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Of all the states worth driving through, Washington is among the top. With numerous attractions only navigable from the road, you’ll see a whole lot more from behind the wheel.
Scenic byways provide jaw-dropping vistas of mountains, valleys and the islands of Puget Sound. Lookouts over glacial lakes gleam with reflections of snow topped ridges that look back at you as if from a sheet of glass. Small towns beckon with a unique Alpine flair and wineries and orchards can be found in the most far off pockets of the state. Jutting canyons stand like chiefs to mark The Gorge over the Columbia River. Eagle sightings are frequent in wildlife refuges while elk roam in old-growth forests along the side of the road. This is Washington and you’ll want to stay alert to take in all the scenery that the state has to offer.
Planning a road trip in advance lets you map out destinations and ensures that you’ll find the comfort of a Best Western for a good night’s sleep after the sun goes down.
Making the loop through the North Cascades, you’ll want to know where to stop for gas in seemingly remote places. On the six-day road trip that begins in Seattle and ends in Bellevue, you’ll get to explore the artsy college city of Bellingham, located north of Seattle, before heading east on North Cascades Highway through the beautiful Wenatchee National Forest.
Day three will take you past the magnificent Grand Coulee Dam. Past the Drumheller Channels and world-famous Gorge Amphitheater, you’ll wind your way back westward and stop for the night in a charming Bavarian town. Back on the coast you’ll have the chance to explore aviation on the banks of Puget Sound.
Heading south from Seattle, the seven-day road trip that ends at Bainbridge Island allows for time to explore cities like Tacoma, Olympia, and Vancouver. To the west you drive through the great wine and hop producing region, the arid Yakima Valley. Following the path of Lewis and Clark, on the way back, keeps you on the mighty Columbia River. At the farthest point south in western Washington, Oregon will be just a stone’s throw away on the other side.
Road trippers can take in mesmerizing views of Mount Rainier. A stop at the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument should be on every one’s list. The town of Aberdeen may be of interest for the Kurt Cobain Memorial when making your way back to oceanside towns on the Olympic Peninsula. In Olympic National Forest there’s time to take a stroll through lush vegetation where brown and green mosses hang from tree branches in the Hoh Rain Forest.
Back in Seattle with plenty of time to spare, you and your group can take the elevator up to the observation deck of the space needle for an all-encompassing view. The Museum of Pop Culture provides modern exhibits on current and iconic musicians and the Seattle Aquarium lets you enjoy up-close encounters with aquatic animals native to Puget Sound.
Whether you’re travelling via motorcycle, RV or SUV, it’s time to gas up and get going. There’s are a lot of amazing landmarks and cities to see on your road trip through Washington.