It's easy to confuse Wenatchee, Washington, with the Garden of Eden. The stunning Columbia River runs through this valley town, which is surrounded by the jagged, glaciated peaks of the Cascade Range.
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And unlike in other parts of the Northwest, here you can actually see those views in "the Apple Capital of the World," named for the orchards that encircle the town and produce some of the world's tastiest specimens.
You'll also find a steady stream of cyclists, dog walkers, skaters and joggers along the Apple Capital Recreation Loop Trail, a scenic 10-mile paved loop that crosses the Columbia and Wenatchee rivers.
All that and, yes, it's a bargain: "We moved here 29 years ago, in part because it was so much cheaper than Seattle," says Barb Trandum, 67. What made her and husband, Jerry, 67, stay, though, is the hearty appetite locals have for getting involved. "There's just so much here," says Jerry, who is a fan of nearby Rocky Reach Dam and Ohme Gardens, a 9-acre alpine garden.