The Pacific Northwest is full of gorgeous landscapes and interesting places to visit. If you’re looking to expand your options from some of the more common stops such as the Space Needle or Portland, here are our top 10 suggestions for places to check out on your next trip.
1. Leavenworth, WA
A local favorite, this one-of-a-kind town is entirely Bavarian-themed – even down to the local McDonald’s. Visitors can look forward to checking out the unique themed shops. The town also hosts a variety of different festivals year-round. Some of the notable events include Oktoberfest Markt, a farmer’s market-like event, in the fall as well as the Christmas Lights Festival in the winter.
2. Palouse Falls (Washington State)
Palouse Falls might not be as well known as some other Washington waterfalls such as Snoqualmie, but this 200-foot waterfall is stunning all the same. Located in Eastern Washington, you can enjoy the falls in several ways. Visitors can look forward to viewing the falls from above, hiking down to the base, or even enjoying a swim in the nearby river.
3. Golden Gardens Park (Washington State)
If you’re looking for a fun outing on the west side of Washington State, or you’ve exhausted options such as Pike Place Market or the Space Needle, consider a trip out to Golden Gardens Park. You can look forward to stunning views of the Puget sound, as well as beachside amenities such as a playground and grills – this is a great option for families.
4. Golden Ghost Town (Oregon)
This ghost town is located in Josephine County, Oregon. The town was historically a mining town. It was home to local miners and their families in the 1850s but was eventually abandoned as the mines ran dry in the 20th century. Today, the town has been designated a heritage site and is on the National Register of Historic Places. There are currently 4 remaining structures from the old town, including a church, a private residence, and a building that used to be a post office and store. If you’re looking to add some authentic history to your PNW trip, a ghost town is a great way to do so, and Golden is both memorable and easily accessible.
5. The Seattle Underground (Washington State)
These spooky tunnels were historically the ground level of Seattle. As the city expanded and the upper level was built – right on top of the old stores – they were eventually abandoned. Today, you can see the underground yourself with a tour such as Bill Speidel’s Seattle Underground Tour. Tours run hourly each day. Masks are currently required for both visitors and staff.
6. Ruby Beach (Washington State)
Ruby Beach is situated on Washington State’s gorgeous Olympic peninsula. The beach offers stunning views of both the coast and the PNW scenery. The beach is also a great spot for tide-pooling. The area’s tidepools commonly include a wide variety of cool critters such as starfish and anemones. You could also check out some other notable Olympic National Park spots, such as the Hoh Rainforest, while in the area.
7. Bend, OR
While not as popular as Portland, Bend’s many shops and dreamy scenery make this town worth visiting. Head over to The Old Mill District for a variety of shops, riverside trails, and eateries.
8. Washington Park (Oregon)
Don’t let the name confuse you – Washington Park is actually located in Portland, Oregon. This memorable park is home to a variety of attractions, including a Japanese garden and the Oregon Zoo. This variety makes it an excellent choice for families or groups with diverse interests – there’s something here for everyone.
9. Enchanted Forest Theme Park (Oregon)
Add some magic and thrills to your PNW trip with a visit to Enchanted Forest Theme Park. This fairytale-themed amusement park is home to all sorts of fun attractions. After a long period of closure, the park is welcoming visitors again, with some restrictions in place. Guests are required to wear masks indoors, and masks are recommended in all outdoor locations.
10. Missoula, MT
If you’re looking for an option a bit further on the outskirts of the pacific northwest, consider a visit to Missoula. This charming town is home to a hand-crafted carousel, as well as a variety of shops. It doesn’t hurt that the surrounding Montana landscapes are gorgeous as well.
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