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Top 7 Off The Beaten Path Towns To Visit In The Pacific Northwest This Winter

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The Pacific Northwest, known for its overcast weather and gorgeous forests, is a great place to visit! If you’re looking to plan a trip there this winter, adding a visit to an off-the-beaten-path town to your travel plans can be a great way to make some one-of-a-kind memories. Here are 7 small towns to explore throughout the winter season, plus the best things to do in each.

Top 7 Off The Beaten Path Things To Do In The Pacific Northwest This Winter

1. Astoria, Oregon

Astoria, Oregon is a beautiful town located near the Columbia River. It’s home to a wide variety of things to do, from learning more about the town’s history at the Columbia River Maritime Museum or seeing a shipwreck at Fort Stevens State Park.

Astoria, Oregon, Pacific Northwest

2. Leavenworth, Washington

Here’s a great option in the Pacific Northwest for those looking for a truly one-of-a-kind experience. Leavenworth feels like you’re stepping into a winter wonderland, thanks to its location nestled in the Cascades and its unique German theme. Buildings feature Bavarian-style architecture, and many shops have a similar theme.

This is a great place to spend a day – Leavenworth is only (2) hours from Seattle, as well as a few nights. For those who are looking for a longer stay, Posthotel offers luxurious accommodations with amenities such as a spa, while the Bavarian Ritz Hotel offers charming, cozy rooms just off of main street.

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Leavenworth, Washington, Pacific Northwest

3. Ellensburg, Washington

Ellensburg is a sleepy, charming town located in Eastern Washington. This is a great choice for those looking for a day trip to a lesser-known destination – Ellensburg is about two hours from Seattle. While there, head downtown to check out unique local shops.

You also may want to visit Kittitas County Historical Museum to learn more about the history of the town or look into heading a bit out of town towards the Yakima Canyon for some hiking trails and scenic views.

Ellensburg, Washington

4. Sequim, Washington

Sequim is located on the western side of Washington State, about an hour from Olympic National Forest. This small Pacific Northwest town is possibly best known for its Lavender farms in the summer, but it’s not without charm in the winter either. One definite perk is that the closer proximity to the ocean means there’s typically less snow and ice on the roads and in the surrounding area.

Sequim, Washington

5. Cottage Grove, Oregon

Cottage Grove, Oregon is best known for its six covered bridges and has been called “the covered bridge capital of the west”. That’s far from all it has to offer, though. The town is also home to a variety of murals, mostly located near downtown Cottage Grove.

Cottage Grove, Oregon

6. Yachats, Oregon

Head over to Yachats, Oregon, to enjoy not only gorgeous views of the Oregon coast but also some unique historical sights, such as Heceta Head Lighthouse. For those visiting around the Holidays, Heceta Head Lighthouse is also having a Christmas celebration this year that features holiday lights and live music.

Yachats, Oregon

7. Whidbey Island, Washington

Whidbey Island is a well-loved vacation destination in the summer in Washington. Located about an hour from Seattle, Whidbey Island is still a great place to visit in the cooler months. Head out to Deception Pass State Park for some gorgeous scenic views – just be sure to bring a warm jacket.

While the area doesn’t get much snow, temperatures can still drop below freezing at times. For those looking to stay inside and nice and warm, check out Front Street Grill for a delicious meal.

Whidbey Island, Washington

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Monday 7th of November 2022

Ok none of these are "off the beaten path." Most of them are on major highways and well known tourist towns....


Monday 7th of November 2022

Plus, in Sequim you might run into Mike from 90 Day Fiance!