5 Top Road Trip Destinations in Washington State
Whether you’re just visiting or you’re a current resident of Washington, the state has an abundance of scenic beauty, big cities, and sleepy little towns. The next time you’re driving through, check out some of the best road trip destinations Washington has to offer.
Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful, breathtaking drives in the United States, the Chinook Pass Scenic Byway takes you through the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest and Mount Rainier National Park. Along the way, you’ll see majestic mountains, dense forests, and a diverse array of wildlife. For entertainment, there are many picnic areas, trails, and ski resorts along the route. However, the pass is closed from November to early May, so plan accordingly.
Just across the Puget Sound from Seattle, the Olympic Peninsula offers just about everything a person could want in a single 330-mile loop. The road follows right along the coast for picturesque ocean views and also has waterfalls, rainforests, and the snow-capped Olympic Mountains. Other sights include Victorian-era homes in Port Townsend and the Kurt Cobain Memorial in Aberdeen. Forbes voted the Olympic Peninsula Loop as one of the 10 best American road trips.
Washington Wine Country
Encompassing the areas of Walla Walla Valley, Yakima Valley, and the Tri-Cities, Washington Wine Country provides breathtaking backdrops for enjoying that perfect bottle of red or white wine. Visit one or all of these areas to do some golfing, cycling, wine tasting, wildlife viewing, or concert-going (or else just take a lovely little drive). If you get tired, there are numerous wineries and bed-and-breakfasts to accommodate your every whim. Just try not to drink too much wine.
Even though Tacoma is a mere 45-minute drive from Seattle, this city of 200,000 takes on a vibe all its own. There are many sites to see throughout the city. One such place is the Museum of Glass, which features the captivating Bridge of Glass at its entrance. It’s also an interactive place for kids to design glass objects. If you don’t think your child is apt to handle glass, there’s also the Children’s Museum of Tacoma, which has many activities as well. If you’re childless, then check out one of the area’s many hip bars or coffeehouses and sample some of the local drinks and food.
If you’re a fan of fresh fruit, take the 200-mile loop through Panorama Land. Not only will you get to sample and buy fresh cherries, peaches, and apples from one of the many road-side fruit stands, you’ll also get spectacular scenery along the way. There are also many places to grab a fresh, light lunch, and you can pick up a coffee from one of the local cafes.
As far as road trips through Washington go, these destinations are just the beginning. There are hundreds more throughout the state, and even road trips to Oregon, Idaho, and Canada are easily reachable within a day’s drive. The next time you’re in Washington, get out of the city and see everything the state has to offer.
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