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December 29, 2010 at 1:11 PM

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Posted by Seattle Times staff

The most-read travel stories about the Northwest included articles on a budget trip to Portland, scenic driving tours and getaways to Vancouver, Mount Rainier and the Olympic Peninsula.

Islands and water views scored high with readers looking for destinations outside the area. A feature about Niihau, Hawaii's "forbidden island" was the most-read travel destination story of the year, with Kauai, Maui, a Mexican beach town, San Francisco, Venice and Vietnam's island gems also making the non-Northwest list.

Hiking, biking and snow sports dominated the most-read outdoors and recreation articles, with a story about climbing Mount Rainier topping the list.

Northwest destinations:

1. Four-star Portland on a two-star budget: Penny-pinching without pain, February 10, 2010

2. A milepost guide to the North Cascades Highway, June 30, 2010

3. A detour worth taking: Your mile-by-mile guide to scenic Chuckanut Drive, February 17, 2010

4. Food lovers hit the road for the sleepy wheat-country town of Waitsburg, June 9, 2010

5. Your nitty-gritty guide to Vancouver — for the Games, or just for the party, January 27, 2010

6. A family's whirlwind tour of 3 Olympic Peninsula lodges, May 26, 2010

7. D.I.Y. downtown: A self-guided tour through Seattle history, March 31, 2010

8. An overnight cruise from Seattle to Vancouver is all about views, fun and food, March 12, 2010

9. Detox from city life at Mount Rainier's Paradise Inn, August 4, 2010

10. Monte Cristo just one treasure among Mountain Loop Highway's fall colors September 29, 2010

Other destinations:

1. Get a glimpse of Niihau, Hawaii's 'Forbidden Island', May 15, 2010

2. Crazy Horse slowly emerges, July 31, 2010

3. The secret's out on Sayulita, a popular Mexican beach town, July 4, 2010

4. Vietnam's island gems, July 24, 2010

5. Maui's high life, April 17, 2010

6. Four-star San Francisco on a two-star budget: Penny pinching without the pain, October 23, 2010

7. Pools in paradise: Hawaii's best swimming spots, September 4, 2010

8. Rick Steves Europe | What's new in Rome and Venice for 2010, February 9, 2010

9. Outdoors adventures abound in Kauai, September 4, 2010

10. Rick Steves Europe | How to enjoy London — and save money, August 24, 2010

Most-read outdoors/recreation stories:

1. Is this your year to climb Rainier? Here are tips from the experts, February 3, 2010

2. Try these great summer hikes with your kids, May 12, 2010

3. Mountain bikers build a thrilling new Eastside bike park, March 17, 2010

4. Glamour + camping = glamping. (Does it add up for you?), July 14, 2010

5. Riding high: our state's best mountain-road bike routes, August 25, 2010

6. Snowboarding Mount Pilchuck, the ghost of a ski-area past, February 24, 2010

7. Winter hiking on webbed feet: 5 snowshoe routes for beginners, November 17, 2010

8. Holy halfpipe: Western Washington's top 10 skateparks, June 2, 2010

9. Mount Rainier's Sunrise is a wonderland for hikers, August 4, 2010

10. Gold rush: hikes to see the changing larches, October 6, 2010

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