Top

Pacific Northwest U.S.

Oregon and Washington State make up the Pacific Northwest. This region of the United States is known for its coastlines, national parks, laid-back cities, volcanoes, and forests. Whatever kind of adventure you want to have, this Pacific Northwest travel guide has everything you need for planning a trip!

Ready to plan your trip? Then here’s your ultimate Pacific Northwest travel guide!

page-divider-blue

Cities to Visit

Astoria, Oregon

Bend, Oregon

Eugene, Oregon

Portland, Oregon

Port Angeles, Washington

Port Townsend, Washington

Seattle, Washington

Spokane, Washington

Walla Walla, Washington

page-divider-blue

When To Go

Autumn

Fall is a fantastic season to visit the Pacific Northwest because the temperatures will be cooling off. Rain will become more frequent in late October and November, so you’ll want good rain gear. The foliage will be changing into vibrant colors, and prices and tourist numbers will be decreasing from the peak summer season.

All of the National Parks and roads will still be open in the Fall. This is also the best time of year to visit the Willamette Valley Wine Region and Woodinville Wine Country for the grape harvesting season.

Winter

In Winter, you can head inland to the mountains for snow. Or you can head to the coasts where it’ll be cold and drier.

Winter is the low travel season for the Pacific Northwest, so prices and tourist numbers will be at some of their lowest. The exceptions to this are during Christmas and New Year’s.

Some National and State Parks will have trail or road closures, so make sure you check in advance whether a hike or scenic drive is open.

Spring

Spring is a beautiful time to visit Oregon and Washington. The warm, pleasant days and refreshingly cool nights make these months an excellent time to visit. Wildflowers will be blooming, especially the cherry blossoms in Washington, and the tulip fields in the Skagit Valley are a must-visit during Spring.

All roads and trails will re-open, and as long as you avoid the peak Spring Break weeks from mid-March to early April, the crowds and prices will still be relatively low.

Summer

Summer days are sunny and warm. Daytime temperatures can be in the 90s (24-28°C), and the nights will be pleasant, especially for camping.

The higher elevations can still be chilly in the mornings and evenings, so bring a couple of layers with you.

This is prime beach season. But be aware that, like most places in the U.S., summer is the peak travel season because of school breaks, so crowds and prices will be at their highest.

Portland and Seattle are two of the Best Destinations To Visit In August!
page-divider-blue

National Parks to Visit

Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

Deception Pass State Park, Washington

Ecola State Park, Oregon

Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

North Cascades National Park, Washington

Olympic National Park, Washington

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Silver Falls State Park, Oregon

page-divider-blue

Scenic Drives

Cascade Loop, Washington

Historic Columbia River Highway Scenic Byway, Oregon

Oregon Coast Highway

Olympic Peninsula Loop Drive, Washington

Pacific Coast Scenic Byway, Washington

Samuel H. Boardman State Scenic Corridor, Oregon

page-divider-blue

Must-Do Excursions

Visit Snoqualmie Falls, Washington

Sled down the Oregon Sand Dunes

See Thor’s Well (at high tide) in Oregon

Hike Mount Rainier in Washington

Visit Multnomah Falls, Oregon

See the tulips in Washington’s Skagit Valley

Hike the Cape Flattery Trail, Neah Bay, Washington

Sample wine in one of the states’ wine regions

page-divider-blue

Pacific Northwest Travel Guide Books

Washington, Oregon, and the pacific northwest travel guide by lonely planet

Fodors Travel Pacific Northwest travel guide

Moons pacific northwest hiking travel guide

page-divider-blue

Travel Essentials

page-divider-blue

Local Foods To Try

Razor Clams

Geoduck

Dungeness Crab

Sushirrito

Oysters on the Half Shell

Marionberry Pie

Açaí Bowl

Shrimp Tacos

Sushi

page-divider-blue

Have you been to this region? Comment below with anything you’d add to this Pacific Northwest travel guide!

page-divider-blue

Explore The U.S. By Region

page-divider-blue
Frequently Asked Questions
  • What's the best time to visit the Pacific Northwest?

    Spring is a beautiful time to visit Oregon and Washington. The warm, pleasant days and refreshingly cool nights make these months an excellent time to visit. Wildflowers will be blooming, especially the cherry blossoms in Washington, and the tulip fields in the Skagit Valley are a must-visit during Spring.

    All roads and trails will re-open, and as long as you avoid the peak Spring Break weeks from mid-March to early April, the crowds and prices will still be relatively low.

    Summer days are sunny and warm. Daytime temperatures can be in the 90s (24-28°C), and the nights will be pleasant, especially for camping.

    The higher elevations can still be chilly in the mornings and evenings, so bring a couple of layers with you. This is prime beach season. But be aware that, like most places in the U.S., summer is the peak travel season because of school breaks, so crowds and prices will be at their highest.

    Fall is a fantastic season to visit the Pacific Northwest because the temperatures will be cooling off. Rain will become more frequent in late October and November, so you’ll want good rain gear. The foliage will be changing into vibrant colors, and prices and tourist numbers will be decreasing from the peak summer season.

    All of the National Parks and roads will still be open in the Fall. This is also the best time of year to visit the Willamette Valley Wine Region and Woodinville Wine Country for the grape harvesting season.

    In Winter, you can head inland to the mountains for snow. Or you can head to the coasts where it’ll be cold and drier.

    Winter is the low travel season for the Pacific Northwest, so prices and tourist numbers will be at some of their lowest. The exceptions to this are during Christmas and New Year’s.

    Some National and State Parks will have trail or road closures, so make sure you check in advance whether a hike or scenic drive is open.

  • How can I plan a road trip to the pacific northwest in 14 days?

    2-Week Pacific Northwest Road Trip Itinerary

    1. Four nights in Seattle – two days exploring the city, one day on a day trip to Woodinville Wine Country, one day on a day trip to North Cascades National Park.

    2. Two nights in Mount Rainier National Park.

    3. Two nights in Olympic National Park.

    4. Three nights in Portland, Oregon – two days exploring the city, one day on a day trip to Mt. Hood and the Columbia River Gorge.

    5. Three nights in Crater Lake National Park.

  • What do I need to pack for a trip to the Pacific Northwest?

    Temperatures vary in Oregon and Washington throughout the year, but you’ll want these travel essentials no matter when you visit the Pacific Northwest:

    1. Raincoat and boots.

    2. Hiking clothes and shoes.

    3. Long and short-sleeved shirts.

    4. Shorts and long pants.

    5. Layers.

    6. Coat.

    7. Swimsuits.

    8. Camera and/or GoPro.

    9. Jeans.

    10. Nice/dressier clothes.

  • Where can i take a float trip in the Pacific Northwest?

    These are the best rivers for paddling, rafting, and floating in the Pacific Northwest:

    1. Upper Klamath River

    2. Rogue River

    3. Deschutes River

    4. North Santiam River

    5. Clackamas River

    6. White Salmon River

    7. Klickitat River

    8. Tieton River

    9. Wenatchee River

    10. Skykomish River

  • Where should I vacation in the Pacific Northwest?

    The best vacation destinations in the Pacific Northwest:

    1. Astoria, Oregon

    2. Bend, Oregon

    3. Eugene, Oregon

    4. Portland, Oregon

    5. Port Angeles, Washington

    6. Port Townsend, Washington

    7. Seattle, Washington

    8. Mount Rainier National Park, Washington

    9. Crater Lake National Park, Oregon

    10. Olympic National Park, Washington

  • What places are in the Pacific Northwest?

    The Pacific Northwest is comprised of the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington, and British Columbia, Canada, is often considered part of the Pacific Northwest as well.

  • Is the Puget Sound the ocean?

    Puget Sound is an estuary, an ocean inlet where saltwater from the nearby Pacific Ocean mixes with fresh water.

  • Can you swim in Puget Sound?

    Puget Sound is perfect for boating, paddle-boarding, kayaking, and fishing. You can swim in Puget Sound at beaches such as Alki Beach Park in Seattle, but the water is cold year-round, so swimming is usually not advised because of the risk of hypothermia.

page-divider-blue

This Pacific Northwest travel guide is not a sponsored post, and, as always, the thoughts and opinions expressed here are entirely my own. Some of the links in this guide are affiliate links, and, at no cost to you, I may earn a small commission.

0

Comments:

  • June 26, 2020

    Very comprehensively written guide. I wish I could be there one day but now this Covid and lost all hope,,
    A good article..

    reply...

post a comment