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Pacific Northwest Explorer


This trip explores the cultural depth and adventurous spirit of the Pacific Northwest, including the thriving Seattle music and caffeine scene, super green Portland, the towering (and sometimes smoking!) landscapes of Mt. Saint Helens and Mt. Rainier, and kayaking and whale watching in the clear waters around Puget Sound and the Straight de Juan de Fuca.

Note: This trip can start in Seattle or Portland and can be done as a loop or one way


Spend a night hopping the clubs in music-loving Seattle where rock, roots, folk, and techno pour out of doors all over the city on a nightly basis. Hit the vintage clothing stores on Capitol Hill and find that perfect flannel shirt or umbrella. Ferry through the San Juan Islands and spend a night sleeping under the stars, camping at a hippie village, or snuggled up in a bed and breakfast. Sea kayak next to the resident orca pods. Choke back your awe beneath Mt. Rainer on a clear day, and talk to people who witnessed the massive eruption of Mt. Saint Helens. Trek through the incredible Olympic National Park, passing rain forests, glacier-topped mountain ranges, natural hot springs, gorgeous beaches, perfect lighthouses, and fields of lavender. Peruse Portland’s legendary bookstores and draw lines in the sand at the Japanese Garden. Have another latte, and breath deep the fresh air of the Pacific Northwest.

Suggested Route

Starting Point: Portland

Ending Point: Seattle

Time Frame: 7-14 days (including time in Seattle and Vancouver)

There are two routes you can take. The first, along I-5, puts you in reach of visiting Mt Rainer National Park and Mt. St. Helens National Volcanic Monument (each about 1-1.5 hours from I-5). Alternatively, take Hwy 101 which loops around Olympic National Park, along the Strait of San Juan de Fuca, and down the Washington coast into Astoria, Oregon (setting of The Goonies movie). From here you can make your way west to Portland on Hwy 30 along the Columbia River.

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