Washington State is a veritable dreamland for road trippers, boasting stunning natural splendors and captivating attractions along its idyllic routes. There are numerous delightful excursions through Washington State – from scenic highways to off-the-beaten-path parkways; from bustling metropolises to tranquil rural communities… it’s all here!
Are you planning an itinerary for your next road trip? Don’t overlook the state of Washington’s captivating byways; these scenic routes offer everything from breathtaking vistas to exhilarating adventures!
Winding Drive on the San Juan Islands
Allow yourself to become enveloped in nature on a captivating journey along San Juan Island’s renowned San Juan Scenic Drive.
This leisurely drive traverses the northernmost of Washington state’s San Juans, and leads through verdant forests and along serene bayside shores. At its midpoint, you’ll find picturesque Lilli Hula Drive; a miniature version that offers an opportunity for exploring without getting too far from the car.
Begin your tour by heading eastward on San Juan Island’s iconic “Sunset Highway” and savor its panoramic vistas from the ocean’s edge. From May-October, there is no better vantage point than this for savoring one of Mother Nature’s most delectable displays!
In addition to breathtaking scenery, Washington State Parks also offer ample opportunities for exploration alongside this route: stop at Indian Beach Park or Bernard Head Coast Guard Station en route!
scenic drive: Orcas Island to Friday Harbor
If you’re an avid road tripper, then I’m sure you’ve heard of Orcas Island before! It is situated in Puget Sound off the San Juan Islands’ western shoreline; an idyllic destination for travelers seeking captivating vistas and serene moments amid its mountainous landscape.
With a population of just over 400 individuals, it’s not surprising that Orcas Island is one of the island communities with the most residents per square mile! Both its tranquility and abundance of scenic hiking trails make it ideal for those looking to escape their daily routines while exploring its many natural highlights.
After exploring the island’s capital city of Friday Harbor, rest assured by taking one of our recommended backcountry hikes – there are countless options available on this trail which runs along rugged cliffs high above the bay.
Orcas Island is a world-class destination situated in the Salish Sea, boasting an incomparable array of natural beauty. Nestled off the coast of San Juan Island, this idyllic haven is like no other – it’s perfect for lazing on golden sands and exploring its hidden corners!
If venturing beyond one day excursions are your preference then explore the island’s numerous trails, where you can traverse between wooded areas and ocean beaches for scenic drives along isolated seascapes. Along these paths lie hidden treasures such as quaint villages; so let adventure guide you through unexplored regions!
Scenic Drive: Deschutes and Yakima Valleys
Washington’s most renowned wineries and breweries are located in the Central Cascades, where you can enjoy a day of exploring some of the state’s best-known attractions without leaving your own neighborhood.
Start your drive in Bend, known for its world-class skiing and hippie tendencies, and spend the afternoon sipping wine at any one of three renown establishments. Then venture onward to explore the charming town of Prineville – an ideal destination for sunbathing on its picturesque lake!
If you’re looking to sample some delicious brews or savor some delectable desserts, hop over to Redmond. Here you’ll find numerous eateries serving up culinary delights ranging from gourmet pizza and sushi to patisseries and so much more!
drives scenic drive: Olympic Peninsula’s North and West Coast Rides
After a brief stint in Western Washington, we are now en route to the Olympic Peninsula. The picturesque setting of this region is reminiscent of its sister state: Oregon!
Our first stop is Saanichton, where we’re greeted by captivating views of the Gulf Islands and beyond. This idyllic seaside village comes complete with cozy restaurants and shops as well as sandy beaches which invite you to take part in both activities; an ideal way to unwind after traveling several hours across country!
After a brief pit-stop at Camp Buckley Beach on Ganges Bay, we head north toward Port Angeles. Along the way, visitors may find themselves traversing alongside scenic routes – like the Pacific Northwest National Scenic Byway – which take them along breathtaking coastal drives showcasing some of the best scenery from around Washington State.
Driving Route Through Central Washington
The Central Washington region is home to a multitude of hiking trails and unusual attractions, providing travelers with plenty to see and do.
Start off at the aptly named Devil’s Garden Trailhead, located within the Quilcene National Wildlife Refuge; this enclave features an array of wildflowers and towering rock formations that have captivated visitors for decades!
Enjoy a day of exploration by driving along the Scenic Road 556 toward the Sol Duc River valley. Be sure to stop for lunch at one of our recommended eateries along this route before delving into its captivating backcountry; we suggest stopping at either Meadow Huckleberry Inn or Trout Lake Resort if possible!
fishing scenic drive: Puget Sound’s Strait of Juan de Fuca
Discover Puget Sound’s renowned “Strait of Juan de Fuca” and its expansive waters.
This is an ideal fishing destination, boasting some of the best salmon and halibut fishing in Washington State. With so much to see along this idyllic stretch of coastline, you can experience a captivating journey while out on the water. In addition to the stunning views afforded along your excursion; there are plenty of opportunities to stop over for a bite or two when hunger strikes!
The serenity offered by this path along Puget Sound makes it an excellent choice for experiencing nature en route to some remote areas where rugged beauty prevails. Encountering towering cliffs and rocky shores alongside vast patches of land offering ample opportunities for exploration make this excursion well worth taking!
Driving Route Through Southern Washington
Washington’s southernmost corner is one of its most captivating regions, featuring scenic routes to the seaside as well as unspoiled countryside.
The Puget Sound region has a few enticing cities worth exploring for their accessible watersports and outdoor activities. Discover fun-filled excursions like kayaking, fishing and surfing on the tranquil shores of Lopez Island or take advantage of serene vistas of San Juan Islands – home to the country’s largest archipelago!
The Washington State Scenic Byways Program was established in 1959 to preserve the state’s natural beauty through the establishment of scenic highways. The objectives of this program are to identify, preserve and enhance scenic highways for travel enjoyment by motorists, bicyclists and travelers on horseback.
A number of state agencies are involved with overseeing the creation and maintenance of these scenic routes, including the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT), State Parks, and Washington State Department of Agriculture. Some notable examples include:
The spectacular Mount St. Helens and the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) are just two of the highlights you’ll encounter on this route, which runs alongside the Columbia River! This must-visit destination is an ideal sightseeing spot for both locals and visitors alike; it’s an alluring attraction for both novice and experienced photographers alike.
Other notable landmarks along this path include: