KING 5 Mornings has been busy exploring outdoor adventures this week all over the Pacific Northwest. From whale watching, to Point Defiance Zoo, to Northwest Trek Park, we're highlighting some of the great escapes of our region.

Whale watching:

Captain Shane Aggergaard has been in the whale-watching business for more than 20 years. He remembers the first time he came face to face with this giant of the sea – at the age of 4.

It must have set his life’s path, because he is at home on the water, teaching people from around the world about the Orcas and Humpbacks of the Puget Sound.

Island Adventures is the company he hopes to pass down to his children – a whale watching tour company with boats that depart from 5 different locations. On this day, we hop aboard the brand new Island Explore 5 – one of the fastest whale watching boats on the water – all custom – capable of hitting 25 knots an hour.

We see five humpbacks during our six-hour journey, including a calf and juvenile Shane thinks come back to visit its mother. He calls it the “Humpback Comeback” in these waters. It is a magnificent day with breathtaking views of Mt. Baker, Northwest wildlife including otters, puffins, and eagles.

About 145 people from around the world – Australia, Michigan, Texas and a whole lot of locals – came to see something that makes the Northwest special, and they didn’t leave disappointed.

Learn more about Island adventures and our Resident and Transient Whales.

Whale watching sisters:

Whale Watching is a sport for the Palmer sisters.

Shirley and Shelly Palmer live in Portland, but travel to Anacortes a couple of times a month to join Captain Shane Aggergaard Island Adventures Whale Watching Crew. They say Shane was the first captain to let Shirley on board with a walker.

That was 10 years ago… and it’s been a Love-fest ever since.

Shane says the Palmer sisters have “whale karma, something great always happens when they’re on board.” And he’s right.

With camera’s in hand, they snap photo after photo of the five humpbacks we encounter on our six-hour journey.

The Palmers say it’s different every time – memorable, magical – a magnet that keeps pulling them back.

On this picture-perfect day – it’s easy to see why they love their time on the Salish Sea – capturing the images – the majesty of Mt. Baker, eagles soaring overhead, puffins and sea lions, and the giants of the sea – Humpbacks and Orcas – all the things that make up this beautiful place we call home.

Check out Shelly and Shirley Palmer’s beautiful photos.

Northwest Trek:

Steve and his family go on a Wild Northwest adventure on the 725-plus acres of Eatonville’s Northwest Trek. It’s the premier wildlife adventure park of the Pacific Northwest.

Steve and his daughter Gabriela come face to face with bison, deer, caribou, and swans.

You’ll find more than animals at Northwest Trek. Did you know there’s a zip line?

It was a fun-tastic family day in the park -- a great way to spend the day offering a true Northwest feeling.