By Kerri Westenberg
Q I am going to Portland, Oregon, for business and want to extend my stay. Should I visit Seattle, Washington, or Victoria, British Columbia, or both?A Do both hip, green Seattle and Victoria, with its wedding cake turrets, pristine parks and British history. Seattle may strike you as a larger version of Portland — a casual, eco-conscious vibe, farm-to-table restaurants and ample green space define both cities — but the differences are worth exploring. Microsoft and other mega-companies based in Seattle help fuel world-class arts organizations like the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and the Pacific Northwest Ballet. Plus, a trip there let’s you trade Portland’s Velveteria (a museum devoted to black-velvet paintings) for Seattle’s Experience Music Project. Once in Seattle, you can catch the best ride into Victoria: the Victoria Clipper ferry, a nearly 3-hour passage through Puget Sound and into the Straight of Juan de Fuca. The schedule makes even a day trip possible, with a morning ferry from Seattle and a return in the early evening. (Remember that you need a passport or passcard now to get back into the U.S. after a ferry trip to Canada.) However your itinerary turns out, I hope you enjoy your time in the Pacific Northwest!