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The Historic Inns Of The Pacific Northwest

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Oregon, Washington, and Alaska offer many interesting opportunities for history buffs. Nostalgic wanderers find plenty of opportunities to wander through aging lighthouses and along waterfronts that have been busily chugging for centuries. Visitors of the past will appreciate the accommodations at the selection of bed and breakfasts that provide modern, eco-minded comfort as well as a rich heritage.

2012-08-31-LionsGateInn.pngStay in one of the original mansions in Newberg, Oregon. The Lions Gate Inn, known as the Maggie Littlefield Home, was destined to be a bed and breakfast. Maggie's husband died in 1902, during construction of the craftsman-style home and she took in boarders to help pay building costs. The recently furbished inn retained original woodwork, fir floors, and lighting fixtures. Guest suites are decorated to reflect each colorful season. City origins harken back to the Hudson Bay Company which set up a settlement for trappers; and it is also the childhood home of Herbert Hoover. Visit the Champoeg State Heritage Area to learn about pioneer life in Oregon. Sample the premier Pinor Noir wines from the Willamette Valley. George Fox University is nearby.

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If you love lighthouses and maritime history, stay at Westport Bayside Bed and Breakfast in Westport, Washington. The eco-friendly inn boasts guest rooms with views of South Bay, Deer Meadow, or Harmony Garden. The Westport Maritime Museum was built in 1939 as a Coast Guard Lifeboat Station and is now home to a mammal skeleton exhibit, the tallest lighthouse in Washington, and the Destruction Island Lens. The Fresnel type lens was replaced by an automated light in 1995. The historic Westport Lighthouse is next to Westport Light State Park. Stroll along the boardwalk for panoramic sea views or watch shorebirds along 6,000 feet of waterfront at Bottle Beach State Park; more than 130 species have been seen in Grays Harbor. Take a scenic harbor boat ride or go on a whale-watching tour.

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Walk in the footsteps of Lewis and Clark at the China Beach Retreat in Ilwaco, Washington. The famed explorers traversed the property in November 1805, to reach the Pacific Ocean after a 4,000-mile trek. Watch shorebirds and spot the coast of Oregon through the floor-to-ceiling windows of this craftsman cottage. The inn is in on Baker's Bay adjacent to Cape Disappointment with views of the tidelands. Guest rooms feature hydrotherapy massage tubs accented by handcrafted tiles. Coffee and tea are available all day and an onsite guest kitchen is available. A complimentary breakfast is served each morning at nearby Shelburne Inn. See local treasures at the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum. Shop for antiques and unique souvenirs in Port Orchard, Washington, and view the naval vessels across the water at Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. The historic church and turn-of-the-century buildings highlight Port Gamble, a rare, company-owned mill town.

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Experience the romantic and casual elegance of Wye Not Getaway Bed and Breakfast on Wye Lake. Take the canoe or rowboat out on a moonlit evening. In the morning, enjoy the lake view over a mouth-watering breakfast with apple cinnamon rolls and an omelet. Indulge in a soothing massage and a Finnish sauna. Trophy Lake Golf and Casting provides popular sporting opportunities or take the ferry for a day trip to Seattle.

2012-08-31-ColonyInn.png Travel to a small town established as a farming community during Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal. Colony Inn and Cafe in Palmer, Alaska, was built to house teachers and nurses. Listed in the National Register, this restored historic inn boasts its original wood walls. Be mesmerized by the views of the Chugach Range of the Talkeetna Mountains. Stroll along walking paths in the adjacent park. Giant vegetables are common in this unique microclimate, and many are displayed at the annual Alaska State Fair. Walk to shops, boutiques, and restaurants. Play golf, hike, and enjoy the Friday Fling market. Try snowshoeing, ice skating, dog mushing, and cross-country skiing.

--Julie Dietzel-Glair