3 Pacific Northwest Road Trips That You And Your Significant Other Will Love
Nothing says romance quite like the open road and snug sleeping quarters. Waking up every day in a new location with fresh, morning breath to greet each other and muggy (or even sometimes frosty) windows holding a curtain to the world outside, makes your car feel like the snuggliest place to ever call home. For the adventurous duos ready to hit the pavement, we’ve put together three Pacific Northwest road trips that you and your significant other will love.
Step one to any good adventure is to determine the mode of transportation. While some may already have a car, consider the possibility that the vehicle could also be your roadside hotel for most nights. Campervans can offer a lot of added comfort as well as space for additional adventure gear (did someone say SUPs?!). Once you’re ready for your road trip escape, here are some itineraries to inspire your next road trip.
Seattle – North Cascades – Wenatchee Valley – Mount Rainier – Seattle
From mountains to Malbec, Washington has it all. Start your adventurous road trip in the Emerald City which is home to Starbucks, Microsoft, museums, and music. Once you get your cultural fill, ditch the downtown vibes for the views of the North Cascades National Park. Easily one of the more remote parks in the country, the Cascades offer endless hiking and backpacking opportunities. Relax your tired muscles on the other side of the range in the Wenatchee and Lake Chelan Valley. This area is famous for its wines and is close to the famous adventure town of Leavenworth. If you’ve got the time, head into the Bavarian-themed town for beer, biking, and climbing. Start to head back west by hitting Snoqualmie Pass and turning south just before Issaquah. This route will take you down to the iconic volcano, Mount Rainier. Spend some time hiking and exploring this picturesque peak before ending the loop back in Seattle.
Portland – Mount Hood – Smith Rock – Bend – Crater Lake – Oregon Coast – Portland
No adventure is too big or small for the untamed lands of Oregon. Fly into Portland International Airport (or as the cool kids say, PDX), and rent your adventure camper van in Portland, Oregon through Roamerica. They provide a shuttle to and from the airport to your sweet new road trip ride. Stay awhile and try Voodoo donuts, Sterling Coffee, and all the food carts your heart desires. Once you’ve wined and dined in the city, head to Mount Hood for a romantic sunset hike and even a local beer in the ski town of Government Camp. Prepare to take a visual 180-degree turn as you descend the eastern side of the volcano to discover the high desert terrain of Smith Rock State Park and the nearby town of Bend. Want to know an insider secret? Check out the McMenamins Soaking Pools in Bend. The cost is only $5 a person and you can take your drink from the bar into the pools (just ask the bartender for a plastic cup). A hike and soak with a drink in hand, does it get more romantic? Continue south from Bend to the natural wonder that is Crater Lake National Park. If you have the time, drive the roughly 33-mile road around the lake to get the full view from every angle. Buckle up for a longer drive day back north to cut out to the Oregon Coast in Newport. Try the local clam chowder and Local Ocean and enjoy a cup of Oregon chai while watching the sunset on the beach while cuddling next to your personal sandy bonfire. As quickly as it begun, the itinerary is done and all that’s left is to head back to Portland for a departing donut.
PNW Ultimate Tour
Portland – Mount Hood – Hood River – Mount Rainier – North Cascades – San Juans – Seattle
Got the time? Combine the two above itineraries to go on the ultimate pacific northwest tour. Here are some additional locations that really can’t be missed: Hood River and the San Juan Islands. Be sure to check out the Hood River mountain biking scene followed by some woodfire pizza at Double Mountain Brewery. And for the San Juan Islands, you really can’t go wrong. Orcas Island is a crowd favorite for scenic hikes and a chance at wildlife sighting during the ferry crossing.
Whatever itinerary you choose, remember to go with the flow and enjoy the moment. Road trips are a blast but can come with unexpected bumps and turns. Find romance in the unexpected and buckle up for an unforgettable couple’s journey through the Pacific Northwest.
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