13 Fun Experience Gifts to Give in Washington, Oregon and British Columbia
great for the person who has everything
For the fly fisherman: Book a fly fishing class or buy a gift card for the stunning Yakima River Canyon’s Red’s Fly Shop and a room at the on-premise Canyon River Ranch (great for couples, friends or families). Or, buy your Seattle-area angler a gift card at Emerald Water Anglers.
For the foodie-traveler: Book a 24-hour trip to savor a 21-course hyper-local meal at the highly acclaimed Willows Inn Restaurant on Lummi Island. This food heaven has been noted bye The New York Times as being so amazing, that it is worth a plane ride. The historic inn is quaint and provides the only lodging on the small fishing island. Book reservations as soon as you have an agreeable date because it books up fast. It is a spendy proposition, but worth every penny if you can shell out the cash. We are returning for our second dinner this summer and I cannot wait!
Another foodie-traveler gift option is a Pretty Fork escape, either small-group progressive dinners in Seattle neighborhoods or destination dining in places like the Olympic Peninsula. Gift certificates also available.
A more affordable option is to purchase a Groupon for a Gourmet Seattle Walking Tour, featuring some of Tom Douglas’ restaurants.
For the thrill seeker: Purchase a Groupon for a hot air balloon adventure in Snohomish, WA; a rare opportunity to drive a Ferrari or Porsche around a racetrack in Kent, WA; or to learn the art of short-range axe throwing in Seattle’s Fremont neighborhood.
For the performer: Register your cultural arts performer to attend one of Leavenworth, WA’s Icicle Creek Center for the Performing Arts workshops and book a room at The Sleeping Lady Mountain Resort. You can read my recommendations for the dreamy Resort here.
For the backyard / trail-side naturalist: Book a weekend immersive learning class at the North Cascades Institute located in the stunning North Cascades National Park on Diablo Lake. The Institute has year-round programming and luxurious summer camp-like lodging in a beautiful LEED-certified building. If you decide to go, see my articles on the Institute and Diablo Lake Boat Tour for full itinerary information.
For the Lewis & Clark enthusiast: There are spendy, amazing-looking week-long options with National Geographic, the Smithsonian and the American Queen Steamboat Company. All have historians on board who bring the final route through the Columbia and Snake Rivers that Lewis & Clark took to reach the Pacific Ocean.
For the wine lover: Make reservations for spring release lodging at an estate winery in Washington State’s award-winning wine region in Walla Walla. Consider the Inn at Abeja, Basel Cellars for groups 4-20, or The Eritage Resort (with date night packages).
For an experience closer to Seattle, consider a walking tour of Woodinville’s tasting room mecca and an overnight at the rustic-luxury Willows Lodge during spring release, or head down to the SODO neighborhood and consider a wine club membership at one of the 20+ wineries with urban tasting rooms.
For the lover of spirits: Buy a membership to a monthly whiskey tasting club, a gift card to Seattle’s most beautiful cocktail bar featuring exquisite libations, or a mixology class in downtown Seattle, Portland, or V.I.P. tickets to a weekend-long celebration of the art and science of mixology in Vancouver, BC.
For the weekend chef: Give a gift card or registration for a cooking class at The Pantry (books up within hours of the quarterly calendar posting), Tom Douglas’ Hot Stove Society, a Carnation Farm cooking class, or buy a Groupon for a French specialty cooking school in Woodinville.
For the music lover: Buy tickets to Bumbershoot or a Timber Music Festival. Bluegrass lovers should consider booking rooms at Timberline Lodge for Labor Day weekend when guests can enjoy a FREE music festival all weekend long! On a larger scale, consider donating money to KEXP radio in your recipient’s name, at the VIP Gift level, to gain access to private performances throughout the year.
For a larger scale give, consider an adventure to British Columbia’s Sunshine Coast with a stay at the West Coast Wilderness Lodge (for an extra bonus, schedule your trip in the summer when the moon is not expected to rise, for a nighttime bioluminesence kayak tour). The sealife in the Sunshine Coast is so abundant, you will want to continue to return. For more details on a recommended trip itinerary, read my article.
For the Bigfoot / Sasquatch enthusiast: Head to the Portland, OR area and book an experience at one of these Travel Oregon recommended Sasquatch-seeking adventures. Why not?
For the kids, or young at heart: Buy a season pass at Wild Waves Theme & Water Park, adopt a wolf and schedule a visit at Wolfhaven International Sanctuary. or buy a pass at Flying Circus or SANCA Arts.