PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — The Pacific Northwest’s big cities — such as Portland and Seattle — may be cultural hubs, foodie destinations, and the homes of professional sports teams, but the region’s small towns are what have recently been recognized for their beauty.
Interior design and landscaping magazine Architectural Digest compiled a list of The 55 Most Beautiful Small Towns in America, and an Oregon and Washington community were each featured.
The rankings were based on access to nature, historic or design districts and stunning topography.
Manzanita, Oregon, sits at No. 41 on the list. The charming beach town, which is about a two-hour drive from Portland, was highlighted for its magnificent views of the Oregon coast.
AD said, “Along the Pacific Ocean shoreline in far western Oregon are miles of sparsely populated beaches, the town of Manzanita included. With Neahkahnie Mountain off in the distance, you get beach dunes and mountains in one view.”
According to the Oregon Coast Visitors Association, Manzanita is also a prime location to catch salmon, crabs, clams and other fresh seafood.
Another PNW waterfront town, Friday Harbor, Washington, made the list. About three hours away from downtown Seattle, Friday Harbor has been the commercial center of the San Juan Islands since the 1890s.
AD reports, “The delightfully moody setting (cue fog and rain) of Friday Harbor, part of the San Juan Islands, is iconic to the Pacific Northwest but without the noise of an urban locale. Whale watching is a huge draw here, and the arts thrive at places like the San Juan Islands Museum of Art.”
Either of these small towns could be the perfect spot for a fun-packed, but relaxing getaway.