Road Trips in the Pacific Northwest that Won’t Shock Your Odometer

To some people, road trips mean packing the car with gear to last for weeks and driving across the country. While that is certainly fun and epic, not all road trips require as much work, planning, and time off.

Hitting the road by yourself, with friends, or with family can be feasible for everyone’s budget and schedule. They also don’t have to tax the mileage on your car!

Here are some road trips for people who live in the Pacific Northwest that won’t add thousands of miles to your car’s odometer.

The Olympic Peninsula

Jutting off the western edge of Washington state, the Olympic Peninsula is home to sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, the Puget Sound, and even Canada! For this roadtrip, you can travel all or part of the Olympic Peninsula Loop. Take hikes or camp throughout the Hoh Rain Forest, which receives 140 inches of rain each year. In the Olympic National Park, you can backpack through the Olympic Mountains or visit beautiful sandy beaches (a rarity in Washington!) along the Pacific Ocean.

Travel to small towns like Port Townsend, and discover its Victorian Seaport roots, or stop by Sequim, which holds an annual lavender festival. You can get to different parts of the Olympic Peninsula by car or ferry, depending on what direction you’re coming from.


If you haven’t been to the Bavarian village nestled in the Cascade Mountains, then add Leavenworth to the top of your trip list. The town has something to delight visitors in every season, from outdoor plays of the Sound of Music in the summer to Christmas light viewings, snowshoeing, and skiing in the winter. The town is packed with themed-hotels, German food, shopping, and beautiful mountain scenery. Leavenworth is located off of US Highway 2, and is about 2 hours from the Sea-Tac airport and 3.5 hours from the Spokane airport.

The Cascade Loop

Some people refer to it as the best road trip in Washington: The 440-mile Cascade Loop allows you to experience the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. First, you have to check that one section of the loop, the North Cascades Highway, is open, as it is closed seasonally. Go hiking or backpacking in the North Cascades National Park, in places such as Gorge Creek Falls Trail or Ruby Mountain Summit. Visit Lake Chelan, where you can participate in water sports, or go wine tasting amongst its dozens of wineries. The trip will also take you to Anacortes, where you can whale watch in the Puget Sound.

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