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“In my many years in travel, I can honestly say I have experienced some amazing places and each time I ask myself how on earth can this be beaten. As I write this, I am currently privileged to be hosting a travel agents trip to the USA showcasing one of Western & Oriental’s very specialist products; Ranch America, experiencing the Seattle, Whales & Mountains itinerary.
Our adventure started with a city stopover in Seattle, home to the original Starbucks. Think Sydney Harbour meets San Francisco – very green, lots of water ways and so much to see. We stayed two nights at the quirky Palladian Hotel in the centre; a great base downtown to explore this well laid out city, which pairs luxe with ‘old world’ charm.
Within two hours of landing, we were at the foot of the iconic Space Needle for the best views in town and a spot of lunch in their revolving restaurant at the top. On a clear day, the views are out of this world.
The next day was a real treat and indeed a first time for me; whale watching to the San Juan Islands. Onboard a very steady catamaran, we headed north towards Vancouver Island and even crossed into Canadian waters.
The views are spectacular and you never tire of the mountains that surround this amazing waterway. We were very fortunate to see hump back whales (mother and calf) and to experience this in their natural habitat is truly breathtaking, something I will never forget. Despite being in competition, the boats all work in collaboration, sharing sightings over radio which increases the odds of seeing these spectacular mammals.
We then boarded our very own private sea plane for almighty aerial views of Seattle and the surrounding areas, which provide a unique sense of the vastness of this destination.
Pretty much wherever you are in Seattle, you cannot miss the snow-topped cap of Mount Rainier. Our final day included a drive through Mount Rainier National Park and a short hike at the foot of this incredible mountain. The standard day tour is about 10 hours, so you really do get the opportunity to experience this special National Park. The hike wasn’t a full on expedition, more of a walk on snow with crampons and a great opportunity for picture postcard shots at the foot of the mountain.
Now onto the focal point of the trip, a 3-night stay at the breathtaking Triple Creek Ranch in Darby, Montana; an all-inclusive resort providing amazing dining, drinks and of course ranch activities.
Horse riding was without a doubt the highlight for the whole group, as you meander through the beautiful Montana mountains on your trusty steed. As a complete novice and someone who had never sat on a horse before, I felt at ease throughout each ride with expert wranglers and horses trained for gentle walks rather than the Grand National! We also took part in fly fishing (Montana boasts the best fly fishing in the world), sapphire panning where you get to take home any you manage to find, and a nature safari with a guided tour. There are also many other optional tours at a cost to partake in, should you want to do even more.
Triple Creek Ranch is a Relais Châteaux resort, offering world class service and an authentic North American experience. The food and wines were out of this world, providing local cuisine and national wines to enjoy. Accommodation ranged from one-bedroom lodges scattered around the resort to a secluded three-bedroom lodge with a trout pond for your own private fly fishing! All lodges also have their very own golf buggy for your convenience of getting around the resort.
I cannot recommend this itinerary enough!”
We think it sounds AMAZING and if you do too, please come in or give us a call and we can put together a quote for you.