Discovering Main Street
Travel Adventures in the Northwest’s Small Towns
Small towns punctuate the landscape of Oregon and Washington. They burrow in crinkles of hills, sit alongside mighty rivers, survive in desert canyons and sagebrush plains, dot the fertile Willamette valley, and perch at the edge of the Pacific Ocean.
In Discovering Main Street, Foster Church reveals the unexpected and unique pleasures of exploring small towns, what he calls “the last frontier of American tourism.”
Organized by region—Willamette Valley, Oregon Coast, Southern Oregon, Eastern Oregon, and Southern Washington—the profiles in Discovering Main Street begin with route tips and end with comments on where to stay and eat. Church’s engaging narratives provide history, highlights, and insights into each of the nearly fifty profiled communities.
A useful introduction summarizes Church’s recommendations, which include hanging out at the local cafe, attending a school sports event, and hiking the surroundings—because without exception, small towns in the Northwest are set in hauntingly beautiful environments, from stark deserts to deep, mossy forests.
Discovering Main Street provides an alternative to the outdoor adventure guides that dominate bookshelves in the Northwest. It will appeal to armchair travelers, to Northwest enthusiasts, and to any curious explorers seeking adventure in hidden—and unexpected—places.
I know of no volume that includes the same eclectic mix of small towns within the geographic scope… Because of its delightful readability, the book should be of equal interest to armchair travelers.
Foster Church is a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and a staff writer for The Oregonian for twenty-seven years. His travel articles have appeared in newspapers throughout the United States. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
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