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Heading to Seattle? How about venturing out and hitting the open road while you’re there? We’ve designed a Washington State road trip that loops in the Olympic Peninsula’s best restaurants, attractions and natural wonders, so grab your hiking boots and get ready for the ultimate getaway!

RELATED: The ultimate music lover’s guide to Seattle

Day 1

Seattle | Photo by Caroline Lupini

Fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, rent a car and hop on the Bainbridge Island car ferry to charming and forested Bainbridge Island. Make sure to walk around on deck so that you may enjoy the view of mighty Mount Rainier towering above the Seattle skyline as you cruise across the Puget Sound.

EAT Your well-deserved reward at the end of the ferry ride is Doc’s Marina Grill, offering American classics and 10 beers on tap. Sip a cold brew and munch on a hearty burger while relaxing on the deck and taking in the harbor view.

STAY Head to the quaint little community of Poulsbo (pronounced Paulsbo) and then get settled at no-fuss Guesthouse Poulsbo. The mountain-cut skyline and glimmering Liberty Bay offer an exquisite backdrop to an easygoing evening.

Day 2

Olympic National Park | Photo by Caroline Lupini

Wake up, it’s your National Park day! Drive to Olympic National Park by way of Port Angeles, your home base and the largest city in the county. From Port Angeles, head south on Hurricane Ridge Road to Olympic National Park’s Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. From here, pick up a regional trail map and head out on a hike or two.

EAT After a day in the mountains, head back to Port Angeles and catch a hot meal at Downriggers on the Water and fill up on fresh seafood while enjoying the sea breeze and setting sun. Think Doc’s Marina Grill, but with even more beers on tap!

STAY To be close to all of the action without a crazy price tag, check out the Riveria Inn Motel.  Rooms are simple but clean, and the staff is super friendly! You’ll be walking the distance to restaurants downtown so you don’t have to worry about parking.

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Day 3

Rialto Beach | Photo by Caroline Lupini

Head to Washington’s west coast and check out the little town of La Push. This village is located on the mouth of the Quillayute River and parts of the town are technically still parts of Olympic National Park. For sunbathing and scenery, head north to Rialto Beach, or the aptly named First, Second, and Third Beaches. For an unforgettable fishing trip, book a tour with All Ways Fishing.

EAT Check out River’s Edge Restaurant located on the pier, featuring a spectacular seaside view. Alternatively, High Tide Seafood fish market across the street offers a few freshly cooked dishes for you to try. It’s mostly a direct-to-consumer market, but you can definitely find a few bites while you’re there.

STAY Sleep at Quileute Beach Resort. This property is unique in that it’s located on Quileute tribal land, and because of this, property owners ask that visitors respect the privacy of the area and to capture photos or video only for personal use. Quileute Beach Resort has a pool, three restaurants, a spa and more. Plus, it’s only 2 miles from Chance A La Mer State Park and 3 miles from Pacific Paradise Family Fun Center, making it an ideal stop for a family trip.

Day 4

Quinault Rain Forest | Photo by Caroline Lupini

Enjoy a mix of coastal and mountain drives as you take the 101 south from Forks to Aberdeen. Stop at Lake Quinault to stretch your legs on a wealth of trails such as Quinault Rain Forest and Lake Lane. When you get to Aberdeen, visit Kurt Cobain Memorial Park (also called Kurt Cobain Landing) as Aberdeen was the childhood home of the famous musician.

EAT For yet another easygoing atmosphere with great beers, check out The Tap Room. Expect typical bar eats and original craft brews, plus live music on some Saturdays. Try a variety of Washington brews and maybe even catch a few up-and-coming musical artists.

STAY Aberdeen is a larger town and has a wealth of regular chain hotels, so you have a number of options here. One of the higher rated hotels is the Best Western Plus Aberdeen, but there are a number of less expensive options, as well. 

Day 5

Olympia, Washington

On your way back to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, don’t miss a stop in Olympia. While this booming metropolis is the state capital, as well as a university town, it still features tranquil natural spaces. Stretch your legs in Interpretive Park before getting back into the car and heading to the airport.

Tagged: Cheap City, USA, Cheap Tips, Destinations, Seasonal, seattle, Types of Travel

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Caroline Lupini

Caroline Lupini

Caroline Lupini

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