Itinerary in brief:
- 2 nights Seattle
- 2 nights Mount Rainier National Park
- 2 nights Portland
- 2 nights Cannon Beach
Day 1: Arrive Seattle
On arrival in Seattle, you will make your own way to the hotel where you will check in for two nights.
Day 2: Seattle
Wander along the waterfront where you can enjoy views across the Elliott Bay to the Olympic Mountains on clear days before touring the Seattle Aquarium, where you can learn about the marine life in this region. Make sure you explore Pike Place Market as you start getting hungry – you can visit the first Starbucks before grabbing coffee in one of the neighbouring independent cafes. The market is full of artisan food stalls – you can try bowls of garlicky mussels, dig into a catfish sandwich and finish off with a sugary cinnamon roll. In the late afternoon take a ride to the top of the Space Needle to watch the sunset over the water.
Day 3: Drive to Mount Rainier
This morning you’ll drive to Mount Rainier National Park, a two-hour drive to the south. On arrival at your hotel, you will check in for two nights.
Day 4: Mount Rainier
Spend the day exploring this stunning national park where you can hike to the Grove of the Patriarchs, where some of the oldest trees in the Washington Cascades have lived for over a thousand years or along the Snow Lake Trail, ending with spectacular views over the blue-green water. The best time to visit this park is in August when the subalpine meadows of Paradise Valley are carpeted in wildflowers and the snow has retreated to the mountain tops.
Day 5: Drive to Portland
This morning you’ll drive onwards to Portland, the capital of Oregon, a city with a small-town feel, full of restaurants, breweries and cycling locals that make it a popular place to visit. On arrival, you’ll check into your hotel for two nights.
Day 6: Portland
Portland is a city that loves to eat – the best way to spend your time here is to hop between cafes, breweries and restaurants, tasting the delicious fare on offer. Portland champions ‘farm-to-fork’ food, grown in the lush farmland of Oregon and served up beautifully in restaurants like Clyde Common so why not enjoy lunch before taking a walk through the Hoyt Arboretum and stopping in at the popular Portland Zoo.
Later grab a snack from Voodoo Doughnuts before heading to one of the many craft breweries that make their home in Portland and enjoy an evening tasting and learning about beer! If you’re more of a wine aficionado, there are many vineyards in the hills surrounding the city so you could either drive over and wander through the vines or simply settle into one of Portland’s slick wine bars to try them out!
Day 7: Drive to Cannon Beach
Spend the morning in Portland before driving over to Cannon Beach, one of the nicest stretches of the Oregon coastline. On arrival, you’ll check into your hotel for two nights.
Day 8: Cannon Beach
Spend your day here enjoying this beautiful beach. Made famous by an iconic scene in the Goonies movie, this long stretch of sand is perfect to try to stand up paddle boarding or kayaking. At low tide, you can walk right out to Haystack Rock, where pink and purple starfish cling to the sides usually hidden under the water. You could also take a stroll through this tiny beach town, past picturesque shops and cafes before taking a picnic to the beach and watch the sun set into the sea.
Day 9: Depart Seattle
Sadly, your road trip through the Pacific Northwest has come to an end – today you’ll take one last walk along the beach before driving back to Seattle Airport where you’ll return your car hire and catch your onwards flight.