Giveawayyyy! 7 places to see pirrrrates of the Pacific!

Arrr, mateys. If you’ll be travelin’ around our fair region, you’ll be wantin’ to meet some scallywags of the Pacific. We’ve got plenty o’ pirates, as we’ve got the balmy climate, easy access to shippin’ routes and dozens of islands fer storin’ loot.

1.Science World, Vancouver.

Practicing cannon skills at Science World

On May 7, 2010, Vancouver’s Science World museum welcomes the Treasure! exhibit. As we all know, if there’s one thing a pirate loves, it’s a chest full of gold.

Treasure! at Science World (photo courtesy Science World)

Learn more about underwater treasure, modern treasure hunts and hidden treasure at this two-story science museum. And if ye don’t care for gold, diamonds and other valuables, Science World offers two floors of awesome exhibits — move a ball with your mind (really!), lift a hippo and hide away inside a animal’s tree home. Science World is always one of my top stops in Vancouver.

2. Milagros Boutique, Portland.

A play area fer wee rascals at Milagros Boutique

This sweet little shop focuses on the natural, organic and local, from cloth diapers to Oregon-made stacking toys. My favorite things for sale? The “P is for Pirate” shirts and locally-made wooden swords.

Photo courtesy Milagros Boutique

Thoughtful owner Jennifer seeks out completely unique merchandise that you really can’t find anywhere else — and she always finds clever ways to work with local store owners, Portland-based musicians and charitable orgs. Although I don’t live in Portland anymore, I’ve been known to order online from Milagros and I almost always drop by when in town to check out the boutique’s new picks.

3. 3H Craftworks, Vancouver.

Shopping at 3H

Amidst the upscale hustle-bustle of Vancouver’s West Fourth Avenue, 3H’s modest storefront belies the creativity inside. This non-profit shop displays hand-sewn felt storyboards, dresses, finger puppets and hand puppets — all crafted by local adults with physical challenges or mental illness who cannot find work elsewhere.

A pirate hand puppet: Photo courtesy 3H Craftworks

So you’ll have your choice of cool, locally-made playthings that serve an awesome cause. Try out the pirate-themed puppets for imaginary adventures.

4. Glowing Greens Miniature Golf, Portland. A pirate-themed blacklight mini-golf with reggae tunes, glow-in-the-dark skeletons and a Caribbean theme. Great for tweens and teens.

5. Portland Pirate Festival, Portland. Swashbuckle, drink grog, and and oh yeah, watch a pirate puppet show with thousands of pirate-costumed pals. Check out the children’s events.

6. Archie McPhee, Seattle. Seattle’s favorite schlock emporium has a soft spot for the hard life of a pirate. Pick up a Blackbeard Pirate Action Figure, Pirate Bandages or a Deluxe Eye Patch.

7. The Maritime Museum of British Columbia, Victoria. If visiting Victoria’s downtown, this very small museum may interest kids gaga over ships. Climb up the ratlines and into the crow’s nest of a ship. But don’t miss the pirate’s corner, which features nasty-looking gibbet (human drowning cage). Ew! But just right for older kids.

***Of course, ye can pirate someone else’s joke, cos that’s what a high-seas rascal would do.

Ar. It’s hard to write like a pirate fer more than a sentence or two.

Lora Shinn writes about family travel, Pacific NW travel, grown-up travel...and travel in general. Her travel-related articles and essays have appeared in Family Fun, Parenting, AFAR, National Geographic Traveler, AAA magazines and Redbook, among others.