If you can’t decide between Seattle and Vancouver on your trip to the west coast of North America, why not opt for the best of both with a multi-centre break?
Two city breaks can be a great way to see the best of the USA and Canada and you’ll have an incredible holiday exploring two vibrant and cosmopolitan urban centres, as well as the surrounding areas of spectacular natural beauty Miami Luxury Homes.
Begin your holiday to America with a stop in Seattle. This city houses the headquarters of major firms such as Starbucks and Microsoft and has long been a popular setting for television shows – you’ll recognise its iconic skyline from programmes such as Frasier and Dark Angel.
Seattle is also the birthplace of grunge music – acts such as Nirvana got their start here in the 1990s – and if you are interested in modern music, you’ll find plenty to keep you entertained. A good place to check out is the Experience Music Project, although there are plenty of other venues around the city that are also worth exploring.
While you might think that a city located in the Pacific north-west might be full of clouds and rain, think again! As many of the friendly locals will be keen to tell you, Seattle enjoys a mild, temperate climate and actually experiences less overall rainfall per year than San Francisco, Miami, New York City or Boston. Weather-wise, there’s no better place to take a USA holiday, particularly in the glorious summer months.
You may wish to make the most of your American trip by venturing beyond Seattle into the scenic and diverse state of Washington. Split into two distinct climates by the Cascade mountain range, you’ll be surprised by the vast difference in landscape on either side of the peaks.
Western Washington enjoys lush greenery and a mild climate – it even shares the coastal temperate rainforest with northern California. Meanwhile eastern Washington is known for its arid, desert-like climate – its dramatic topography combines dusty desert with forests of Ponderosa pines.
If you are looking to get back to nature, Washington is home to several state and national parks, where you can camp, hike and enjoy the beautiful scenery. North Cascades National Park and Mount Ranier National Park are both worth a visit – why not hire a car and spend a few days in some of the most picturesque places in America?
Once you’ve gotten a feel for this part of America, you may want to jump over the border and experience what Canada has to offer. Vancouver and British Columbia are well worth a visit and are the perfect second stop for your two-centre holiday.
Vancouver is known around the world as being a vibrant urban centre and frequently tops the Best City in the Americas list compiled by Conde Nast Traveller magazine. The host city of the 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, Vancouver is the perfect place to explore – and to try your hand at a variety of sports, no matter what time of year you choose to visit.
Start your time in Vancouver by taking a few days to explore its vibrant multicultural neighbourhoods at your own pace – each is different, but all will welcome you with open arms. History buffs are likely to be most impressed with Gastown, the city’s oldest neighbourhood. Here, you’ll be able to walk along cobblestone streets, shop for antiques and art from local vendors and spot the world’s first steam-powered clock – one of Vancouver’s oldest attractions.
If you’re keen to keep exploring, your next stop should be the Public Market on Granville Island. Here, you will find a range of eclectic merchants selling everything from food to fashion items. Make sure you stop at the Net Loft to browse through the quirky merchandise – including stationery, beads and hats – on show.
For a high-end shopping buzz, follow the lead of the celebrities that flock to Hollywood North and spend some time on Robson Street. This is where you will find plenty of designer boutiques, as well as comfortable coffee shops and restaurants where you can kick back, relax and try to spot the stars.
Out of the city, you’ll want to venture into the wilderness of beautiful British Columbia. If you’re keen to get out on the water, a whale watching cruise could be a great way to spend a few hours – you may spot a family of orcas while you are out and about. Other ways to get wet and wild include trying your hand at sea kayaking, fishing, sailing or scuba diving.
Of course, on dry land, you’ll be able to ski and snowboard in the Rockies in the winter months – and in the summer, you can hike or mountain bike among the gorgeous peaks.