The rivers are unleashed in the Pacific Northwest and are often the meeting places for communities and the natural world around them. This trip takes you through the unparalleled landscape of the Hood River Valley and Cascade Mountains. You also discover the original cities of Portland and Seattle.
Day 1 & 2 - Seattle
Welcome to Seattle. The city is known as the "Emerald City" because of the beautiful green tint of the waters that surround it. Located between the Olympic mountains and the volcanic peaks of the Cascade Mountains, the city lies on a narrow strip of land between Puget Sound and Lake Washington, 18 miles long. You will soon discover its unique charm.
DAY 2 SEATTLE
In addition to the famous Space Needle, one of the city's main attractions is the waterfront, which includes shops, restaurants and the Seattle Aquarium. Be sure to stroll around the bustling market of Pike Place, one of the oldest public farmers' markets in the US. Watch the fish farmers at work as they transfer their catch from one person to the next. Did you also know that here, on this market, the first Starbucks was opened in 1971? And what do you think of a boat trip to enjoy the skyline?
Day 3 - Seattle > Vernon, WA (98km)
Day 4 - Mount Vernon, WA > Quinault (341km)
Quinault is located in the Olympic National Park which is known for its three diverse ecosystems that consist of rugged mountains, nearly 100 km of rugged coastline and beautiful temperate tropical forests. Take a scenic drive to Hurricane Ridge with spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains.
Day 5 - Olympic National Park, WA (98km)
With its 2427m Mount Olympus is the highest mountain in the Olympic mountains and the figurehead of the park. Visit the tropical forest of Hoh; the only temperate rainforest in the US. You will also find thermal springs. Float in a hot water pool at the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. One of the most interesting natural spectacles is the migration of the salmon. At the beginning of September and the end of October you see them find their way back through the small waterfalls such as Salmon Cascades in the Soleduck river.
Day 6 - Quinault > Federal Way (224km)
Today you will leave Quinault and the Olympic National Park behind and head to Puyallup in the direction of Mount Rainier. Puyallup town centre has several notable sights, including the Ezra Meeker mansion, founded and inhabited by one of the city's founding families who flocked here via the famous "Oregon Trail." The shopping area in the city centre still consists of historic buildings that date back to that time and managed to retain the pioneering spirit, so typical of The Wild West.
Day 7 - Federal Way > Mount Rainier National Park > Yakima, Wa (251km)
Mount Rainier, the next stop on your itinerary, is an active volcano trapped in more than 90 km² of snow and ice. The 4392m high mountain is surrounded by lush old forests, spectacular sub-alpine meadows and no less than 27 glaciers. After a visit to the national park you travel further to Yakima.
Day 8 - Yakima > Toppenish > Hood River, OR (198km)
Toppenish derives its reputation from the fact that "the West still lives here" and is known as the "city of murals". You will find more than 70 painted frescoes on the buildings of the city. A little further is Hood River, a pleasant town on the banks of the river of the same name and recognized as the world capital of windsurfing. Not far from here you will also find the picturesque Columbia River Gorge with its impressive waterfalls!
Day 9 - Hood River > Mount Hood > Bend, OR (208km)
You start the day with an exploration of the mostly snow-covered Mount Hood, a sleepy volcano and the tallest mountain in Oregon. The road south from Hood River to Hood Mountain is one of the most stunning of the state and offers some awe-inspiring panoramic views of the geological diversity of the region. Stop by the Timberline Lodge, which you might recognize from the movie The Shining. The views of Mount Hood and the Oregon Falls in the south are fabulous from here.
Day 10 - Bend > Crater Lakes National Park > Ashland, OR (295km)
Your travel route today leads to the fascinating volcanic lava land and perhaps to Crater Lake National Park. (The road around the park usually opens from June to September). The crater lake is 594 m deep, and therefore the deepest lake in the United States. The striking blue hue of the water makes it very picturesque. On your way to your final destination, you cross the Cascade Mountains to the city of Ashland.
Day 11 - Ashland > Medford > Coos Bay, OR (379km)
In Coos Bay you can enjoy a jet boat ride on the Rogue River, should you wish to. Then the historic old centre of Florence is on your programme; one of the most beautiful and charming coastal towns in Oregon. The surrounding area of Florence offers many activities, including whale watching. Make sure you visit the Heceta Head Lighthouse, the most photographed lighthouse in the United States.
Day 12 - Coos Bay > Newport,OR (158km)
Today you explore the Pacific coast of Oregon. Stop at the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. The sand dunes sculpted by the wind can rise up to 150 meters above sea level and offer countless recreational opportunities. The most exciting activity is definitely buggy driving through the sand! The picturesque Yaquina Head Lighthouse is in your next destination, Newport. This city is known far and wide for its dungeness crab and harbour under the ornate Yaquina Bay Bridge. You can visit the Yaquina Head Lighthouse, the highest along the Oregon coast. The historic Bay Front offers a mix of shops, galleries and restaurants that serve many specialties directly from the sea.
Day 13 - Newport > Portland, OR (211km)
And it seems as if there is no end to the variation of the sea landscapes. On your way you will find the Tillamook cheese factory, which is definitely worth a visit, as well as the famous Haystack rock, a gigantic rock 72 meters high in the middle of the beach. Take a walk in charming and bustling Seaside, Oregon before you drive to Portland. Portland is a city that you discover best on foot. Be sure to pop in at one or more of the local microbreweries and go on a tasting tour along the huge number of "food trucks".
Day 14 - Portland > Seattle, WA (270km)
Hotels & Meals
Mainstream American cuisine is similar to that in other Western countries. Wheat is the primary cereal grain. Traditional American cuisine uses indigenous ingredients, such as turkey, venison, potatoes, sweet potatoes, corn, squash, and maple syrup, which were consumed by Native Americans and early European settlers.
Slow-cooked pork and beef barbecue, crab cakes, potato chips, and chocolate chip cookies are distinctively American foods. Soul food, developed by African slaves, is popular around the South and among many African Americans elsewhere. Syncretic cuisines such as Louisiana Creole, Cajun, and Tex-Mex are regionally important. The confectionery industry in the United States includes The Hershey Company, the largest chocolate manufacturer in North America. In addition, Frito-Lay, a subsidiary of PepsiCo, is the largest globally distributed snack food company in the world. The United States has a vast breakfast cereal industry that includes brands such as Kellogg's and General Mills.
Characteristic dishes such as apple pie, fried chicken, pizza, hamburgers, and hot dogs derive from the recipes of various immigrants. French fries, Mexican dishes such as burritos and tacos, and pasta dishes freely adapted from Italian sources are widely consumed. Americans generally prefer coffee to tea. Marketing by U.S. industries is largely responsible for making orange juice and milk ubiquitous breakfast beverages.
The American fast food industry, the world's largest, pioneered the drive-through format in the 1930s. Fast food consumption has sparked health concerns. During the 1980s and 1990s, Americans' caloric intake rose 24%; frequent dining at fast food outlets is associated with what public health officials call the American "obesity epidemic". Highly sweetened soft drinks are widely popular, and sugared beverages account for nine percent of American caloric intake.
Travel documents: All Belgian nationals* (children and babies included) must be in possession of an international e-passport (biometric) containing min. 2 blank pages, valid at day of entry and during the entire stay. Connections recommends to let common sense prevail and to build in some slack in terms of validity. Often unforeseen circumstances (weather factors, volcanoes, and threats all kinds) are the cause of a mandatory postponed return date. A credit card is required upon check-in at the hotels and also when renting a car. Please keep this in mind. We strongly recommend you to print out the Esta- or Eta permit and to have it on you while you travel to avoid problems.
All passengers who travel to and /or via the U.S. must apply for an electronic travel authorization at least 72 hours prior to departure. The ESTA procedure must be requested via the official website link https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov and paid by a personal credit card only.
- Travellers with a non-Belgian nationality and / or travellers travelling on a foreign passport are invited to spontaneously report this matter to the Connections travel consultant and shall contact their respective embassy (s) or Consulate (ate) to obtain the latest updates concerning all current travel requirements and documents. They must apply for an electronic travel authorization at least 72 hours prior to departure via the official website link https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov and pay by a personal credit card only.
Have a safe and carefree trip: travel fully insured with our Protections travel insurance! Our Protections insurance policies offer various formulas in order to offer you the widest possible cover (with even a fly-on-time, natural catastrophes and epidemics) for both single journeys or for the entire year. We guarantee you the best protection at the best price.
The tours in our brochures are just a few examples of travel itineraries possible. Our trips can be tailored to suit your specific needs. If you want to book a specific destination or combine it with a mini-tour then we will gladly make you a tailor-made offer. For a personalised day-by-day program please contact our destination experts
Would you like to travel in a group; with your entire family, friends or colleagues? (min. 10 people required). Put our know-how to the test and send us your details and wishes. We will gladly turn the blueprints of your trip into a detailed quote and a lasting memory for you to cherish. Contact our Connections' Group Service by e-mail at email@example.com or by telephone on +32 (0)2 550 01 65. We would love to hear from you.
No mandatory vaccinations. To verify the latest updates on health requirements, please surf to www.itg.be.
Medical interventions and costs can soon become outrageous in the U.S.A. Reflect before leaving and subscribe a decent travel insurance. Our protections All-in Premier insurance was especially designed specifically for travel to the U.S.A. and provides ample cover for all major calamities (fly-on-time and natural disasters included)!
The United States span 4 time zones:
- Eastern (- 6 h)
- Central (- 7 h)
- Mountain (- 8 h)
- Pacific (- 9 h)
Daylight saving time 2018: In The USA the clock is set forward in the night of Sunday 12 MAR 2017 at 2am. In Belgium, the clock is set forward on Sunday 26 MAR 2017 at 02am. This entails that between 12 and 26 March, the time difference is one hour less than indicated above.
Winter time 2018: Belgium turns the clock back one hour on Sunday 29 OCT 2017 at 02am. The USA turns back the arms of the clock on the night of Saturday, 5 nov at 2am. That entails that during the latter week the time difference is one hour less than indicated above.
US Dollar (USD), 1 USD = 0,92 EUR & 10 EUR = 10.83 USD (01/05/2020)
- A personal credit card is required upon check-in at the hotels and also when renting a car. The most convenient method of payment is by credit card but cash euros and dollars in small amount come in handy. Inform yourself timely, as from January 15, 2015 your Visa and/or MasterCard credit card (and possibly other types of credit cards) has automatically been set to "not for use in the US, for US car rental agencies and during cruises under the American flag".
- You must then apply for a release of your credit card. This may be done prior to your arrival in the U.S. (in your bank branch or via the telephone number listed on the back of your credit card or by means of a special form available for PC banking) as well as after arrival in the US (through a withdrawal at an ATM. Please note, in this case there will be a transaction fee charged to your account). The same applies to the Maestro function in your bank card.
Average Temperatures (°C):
- 13 nights accommodation in listed hotels or equivalent
- Your digital roadbook (day-to-day itinerary)
What's not included?
Your international return flight and car rental.
The total to be paid will depend on your travel dates/class and the size and category of your rental car.
Standard Price per person