Though a border may separate Washington State and British Columbia, the stunning coastline, naturally abundant seafood and laid-back Pacific Northwest vibe stretches from Vancouver to Seattle uninterrupted. To see the best of this pine-dotted swath of sea-hugging coast, check out Four Seasons Hotel and Resort’s new Pacific Northwest Luxury Package. You’ll snag 15 percent savings on rooms at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star Four Seasons Resort Whistler, Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and Four Seasons Hotel Seattle, plus daily wine reception and complimentary valet parking. While you’re taking in the sights, be sure to plan on the following stops:
1. Start in Whistler, British Columbia. For a view of Whistler’s incredible landscape, take the Peak 2 Peak gondola, a 2.7-mile journey between Whistler and Blackcomb mountains, which reaches heights of more than 1,500 feet. In the afternoon, take a walk around Whistler Village (located at the base of Whistler Mountain), and stop into the numerous art galleries and quaint boutiques. Book a table for dinner at Four Seasons Resort Whistler’s steakhouse, Sidecut, and order a 12-ounce rib eye with a side of roasted mushrooms, or head into the village for options such as Bearfoot Bistro (which offers a five-course dinner menu) or Araxi for organic white prawn risotto.
2. Stay overnight at Four Seasons Resort Whistler. At the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel, you can unwind in a guest room that comes with a private terrace and gas fireplace; in the evening, stop by the complimentary daily wine reception and try some of British Columbia’s best varietals (the area is known for its pinot gris and merlot).
3. Stop at the picturesque village of Lions Bay on your way to Vancouver. From Whistler to Vancouver (about 77 miles), hop on the Sea to Sky Highway (Highway 99), and take a moment to see some gorgeous viewing points, which are clearly marked along the highway. A particularly beautiful spot is the village of Lions Bay (about 30 minutes north of Vancouver), which offers vistas of the Coast Mountains, Howe Sound and, on a clear day, the Gulf Islands.
4. Walk around Vancouver’s Stanley Park. Continue on the Sea to Sky Highway right into Vancouver, and take the Lions Gate Bridge before exiting at Park Drive to get to Stanley Park — this is the city’s massive urban greenspace that serves as a go-to spot for outdoors-loving Vancouverites who come here to bike, hike and relax. (To celebrate the park’s 125th anniversary, a weekend festival on August 24 and 25 will be filled with live music performances, rugby and cricket games, mural art workshops and more.) From the park, it’s only a 10-minute drive to downtown’s Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver.
5. Check in at Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver and explore the city. Drop your bags at the Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel before venturing out to Vancouver’s downtown area. Pacific Centre mall (home to upscale department store Holt Renfrew) is adjacent to the hotel, while Robson Street — the city’s main shopping drag — and Alberni Street, lined with luxury boutiques, are both within walking distance. If time allows, stop in the Vancouver Art Gallery — located across the street from the hotel — and see current exhibits including 17th-century Dutch and Flemish paintings as well as Martin Honert sculptures.
6. Grab a table at YEW seafood + bar. After a busy day, head back to Four Seasons Hotel Vancouver for a meal at its signature restaurant. The seafood restaurant — which features a communal table made out of native maple from nearby Vancouver Island — offers tasty dishes such as shellfish bucatini or scallops with a tomato and black pepper vinaigrette. Locals are also lining up to dine at buzzed-about Gastown neighborhood’s Wildebeest, which focuses on whole-animal cookery with dishes such as roasted bone marrow with parsley gremolata and grilled bread.
7. Cross the Canadian border and make your way to Seattle. Start the two-and-a-half-hour journey on Highway 99 to the border crossing (do check road signs and local radio stations such as AM 730 for wait times) and then continue onto Interstate 5 to Seattle. Along the way, you’ll pass the Seattle Premium Outlets (about 30 minutes outside of Seattle), which features bargains at stores such as Burberry and Diane von Furstenberg.
8. Check in and relax at Four Seasons Hotel Seattle. A stay at this Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star hotel is always a treat — the stunning property is Pacific Northwest personified, from the décor (light woods, natural light and warm hues) to the curated art in the guest rooms (replicated from the collection at SAM — Seattle Art Museum). If you have time during your stay, head to the infinity pool overlooking Elliot Bay. It’s a spectacular view not found anywhere else in the city.
9. See Seattle’s most famous sites. There’s a reason Seattle photo ops such as the Pike Place Market and Space Needle are so well known — they’re tourist stops that are actually worth exploring. Browse the shops at Pike Place Market, including a new soda fountain and bar from Rachel’s Ginger Beer that’s slated to open late July, or grab lunch at the Space Needle’s Skycity Restaurant, which provides 360-degree scapes of the city.
10. Indulge in Seattle’s dining scene. Seattle has an exciting culinary scene, with everything from food trucks to fine dining. Make a reservation at Forbes Travel Guide Four-Star restaurant The Georgian for French-inspired Northwest dishes such as bourbon and honey mustard glazed quail, or head to Tastemaker Brian Canlis’ restaurant for plates such as pan-seared halibut served with cauliflower, quinoa and taggiasca olives. Or go casual like the locals do and dig into brewpub fare and microbrews at Gastropod in the city’s SoDo neighborhood.
Photos courtesy of Four Seasons and iStock Lowe Stock