Washington State is one of the most beautiful places in the country. Okay, maybe we’re a little biased, but the spectacular sights of Seattle, the picturesque mountains, and the beauty of the Puget Sound (including some of the most beautiful looking water you'll ever see!) attract adventurers from all over the United States. With so much to see and so much to do at every sight, exploring all that Washington has to offer can take a lifetime.
But, there are a few tips and tricks to packing the best of the Seattle area in a short trip.
Whether you’re traveling with Cabana (our personal recommendation) or in an escape car of your own, here's one possible way to hit the major Washington favorites all within a three day weekend.
Day 1: Start Within the City
Your weekend of astounding sights can start within the city limits. Pull your camper van up to Pike Place Market: a can’t-miss if you’re new to Seattle. Peruse the shops, watch the vendors throw the fish, and pick up any ingredients you might want to cook later in your trip. The pop-up patio dining options are ever-growing, and don’t forget to pick up some Russian pastries from Piroshky Piroshky to enjoy on your drive.
Before venturing out of the city, you can check out the Seattle view from the Space Needle. If you want to spend a little more time in the city, check out the beautiful Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit. Otherwise, take social distancing to the extreme and head out of town.
You can start by venturing down south towards Saltwater State Park, which offers a sandy beach getaway with a minimal drive from downtown. Enjoy the sunset, enjoy the Sound, and rinse off in the Cabana shower after a swim.
Day 2: Venture to the Mountains
After a fantastic night’s sleep, you might want to get an early start. Make yourself a cup of Seattle’s favorite Storyline coffee and drive down to Mount Rainier. Whether you’re looking for a challenging hike or you’re hoping to capture one of those iconic view-from-the-van photos, there's quite a bit to see and do. (Hint: Sunrise Point is the highest point in the park you can reach by vehicle, and the 360-degree view of the valleys is sure to be Insta-worthy.)
Mount Rainier gets very busy, so you should book your parking well in advance. An excellent place to start for summer and fall is the Ohanapecosh campground. Beautiful foliage surrounds the campground, and the area offers trails for all difficulty levels. There are campervan parking spots there if you book early enough.
After a full day of exploring the mountains, there’ll be a plush, memory foam mattress waiting for you. Enjoy the stars or tune into your favorite Netflix show before going to sleep!
Day 3: More Mountains and Back to the City
You could easily spend another day (or week) within Mount Rainier Park, but it isn’t the only mountain worth exploring. Although you won’t be able to visit them all in one weekend, any of the nearby peaks would make an excellent choice for your final day. Mt. Si, Mt. Olympus, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Baker, and Mt. Adams are all excellent choices for a scenic drive or morning hike. If you’re hoping for a longer hike, spending another day in Mt. Rainier will give you the chance to see the landscape from a new vantage point.
Once you explore the mountains, you can hop back in your Cabana for a leisurely drive back to the city of Seattle. With the sight of Mt. Rainier in your rearview, you’ll certainly be satisfied with all you accomplished in three days, but you might be tempted to book another Cabana for the next weekend!