Summer’s upon us here in the Pacific Northwest. And between our neighboring cannabis friendly states of Washington, Oregon, California and Colorado, the opportunity for incredible adventure awaits. Also, let us not forget Alaska, home to some of nature's finest wonders, sweetest chiba and personal use recreational cannabis laws. We encourage you to put down the smartphone and commune with nature. While lots of travel guides exist, none of them are a great help in finding cannabis on vacation. That’s why we put together this guide to enjoying summer fun + making memories.
Disclaimer: Please remember, it’s still unlawful to consume cannabis in public - that includes parks - so keep it on the down low (vaping helps) and use airtight containers for your stash. It’s also not legal to carry cannabis across state lines, so near and around most of these destinations below, you’ll find access to plenty of places to pick up fresh herb.
Founded in 1905, Venice Beach is known for its festive Ocean Front Walk, a two-and-a-half-mile promenade for pedestrians and a gorgeous view of the vast Pacific Ocean featuring vendors, artists, performers and several alternative medicine practitioners who, for a moderate fee, are more than happy to issue you a medical marijuana card in less than 20 minutes.
Try The Green Doctors or ECMM Venice. Once you’ve secured your license to toke, join a neighboring dispensary like Green Goddess Collective, California Alternative Caregivers and Venice Beach Care Center for supplies. Street food is an attraction here along with Venice Skatepark, Muscle Beach and a range of multi-talented street performers along the promenade. It’s unlike anywhere on Earth. Enjoy surf lessons from Aloha Brothers, sustainable Mahi Mahi fish tacos and organic veggie burritos from Tocaya Organica, and explore a wealth of fine dining establishments in nearby Malibu and downtown Los Angeles. Afterward, check out the natural vistas of Malibu Creek State Park, Dockweiler State Beach and Leo Carrillo State Park campgrounds for some salty air Zzz’s.
Home of the Rocky Mountain National Park headquarters, picturesque Estes Park is situated along the Big Thompson River. Pitch a tent, rent a cabin or pull up in your RV and get ready for the ultimate camping experience. There’s something for everyone: stocked ponds for fishing, trails for hiking, stars for gazing and campfires for roasting marshmallows and making S’mores. Thirsty? Introduce your taste buds to some locally distilled whiskey at the Dancing Pines Tasting Room.
Feeling more adventurous? Go whitewater rafting, mountain biking, rock climbing or stand-up paddle boarding. Don’t be surprised if inspiration strikes from the amazing mountain views, so bring your Field Notes for journaling and a camera to capture the landscapes. Or, simply tune out and soak in the tranquil vibes here. For people watching, nearby Fort Collins is a bustling town with amazing attractions and numerous microbreweries like Odell and the New Belgium Brewing Company. There’s plenty of family fun at the Global Village Museum of Arts & Cultures, the Center for Fine Art Photography and the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery. For gear rentals and adventure tours, check out Backbone Adventures, Mountain Whitewater Descents, Rocky Mountain Adventures and A1 Wildwater Rafting. Fort Collins has some excellent dispensaries. Visit Choice Organics, Flower Powers and Solace Meds for premium flower.
Visiting Denali State Park is a bucket-list must. The North American continent’s tallest mountain, Denali (aka Mount McKinley), towers above the park’s 118 campsites with even more camping available inside the neighbouring national park. Travel is a modest 100 miles north from Anchorage. By mid-August, the Denali evening sky is dark enough to potentially see the aurora boreali, so plan your trip accordingly! Enroute, stop at Talkeetna, a funky Alaskan town that serves as a staging area for daring climbers heading toward Denali’s summit. While cannnabis is legal in Alaska, many stores haven't set up shop yet. To procure cannabis you'll need to swing by Anchorage first and apply (online or in person) to the Alaska Cannabis club, made famous by former news anchor Charlo Green who said "F#$% it, I quit" during a live TV broadcast when asked to report negatively on marijuana legislation. She is now the CEO :)
Find Byers Lake in the eastern half of the park, where you can rent canoes or kayaks and access numerous trails traversing the region. Along the state park’s western boundary, hiking provides access to particularly spectacular views of the majestic mountain. Some “don’t miss” attractions include Alaska Cabin Nite Dinner Theater, Fly Denali Air Tours and Denali ATV Adventures. Also check out Husky Homestead where owner Jeff King has won the Iditarod more times than any other sled racer. This is where he breeds and trains his sled dogs - which usually means puppy sightings. Yes, puppies.
Nestled along the Haro Strait, nearly equidistant off the coasts of Vancouver British Columbia and Seattle Washington, San Juan Island is the epitome of Pacific Northwest maritime beauty. With plenty of transportation options from both metropolises plus water taxis to neighboring Orcas, Lopez and Shaw islands, consider a car-less trip. In addition to driving or taking public transportation, San Juan is accessible by scenic seaplane and ferry routes from Seattle into Friday Harbor, the hub of San Juan. Load up on herbal refreshments at Dockside Cannabis and Uncle Ike’s in Seattle before the jaunt for more selection or stop by Token Herb, on Orcas Island. Once you’ve arrived, the famous west side of San Juan provides views of Haro Strait, Vancouver Island, the Olympic Peninsula and, occasionally, a pod of orca whales. Whale watching, camping and sailing are several of the main attractions here. You can also enjoy kayaking and boating to explore more of the coast. There’s exceptional hiking nearby just a short drive to local parks and along shoreline trails as well as plenty of places to set up camp. However, if you prefer to reserve a room, Friday Harbor is a laid-back, small town known for its B&Bs, fun galleries, cafes, seafood eateries, open air markets and serene fresh water lakes.
Check out Pelindaba Lavender Farm, zip-lining with Zip San Juan, Buck Bay Shellfish Farm, Island Hoppin Brewery and San Juan Distillery. For the kids, both A Place to Play and Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm are great fun.
The beautiful Columbia River Gorge stretches both southern Washington and northern Oregon and is home to amazing vineyards. With 30 different premium grape varietals grown in the region, a winery tour is a must. Although most wine regions don’t cross state lines, the Columbia Gorge Wine Region is unique; comprised of some of the world’s finest local winemakers in two states.
Enroute, grab some Washington cannabis at a dispensary off I-5. Main Street, New Vansterdam and High End Marketplace in Vancouver all sell to recreational customers. If wine tasting is in your future, consider picking up something low in THC or high in CBD to balance the swill. It is recommended to take it slow, don’t overindulge and equip yourself with a designated driver. There are numerous limo and taxi services that will shuttle you around wine country. Tastings are often affordable and laid back. Once there, try Syncline, Jacob Williams, Memaloose and Hiyu. And if you like to camp, you’re in luck. Camping is a historic tradition in the Gorge. The first Forest Service campground was established there nearly 100 years ago. The National Scenic Area is huge, encompassing roughly 292,500 acres running from the mouth of the Sandy River to the mouth of the Deschutes River and spanning southern Washington and northern Oregon. On the Columbia River, windsurfing is one of the main attractions. Hood River Waterplay offers rentals as does Brian’s Windsurfing. Along the river on either side, you’ll find small towns with galleries, cafes, boutiques and plenty of inns. Try the town of Hood River to experience a true traveler's mecca. There, you’ll find fun and enjoyment at Naked Winery, Glassometry Studios, Hood River Distillers, Full Sail Brewery and Egg River Cafe, among myriad others.
One hour outside Portland, at the foot of Tom Dick and Harry Mountain, Mirror Lake fills a glacial cirque across from Mount Hood, a potentially active stratovolcano. Mt. Hood’s reflection in Mirror Lake is one to behold and many do just that. It’s one of the most popular day hikes in the region. For a kid and dog friendly experience, take the Loop Trail. Spend the day picnicking by the water or set up camp among the trees for an extended overnight excursion. Before you embark on your journey, stop by nearby Mt. Hood Wellness Center for your cannabis needs or drive further west, deeper into Portland metro for any number of activities and supplies. Include a visit to Rip City Remedies, one of the first standing dispensaries in the state. Portland’s New Seasons and Fred Meyer markets are great for stocking up on organic produce, water and trail mix, as are a plethora of smaller farm markets and food carts. Best Friend Juice and Espresso is a great place to stock up on Margalaxy bars, a vegan, gluten free fusion of energy enhancing ingredients perfect for recreating. Portland’s Next Adventure and REI stores offer plenty of camping and hiking gear options while Powell’s Books, which may actually be the largest bookstore in the world, offers plenty of good reads for relaxing. If you head into Portland, stop by the famous Third Eye Shoppe founded by Jack Herer in 1987.
Once a Victorian mining town, Telluride is located in the heart of the San Juan Mountains and offers everything from backpacking destinations to festival celebrations. Visit a ski-and-golf resort or sleep out under the stars in one of the many campgrounds. Take a walk through the town’s historic district. Learn about treasure-maps and mining-life at the Telluride Historical Museum. Watch an impressive fireworks display on Independence Day and grab tickets to one of many events: The 43rd Annual Bluegrass Festival (June 16 - 19), Telluride Wine Festival (June 23 - 26), Telluride Mushroom Festival (August 18 - 21) and the most famous, Telluride Film Festival (Sept. 2-5th). Local dispensaries include Alpine Wellness, Telluride Bud Company and Telluride Green Room. For food, entertainment, great views and recreation rentals try: Brown Dog Pizza, Baked in Telluride, Smugglers, The View Bar & Grill, Christy Sports Ski & Snowboard and The Telluride Brewing Company.