Where: Portland, Oregon, about a three-hour drive south of downtown Seattle.

You may have visited Tacoma to take in the acclaimed Museum of Glass, or to spend a sunny afternoon at Point Defiance Park. But there are other reasons to make the trek south.

On a sunny summer weekend last year, I loaded my car with a tent, camping stove and border collie and hit the road, in hopes of finding a spot in a state campground near Deception Pass.

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WHERE:
Western Washington Fairgrounds in Puyallup, Washington.

WHERE: Northwind Arts Center in Port Townsend

WHERE: Vancouver, British Columbia, for the 22nd annual Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival (through 9/24; 1695 Whyte Ave., in Vanier Park; bardonthebeach.org).

WHERE: The North Cascades Institute’s Learning Center, which offers a plethora of educational and inspiring nature programs amid the mountains, glaciers and rivers of the North Cascades.

WHERE: The Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area.

Where Enumclaw for the third annual Wine and Chocolate Festival (2/4–2/5; Enumclaw Expo Center, 45224 284th Ave. SE; enumclawchocolatefestival.com).

Where: Portland, Oregon, for the 2010 Holiday Ale Festival (12/1–12/5; $20-$25; holidayale.com) in Pioneer Courthouse Square.