbour wall or humble house, and is used to great effect.

Highlights

1 Village set in aspic: Locronan

2 Spectacular coastal landscape: Pointe-du-Raz

3 Small inland sea near Vannes: Golfe de Morbihan

4 Medieval town of Josselin

5 Megaliths at Carnac

Geography – Brittany has an extra-ordinarily indented coastline, called “Armor” (country near the sea) by the Gauls. Its cliffs, rocky headlands and offshore islands are battered by Atlantic breakers, while its narrow drowned valleys, abers, and sandy bays are washed by tides of exceptional range. Inland is the “Argoat” (country of the wood), once thickly forested, now a mixture of bocage, heath and moor.

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The Great Outdoors

Michelin Michelin Travel & Lifestyle ePub

Woodland Park Zoo aaa

Phinney Ave. N. t 206-684-4800. www.zoo.org. Open May–Sept daily 9:30am–6pm. Rest of the year daily 9:30am–4pm. $17.75, $11.75 children.

Covering 92 acres, this world-class zoo is highly acclaimed for its conservation ethic (the zoo is home to 35 endangered species) and naturalistic habitats. It offers dynamic glimpses of 1,100 animals engaged in natural behavior: grizzly bears fish for trout in a stream on the Northern Trail, orangutans shimmy up trees in Trail of Vines, zebras dash about in African Savanna, and jaguars peer warily from behind a kapok tree in Jaguar Cove.

Pacific Science Centeraa

200 Second Ave. N. t 206-443-2001. www.pacificsciencecenter.org. Open year-round Mon–Fri 9:45am–5pm (til 6pm Sat–Sun). Closed Tue Sept–May. $16, $11 children (ages 6-15).

Pacific Science Center
©John Keatley/Pacific Science Center

Grizzly bear, Woodland Park Zoo
©Ryan Hawk/Woodland Park Zoo

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Museums

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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Willamette Valley

Michelin Michelin Travel & Lifestyle ePub

The Willamette’s loamy soil gives rise to a feast of foods that enrich the plates of the finest restaurants in Portland. The climate and soil are ideal for vineyards, and more than 500 wineries, mostly west of Interstate 5, draw visitors from around the world to wine-country tasting rooms. Charming small towns, bucolic countryside and farm stands provide additional reasons to stop and savor Oregon’s wine country.

A string of cities, including the state capital of Salem and the free-spirited town of Eugene, are situated along I-5, which runs north to south through the center of the valley. To the west, the forested Coast Range cradles the valley, and 30mi to the east, waterfalls plummet down mossy Cascade Range hillsides alongside wooded hiking trails whose vine maple trees turn crimson and orange in the fall.

SALEMa

The capital of Oregon is the state’s third-largest city (pop. 156,000). Salem traces its founding to 1840, when Jason Lee moved the headquarters of his Methodist mission to this mid-Willamette Valley location. Lee’s house and other early buildings still stand at the Willamette Heritage Center at the Millaa (1313 Mill St.; t 503-585-7012; www.willametteheritage.org; open year-round Mon–Sat 10am–5pm ;$6), a five-acre historical park that includes the 1889 Thomas Kay Woolen Mill. A millstream courses beneath the main mill building, and inside, massive looms operate with water-powered turbines. Four buildings, filled with period furnishings, were moved to this site, and are considered the oldest in the Northwest, dating to the 1840s.

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Walla Walla

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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