This August, I'm planning to take a 2 week trip from Sacramento to Seattle and back with my husband and our puppy (golden retriever, he'll be 7 months at that time). We've never been to the Pacific Northwest before and we've heard a lot of great things about it. My husband is a grad student and in a couple years he'll be graduating, so part of the reason for this trip is to find someplace that we might like to settle down and start a family. We're also interested in exploring national parks, doing some hiking and we're planning to camp most of the time.
The things that we're looking for in an ideal place to live:
- somewhere we can find work (hubby does computer security, I make art and do freelance web design)
- small city or town
- near mountains and water
- good schools
- low crime rates
- good art community
I've heard good things about both Seattle and Portland but neither of us like big cities. A smaller town nearby might be nice so that we could enjoy the art, music etc. of the city without having to actually live there.
We don't really have a route planned out except that we'd like to drive along the coast one way and inland the other.
Places that we'd like to check out include:
Redwoods NP (CA)
Crater Lake (OR)
Umpqua River (OR)
Olympic NP (WA)
So my questions are:
1. Do you have any recommendations on places to see and campgrounds to stay in?
2. Do you know of any lovely places where we might like to settle down?
3. What are some fun things that we can do while we have the puppy with us? (We like hiking, art, music and beer.)
4. Should we go north on the coast or inland? (I can't think of a reason for one or the other.)
5. This one's a bit of a long shot, but we were thinking that it might be nice to put the puppy in a doggie daycare for the day while we explore Portland and maybe do the same in Seattle. Can you recommend one in either city?
Thanks so much!
ps. Here's a question I posted last month about traveling with the puppy.