We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Seattle to Portland via the Coast - only 1 day

Virginia, USA
Level Contributor
153 posts
36 reviews
Save Topic
Seattle to Portland via the Coast - only 1 day

Hi - Planning a trip to Washington May 10 - 17 - the three days in Seattle are planned...

May 11 - Seattle (Pike Street Market foodie tour), the space needle, etc.

May 12 - day trip to Friday Harbor and whale trip

May 13 - Boeing Tour

Would appreciate "must go there" choices for dinners....

May 14 - plan to drive to Portland but don't want to do the interstate, so plan to go to the coast and do that...I know it's a shotgun trip..but that's what we have...I'd love suggestions for the best way to do that...including restaurants for lunch and dinner....and a place to stay before we head back inland to Portland.

May 15 - Columbia River Gorge

May 16 - to Yakima to visit family and return to Seattle to leave on Monday morning.

Thanks...

seattle
Destination Expert
for Seattle
Level Contributor
18,980 posts
108 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Seattle to Portland via the Coast - only 1 day

I'll let other correct me if I'm wrong but 101 thru Washington you see little if any of the ocean. Its a lot of inland driving and not scenic like the Oregon coast. You could make a few stops to make the trip south more interesting if you'd like some ideas. I'll wait to see what others have to say.

Virginia, USA
Level Contributor
153 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Seattle to Portland via the Coast - only 1 day

But it's got to be better than I-5 doesn't it...and we have the time...I'd love any ideas you have...thanks

Port Townsend...
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park, Port Townsend
Level Contributor
9,075 posts
4 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Seattle to Portland via the Coast - only 1 day

Firstly, Portland is not actually on the coast, it is significantly inland. But if you're looking to take the "scenic way", I'd go to HWY 6 at Chehalis and head out to Raymond. Then take 101 to Seaside and follow HWY 26 to Portland.

I5 isn't that bad.

Have fun, ramble on,

chuck

Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
9,101 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Seattle to Portland via the Coast - only 1 day

You are going a long way out of your way by going along the coast. And where were you planning on hitting it by way of Aberdeen. A day really is not a lot of time to do this. As already stated you will see non of the coast until you get to Astoria unless you take side trips on the way. And after that you only see the coast if you get off of 101. 101 really does not have great views of the Ocean untill you get to Canon Beach and go south. If your intention is to see the Ocean I would skip Boeing and take longer to do this. I agree that it really is not worth the drive and what you will see just to avoid taking I5. Rainier as a side trip makes more sense to see a beautiful National Park and mountain scenery, although you will want to check on road conditions in May. Trust us if you were doing a loop on the Oregon coast or the Olympics with more time it would be worth it. The trip will not be as you picture it.

Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
9,353 posts
17 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Seattle to Portland via the Coast - only 1 day

Yes, Glaciermeadows said it beautifully. This trip will not be as you picture it. Your plan for a lovely coastal drive, unfortunately, is a fantasy.

Virginia, USA
Level Contributor
153 posts
36 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Seattle to Portland via the Coast - only 1 day

Actually, I wasn't looking for a fantasy coastal drive, but an alternative to 3 hours of speeding concrete..... I have been discouraged from going to Rainier and Mt. St. Helen's because of the time of year...too early in the season.

Thanks anyway.....

Poulsbo, Washington
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
9,101 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Seattle to Portland via the Coast - only 1 day

I would not rule out Rainier. May is early, but you can still enter the Park and see some beautiful things. The road to Paradise could very well be open. I have made it up there in the middle of winter without chains. It really depends on the weather. Unless we have a freak May storm you can drive by some beautiful waterfalls and forrest walks. Yes July is better, and you may or may not see the summit, but I would still say take what nature gives you and unless it is pouring down rain consider a visit. Our area is surrounded by a lot of inland water,mountains much higher then in the East and millions of acres of forests. That is why unless you have time avoiding Inerstate 5 is not always a great option.

Seattle
Level Contributor
4,398 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: Seattle to Portland via the Coast - only 1 day

If you decide to drive out to the coast, you'd be looking at about 6 hours of driving time without stops, vs 3. But maybe that's worth it to you. If you go, cut southwest towards Raymond before you get to Aberdeen; that'll get you to the shores of Willapa Bay a little faster. Stop at the Long Beach Peninsula for a bit of Lewis & Clark history and some beautiful views from the lighthouses at the south end. The Shelburne Inn down there makes a great stop for lunch, I think (although it's not on the water). Or you could continue over the Columbia to Astoria for lunch. Then drive down the coast as far as Cannon Beach, before heading to Portland. A long day for sure, and you might enjoy spending time in Portland more than doing the extra driving but it's do-able.

Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
Level Contributor
18,001 posts
62 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Seattle to Portland via the Coast - only 1 day

Two sites worth exploring if you go via the coast...

www.parks.wa.gov/parks/…

www.parks.wa.gov/interp/lewisandclarkcenter/

Longview, Washington
Destination Expert
for Mount Rainier National Park
Level Contributor
2,563 posts
130 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Seattle to Portland via the Coast - only 1 day

The best part of the Washington Coast is in the Olympic Peninsula, but that's not on the way to Portland. The drive down 101 from Aberdeen/Raymond to Astoria is mostly inland and rather boring..

I would drive south on I-5 to Kelso (Exit 39) then take WA State Route 4 to Long Beach.

Quite honestly I-5 is a much more interesting than 101 thru SW WA. If it is a clear day you will be able to see Mt. Rainier, Mt St. Helens (I'd suggest a detour St. Helens, but Johnston Ridge Observatory doesn't open until May 16). :-(

Hwy SR 4 is a very scenic drive along the Columbia River from Longview a good part of the way to the coast. When you reach Hwy 101, you have the option of driving on to the WA coast at Seaview and the Long Beach Peninsula then return thru Ilwaco to Megler and cross the river to Astoria. Or skip the WA coast and at Naselle take Hwy 401 to the Astoria Bridge.

Continue down the Oregon Coast on Hwy 101 to at least Cannon Beach (good place to spend the night). Try to see as much of the OR coast as possible. It is really the most beautiful coastline in the entire country (Maine comes in 2nd IMO)

You can return to Portland via Hwy 26 from Cannon Beach, Hwy 6 from Tillamook or Hwy 18 from Lincoln City.