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The Pacific Northwest is probably best-known for its coffee (thanks, Starbucks), adhered to by the stunning nature, consisting of Mount Rainier, mount Saint Helens, the Olympic national Rainforest, and also miles upon mile or mostly unadulterated coast from the san Juan islands to gold Beach. That is additionally home to two bustling metropolises, and a Seattle to Portland drive is the perfect method to take in every the region’s best assets.

Each city has actually a distinct character, an array of natural and also human-made attractions, and bragging civil liberties as the hometown of at the very least a couple of pop-culture sensations. They also have a spirited rivalry, and residents that either will certainly not hesitate to administer a laundry perform of reasons theirs is superior. But why not check out for yourself?

There are a couple of ways to do the trip, and also many a Northwesterner (yours important included) has actually tried castle all. By far, the many enjoyable and possibly many affordable is a road expedition down the I-5 corridor. Below are a few spots you won’t want to miss out on in her Seattle to Portland drive, and tips to do the many of her trip.

Table the Contents

8 finest Seattle come Portland journey StopsWhere to remain on the Seattle come Portland Drive

Planning a Seattle to Portland roadway Trip

Before we get to the fun stuff, we must talk logistics. The I-5 corridor one of the most-used federal government freeways in the country, i m sorry is normally a great thing because that travellers.

As far as transportation, you have actually a few options for your Seattle come Portland roadway trip. Both urban have great public transport systems within city limits and also decent transit options to your suburbs together well. However, exterior of that, your best alternatives are Greyhound which, stop be real, is not always great, or Amtrak, which is often more pleasant. Amtrak runs four trains every day in between the two cities.

The downside of acquisition public transport is it limits your capability to stop when and where friend choose, and you could miss some interesting spots or the chance for immediate adventures. It is why steering is yes, really the finest option. If friend don’t have a auto of her own, you have the right to rent one because that a reasonable price from RentalCars.com which aggregates the finest prices across significant providers.

You can also rent one RV indigenous Outdoorsy for ultimate flexibility, particularly if you’re plan a much longer trip indigenous Portland to mountain Francisco, to Los Angeles or room heading north from Seattle come Vancouver.

Although Seattle and also Portland room distinctly urban, huge swaths the the Northwest are still fairly untamed wilderness. There room plenty the campsites, especially in forested and seaside locales. This is particularly advantageous as an affordable, flexible lodging option.

View of Portland, Oregon

Outside of urban hubs, most of the U.S. Is lacking in hostels, so camping has tendency to be your finest (cheap) bet, and also the Pacific Northwest is no exception. That said, if you choose creature comforts, or simply a actual bed to sleep in, there are additionally plenty of wonderful hotels in the area too, consisting of some distinct stays.

Along the main stretch, road problems are generally great (unlike the eastern side the Washington state), and also you shouldn’t need to worry around closures due to snow or absent blasting uneven you decision to take a detour and also pass over the Cascades. The said, if you are embarking on your Seattle come Portland road pilgrimage in winter, inspect the department of transportation website or app before friend take turn off to ensure you won’t run into any kind of hang-ups.

Besides fairly well-kept roadways, there are likewise plenty of rest stops, gas stations, roadside truck stops, and cafes (many open late) along the route.

The just downside of using such a high-traffic roadway is, the course, the traffic. However this is just really a problem within the Seattle area. Not only is Seattle among the most populous cities in the nation, but people commute to the Emerald City from assorted smaller bordering towns, which way you will either desire to start prior to 7:30 a.m. Or wait till 11 a.m. Or so come take turn off on your Seattle come Portland journey to stop congestion. Once you’re the end of King County, though, it need to be smooth sailing.

How far is Portland native Seattle?

The distance from Seattle to Portland is about 180 mile (290 kilometres) and only takes about three hours if you stick come the I-5 freeway and don’t make any stops. If you decision to take the train or bus, the duration will be about the same, three-and-a-half hours, if you take it a direct route.

But within that 180-mile stretch, there are number of spots precious checking out, and even an ext if you’re willing to venture a tiny further off the key stretch.

If you really want to make the many of your trip and also get a taste of all the region has to offer, I indicate spending at the very least three days because that a truly enjoyable, scenic journey from Seattle to Portland.

Mount Rainier – among the finest stops indigenous Seattle to Portland

8 finest Seattle to Portland drive Stops

Without more ado, here are the ideal stops to make if you’re driving from Seattle to Portland!

Point Defiance State Park, Washington

The very first stop on her Seattle come Portland itinerary could be suggest Defiance State Park. Situated just external of Washington state’s third-most heavily populated city, Tacoma, suggest Defiance State Park is a sprawling metropolitan park that has a huge zoo and aquarium, fort Nisqually Living history Museum, rose and rhododendron gardens, and also beaches and also trails.

If you desire to invest a bit much more time in the Tacoma area, stop into the city itself, i m sorry is simply a little over an hour south of Seattle. LeMay — America’s car Museum, Museum that Glass, and also Antique heat downtown are few of the peak tourist attractions. Bob’s Java Jive, a kitsch coffee-pot-shaped restaurant-turned dive-bar, is a great pick if you want to re-publishing a pint or two v the locals.

Urban Garden in point Defiance Park

Olympia, Washington

Ask numerous non-Northwesterners what the capital of Washington is, and they are likely to to speak Seattle. The an understandable mistake, however in fact, Washington’s state federal government is based in Olympia, a mid-sized city about two hours south that Nirvana’s birthplace and Starbucks’ headquarters. When it could not have actually Seattle’s prestige, Olympia has actually plenty of personality of that own and also is worth visiting ~ above a Portland to Seattle roadway trip.

Check the end the historic town center and also limestone capitol building and also mall. Then protect against by several of the area’s small shops and cafes for Northwest-made goods like locally-roasted coffee and one-of-a-kind artwork. Olympia no only noteworthy as the state’s federal government seat but additionally because it is a thriving ar for creatives of every kinds.

Ever heard that Bikini death or Sleater-Kinney? The town was the birthplace that the revolt grrrl movement and also is home to some major indie labels, consisting of Kill absent Stars and K Records. If you have the time check out some local live music when you’re there.

Mount Rainier national Park, Washington

Mount Rainier is the price of Washington state. This majestic glacier-capped 14,410-ft hill is stunning and formidable top top its own. Yet the national Park neighboring is remarkable as well.

Ascend 6,400 feet to Sunrise, the highest point easily accessible by car, to gain the ideal view the Rainier and also other mountains in the Cascade Range, including Mount Adams. Simply 1,000 feet reduced in sky overlook are numerous hiking trails and, in late spring and summer, beautiful, sweet-smelling wildflower meadows.

Consider stopping and also camping at mount Rainier nationwide Park if possible. It important is massive, with wealth of things to see and do. Even with two complete days, friend won’t gain to everything, however 48 hours is long enough to struggle the highlights without feeling totally knackered prior to hitting the road again for your Portland come Seattle drive.

Mount St Helens

When you think that volcanoes and rainforests, Washington state probably isn’t the very first locale the springs come mind. Yet that’s part of the Pacific Northwest’s intrigue: the trove the unusual and beautiful treasures. Mountain St Helens erupted in 1980, rocking the Northwest and spewing approximately thousands the feet the ash into the sky, which spread out from castle Rock to Spokane in the east and the Pacific ocean in the west.

The woodland Learning facility in Seaquest State Park ~ above the soul Lake Highway is a must-visit because that anyone on a Seattle come Portland road trip. Learn about the area’s geology and history and the after-effects of the momentous explosion, hear from neighborhood survivors, and also check out the “eruption chamber” to get an up-close and personal experience.

You can additionally visit a 2nd center, the Johnston Ridge Observatory if you have actually a bit more time. This one is around an hour away and also the ideal place to check out (and photograph) the mountain.

Astoria, Oregon

As a native Washingtonian, that is my duty to keep in mind that Washington, too, has some gorgeous seaside areas and also stunning seaside towns (including the san Juan Islands and also Port Townsend north of Seattle). However, I should admit Oregon has us beat.

I vividly and also fondly mental summer road trips come both coastlines as a kid and lived ~ above the Washington coast for a little after college. But, for lot of mine 20s, mine go-to summer road trip location was almost always the gorgeous, sandy follow me of coast outside the Portland.

The an initial stop you won’t desire to miss out on on the Oregon next of your Seattle come Portland journey is Astoria, nestled in between the Columbia River and also the Pacific Ocean. Established in 1811, the weird town, the earliest in Oregon, is peppered v beautiful Victorian-era houses and shops. Astoria was likewise the setting of The Goonies and also Kindergarten Cop, for this reason it’s an excuse to exercise your best Arnold impressions.

Seaside, Oregon

Oregon’s shores may not it is in as renowned as those of bordering California, yet the see are however stunning. There is a raw ruggedness come the Washington and also Oregon coastlines that girlfriend won’t check out in countless other seaside destinations in the U.S.

Many that the beaches are pebbled or rocky and the water is nearly always chilly. Yet for those drawn to the Pacific Northwest, these facets just include to the landscape’s stark, secret beauty. The other perk is girlfriend won’t have to deal with hoards of tourist and, external the optimal summer months, girlfriend may also have the beaches mainly to yourself.

Of the seaside destinations the do entice throngs the summertime tourists, Seaside and surrounding Cannon beach are among the most popular.

Seaside is a quaint town perfect for solo travellers, couples, and families alike. It’s well known for the surf breaks and also 1920s promenade, and the beginning point the the Tillamook Head nationwide Recreational Trail, which ascends come Ecola State Park because that a stunning watch of the 19th Century Tillamook irradiate House. Here, you will do it see few of the Northwest’s many beautiful wildlife, consisting of bald eagles and, in season, grey whales en route to or native Alaska.

Tillamook, Oregon

Just a little way south and also inland native Seaside is Tillamook. If you’ve heard that this little town, it’s much more than likely been in the paper definition of the renowned dairy products, namely ice cream, and cheese, created at Tillamook Creamery. Detailed you aren’t lactose intolerant or otherwise dairy-averse, the creamery and the capability to take your fill that samples may be an ext than sufficient reason to visit.

Located in Tillamook Bay, the city is likewise close to a beautiful big of coastline just beyond the bay, including Cape Meares Beach and also Oceanside coast to the south. Both that these room well precious a avoid if you have actually the time in your Seattle to Portland drive.

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon coast is more than likely Oregon’s most famous and picturesque coastal point. The a small ways turn off the I-5 but method worth it. When you’re no lounging on among the Northwest’s few sandy beaches, take it a walk to Haystack Rock and also its population of tufted puffins, or stroll the downtown core and its assortment that quintessential coastal town cafes and boutique shops.

On the north finish of Cannon beach is Ecola State Park, an additional haven for nature lovers. While there are several hiking routes, the longest 8-mile follow is a segment the the Oregon coast Trail and part of the Lewis and Clark historical Trail. Trekking through, you will do it walk in the footsteps the the well known explorers and enjoy sweeping see of the coastline at Indian Beach and also Ecola Point.

Where to continue to be on the Seattle come Portland Drive

If you’re planning on do a couple of of this stops as soon as driving come Portland or Seattle, you’re most likely going to want to find a ar to remainder your head for a night or two. Staying close to Mount Rainier national Park is a good option together it will offer you enough time to be able to properly enjoy the park and it’s beauty.

Mount Rainier

Mountain grasslands Inn – situated in the city of Ashford within easy reach the the enntrance gate of the nationwide Park, this Inn is the perfect location for those searching for a rustic and comfortable ar to stay. There are a variety of rooms to pick from, a valuable staff and also a beautiful location to ensure the your continue to be is a good one. Click right here to watch their availability

Alexander’s Lodge – located only around 10 minute walking distance from the enntrance gate to mount Rainier national Park in the city of Ashford, this historical lodge is a good accommodation choice close come the park. They have actually a variety of rooms available to fit all kinds of travellers and there is a restaurant on site, as well. Click below to see their availability

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The society Hotel — located close to every one of the finest that Portland needs to offer, this hotel is fantastic accommodation alternative for those searching for a clean, comfortable and stylish place to continue to be in this Oregon city. There room a number of rooms accessible and they additionally have a restaurant ~ above site. Click here to check out their availability

Kimpton Riverplace Hotel — If you’re looking for a bit of luxury during your remain in Portland, then look no more than this chic hotel. Located on the Willamette River, this centrally situated hotel has a variety of plush rooms to select from and also a host of luxury amenities to do your stay a memorable one. Click here to check out their availability

Travelers House — A perfect choice for spending plan or solo travellers, this hostel is one of the top-rated in Portland. There are both personal rooms and dorm beds available, they have terrific self-catering facilities and also comfortable common areas that make it easy to meet other travellers. Click right here to see their availability

Private Rental — If you’re keen to experience Portland through the lens that a local, climate finding a exclusive apartment or residence rental is a good choice because that you! There space lots of good properties to select from in the city, such together this quaint, centrally located cottage. Click below to discover the best private rentals in Portland!

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The Mediterranean Inn — located a stone’s throw from the iconic space Needle, this hotel is a good place to remain in Seattle. They have actually a variety of clean and comfortable rooms obtainable (each consists of a tiny kitchenette) and also a useful staff come ensure you have a great time in this Washington city. Click below to see their availability

Inn at the Market– located at Seattle’s above Pike ar Market, this boutique hotel is a great option for those travelling on a greater budget. There room a variety of lovely rooms to choose from, a rooftop bar wherein guests deserve to sip cocktails and also admire the skyline and an unbeatable ar in the love of the city.

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Click below to check out their availability

HotelHotel Hostel — If you’re travel solo, ~ above a budget or are simply trying to find a social atmosphere, this hostel is a good choice for you! They have a variety of both private and also dorm rooms on sell and good common locations that make meeting others easy. Click below to view their availability

Private Rental — If you desire to check out what it’s prefer to live in Seattle or are after a distinctive accommodation option, climate going because that a personal holiday rental might be a an excellent choice because that you. There space a myriad of amazing properties to select from in the city, from unique properties prefer this metropolitan treehouse come cool, inner-city apartments. Click below to discover the ideal private rentals in Seattle!

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This is just a sampling of the things to do and see between Seattle and Portland. If you have the time and also inclination, a few other point out to think about including in your Seattle to Portland itinerary incorporate Lewis and also Clark State Park, Bachelor Island, Longview, Washington, and also Westport, Oregon.

The an ar is ripe with opportunity for adventure, and wherever you finish up on your Seattle come Portland drive, you almost certain to uncover something remarkable.

Are girlfriend planning a Seattle to Portland drive? have actually you visited any of these places before? allow us recognize in the comments!