Embark on an eight-day adventure road trip through the picturesque landscapes of the Pacific Northwest. Each day promises a unique blend of natural wonders, cultural exploration, and culinary delights. This itinerary starts in Washington and ends in Oregon. Begin your journey in Seattle, Washington, surrounded by the vibrant culture of the Emerald City, as you explore Pike Place Market, indulge in a seafood feast with waterfront views, and marvel at glass sculptures in the Chihuly Garden and Glass.
From there, travel onward to experience the enchanting Olympic National Park, the coastal beauty of Cannon Beach, Oregon, and the vibrant city life of Portland. Every stop offers a distinctive experience. Venture into the awe-inspiring Columbia River Gorge, discover the charm of Bend, and stand in awe of the sapphire waters of Crater Lake National Park. Conclude your adventure in Ashland, Oregon, where the arts, culinary delights, and outdoor pursuits come together for a fitting end to an unforgettable journey.
Day 1: Seattle, Washington
(image via Václav Vančura)
Start: Welcome to the Emerald City! Immerse yourself in Seattle’s vibrant culture, embraced by lush greenery and the iconic Space Needle piercing the skyline.
Morning: Begin your day with a visit to Pike Place Market, where you can explore stalls filled with fresh produce, local crafts, and numerous food vendors. Don’t miss the chance to snap a photo under the famous “Public Market Center” sign.
Lunch Recommendation: Enjoy a delightful seafood meal at Anthony’s Pier 66, known for its stunning waterfront views and Pacific Northwest-inspired dishes.
Afternoon: Take a trip to the Chihuly Garden and Glass to behold breathtaking glass sculptures and a vibrant garden, offering a unique artistic perspective on the region’s natural beauty.
Evening: Cap off your day with a visit to the historic Pioneer Square district. Uncover the area’s rich heritage, dotted with charming cobblestone streets, art galleries, and cozy cafes where you can unwind in the evening.
Late Night: If you’re up for late-night entertainment, catch a live performance at the Triple Door, an intimate venue hosting a variety of musical acts.
Tips: For convenient local travel, consider using the Seattle Monorail to get around the city efficiently while taking in stunning aerial views.
Day 2: Olympic National Park, Washington
(image via David Kovalenko)
Start: Depart from Seattle early in the morning for a scenic drive to Olympic National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its diverse ecosystems and stunning landscapes.
Morning: Explore the Hurricane Ridge area for breathtaking panoramic views of the park and the snow-capped peaks of the Olympic Mountains. Take a short hike to fully immerse yourself in the serene beauty of the region.
Lunch Recommendation: Enjoy a picnic amid nature’s beauty at the Hurricane Ridge picnic area, which provides a perfect spot to savor a meal while surrounded by picturesque scenery.
Afternoon: Venture to the Hoh Rainforest, a mystical realm cloaked in lush greenery and draped in moss. Embark on the Hall of Mosses Trail for an enchanting walk through towering trees and vibrant vegetation.
Evening: As the day winds down, head to Lake Crescent to witness the tranquil waters glowing in the evening light. Consider taking a leisurely stroll along the lakeshore to fully embrace the park’s serenity.
Late Night: Under the starry sky, take a moment to stargaze and revel in the unpolluted night skies of Olympic National Park.
Tips: Plan for the day’s activities by packing essentials such as water, snacks, and sturdy hiking shoes, as you’ll be exploring various terrains in the park.
Day 3: Cannon Beach, Oregon
(image via Paul Matheson)
Start: Depart from Olympic National Park and head to the picturesque coastal town of Cannon Beach, Oregon, known for its iconic Haystack Rock and stunning shoreline.
Morning: Begin your day with a peaceful stroll along the sandy shore, taking in the scenic beauty of the coastline and admiring the majestic presence of Haystack Rock rising from the ocean.
Lunch Recommendation: Indulge in a delightful seafood meal at Driftwood Restaurant & Lounge, offering a cozy ambiance and spectacular ocean views, complementing the fresh flavors of the Pacific Northwest.
Afternoon: Explore Ecola State Park for sweeping views of the coastline and lush forests. Embark on a hike along the park’s trails for an immersive experience amidst nature’s finest creations.
Evening: Witness a mesmerizing sunset at Chapman Point, casting a warm, golden glow over the coastal landscapes. Capture stunning photographs and cherish this tranquil moment by the sea.
Late Night: After dinner, consider a leisurely beach bonfire, complete with s’mores and the soothing sound of ocean waves, offering the perfect end to a day of coastal exploration.
Day 4: Portland, Oregon
(image via Eric Muhr)
Start: Depart from Cannon Beach and head southeast to the vibrant city of Portland, renowned for its thriving arts scene, eclectic dining, and lush green spaces.
Morning: Explore the enchanting Lan Su Chinese Garden, a tranquil oasis featuring stunning architecture, winding walkways, and serene water features that provide an immersive experience of Chinese culture and heritage.
Lunch Recommendation: Grab lunch nearby at La Jarocha. The restaurant isn’t too far from the Lan Su Chinese Garden. While it may seem unassuming from the outside, La Jarocha’s food will quickly have you singing its praises. The menu showcases the best cuisine of Veracruz and the portions will make sure you aren’t left hungry.
Afternoon: Immerse yourself in the diverse and quirky offerings of the Alberta Arts District. Discover a mix of art galleries, boutiques, and colorful street art, reflecting the city’s creative spirit.
Evening: Visit Powell’s City of Books, an iconic independent bookstore that spans an entire city block. Get lost in the labyrinth of literary treasures and find your next favorite read.
Late Night: Opt for a laid-back evening at the McMenamins Kennedy School, a unique hotel converted from an old elementary school, where you can unwind at the bars, movie theater, or relaxing soaking pool.
Tips: For a unique accommodation experience, consider The Nines, a luxury hotel set in a historic building, or The Society Hotel, which offers boutique accommodations with a rooftop deck boasting city views.
Day 5: Columbia River Gorge, Oregon
(image via Ruvim Miksanskiy)
Start: Depart from Portland and head east to the spectacular Columbia River Gorge, a haven of natural wonders, including dramatic waterfalls, lush forests, and awe-inspiring vistas.
Morning: Begin your day with a visit to Multnomah Falls, a cascading two-tiered waterfall that epitomizes the beauty of the Pacific Northwest. Hike to the iconic Benson Bridge for breathtaking views of the falls.
Lunch Recommendation: Enjoy a meal at the Multnomah Falls Lodge, with its cozy ambiance and hearty, Pacific Northwest-inspired dishes, offering a perfect interlude amidst the natural splendor.
Afternoon: Embark on a scenic drive along the Historic Columbia River Highway, stopping at various viewpoints such as Crown Point and Vista House for panoramic vistas of the gorge and the winding Columbia River below.
Evening: Consider a visit to Hood River, a charming town known for its local breweries and wineries. Sample craft beers or explore the local wine scene, experiencing the region’s flavors against the backdrop of mountain views.
Late Night: If you’re up for post-dinner relaxation, consider exploring the vibrant nightlife in Hood River, whether at a local brewery, wine bar, or enjoying live music at a nearby venue.
Tips: Wear comfortable shoes for light hiking and explore the various vista points and trails for stunning photographic opportunities and immersive natural experiences.
Day 6: Bend, Oregon
(image via Visit Bend Oregon)
Start: Depart from the Columbia River Gorge and head southeast to the charming city of Bend, nestled in the high desert region of central Oregon, known for its outdoor recreation and vibrant culinary scene.
Morning: Explore the stunning Deschutes River Trail, offering picturesque views of the river and the rugged landscapes that define the region. Consider embarking on a leisurely hike or a refreshing morning bike ride.
Lunch Recommendation: Indulge in a delectable meal at Spork, a celebrated eatery offering globally inspired cuisine with a focus on locally sourced ingredients, providing a true taste of Bend’s culinary diversity.
Afternoon: Discover the High Desert Museum, an engaging showcase of the region’s natural and cultural history, featuring engaging exhibits, wildlife encounters, and living history performances, providing a deeper understanding of the area’s heritage.
Evening: Unwind at the Old Mill District, where you can stroll along the Deschutes River or explore the numerous shops, restaurants, and art galleries. Consider catching a vibrant sunset over the Cascade Mountains.
Late Night: Embrace Bend’s craft beer culture by visiting one of the local breweries and enjoying a pint of unique, handcrafted beer while soaking in the city’s relaxed and friendly atmosphere.
Tips: If you’re a fan of outdoor activities, consider extending your stay in Bend to partake in adventures such as rock climbing, river rafting, or exploring nearby volcanic landscapes.
Day 7: Crater Lake National Park, Oregon
(image via Edward Ma)
Start: Depart from Bend and head south to the awe-inspiring Crater Lake National Park, home to the mesmerizing sapphire waters of Crater Lake and the surrounding natural grandeur.
Morning: Begin your day with a visit to Rim Village, where you can marvel at the panoramic views of Crater Lake and Wizard Island. Consider embarking on the easy Discovery Point trail for an introduction to the park’s stunning vistas.
Lunch Recommendation: Enjoy a picnic amid the park’s scenic beauty or dine at the Crater Lake Lodge Dining Room, offering delightful cuisine with sweeping views of the lake, providing a perfect midday retreat.
Afternoon: Delve deeper into the park’s wonders by exploring other overlooks such as Sun Notch and Cloudcap Overlook, providing differing perspectives of the lake’s mesmerizing blue waters and the surrounding cliffs.
Evening: Bask in the calm of the evening at Crater Lake, witnessing the breathtaking sunset casting a warm glow over the caldera, creating a truly magical and serene experience.
Late Night: After dark, consider stargazing at Crater Lake, known for its clear night skies and exceptional visibility, providing a remarkable celestial display.
Tips: Plan accordingly for varying weather conditions, as Crater Lake’s elevation can result in temperature changes, even during the summer months. Additionally, bring along sunscreen and adequate water for your explorations within the park.
Day 8: Ashland, Oregon
(image via City of Ashland Oregon)
Start: Depart from Crater Lake and head north to the charming town of Ashland, celebrated for its vibrant arts scene, culinary delights, and proximity to outdoor recreational opportunities.
Morning: Immerse yourself in the enchanting world of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where you can explore the festival’s unique theater spaces and partake in backstage tours, gaining insight into the world of theatrical productions.
Lunch Recommendation: Enjoy a delightful meal at Larks Home Kitchen Cuisine, a farm-to-table eatery offering seasonal and locally sourced dishes, featuring the freshest flavors of the region.
Afternoon: Stroll through Lithia Park, a lush oasis in the heart of Ashland, boasting tranquil gardens, meandering walking paths, and the calming sounds of Ashland Creek, providing an ideal setting for relaxation and exploration.
Evening: Conclude your journey with a visit to the ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum, an interactive space offering engaging exhibits and playful learning experiences, catering to visitors of all ages.
Late Night: Wrap up your trip with a mesmerizing performance at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre, where you can indulge in an evening of live music, theater, and entertainment, showcasing the artistic vibrancy of Ashland.
Tips: While exploring Ashland, take note of the town’s diverse culinary scene, vibrant art galleries, and close proximity to outdoor adventures in the surrounding Rogue Valley. Consider extending your stay to fully immerse yourself in Ashland’s rich offerings.
This itinerary was generated using artificial intelligence (AI) technology as the result of reader-submitted parameters and input. A member of the A Weekend In team has reviewed and edited the output for accuracy, clarity, and readability. However, it is still advisable to cross-reference the information before making definitive travel plans. Readers are encouraged to consider this content as a starting point for modifying and/or creating their own personalized itineraries using our free AI-Powered Travel Planner.