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Washington State Road Trip: 7 Astounding Places to Visit and Explore


No summer is complete without a road trip, especially one through the Pacific Northwest. We’ve selected the best attractions that allow you to experience and cover the entire area. You can start anywhere you'd like! Before you pack your bags and turn the key in the ignition, here are our top picks to help you plan a memorable trip through Washington State.

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1. Palouse Falls State Park

Palouse Falls
Photo by Michael Denning on Unsplash

Among the many things to do in Washington, a must-see is the stunning Palouse Falls State Park, located an hour from the Coast Hilltop Inn in Pullman, which is within the beautiful Palouse region of the Pacific Northwest. You can enjoy miles of rolling hills with shades of luscious greens sweeping the landscape. The hills, covered with wheat fields, have formed over tens of thousands of years from wind-blown dust and silt, called “loess,” brought from the dry southwestern regions. Make sure you take time to explore this area before you head off to Palouse Falls State Park. Here are some examples of what many visitors love doing when visiting Palouse Falls State Park:

  • Explore hiking trails. Many trails weave throughout the park, taking you to see the park’s namesake: Palouse Falls. Many interpretive signs line the trails in the state park, detailing facts about the region’s Ice Age floods and landscape.
  • Photography. Fill your camera with photos of everything that Palouse Falls has to offer. From the epic waterfall to wildlife and plant life, there’s plenty of beautiful scenes to capture. If you’re not a photographer, many artists and painters find this park equally as inspiring!
  • Have a picnic. One of the best ways to enjoy a state park such as Palouse Falls State Park is to take some time to slow down and enjoy lunch. While you eat, you'll be able to observe local wildlife, including many types of birds and land mammals.

classic bedroom of coast hilltop inn

Suggested stay:

If you need a basecamp to explore these two local gems, check out the Coast Hilltop Inn. Amenities at this pet-friendly property include:

  • Heated indoor swimming pool
  • Hydro spa
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Complimentary breakfast
  • Complimentary in-room coffee and tea

2. Lake Chelan

calm waters of Lake Chelan Lake Chelan is home to a fun-filled resort community, offering many families the ability to enjoy the stunning lake and glacier-carved valley. The beauty of this lake is that there’s something for everyone to enjoy, such as:

  • Watersports and beach activities. There are plenty of boats, jet skis, and parasails to rent in the area, which is perfect for however you’d like to explore Lake Chelan.
  • Stehekin adventures. For travelers who like to explore more remote areas, Stehekin is the perfect spot. Only accessible by boat, helicopter, or foot, the area offers seclusion that many visitors seek. While in Stehekin, more activities are available, like horseback riding, kayaking, mountain biking, or fishing.
  • Wine tasting. And, of course, there are vineyards for those of you who enjoy a glass of wine. Lake Chelan Wine Valley offers over 35 wineries and tasting rooms in the area.

newly remodeled lobby of Coast Wenatchee Hotel

Suggested stay:

After your drive from Palouse State Park, hang your hat at the Coast Wenatchee Center Hotel. Like all Coast Hotels, this local hotel encompasses the character of the area, so you can be sure that your experience doesn’t stop when you step foot into your room. Top amenities you’ll enjoy at this pet-friendly property include:

  • Indoor/outdoor pool and whirlpool
  • Fitness center
  • Complimentary business center
  • Complimentary airport shuttle
  • Complimentary overnight parking

3. Snoqualmie Falls

snowualmie falls One of Washington State’s most popular scenic attractions, Snoqualmie Falls, is the perfect stop to make between Wenatchee and Olympia. The park is home to a breathtaking waterfall boasting a height of 268 feet. An easy hike that allows you to explore the area, the Snoqualmie Falls Trail is a quick 0.7-mile hike that offers spectacular views of the waterfall up close!

4. Mount Rainier

mt. rainier at sunset If you’re ever wondering what to do in Olympia, WA, wonder no more! Mount Rainier is a must-see along your Washington State road trip, offering plenty of history and even more awe-inspiring views. Mount Rainier has 26 major glaciers and is the highest mountain in the Cascade Mountain Range. From lakes to rivers, your hike will encompass a breathtaking landscape. For hike ideas in the area, visit AllTrails.

5. Hoh Rainforest

man walking through the Hoh Rainforest The Hoh Rainforest can be found on the Olympic Peninsula and is one of the world’s most lush rainforests. This rainforest is one of four in the Olympic Peninsula and is a World Heritage Site and a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO. The Hoh Rainforest offers the perfect environment for exploration as it’s home to countless animal and plant species that are only seen in rainforest ecosystems. Two hikes that offer excellent ways to explore the rainforest are the Hall of Mosses Trail and the Spruce Nature Trail. Both of these trails are easy, so anyone can fully experience the rainforest.

6. Mount St. Helens

mt. st. helens This particular must-see in Washington is actually a volcano, and one that has been known to erupt in recent times. The famous peak is part of the Cascade Mountain Range in Washington. Take time to explore the Visitor Center at Mount St. Helens, where you can view the volcano and forest and learn about the local history before, during, and after the most recent eruption. This is an exciting attraction in Washington and is also near Portland, OR, making it the ideal place to travel to neighbouring states on your journey.

7. Columbia River Gorge

the Columbia River Gorge And when you’re all set to expand your road trip across state lines, there are plenty of things to do in Oregon to keep you busy! One must-visit attraction is the Columbia River Gorge, a natural attraction that marks the boundary between Washington and Oregon. The Columbia River Gorge Interpretive Center Museum is a great place to take a break from your road trip, soak in the amazing views, and learn about the incredible history of the area, including how the Gorge came to be so vast centuries ago. exterior view of The Benson Hotel

Suggested stay:

After you’ve witnessed the majestic river, make your way to Portland and The Benson, a Coast Hotel in Portland is the perfect place to lay your head after. With comfortable accommodations, you’ll be able to view all the photos of your day with ease. You can enjoy these amenities at this pet-friendly property:

  • Complimentary coffee and tea in the lobby
  • Fitness center
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • In-room safe
  • Premium bedding
  • Bathrobes and slippers in every room
  • Gold Key Concierge Service
  • Live Jazz music Wednesday - Saturday

Why Stay at Coast Hotels

Your road trip isn’t complete without warm hospitality and comfortable accommodations. When planning your Washington State Road Trip, book with Coast Hotels to experience the local culture and luxuriate in the well-appointed rooms. From complimentary Wi-Fi to incredible locations, Coast Hotels locations offer an unforgettable basecamp for your Washington State adventures. Book a room at Hotel 116, a Coast Hotel Bellevue, Coast Gateway Hotel, Coast Wenatchee Center Hotel, Coast Hilltop Inn to ensure an unforgettable summer in Washington!