Washington State is full of attractions which suit every kind of traveller. City lovers and especially, coffee lovers, will adore Seattle with it’s endless list of must see attractions and coffee shops. Nature lovers are also spoilt for choice with Olympic National Park as well as several live volcanoes which can be seen for miles around. Are you a beach lover? Why not take a trip along the Pacific coast? Do you love to visit waterfalls that few tourists know about? Washington State has sits own natural wonders. Firstly, let me share how to plan a Washington road trip with Kayak, then we’ll explore the top things to do in Washington State.
Why Use KAYAK to Organise your Washington Road Trip?
KAYAK compares hundreds of travel websites online instantly. With KAYAK you’ll uncover excellent car rentals deals, hotels and flight prices. KAYAK searches several travel websites at once guaranteeing you’ll find the best pick vehicle and accommodations for your road trip. Once you find the best option, all you have to do is click through and reserve online. The booking process is completed within a few seconds leaving you more time to find your favorite Washington destinations.
How to Find a Hire Car with Kayak
The most important part of any road trip is of course, the car you drive. Use KAYAK to compare car rental deals and find the best one for your Washington road trip. Kayak searches hundreds of different car options at once in one click. I often find amazing value deals that I couldn’t imagine existed before searching. Once you find the most suitable hire car for your trip, click through and confirm your reservation online.
How to Find a Hotel with Kayak
For reserving hotels on a road trip I recommend not to book them in advance. As a result, you can spend more time in the locations you enjoy and pass by those you don’t. Additionally, it’s likely that you’ll pass through places you didn’t even know existed whilst on your Washington road trip. However, if there’s a place you know you won’t miss like Seattle at the beginning and end of your Washington road trip, book in advance through KAYAK. Finally, an excellent method of reserving hotels throughout your road trip is to download the KAYAK app on your phone and search by location when you’re there.
Washington Road Trip Inspiration from KAYAK – Seattle
KAYAK recommend you visit Seattle and enjoy the bars, restaurants and of course coffee shops. Did you know the worlds first Starbucks is located in Seattle? You can still buy a fresh coffee there today. What’s more, on the outskirts of Seattle you’ll also find the home of Boeing and Microsoft. Other must see Seattle attractions include, the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Bubble Gum Alley, T-Mobile Park, Pacific Science Center and the Museum of Pop Culture. My advice to you is plan for a few nights in Seattle before or after your Washington road trip.
Read about my visit to the Seattle landmarks.
More Washington Road Trip Ideas – Mount Rainier
For me, my favorite part of a Washington road trip is driving on the winding roads around the active volcano, Mount Rainier. As you drive around Mount Rainier, you’ll find several designated parking spots where you can stop and view the volcano from different angles. My favorite stop on the Mount Rainier loop is Reflection Lake which displays a perfect mirror image of the volcano. Finally, read and see more Mount Rainier facts and photography.
Snoqualmie Falls is a stunning 268 feet high tall waterfall east of Seattle. The beauty of these falls is clear from the picture but it’s also a spiritual place for the local Snoqualmie people. They say the mist created from the falls connects heaven and earth. What’s more, it’s not a bad Instagram spot either! Lastly, take your road trip 30 miles east from Seattle on I-90 to reach Snoqualmie Falls.
Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with a lot to offer. Whilst exploring the park you can visit the Pacific coastline, view snow capped mountains, temperate rainforests and forests. The highest peak in Olympic National Park is Mount Olympus at almost 8000 feet tall. Park at the visitor center and view the mountain range from a distance. As well as enjoying the views, take one of the short walking trails and look out for roosevelt elk, blacktail deer and bald eagles. If you’re really lucky (or unlucky) you may see a mountain lion or black bear. Read more Olympic National Park facts.
Ruby / Rialto Beach
Olympic National Park reaches the Pacific Coast and popular stops include Ruby and Rialto Beach. This is definitely the place to be as the sun sets over the Pacific Ocean. Who knows, maybe you’ll also spot sea otters or gray whales?
What is the capital of Washington State? Seattle might seem the logical answer but it is in fact the small city of Olympia. For that reason, as well as it’s proximately to Olympic National Park, Olympia is certainly worth a visit. The most famous Olympia landmark is the 1909 Washington State Governor’s Mansion. Additionally, birdwatchers will love Billy Frank Jr. Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge to the north of town.
Mount St Helens
Mount St Helens is the best known volcano in Washington State. This stratovolcano infamously erupted in 1980 and became a household name around the world. As a result of this eruption, the volcano we see today is much different to before 1980. However, it still stands tall 120 miles south from Seattle. Take State Routes 503 or 504 for different Mt St Helens viewpoints. Finally, another prominent stratovolcano visible east from Mount St Helens is Mount Adams.
North Cascades National Park
Take your Washington road trip through North Cascades Highway as you admire the beauty revealing itself in front of you. The most famous location in North Cascades National Park is Diablo Lake. Park up and take the 8 mile Diablo Lake Trail.
Deception Pass Bridge connects Whidbey Island to Fidalgo Island. Not only is this an incredibly picturesque bridge but it’s also located in one of the most beautiful parts of Washington State. Unfortunately, you can’t drive over the bridge but you can park up and walk over it. A positive about this is that there is not traffic therefore you can take some stunning pics on and around Deception Pass. Why is it called Deception Pass? Captain George Vancouver was deceived by the width of the water.
Mount Baker is the second most active volcano in Washington after Mount St Helens. It’s located a few miles west of North Cascades National Park and is actually closer to Vancouver, Canada than it is to Seattle. Take your Washington road trip along the Mount Baker Highway and stop at the many Mount Baker viewpoints.
Take a drive out to Southeast Washington State to view a natural wonder of Washington, Palouse Falls. Here you’ll witness water drop 200 feet from Palouse River before swirling in the bowl beneath it. Less tourists drive deep into Washington State than around the Seattle area so it’s likely to be much more peaceful out here.
Park up at the Stuart Lake Trailhead and hike the 8.5 mile roundtrip Colchuck Lake Trail. The view that waits you at Colchuck Lake is truly outstanding. Those who love to pose for Instagram photos simply must visit Lake Colchuck. Maybe take a change of clothes to pose in at the lake?
Enjoy Your Washington Road Trip
Booking through KAYAK gives you the freedom to visit the Washington attractions you want to visit at the time you want to visit. You can have Colchuck Lake all to yourself at sunrise, take an extra day exploring Seattle or even cruise around an active volcano at your leisure. Finally, book your hotels through the KAYAK app as you explore just in case you discover a hidden gem in Washington and need to change your plans.
Interested in making road trips? Read about an Oregon road trip, California road trip, Arizona road trip, Nevada road trip and a Utah road trip.
Visiting Washington State? Read about Seattle landmarks, Mount Rainier and Olympic National Park.