12-Day Pacific Northwest Itinerary

The Pacific Northwest was by far my favorite road trip so far.  There is so much to see and do.   We are already planning our next trip back.  We road tripped from Oregon to Washington during July 2018.  Watch our video linked below and visit us on Instagram! 

Day 1
  • First stop: Food Carts
    • Love Verona
    • Anna Thai Basil
  • Checked into Airbnb
  • Powell’s Books
  • Dinner: Great Notion Brewing and Barrel House
  • Salt and Straw
  • Alberta Park
Day 2
  • Coffee: Woodlawn Coffee and Pastry
  • Woodlawn Park
  • Lunch: P’s and Q’s Market
  • Explored NE Alberta street
  • Voodoo Donuts
  • Dinner: Pok Pok-during happy hour
  • Alberta Park
Day 3
Day 4
  • Silver Falls Trail-2.7 miles
  • Drive to Seattle-2 hours
  • Gas Works Park
  • Seattle Mariners game
  • Priceline hotel
Day 5
Day 6
Day 7
  • Drive down the coast: 4 ½ hours without stopping
  • Stops
    • Rialto Beach
    • Ruby Beach
    • Kalaloch Beach
  • Astoria
  • Cannon Beach
    • Dinner: Tom’s Fish and Chips
  • Camp Nehalem Bay State Park
Day 8
  • Kelly’s Brighton Marina
  • Tillamook Creamery
  • Devil’s Punchbowl
  • Yaquina Lighthouse
  • Cape Perpetua
    • Thor’s Well
    • Spouting Horn
    • Devil’s Churn
  • Florence
    • Sand Dunes
  • Haceta Head Lighthouse
  • Airbnb Gold Beach-this airbnb is no longer active
  • Drive-6 hours without stopping
Day 9
  • Airbnb
  • Gold Beach
Day 10
Day 11
  • Diamond Lake
Day 12
  • Drive back to Portland-4 hours
  • Food carts
  • Fly home

Day 1
We landed in Portland about 11 am.  Flights and car rental were more expensive here than we have ever paid.  The food carts in Portland area must and were our first stop.  Our favorites were Love Verona and Anna Thai Basil.  We ordered Cavatina from Love Verona and Pad Kee Mao from Anna Thai Basil.  Both were amazing!  Next we headed to Powell’s Books since we were close.  After we checked into our Airbnb.  We like to stay in neighborhoods rather than downtown.  It is easier with the kids to have some space to run around and parking is usually free.  Our Airbnb was one of the cutest ones we have ever stayed in.  The hosts were great and lived right next door.  They helped with everything that we needed.  Great Notion Brewing was a great spot for dinner.  It has good craft beer and food.  We ended the night with Salt and Straw at the Alberta Park.  

Day 2
We started the day at Woodlawn Coffee.  We stopped at at local park called Woodlawn Park.  P’s and Q’s Market was a great spot for lunch.   It is a restaurant with a small local market inside.  The food was great.  We walked up and down the shops on NE Alberta Street.  We headed to downtown for Voodoo Doughnuts.  The Keep Portland Weird sign is across the street from Voodoo Doughnuts.  After we walked around downtown Portland.  We also stopped at Whole Foods to get food for camping the next night.  With a toddler it is hard to stay out and about all day anymore in a city.  We went back to the Airbnb and ordered chicken wings from Pok Pok to go.  We ate during happy hour to save money.  We ordered the girls burgers from a brewery down the street from our Airbnb.  We walked to Woodlawn Park again after dinner.  

Day 3
We headed to Mount Rainier National Park.  Tip: buy all of things you need for the trip in Oregon.  There is no sales tax there.  I wanted to go to the Columbia River Gorge on our way to Mount Rainier but a lot of the area was still closed due to fires in 2017.  If this is open again I would definitely stop there.  We camped in Ohanapecosh Campground in Mount Rainier National Park.  This campground is on a river and about 45 minutes from the visitor center.  There are no showers.  We hiked the Skyline Trail from the visitor center that afternoon.  It is a 5.3 mile loop.  The views on this trail are incredible.  We had to hike through snow at the top of the hike.  We weren’t able to do the whole loop because the snow was too deep.  We had to turn back at Panorama Point and leave the way we came in.  Clouds often cover Mount Rainier.  The entire time we were on this hike we could not see the top of the mountain.  We were finally able to see the mountain when we drove back to our campground.  We spent the evening eating hot dogs and smores.  

Day 4
We hiked the short hike to Silver Falls.  The trail head is in the campground and is a 4 mile loop along a river.   Along the hike you pass by hot springs.  The waterfall at the end is beautiful.  After the hike we headed to Seattle.  Gas Works Park is a great first stop.  This park has an amazing view of the city.  They were building a kids park when we were there so that will even better when we return again.  We got a hotel off of Priceline express deals.  We stayed in Bellevue because it was cheaper and there was free parking.  We went to the Mariners game that night.  Tip: there is tons of free parking a couple blocks from the stadium.  There was a Pearl Jam concert/firework show at the end of the game.  It was amazing and we were so lucky we just happened to be there that day.  We had dinner in the stadium at Great State Burger.  We all loved the burgers.  They were great quality for ballpark food.  We also had the infamous garlic fries.  Tip: if you go to the designated driver booth you get a free water/soft drink for anyone with a license that signs up.  

Day 5
We stopped at Trader Joe’s in Bellevue before we headed out to get all things we needed for camping the next 2 nights.  We started at Pike Place Market.  We ate lunch at Market Grill in Pike Place Market.  The clam chowder and salmon sandwich were amazing.  The public market was extremely crowded and overwhelming on the day we went.  I did love seeing all the beautiful flowers.  They were so cheap compared to prices at home.  The food was definitely worth the crowd.  My 8 year old of course had to see the gum wall before we left.  The Space Needle Park had a festival going on when we went.  We went because of the amazing play area.  It was one of the coolest parks ever with a great view of the Space Needle.  We drove about 30 minutes from Seattle thinking we would get away from the crowd to take the ferry.  We were wrong.  We waited in a car line for about 3 hours to get on to the ferry.  I don’t know if the one from Seattle was faster but this line was just insane.  The ferry ride was fun for the girls.  It only took about 20 minutes to get across the water.  We then drove to Forks where our Airbnb campsite was.  We wanted to go to Hurricane Ridge but we were all tired after the wait to get onto the ferry and did not want to go any further out of the way.  We passed right by the Lavender Festival in Sequim.  I highly recommend this if you are there at that time.  There are lavender fields, many different flavors of lavender ice cream, and all things lavender for your home.  Some of the fields are open year round and some are only open during the festival.  Our Airbnb was right outside of Forks.  It was the coolest place we have ever camped.  It was a covered little open cabin with a stove.  There was a fire pit.  The whole site looked over a part of the Hoh River.  There was enough space that I felt safe for my 1 year old to walk around the spot.  This was the only campsite on their property that was secluded from the others.  There were no showers but there was toilet. 

Day 6
We hiked the Hoh River Trail.  This hike is up to 32 miles.  We only hiked about 1 ½ miles to the river and turned back because we wanted to make it to the beach for low tide.  Next, we hiked 2 miles to Second Beach.  This is a very easy hike but you have to climb over a huge pile of driftwood to get to the beach.  This beach was huge.  There were a lot of people there and we still felt like we had so much of the beach to ourselves.  If you go during low tide you can see the tide pools.  My 8 year old loved this.  We walked and played on the beach most of the day.  We camped again that night.  

Day 7
We headed down the coast.  There are a lot of beaches we wanted to stop at.  It was very foggy the morning we left and you could barely see the beaches when we stopped.  We stopped in Astoria, Oregon.  I loved this little town.  Fort Stevens State Park has a really cool shipwreck on the beach.  Fort George Brewing also has great beers. We bought a bunch from this brewery to take with us for the rest of the trip.  We headed down the coast to Cannon Beach.  Fires were not allowed on the beach because of the fires that were happening in other parts of the state.  We want to go back just to have a fire on the beach one day.  We let the girls run around on Cannon Beach for a while.  We were camping that night and charcoal fires were banned in the state park, so we had to eat at a restaurant that night.  We ate a Tom’s Fish and Chips.  The food was actually really good.  We ordered fried clams and clam chowder.  We camped in Nehalem State Park.  This campground had a really clean shower and bathroom and had a great play area for the girls. 

Day 8
We started the morning crabbing at Kelly’s Brighton Marina.  Get there early or you will wait in line for a boat.  This was by far our favorite part of the trip.  For $120 you get a license, 3 crab rings, and a boat for 2 hours to catch crabs.  This was so much fun for the girls.  Well this was fun for Cadyn because it was too early for Jolene.  She slept most of the ride.  You can only keep the male crabs that are big enough.  They give all the equipment you need.  After the ride they cook all the crabs for you.  We caught 9 crabs.  This was one of our favorite meals.  They were amazing.  After this we headed down the coast to Gold Beach.  We stopped first at Tillamook Creamery.   This place was crazy busy.  We did not wait in any of the lines.  We quickly bought a pack of cheese from the store and left.  I listed all the stops we planned on stopping at at  the beginning of the post but toddlers change your plans a lot.  We just headed to the Airbnb and just took in the views from the road.  We did stop in Florence to ride a sled down the sand dunes.  It was so windy that we could not have the baby out there.  We did one sled and sand blew all over our face.  Cadyn and Johnny played on the dunes for a little while.  Our Airbnb was someone’s guesthouse.  It was perfect for us.  It had a view of the ocean and mountains and a hot tub.  We cooked dinner that night at the Airbnb

Day 9
This day we were so worn out and stayed at the Airbnb most of the day.  We went down to the beach for a couple hours.  We spent a lot of the day in and out of the hot tub.  We ate all meals at the Airbnb that day

Day 10
We drove to Crater Lake National Park.  We saw a fire start across the lake while we were there and we couldn’t even see the lake within about 10 minutes of being there.  We headed to our campground about 30 minutes away from Crater Lake NP.  The campground was called Diamond Lake Campground.  Our site was right on the clear lake with a view of Mount Bailey.  It was one of my favorite campgrounds.  There were clean showers and bathrooms.  We were actually able to have a charcoal fire for cooking at this campground since it was in a national forest and not a state park.  

Day 11
We spent the day playing in the lake and hanging out in the hammock.  It was one of our favorite days.  This are has no cell phone service at all here.  

Day 12
We woke up early and headed back to Portland for our flight home.   We left early enough to stop at the food carts of course before our flight home.  

We traveled a lot of miles on this trip.  The good thing about this area of the United States is that it doesn’t get dark until about 9:30 pm in the Summer.  There is so much more we want to see in the Pacific Northwest and we cannot wait to go back.  

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