Washington Places

Tour of Washington State Movie and TV Shooting Locations (Part 1)

Roslyn, Washington, aka Cicely, Alaska: Home of Northern Exposure We’re starting with Roslyn, Washington, for two reasons. First, it’s the town where Northern Exposure — my favorite television series ever — was filmed. Second, it’s a chill little mountain town smack dab in the middle of the Snoqualmie Pass, which is one of the prettiest drives in the state of Washington. In my opinion, only the White Pass drive can compete with it. The town shown in Northern Exposure as…

Read More

Where to Stay in Hoquiam, Washington

Hoquiam and Aberdeen, Washington, are Good Launch-Off Sites and Destinations in Their Own Rights Hoquiam and Aberdeen are great places to stay for people hiking along the Washington coast. The cites are 45 minutes from Lake Quinault, with its great trails, wildlife viewing, and penchant for mystical experiences. It’s also half an hour from Ocean Shores. The advantage to staying in Hoquiam or Aberdeen rather than the destinations noted above is that the cities are rarely ever sold out of…

Read More

Aberdeen, Washington: Not the Lying-Down Kind

The city’s bridges sag over their rivers like hunchbacked men carrying too-heavy loads for too long. On the streets, tired, dim-eyed cars float into mist as a foreign country’s nighttime overtakes everything. Orange lights glow in pub windows, the buildings thus resembling cooling embers from a scattered fire. They’re the secret hearts of this world carved out of fog, those pubs. Their walls thump with rock, pop, and hip hop. A tortured, mewling voice echoes faintly through the alleyways. “Come…

Read More

Talking Ghosts at Alfred’s Haunted Cafe

Interesting Conversation One of the great things about being the Northwest Nomad is that I have a permanent excuse to drink beer and chat with strangers at bars. It’s what I call “conducting research,” and I’ve found all kinds of interesting informational nuggets out there that way. A couple days ago I had such an encounter at Alfred’s Cafe in Tacoma. I was drinking a beer and talking with the bartender and a fellow patron. Before getting into ghosts, this…

Read More

Where to Stay in Downtown Tacoma: Hotel Murano

When it comes to choosing deluxe downtown Tacoma accommodations, the Hotel Murano is pretty much a no-brainer. That line sounds kind of like a slimy sales pitch, but the Northwest Nomad is no one’s peddler! In this case, it’s just the fact of the matter that the Murano is heads-and-away the most distinctive, unique, and classy hotel in downtown (probably in all of Tacoma, really). When I first visited Tacoma over a decade ago, one of the sights that most…

Read More

Whitewater Rafting the Sauk with Triad River Tours

Earlier today, the Northwest Nomad rafted the Sauk River with Triad River Tours. Short version of my experience: it was awesome. Long version: keep reading. I wasn’t able to get any pictures on this tour because any phone or camera taken on the rafts is basically guaranteed to get destroyed. So ye, my fair readers, shall have to get by with my textual account only. I shall strive to use an inspired pen with which to charm your optical ears.…

Read More

The Tacoma Library Set Me Up on a Blind Date!

For me, reading a new book is no less a thrill than hiking a new mountain trail. In both there is the thrill of discovery and wonder. Luckily, the Pacific Northwest is rich not only in outdoors action, but also in its literary culture. Tacoma, specifically, has an excellent book scene—so much so that I often forget that reading has fallen out of favor in many parts of the country. Whether it’s independent stores like the Tacoma Book Center or any…

Read More

Where to Stay in Ocean Shores, Washington: The Sands

Note: I went to the Sands independently and received nothing from them for my stay or for this article. I didn’t tell them I run a travel blog, and they don’t know I’m writing this. I receive no payment from them or any other place that I endorse. The Sands is a Great Budget Stay in Ocean Shores, Washington Well, I’ve tried nearly every hotel in Ocean Shores now, and I do believe I’ve found my favorite budget stay. Going…

Read More

Forks, Washington: Cycle of the Vampire

I came home from deployment to find that women had overrun the town of Forks, Washington. This was some time around 2008. I’d been going to Forks for years for the hiking and camping in the area, and had always known it as a gritty, hungover little lumberjack burg (no offense intended, Forks, I LOVE gritty, hungover lumberjack burgs). So it was truly surreal to find it suddenly overrun by well-dressed women and teeny boppers. It was like finding out…

Read More

Watching Crows at West Bay Park, Olympia, Washington

Crows at Olympia’s West Bay Park I was at Olympia’s West Bay Park when I caught a couple shots of crows. West Bay Park is a nice little spot in a quieter section of Olympia. I visit it often to read or just look out over the water and think, but today I wanted to make this post specifically to share a couple shots of crows that I got. The crow on the ground was doing some of the strangest things…

Read More