5 Adventurous PNW Cities You Need to Visit This Winter

Where in the world can you possibly get mountains, ocean, large cities and vast wheat fields all in one area?

Berty and I are so lucky to live in the Pacific Northwest. (In fact, we wrote a blog post about that once…) Not only do the cities here have so much to discover, but the surrounding mountains, ocean, and trails are more than we can experience in a lifetime. 

Together, Berty and I have collected photos from the past couple years from PNW cities and nearby areas that we think are essential to visiting in the winter.

You will find that our side of the world can offer adventure, culture, and activities ready for everyone!

5 PNW Cities (and Surroundings) You Need to Visit This Winter:

1. Seattle, WA

Not only is this city filled with coffee shops and public markets, but right outside of Seattle is literally hundreds of miles of trails to explore.

Even living here, Berty and I have only scratched the surface of all the amazing Seattle hikes to explore. 

If you haven’t seen our 2017 bucket list for exploring the PNW (many are around Seattle) you can find the link here!

Places to explore: Diablo Lake, Lake 22, Heather Lake, Snow Lake, Olympic Peninsula Loop, Slate Coffee Roasters, Cape Flattery, Milstead & Co., and Herkimer Coffee.


last night in the North Cascades was truly a dream.

A photo posted by Berty Mandagie (@bertymandagie) on


2. Spokane, WA

In the past five years or so, Spokane has really grown into a hub of adventure and a place for budding local artisan shops.

Every time we return to Spokane, there are new places open and our friends are lined up to explore something new. If you are looking for snowy bliss in the wintertime, we can almost guarantee you that snow will be waiting for you when you arrive.

Like people say here… Spokane Doesn’t Suck.

Places to explore: Vessel Coffee Roasters, Boulevard Mercantile (for the best curated vintage furniture and clothing), Indaba Coffee, Mt. Spokane Night Skiing, Sullivan Lake, Priest Lake, and Palouse Falls

3. Portland, OR

3 hours away from Seattle, this quirky city and its surroundings have what it takes for a winter getaway.

With a huge local music/art scene, numerous local shops, and waterfalls basically around every corner, this city is a perfect spot for a winter adventure.

Check out this resource to find things to do, places to go, and more when visiting Portland.

Places to explore: Cape Kiwanda, Columbia River Gorge, Cannon Beach, Powell’s Books, Eugene, Oregon, and Rowena Crest.

4. Vancouver, BC

If any place could have the ultimate combination of outdoor adventures and a culturally rich urban city, Vancouver is it.

This coastal Canadian city sits between the Pacific Ocean and Coast Mountains making it a prime location for anything from skiing to sailing.

Vancouver is near enough to Seattle to make a day-trip, but we recommend spending a whole weekend here to experience all the city has to offer.

Places to explore: Granville Public Market, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge, Vancouver Lookout, Stanley Park, Whistler Mountain

5. Leavenworth, WA

While I wouldn’t qualify this one as a “city” it’s definitely a must-see.

This little german town is full of food and culture (aka Oktoberfest in the fall…), miles of trails, close to Stevens Pass Ski Resort, and in the middle of the beautiful landscape of the North Cascades.

Leavenworth is only a few hours away from Seattle and perfect for a day trip or as a weekend pit stop for backpacking adventures into the mountains. This town is for adventure lovers and foodies alike.

Places to Explore: Scenic Hot Springs, Tye Haus, Lake Wenatchee, Colchuck Lake, and Icicle Gorge Trail.

Where are your favorite PNW destinations? Did we miss any? Leave us a comment!

As Berty and I explore PNW cities and their surrounding areas this winter, we will continually update this page with more adventures and opportunities. Come back often!



The Essential 2017 PNW Bucketlist

How to Prepare a Car Emergency Kit

Do These Things Before You Leave on Your Adventure

Winter Camping in the Pacific Northwest

How to Pack for a PNW Winter Weekend

Thanks for reading,

Psssst…still want more places to explore? Follow us on Pinterest and choose one of our several travel boards for wanderlust!


  1. We haven’t even started experience Seattle but can’t wait!! We have planned to go to Portland and Spokane this summer. We are much more summer people than winter. Plus the with the husband works in Minor League Baseball so they have teams nearby that he can check out too. I can’t wait to go to Leavenworth we tried not to go around Christmas b/c we aren’t huge Christmas fans.

    1. Yay! There’s so much to explore. Spokane is so beautiful in the summer too – there’s SO many outdoor things to do! Have fun discovering your new nearby cities! (Oh, and Vancouver, BC is crazy beautiful too, definitely a must-see!)

  2. Winthrop is a must see/visit little town, it has a little bit to offer for everyone and oh so charming!
    Port Townsend is another great place to visit with its Victorian era charm and artsy community.
    Both with awesome hikes near by!!

    1. So true Bianca! I’ve been to Winthrop, but never Port Townsend – consider it now on my list! Thanks for the tips!