We had a fantastic holiday in Washington and Oregon this summer and it has been suggested (by glaciermeadows) that I post our itinerary in case it is of help to anyone planning a similar holiday so here goes...
The holiday was in late August.
Flew into Seattle from the UK. Stayed at the Mayflower Park Hotel which was grander than expected. The accommodation was very good and the breakfast in the morning was excellent.
Spent today exploring Seattle. We enjoyed visiting the Space Needle, riding the monorail, wandering around a very busy Pike's Market and walking along the waterfront.
We took the Grayline coach trip to Mount Rainier which spent most of the day sulking behind clouds. We still saw a lot of interesting sights due to our adaptable driver. The meadows around Paradise were particularly impressive. It was a long trip at 10 hours.
We travelled to the Blue Heron Inn (Castle Rock) near the visitors' centre to Mount St Helens. As we took our time driving down, we ended up visiting the volcano in the evening. It took about an hour to drive from the inn and we ended up staying at the viewpoint until sunset as it was absolutely stunning. We had the whole place to ourselves and the changing sunset colours led to some amazing photographic opportunities. Our accommodation overnight was comfortable, well located and with a welcoming host.
After a leisurely, tasty breakfast we visited the visitors' centre and really felt we learned the whole story of Mount St Helens in an interesting way. We then took the helicopter ride over the volcano which was very impressive.
Next it was time to drive on to Cannon Beach in Oregon. We stayed at the Schooner's Cove Inn which had a gorgeous location overlooking the stunning beach. This part of the holiday started with a vigil of the sunset and getting to know a local restaurant! We had a double sloop room with balcony and were very pleased.
Today we ventured into the mist to Seaside but it wasn't at its best with this weather so we ventured back out of the mist to Ecola State Park and were absolutely stunned by the view there. It was quite bizarre how a 10 minute journey took us back to gorgeous sunshine. In the evening, we saw the local production of Clue, the musical, which was great fun.
We visited the Oswald State Park which was pretty and then drove down the coast for the day including the 3 Capes Drive.
We journeyed up to Lake Quinault Inn, via a carriage museum which was had a cheap entry fee and included an informative tour in the town of Raymond. The Inn was in a very scenic location but we had a boathouse room and it was freezing!
I enjoyed the amazing sweet potato pancakes before we left the inn and drove on. We were stunned by the beauty of the Hoh rainforest before enjoying but being slightly bemused by the Twilight invasion of Forks. Goodness knows what all the locals think by their main street of shops being completely taken over by this phenomenom! We ended up in Port Angeles at the Inn at Rooster Hill staying in the Madison Room. This is a very attractive inn with a very cute little dog.
We started with the impressive Hurricane Ridge and then, as the weather wasn't great, we visited Port Townsend as we had heard a lot about how attractive it is. It was very quiet being a Sunday and of course the weather was dull. Due to these factors it wasn't as attractive as we'd expected but then we have loads of brick buildings in the UK so maybe the novelty wasn't there for us.
We drove to La Push today. We liked First Beach but were not prepared for the aweinspiring beauty of Second Beach. If you like rural beaches this is an absolute must. It was a shame we had so little time, and the tide was coming in, as I would love to have ventured round the corner towards Third Beach. We had a ferry to catch, however, to Victoria.
We stayed at the Empress on a surprisingly decent rate for the high standard of accommodation. This day was rainy so we looked round the town and museum which was interesting. We were also particularly entertained by the miniature world.
We visited the famous Butchart Gardens and were suitably impressed.
We travelled to Vancouver for our journey home. We had a few hours to spare so enjoyed a stroll around Queen Elizabeth Park.
This was an amazing holiday that took ages to plan but was well worth it. I hope this provides inspiration or help to others. Enjoy this amazing part of the world.