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Travel Tips for Southwest Visitors | Winter 2015-2016

A winter visit to southwest Washington yields countless opportunities for outdoor adventures – not only in parks like Rainbow Falls State Park and Mount Rainier National Park, but also in communities from Battle Ground to Ocean Shores, where a variety of special events, festivals, and family-friendly fun welcomes this season's visitors.

It's a great time of year to explore the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, and Chehalis and Kelso visitors aren't too far away to make it a day trip destination. Whether or not it has yet been adorned in its white winter coat, the 110,000-acre monument is strikingly beautiful. For the ultimate experience, however, bring climbing gear and make your way up to the famous volcano's summit for a bird's eye view of both the crater and Spirit Lake to the northeast.

Photo Credit: Konrad Roeder

Mount St. Helens

Vacationers in Ocean Shores can find that certain something for that special someone back home while avoiding the madness in department stores this Thanksgiving Weekend. November 27th through 29th, the 2015 Winter Fanta-Sea is a festive holiday market boasting an extensive selection of one-of-a-kind, handmade items offered by more than 70 arts and crafts vendors at the Ocean Shores Convention Center.

To the east, just south of the Puget Sound region, the people of Lakewood, Puyallup, and Tumwater start getting into the spirit of the holiday season on December 5th. That evening, the 2015 Parade of Lighted Ships runs along the West Bay of the Budd Inlet. Hosted by Olympia Yacht Club, the parade starts moving at 6 p.m.

That same weekend, Lakewood and Puyallup visitors gather at the Greater Tacoma Convention and Trade Center for the 2015 Mary Bridge Children's Hospital Festival of Trees. Enjoy the sights and sounds of the holidays under the glow of around 60 beautifully decorated trees, December 2nd through 6th.

Part of the Portland metro area – a well-known home to burgeoning craft culture – Vancouver and Washougal residents are no stranger to quality brews. Taste for yourself at the 2015 Winter Brewfest, December 11th through 13th at Esther Short Park in Vancouver, where samples of releases from more than 35 different breweries will be flowing.

Dig into a little Vancouver history by being a part of the 2016 Lantern Tour: An Evening at the Fort. It's a chance to explore the reconstructed Hudson's Bay Company's Fort Vancouver – a 19th-century fur trading outpost – by only the light of your tour group's candles, while being regaled with tales of its colorful past. The tour leaves at 7 p.m. on January 23rd.

Best Western Rewards

13 Best Western Hotels
in Southwest Washington

  • Best Western Plus Aberdeen


  • Best Western Plus Battle Ground Inn & Suites

  • Best Western Plus Park Place Inn & Suites

  • Best Western Aladdin Inn


  • Best Western Lakewood


  • Best Western Long Beach Inn

    Long Beach

  • Best Western Lighthouse Suites Inn

    Ocean Shores

  • Best Western Premier Plaza Hotel & Conference Center

  • Best Western Tumwater-Olympia Inn


  • Best Western Inn of Vancouver


  • Best Western Plus Vancouver Mall Dr. Hotel & Suites

  • Best Western Plus Parkersville Inn & Suites


  • Best Western Woodland Inn


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