pacific northwest road trip
The highlights of this Pacific Northwest road trip included exploring the rugged coastlines of Washington and Oregon, visits to several National Parks, and time spent in Seattle and Portland. Total miles traveled over 19 days was around 1,800, beginning and ending in Seattle. This trip has something for everyone: kids of all ages will love the tide pools, jet boat tour and dune buggy ride. Older kids can visit many of the sites made famous in the Twilight movies, and adults will love the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum, among other things.
This post was updated October, 2016.
Here is the general itinerary that we used for our 19 day Pacific Northwest vacation in Washington & Oregon (including approximate driving time and flying in and out of Seattle). Keep reading for more trip details, and be sure to check out my related posts listed at the end.
Days 1 - 3: Explore Seattle
Day 4: Ferry to San Juan Islands with whale watching; overnight in Friday Harbor
Day 5: Explore San Juan Island; ferry back to Seattle
Day 6: Depart for Olympic Peninsula (3 hour drive including car ferry) - Olympic National Park Visitor Center, Hurricane Ridge & Lake Crescent
Day 7: Explore Forks, La Push, Hoh Rain Forest, & beaches; overnight in park at Kalaloch Lodge
Day 8: Continue travel down Pacific coast (drive 2 ½ hours to Astoria); Stop at Lewis & Clark Center in Long Beach; Fort Clatsop in Astoria
Day 9: Astoria/Seaside/Cannon Beach/Oregon Coast (drive 2 hours down coast to Lincoln)
Day 10: Continue exploring Oregon coast towards Florence; sand dune buggy ride (2 hour drive to Bandon Beach)
Day 11: Head inland towards Grants Pass/Jetboat tour on Rogue River; visit Vortex House (drive 2 ½ hours)
Day 12 Continue drive to Crater Lake (2 hour drive)/ Explore Crater Lake - afternoon boat tour
Day 13: Driving Loop of Crater Lake/Head to Lake Billy Chinook (2 hour drive)
Day 14: Head towards Colombia River (2 ½ hour drive); Paddleboat tour, waterfall hikes
Day 15: Drive to Portland - explore Portland
Day 16: Explore Portland
Day 17: Drive to Mount St. Helens/Explore at Johnston Ridge Observatory; travel to Mount Rainier (2 ½ hours from Portland to Mount St. Helens)
Day 18: Explore Mount Rainier; drive back to Seattle in evening (drive 2 ½ hours)
Day 19: Depart Seattle