Starting in March 2019, Alaska Airlines will be offering daily non-stop service between John Glenn Columbus International Airport and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. We're excited to have easier access to the Pacific Northwest without draining and time-consuming connecting flights to worry about. Here are some of our favorite things to do to make the most out of this new route in 2019:
This is pretty much on everyone’s bucket list, right? Cruises to Alaska provide an opportunity to experience some great spots in Alaska such as Juneau, Ketchikan, Glacier Bay National Park (my personal favorite), and the Tracy Fjords. And plenty of these itineraries are roundtrip from Seattle. You can also choose to explore before or after your cruise and add Denali National Park and Preserve and/or Fairbanks to enhance your Alaskan adventure.
Seattle has so much to offer. Head over to the Space Needle and take in spectacular views then admire the neighboring Chihuly Garden and Glass (a personal favorite), Museum of Pop Culture, or Pacific Science Center. I also recommend the Underground Tour as a unique way to learn about the city’s history. We were expecting it to be a time-filler during an awkward gap in our schedule. It ended up being a highlight of our trip! Pike Place Market and the surrounding area is always fun to explore. You can even check out the infamous Gum Wall if you’re looking for something both disgusting yet intriguing to walk through.
Connect with Nature
If you’re looking for something a little less chewed you can venture outside of the city for some spectacular hikes. Mount Rainier National Park has a wide variety of trails you can explore surrounding iconic peak. This article can lead to you a few great ones to get you started. Tiger Mountain State Forest is another option. It's closer to the city itself and can also offer some beautiful scenery and breathtaking views.
Have some extra time and feeling like a mini road trip? Seattle is about 3 hours from Portland, Oregon and 3 hours from Vancouver, Canada. If you’re looking for a new corner of the country to drive and explore this is a great way to do it. Fly in non-stop to Seattle, pick up a rental car, and venture north or southbound to a new city. But don’t forget to check out Seattle at the start or end of this road tripping adventure, too!
On the way to Vancouver admire the various beaches and islands off the coast, pitstop at Tulip Town in Mount Vernon, Washington, or stretch your legs walking through Big Rock Garden in Bellingham, Washington. Twin Peaks fan? Laura Palmer’s house is also on the way for a photo op. Don’t forget your passport on this journey though!
While in Vancouver you can take a ferry over to Granville Island for lunch and shopping, find inspiration at the Vancouver Art Gallery, or explore the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park filled with outdoor adventure like the famous Capilano Suspension Bridge itself, a 700-foot-long Cliffwalk, and a Treetops Adventure trail up in the trees.
On the way to Portland you can enjoy the coastline views, stop in Kurt Cobain’s hometown of Aberdeen and see the Kurt Cobain Memorial Park. Keep heading South to Astoria, Oregon and you’ll find a handful of film sites from The Goonies and even a shipwreck in Warrenton. Cannon Beach, Oregon is not only a film location of the Goonies (and Twilight if that’s your thing), but just a gorgeous beach location to pause and enjoy.
While in Portland admire over 650 rose varieties at the International Rose Test Garden, keep it weird at The Peculiarium oddities museum, check out the countless breweries and donut spots, grab lunch at Portland Mercado, tour the eerie Shanghai Tunnels, shop the quirky and vintage goods at Flutter or Hippo Hardware, hop over the smallest park in the world, or hike at Forest Park and find the Witches Castle.
This is all really just the tip of the iceberg. There is so much to explore and so many things you can do in the Pacific Northwest. With this new non-stop service exploring all it has to offer is even more convenient. Which adventure are you most excited to go on?
Edit March 2, 2020: Delta Airlines announced they will be starting new nonstop service from Columbus to Seattle as well, starting in June 2020.
Written by Ali Iovino
Ali is the Director of Marketing at UNIGLOBE Travel Designers. She is an avid road-tripper and will use any excuse to hit the open road. In her spare time she can be found volunteering in Columbus, hanging out with other people's dogs, or visiting family on Long Island.