Pacific Northwest Vanlife Road Trip - ROAMERICA Campervans

8 Must-See Pacific Northwest Destinations

The Pacific Northwest region is one of the fastest growing in the country and with good reason. The majestic views and landscapes and active, bustling cities provide something for just about everyone. Check out these eight must-see Pacific Northwest destinations on your next road trip out west with ROAMERICA.

1. Seattle, Washington

Seattle Washington - Space Needle - Cort Muller

 

The Emerald City has long been a pillar of the Pacific Northwest because of its rich and varied history, culture, and activities. No visit to Seattle would be complete without seeing iconic places such as the Space Needle and Pike Place Market.

Seattle’s location as a seaport also provides the unique opportunity to take ferries to many of the nearby islands, such as Vashon and Bainbridge. All around these areas, you’ll find amazing views of Puget Sound.

2. Portland, Oregon

Located just a few hours south of Seattle, the Rose City has become an increasingly popular place to visit and move. Portland, Oregon is a perfect basecamp for outdoors enthusiasts, foodies, and big businesses. The coast and mountains are close, foodie destinations like Voodoo Doughnuts are nationally known, and companies like Columbia and Nike have put down some big roots here.

To top it all off, Portlanders or Portlandians like to keep things weird, and they’re proud of it, too.

3. Pacific Northwest Coastline

The northwestern section of the Pacific Coastline is a treasure trove of natural beauty. Here, you’ll find gems such as the town of Cannon Beach in Oregon, the Forks & La Push area of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, and Cape Disappointment, a favorite camping destination in Washington.

Considering both Portland and Seattle are mere hours away from the coast, making a road trip along the coastline is a great way to see a lot of the Pacific Northwest.

4. San Juan Islands, Washington

whale watching in the San Juan islands

Located between Seattle, Washington and Vancouver, British Columbia, the four islands that make up the San Juan Islands host a wide range of tourism activities. Kayaking, hiking, walking, cycling, whale-watching, sailing, and more await you throughout this fun-filled archipelago.

Getting to the islands is part of the sightseeing adventure since you must take a ferry or small plane to get there.

5. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

Mount Rainier is a volcano that’s about 500,000 years old. Every year, about 2 million people visit Mount Rainier National Park that surrounds the famous peak. Why is that? Most likely because it’s a beautifully scenic area to enjoy the outdoors alone or with friends and family.

Mount Rainier National Park activities include camping, hiking, cycling, fishing, boating, and climbing.

6. Olympic National Park, Washington

Also located within a few hours from Seattle or Portland is Olympic National Park. Here, spread out over nearly a million acres of land, you’ll find many different landscapes, including mountains, beaches, and rainforest.

There are 16 campgrounds and plenty of Olympic National Park activities for the whole gang, including ranger-led programs and wildlife viewing.

7. Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

Mountain Biking - Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area - Oregon

Mountain biking in the Columbia Gorge. Photo by Mike Branscum

Located just east of Portland is the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area. The area is very popular for hikers and outdoorspeople looking to enjoy the stunning scenery and vistas.

There have been many trail closures since a fire in 2017, but much of the area is still open for use. One of the most popular destinations here is Multnomah Falls, which has more than 2 million visitors per year.

8. Vancouver, British Columbia

Heading north a few hours from Seattle will find you in Vancouver, British Columbia. Much like its southern neighbors, Seattle and Portland, Vancouver is a city for everyone. There are plenty of activities within the city and lots of outdoors options nearby.

Top activities include walking the seawall path at Stanley Park, crossing the Capilano Suspension Bridge, and visiting Chinatown.

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