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Suggested sights for the traveler.

Mission: To find the best recreational opportunities in the Pacific Northwest for Alaskans. Taking up the gauntlet, I chartered a 36-foot sailboat and sailed exhaustively in the Puget Sound region. I discovered two outstanding recreational opportunities.

Port Townsend, Wash., was the site of filming for the highly acclaimed movie "An Officer and a Gentleman." The film was shot on location at historic Fort Worden, a military facility built at the turn of the century. Today, the fort at the edge of the town hosts numerous jazz and classical music events during the summer. For example, you might want to visit "Jazz Port Townsend" from July 24 to July 26.

At one time, Port Townsend expected to become the hub of commerce and trade in Puget Sound. But the railroad's termination in the Seattle-Tacoma area doomed the community to a historical designation.

The town is fondly called "Washington's Victorian Seaport." The Ann Starrett Mansion, built in 1889, has become a national historic landmark and a bed and breakfast. Restored with care and authentic antiques from the Victorian time period, the mansion offers a getaway to another time. Amidst grand architectural style, traveling executives and leisure visitors enjoy comfortable up-scale accommodations.

Port Townsend is a mere 90 minutes by car from Seattle. If traveling by sailboat, the trip is 8 to 10 hours (less if you avoid the early morning pea-soup fog). For more information on what to see and do, contact Port Townsend Chamber of Commerce, 2437 E. Sims Way, Port Townsend, WA 98368; (206) 385-2722.

Victoria, B.C., is an inspiringly beautiful, very British city. After mooring downtown at the Empress floats, I stayed at the grand Empress Hotel. High tea is served promptly at 5 o'clock in the lobby. The staff, dressed in proper attire, insists that the guests are, too.

Advanced reservations for high tea are recommended. Started at the hotel in 1908, the high tea attraction has grown to 80,000 servings per year. While sipping tea in the lobby, visitors can see the Parliament Building across the garden and enjoy a harbor view.

Numerous attractions in Victoria beckon, but one worth budgeting for is the Butchart Gardens just 13 miles north of town. In the grand British tradition, the gardens there are made up of theme plots displayed over 130 acres. The gardens were begun in a bleak and abandoned limestone quarry by Madame Butchart, whose husband mined the limestone.

Adding a mixture of rare and exotic shrubs, trees and plants, caretakers have constantly expanded and improved Butchart Gardens. Hundreds of thousands of visitors have enjoyed the site. Although bus service is available, you can travel via mountain bike (about one hour each way) from Victoria.

There are numerous ways to enjoy Victoria and numerous ways to get to the Canadian city. From Seattle, a high-speed passenger ferry, the Victoria Clipper, delivers you to the Empress floats within three hours of departure. Allow two days by bare-boat charter from Seattle, assuming the weather across the sometimes treacherous Juan de Fuca Straits is fair. For more information, contact Tourism Victoria InfoCentre, 812 Wharf Street, Victoria, BC, Canada V8W 1T3; (604) 382-2127.

Reading Recommendation. For valuable Northwest reading material, you should consult a series of books from The Oasis Press/PSI Research, based in Grants Pass, Ore. Companions to the book Starting and Operating a Business in Alaska focus on Washington, Oregon and other states. Each book provides a step-by-step guide for entrepreneurs, with explanations of laws and taxes, worksheets for planning, checklists for meeting requirements, sample copies of official forms and pre-addressed postcards to use in requesting publications.

Every state version contains generic information about business ventures and federal regulations, while a section in the back addresses that state's laws and resources. Contact The Oasis Press/PSI Research, 300 North Valley Drive, Grants Pass, OR 97526; (503) 479-9464.

Former Alaska resident Harry Brelsford is a faculty member of Central Washington University and a principal of the accounting and management consulting firm CF|O.sub.2~Go in Seattle.
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Title Annotation:recreational opportunities in the Pacific Northwest for Alaskans
Author:Brelsford, Harry
Publication:Alaska Business Monthly
Date:Jun 1, 1992
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