A 7 Day PNW Manifesto

I recently planned a 5 day trip through Oregon and Washington and while we had plenty of fun I think 7 days would have been ideal! The following is my seven day version of the condensed one we followed.

Day One:

  • Leaving from the Bay Area, drive north to Bend, Oregon (8 hours, give or take)
  • Make a strategic pit stop for gas in the town of Weed if you want some funny souvenirs
  • Check into the hotel, McMenamins St. Francis, where onsite parking is free and dogs are welcome
  • Stretch your legs at Drake Park
  • Try out some dog-friendly breweries along the Ale Trail (print and fill out the passport to earn a prize!)
  • Choose from one of many dinner recommendations; Pizza Mondo, Bend Brewery Company, Zydeco)
  • Grab a beer from the hotel bar and test out the indoor, salt water pool
  • Search for hidden rooms on the way back to yours for a good night’s sleep

Day Two:

  • Morning hike options consist of Skylight Cave, Sparks Lake or Tumalo Falls depending on how much time you alot and whether or not you want to bring your four-legged friend along
  • Check out of the hotel
  • Visit the last Blockbuster
  • Stop by Pilot Butte State Park Lookout on the way out of town
  • Head east towards Painted Hills
  • Walk the half mile trail that is Painted Hills Overlook
  • Snap some photos at Painted Cove Trail
  • Visited the only momento of Rashespuram in Antelope (Netflix’s Wild, Wild Country for reference)
  • Hit the road north for Seattle
  • Grab some fish and chips and clam chowder for a late dinner at the hotel
  • Check into The Maxwell

Day Three:

  • Wake up in Seattle and take the pup for a morning walk around the Seattle Center (if you’re a hockey fan sneak a peek at Climate Pledge Arena)
  • Head towards Pikes Place Market
  • Street art lovers should make sure to stop by D*face’s piece at 2112 1st Ave
  • Grab some coffee at the original Starbucks and walk around the bustling Market
  • If you’re a Kurt Cobain fan trek across the city to peek at his home in the Denny-Blaine area
  • Head back north towards the hotel, stopping at the Space Needle, Chihuly Garden and Glass or the Museum of Pop Culture (great ways to pass a rainy day!)
  • Return the pup to Hotel Maxwell for a nap after such an exciting morning and head out for a humans-only afternoon
  • Visit Kerry Park or Gas Works Park for nice views of the city skyline. Fans of 10 Things I Hate About You will recognize Gas Works from the view, too! You can also find the Fremont Troll up this way.
  • Visit Off the Rez Cafe for lunch of Native American fry bread tacos
  • Walk off said meal while exploring the beautiful University of Washington campus
  • Back to the hotel where you can walk the dog over to Dick’s Drive-In for, according to TikTok, some famous Seattle burgers!

Day Four:

  • Wake up and grab some Biscuit Bitch for the road
  • Take one of two options to travel to Port Angeles: (1) drive (2) take the ferry to Bainbridge Island if the sky is clear and take in the view of Seattle drifting further away, both options take about 2.5 hours
  • If you arrive late enough in Port Angeles (4pm) order some Mushroom Ravioli from Bella Italia for the drive head, Twilight fans will get it
  • Visit the Olympic National Park Visitor Center to use the restroom, gather maps and advice from the Rangers
  • Take in the views at Elwha River Observation Area
  • Stretch your legs at Crescent Lake Lodge (East Beach if you have a pup with you)
  • Arrive at your days destination: Forks, Washington
  • Stay at Miller Tree Inn Bed and Breakfast, supposedly the house that Stephanie Meyer’s modeled the Cullen’s home after
  • While in Forks you can visit La Push, Bella’s truck, The Swan “Residence” and more

Day Five:

  • Start the day off by stretching your legs at dog-friendly Ruby Beach
  • Head south from the beach to the Quinault Rain Forest (as opposed to Hoh Rain Forest) where you can leave the tired dog in the car and explore the one mile trail by the Ranger’s station
  • Continue south to Aberdeen, Washington, home town of Kurt Cobain. There’s only a few tributes to him but for the most part they’re accessible– grab lunch at the McDonald’s that’s decorated with photos and memorabilia of Nirvana
  • Hop back on the road and keep going south towards Oregon
  • If you’re a fan of Disney Channel’s Halloweentown then I recommend stopping St Helens, Oregon to see some of the filming locations!
  • Grab dinner to-go from Love Verona Pizza and Pasta and then round the corner to check into Hotel Rose

Day Six:

  • Walk the pup along the river for a morning stretch and peer up at the White Stag neon sign by Burnside Bridge
  • Breakfast is either tourist-favorite VoodDoo donuts or local-favorite Blue Star donuts (if you chose VooDoo the “Keep Portland Weird” wall is right across the street!)
  • After some morning fuel, grab a four-pack of beer from Great Notion Brewing’s NW location then drive to Upper Macleay Trail/Cornwall parking lot and follow signs down to the Witch’s Castle (aka Stone House)
  • Here you can drink your breakfast beers as a reward for your hiking efforts!
  • If it’s a clear day you can drive up to Pittock Mansion for a beautiful view of the city and mountains
  • Spend your afternoon in Alberta and Concordia neighborhoods where you can have lunch at McMenamin’s Kennedy School and Detention Bar and explore cute shops and murals (Embrace Someplace was a huge resource for all things Portland!)
  • Hop over to the Boise neighborhood in the evening for more beer at Stormbreaker and Ecliptic Brewing with dinner at Por Que No? then finish off the night with dessert at Ruby Jewel Ice Cream

Day Seven:

  • The loooooong drive home
  • If you’re not in a rush stop at Crater Lake, Mt. Shasta or McCloud River’s Middle Falls for lunch, a swim or a hike!

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