In August I took a quick trip to the Pacific Northwest. With a long list of sights I wanted to see and just Friday to Monday to see it all, we covered a lot of ground! The road trip included stops in Olympia, Portland, Forks, Hoh Rainforest in Olympia National Park, and Seattle all in this one trip!
Here's what we did, tips for you to make this trip yourself, and what I'd do differently if I could do it all over again.
Our flight landed at 2pm (I'd recommend getting in earlier if possible!). We rented a car (with the cheapest rate from AAA) and drove south toward Portland.
On the way, we stopped in Olympia to check out the capitol building. I recommend the same peaceful sit we had in Heritage Park where you can see the Capitol building from across the lake, and then enjoy a warm bowl of soup at Kizuki Ramen & Izakaya.
Continue the drive to Portland and check in for the night. We stayed south of Downtown at the University Place Hotel and Conference Center (booked with the best rate on booking.com) and found it to be the most affordable, central area to stay in.
We went out for the night in the Pearl District and found it to be underwhelming. If we could do it again we would go out north of Downtown where they have bars, restaurants, strip clubs, and food carts one after another. We were pretty tired from the travel and wanted to start the next day fresh so we ended the night fairly early.
Early Saturday morning we drove out to Multnomah Falls, hiked around and enjoyed the massive waterfall views. This is a must when in the area!
We drove back to Portland and spent a few hours exploring the lively North Downtown area to walk the street fair, nibble on bites at the food carts, try the Portland-famous Stumptown Coffee, at the very first location, and take photos by the iconic Keep Portland Weird sign at Dante's on Burnside.
It has so much character, awesome street art and great restaurants. I loved this relaxed, artsy neighborhood! We stopped into The Knock Back for craft cocktails and the most delicious chicken slider and brussel sprouts.
From there we drove northwest to Forks, Washington where we rented a room on Airbnb at this huge house tucked away in the forest. It was a long, rainy drive and we got in late so we decided not to splurge on a hotel for this night because we would only be there a few hours just to sleep.
We started this day early with a drive into Forks for a quick cup of jo and breakfast sandwich from Mocha Motion, and the mandatory photo by the “Welcome to Forks” sign. My Twilight-loving heart was so full! #TeamEdward.
Across the street, we saw a herd 60 wild elk sleeping on the runways of the local airport across the street. It was so cool to see.
From there it was about an hour drive into Olympia National Park to hike around the awe-inspiring Hoh Rainforest. The fog, mossy green trees, ferns and northwestern vibes were in full effect. It was just as beautiful as it seems in the pictures. We spent a few hours enjoying the serenity with no ones else around in any direction. I would definitely go back and spend even more time here!
After we got out fix of the rainforest we drove the four hours back to city life in Seattle.
For our last night on the trip we decided to splurge on an adorable luxury boutique hotel - Hotel Max. I had been SO excited about this hotel and looking forward to the craft beer hour for weeks. I booked our room the day of using Hotels Tonights and it was the best deal I found. I know, because I watched the prices for weeks, holding out for the best rate. We checked in and the nice receptionist upgraded us to a king suite and our room and stay was better than imagined!
We got cleaned up, enjoy our craft beer hour, and then headed down to Barolo Ristorante for an amazing fine Italian meal. They seriously took care of us and the food was delicious. We got the charcuterie platter, gnocchi, and steak dinner. I highly recommend this restaurant!
Monday morning we woke, grabbed a cup of coffee from Urban Coffee House and walked down to Pike Place. Seeing that it was my first time in Seattle I had to hit the typical tourist attractions, but I’d probably skip it again if I return to the city.
Nearby Pikes, we found a Lola, a cute restaurant known for their benedicts, we stopped in to grab one and a few mimosas because we were on vacation of course.
Next, we walked to the Space Needle, because when in Seattle, this is a must especially for first-timers. I would even do it again at night. The views are amazing! The glass walls and bottom is so cool to sit and look out at the city.
The very last thing we did in the Pacific Northwest was drive out of Seattle to Snoqualmie Falls. If we had more time we would have done the short hike to the base of the waterfall, but we didn’t discover it until we had been there for a while already and we had to run to catch our flight.
Although it was short trip, we saw so much cool stuff in the Pacific Northwest! We could have easily spent several more weeks exploring all of the quirky attractions, and jaw dropping nature that surrounds this area, but with just three days we covered as much as we could. All the more reason to return!
What would you recommend I do next time in the area?