Photo: Mike Grippi courtesy of MusicFestNW

Photo: Mike Grippi courtesy of MusicFestNW

If you haven’t fulfilled your summer concert quota,  MusicFestNW can help solve your problem. Held in Portland, Oregon, the event has undergone some major changes this year. The event started in 1995 as a multi-day, multi-venue indoor festival. It was the 3rd largest indoor music festival in the United States, boasting up to 200 different musical sets across various locations in Portland. This year, however, MusicFestNW will be very different. The event has moved to Portland’s Waterfront Park. It will take place over August 16th and 17th with performances by 15-20 artists on two stages.

Although the event has downsized, it now is truly an outdoor summer festival destination with artists like Girltalk, Phantogram, and Spoon performing. By my personal recommendation, be sure to see Haim on the second day of the festival. The group is made up of three sisters from Los Angeles who are often compared to Fleetwood Mac.

If the music wasn’t enough, MusicFestNW will be home to all sorts of food trucks throughout the weekend. Enjoy the music and Portland’s finest food trucks as a final goodbye to the summer!

Poster courtesy MusicFestNW

Poster courtesy MusicFestNW

The International Fountain at Seattle Center / Photo: Jon Wroten

The International Fountain at Seattle Center / Photo: Jon Wroten

As of today, we are looking at another week of temperatures around 80 in Seattle. I am one of the many people in Seattle that don’t have air conditioning, and after several days of summer sun, my apartment is starting to get pretty uncomfortable. Here are five ways you can cool off on a hot (for the northwest) summer day:

What are your favorite things to do during summer Seattle weather?

Can you believe it’s been more than 10 years since Beyoncé and Jay Z released 03 Bonnie & Clyde, their first song together? Beyoncé and Jay Z are coming to Seattle July 30 for their On the Run tour, performing at Safeco Field. See America’s favorite power couple perform at the home of America’s favorite pastime.

Here’s the trailer for the tour:

For travelers from Victoria, we are offering a special package for this concert. In addition to tickets in Suite 6 at Safeco Field, the package includes: round trip transportation on the Victoria Clipper between Seattle and Victoria,1 onboard meal and beverage voucher per person, and one night in a Seattle hotel. Additional nights can be added.

One night starts at $440 per person ($880 per couple) and 2 nights start at $521 per person ($1042 per couple) with stay at Holiday Inn Express, although many other hotels are available. Add romance to your getaway by selecting the Mayflower Park Hotel which has an option for a romance add-on that can be added while booking.

Visit our website for more information and call 800-888-2535 to book this limited supply package.

This is a guest post from Pelindaba Lavender Farm.

Lavender Festival / Photo: Pelindaba Lavender Farm

Lavender Festival / Photo: Pelindaba Lavender Farm

At Pelindaba Lavender Farm, located San Juan Island, WA, we host the annual San Juan Island Lavender Festival at our 25 acre organic lavender Farm.  For the past 13 years we have spent two days each summer when the lavender fields are at their “peak of purpleness” hosting a lavender party for thousands of our friends from all around the world. For the lavender connoisseur we have it all.  For those not quite there yet, they usually leave enthusiasts! Read the rest of this entry »

Seattle July 4th Fireworks

Seafair Summer 4th celebration in Seattle at Gasworks Park

While the Pacific Northwest may be known as rainy, we surely prove that wrong in July. This month, the summer sunshine and fun continues in full swing. In Seattle, the Seafair celebrations continue with the Seafair Triathlon (July 20) and the Torchlight Parade (July 26). Be sure to put the Bite of Seattle (July 18-20) at the Seattle Center on your calendar to try the many culinary creations they have to offer. Music lovers head to the Capitol Hill Block Party (July 25-27) to see highlights like Seattle native, Sol. Head North in July to Canada to celebrate Canada Day on July 1st.  Victoria Pickle Pub Crawl continues while the Victoria Ska Fest!, another music festival follows (July 1-5). Carry on the Canadian fun in Vancouver for their biggest event of the year, the Vancouver Honda Celebration of Light (July 26-Aug. 2). The celebration boasts the largest off-shore firework display in the world with over 400,000 spectators. Back in the US, make your way to Portland for weekly concerts and movies in the park as well as the Pemberton Music Festival (July 18-20).


Seattle Things to Do

Victoria Things to Do

Vancouver Things to Do

Portland Things to Do



Barbie's Hospitality Award

We are very happy to announce our very own Barbie Zipp as winner of the Victoria Hospitality Award for the month of April. Barbie has been employed at Clipper Vacations for the past 25 years, giving exceptional customer service to our Clipper passengers. Barbie was nominated by Clipper Vacations for her consistent level of service and for always going the extra mile to make sure our passengers have a memorable experience.

In April, Barbie assisted with a medical emergency involving one of our passengers that was taken to the hospital. The passenger was supposed to return to Seattle that evening and fly back to California the following day, her luggage was also on the Clipper that was heading to Seattle. After work Barbie went to Walmart, bought the passenger a change of clothing, and delivered them to Royal Jubilee Hospital. The passenger was fit to travel the next day so Barbie made hotel and flight arrangements so they would be set to depart early the next morning.

This “above and beyond” behavior is not uncharacteristic of Barbie; she constantly stands out to me as an employee who is not only willing to go the extra mile, but is happy to do so.

Congratulations from all of us, Barbie!

Note: Barbie Zipp is also a regular contributor to the blog, sharing her expert knowledge of Victoria with our readers.

Michael Franti performing at the Edgefield Amphiteater in 2013 Photo: © 2013 Liz Devine/ McMenamins

Michael Franti performing at the Edgefield Amphiteater in 2013 Photo: © 2013 Liz Devine/ McMenamins

One of the best parts of summer in the Pacific Northwest is the beautiful weather and great venues for outdoor concerts. I was really excited to learn about Edgefield Concerts on the Lawn because it combines two of my favorite things: outdoor summer concerts and McMenamins. Read the rest of this entry »

Victoria Pickle Pub Crawl

One of our top picks for June is a Pickle Pub Crawl aboard a Victoria Harbour Ferry. Photo: Michele Hornell courtesy of Victoria Harbour Ferry

June brings the official start of summer with the summer solstice on the 21st. This month is full of beer festivals, naked bicyclists, film festivals and many summer favorites. In Victoria, the season for Pickle Pub Crawls has begun. Also look for the Victoria Comic Book Expo and Victoria International JazzFest. In Seattle, the Mariners, Sounders and Storm are all in season for sports fans, and the Fremont Fair starts in late June. In Vancouver, you still have some time to catch Cirque du Soleil, and Bard on the Beach is getting started. In Portland, the Rose Festival is wrapping up as well as Pride Festival and PDX Beer Week.

Victoria things to do:

Seattle things to do:

Vancouver things to do:

Portland things to do:

Robert Bateman Centre from Inner Harbour

Robert Bateman Centre from Inner Harbour (Photo courtesy of the Robert Bateman Centre)

As a Canadian I was very familiar with the works by the celebrated artist Robert Bateman. I was eager to see his work up close and personally. It was suggested before I start my viewing of the gallery at the new Robert Bateman Centre in Victoria, BC to watch an introductory video by Robert Bateman. The viewing theater is just next to the front desk of the gallery and it set the tone and mood for my visit. In the video Robert Bateman spoke of his passion for nature, his painting as a way to communicate his deep love of nature, and the importance of conservation. Read the rest of this entry »

This is a guest post from Pelindaba Lavender Farm.

Photo: Pelindaba Lavender Farm

Photo: Pelindaba Lavender Farm

Even before you glimpse anything purple, it’s possible to smell the sweet fragrance from a mile away as you approach the Farm on a warm, sunny Summer day. When you arrive, a sea of purple flowers, gently dancing in the breeze, greets the eye.  Spread over 25 beautiful acres with lake, pastoral, forest and Olympic Mountain views, Pelindaba Lavender Farm is one of the San Juan Island’s most popular visitor destinations. Whether you yearn for a few hours of tranquility and peace or the excitement of a new experience, it awaits you at the Farm. During your visit be sure to:

  • Stroll through our organically certified fields.
  • Browse the over 200 lavender products we handcraft on the farm at our Gatehouse Farm Store.
  • Explore the Demonstration Garden where we cultivate over 50 different varieties of lavender. Blooming begins in early May and some varieties are still in bloom in October!
  • Visit the Distillery and Exhibits to learn how we distill the lavender essential oil from the plant— and about it’s many and diverse uses.
  • Make your own beautiful lavender crafts in the Craft Workshop in July and August.
  • Harvest your own organic lavender bouquets in the Cutting Field.
  • Take home some lavender plants for your own garden from the Nursery.
  • Bring a picnic to enjoy and be sure try our lavender lemonade, iced tea, ice cream or cookies!
Photo: Pelindaba Lavender Farm

Photo: Pelindaba Lavender Farm

Although the best time to see the fields at the “peak of purpleness” is July-August, there are many things to do and many varieties of lavender in bloom at the Farm May–October. Located off the Northwest coast of Washington State, between Seattle, WA and Vancouver, BC, San Juan Island is easily accessible via the Victoria Clipper. Once you arrive on San Juan Island you have your pick of transportation options from shuttles and taxis to moped, car or bike rentals in Friday Harbor. The Farm is are located in the southwest portion of the island, approximately 7 miles from Friday Harbor. Regardless of how you get to the Farm, the lavender fields and the white Gatehouse Farm Store with its cupola and spire located across from the Lake Percich on Wold Road can’t be missed.

Day trips and overnight packages with whale watching departing from downtown Seattle with Clipper Vacations start May 22. See schedule and fares for the ferry here.

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