Pacific Northwest Road Trip Itinerary: Winter and Summer Ideas

Our family loves traveling to the Pacific Northwest and exploring the natural areas. Washington State and Oregon are two of our favorite states to vacation in and use as a base for adventuring on a West coast USA road trip. My husband and I have visited twice in the summer and our family of four traveled there in the winter. No matter the season, the Pacific Northwest weather is usually not too harsh. A Pacific Northwest road trip is a fantastic way to see a beautiful part of the country. Here are some ideas if you are looking for a Pacific Northwest road trip itinerary.

Portland, OR

Flights to the Pacific Northwest

We are from the East Coast, so flying West can be pricey. Our favorite airline, Southwest, flies to many cities out West. We make sure to book early (at least 6 months in advance) when they release their upcoming schedules. It is because of this that we have gotten cheap flights on Southwest Airlines and our family of 4 traveled with points earned by using our Chase Sapphire credit card.

Another idea for a Pacific Northwest vacation is flying Alaska Airlines. Seattle is one of their hub cities, which means flights are usually cheaper into this airport. We have traveled on Alaska Airlines to fly to Seattle before and they offer direct flights from many cities around the country.

American Airlines can also be a great option as San Francisco is one of their hub cities. If you are planning a Pacific Northwest road trip itinerary, this can be a great place to start or end your trip.

Pacific Northwest Itinerary Ideas

Here are three ideas for your Pacific Northwest vacation itinerary. I listed where we stopped, where we ate, and where we stayed on each of these trips. To plan these West Coast USA Road Trips, I used Google Docs to organize the information.

San Francisco to Seattle Itinerary

This two week road trip itinerary starts off in San Francisco and ends in Seattle. We took the Pacific Coast Highway for a good chunk but explored inland too. While this included a California road trip, the majority of our stops were in Oregon. Click here to read our detailed account of our San Francisco to Seattle Drive.

Day 1 ­- San Francisco to Mendocino
Fly into San Francisco
Lunch ­- Beach Chalet Brewery
Drive 3h to Mendocino
Stop at Navarro or Simi Winery
Stay at Glendeven Inn 
Hike beach area ­Cobbler’s Walk take the trail
Dinner – Trillium Cafe
Day 2 ­ – Mendocino and Fort Bragg
Breakfast at inn
Hike Van Damme Park Pygmy Forest (1 mi)
Kayak Mendocino Cave Tour ­11:30
Lunch – Mendocino Market (take with us for a picnic)
Headlands Park and hike loop trail (5 mi)
Drive to Ft Bragg and walk Glass Beach
Dinner North Coast Brewery
Stay second night at Glendeven Inn
Day 3 ­- Mendocino, Arcata, Medford
Breakfast at inn
Lunch – ­Redwood Curtain Brewery in Arcata, CA ­
Drive 52m to Hike Lady Bird Trail (1.4 mi) at Redwood Park
Drive 3h to Medford, OR
Dinner ­- Kaleidoscope Pizza and Pub
Stay in Courtyard Medford Airport (free with points)
Day 4 ­- Medford to Ashland
Breakfast – Buttercloud Bakery
Central Point – zip line, raft and wine tour
Drive 20m to Ashland
Dinner – ­Standing Stone Brewery
Stay ­Chanticleer B&B 
Day 5 ­- Crater Lake and Bend
Breakfast at B&B
Grab sandwich for hike ­at Market of Choice
Drive 2h to Crater Lake
Hiking in Crater Lake (Garfield Peak and Cleetwood Cove Trail)
Drive 2h to Bend and stay­ Mill Inn 
Dinner at Brother Jon’s Public House
Day 6 – Bend
Breakfast at Inn
Drive 10m to Sun River to do Paulina’s Plunge Bike Tour lunch provided
Stay in Bend – ­Mill Inn
Dinner -­ Drake
Day 7 -­ Bend
Breakfast at Inn
Sparrow bakery to grab lunch for the hike
Drive to Smith Rock State Park and hike Misery Ridge ­
30 min drive to Redmond at ­Wild Ride Brewery
Dinner ­- Jackson’s Corner
Stay in Bend ­- Mill Inn
Day 8 ­- Drive to Eugene
Breakfast at inn
Stop to pick up lunch at Seasons Cafe and Wine Shop (30 min)
Drive 1h to McKenzie River
Hike part of the Mckenzie River trail ­
Sahalie and Koosah Falls (2.5 miles)
Drive 5 min to hike Tamolitch Pool (2 miles)
Drive 1h to Eugene
Stay at Residence Inn ­Eugene  (free with points)
Dinner – Oakshire Brewing Public House
Day 9 ­- Eugene to the Coast
Pick up Voodoo Doughnuts
Drive 45m to hike Sweet Creek Trail (3 mi)
Drive 45m to Florence
Lunch – Homegrown
Sandland ATV dune buggy tour ½ hr 
Hike Cape Perpetua Park in Yachats
Stay in Overleaf Lodge B&B 
Dinner ­- Drift Inn 
Day 10 – ­Coast to Wine Country
Breakfast at B&B
Drive 2h 30m to McMinnville/Newberg area
Visit Patricia Green Winery ­
Drive 25m to Big Table Farm
Lunch in Red Hills Market
Stay in Tuscan Estate in McMinnville
4pm ­tasting at Heater Allen Brewery
Elizabeth Chambers and Eyrie Tasting Rooms
Dinner ­- Thistle
Day 11 – Columbia Gorge and Portland
Breakfast at B&B
Pickup lunch at Red Fox Bakery to take on hike
Drive 1h 45m to Oneonta Gorge and hike
Drive 45m to Columbia outlet ­in Sellwood
SE Wine Collective
Dinner -­ Cibo
Dessert at Salt and Straw
Stay -­ Fairfield Inn Portland West (free with points)
Day 12 -­ Portland to Seattle
Breakfast at hotel
Beaverton -­ Nike Employee Store
Lunch ­- Pine State Biscuits
Drive 2h 30m to Boeing Museum of Flight
Stay near Sea Tac -­ TownePlace Suites Seattle South/Renton (free with points)
Dinner -­ Airways Brewing Bistro
Day 13 – Fly Home

Winter Seattle Roundtrip (Including Oregon) Itinerary

Another Pacific Northwest road trip itinerary option is our recent trip in 2017. This was a 10 day west coast road trip starting and ending in Seattle. In this winter road trip, our family explored Oregon and the Pacific coast.

Seattle Roundtrip road trip


Day 1 – Seattle
Drive to Pike’s Place Market to have lunch
Visit CenturyLink and Safeco Field
Check in to Airbnb (2 nights)
Visit playgrounds
Dinner  – Ma’Ono
Day 2 – Seattle 
Fishing in the morning
Lunch – Bakery Nouveau
Afternoon Options Seattle Aquarium or Space Needle
Ice Skating – Winterfest Seattle Center
Dinner – Matt’s in the Market
Day 3 – Portland and Hood River
Drive 3h towards Portland
Stop for lunch – Nongs Kao Man Gai 
Portland Children’s Museum visit
Drive 1h to Hood River
Stay at Airbnb for 4 nights
Dinner – Sixth Street Bistro and Pub
Day 4 – Hood River
Drive 40 min to Mt. Hood Meadows Ski Area
Snow Tubing
Day 5 – Hood River
Drive 40 min. to Mt. Hood Meadows to ski
Dinner- Solstice Pizza
Day 6 – Hood River
Snowmobiling ($249 double, $189 single)
Dinner – pFriem Family Brewers
Day 7 – Cannon Beach
Drive 2h 30m to Cannon Beach
Drive an hour to Multnomah Falls
Stop in Portland to have lunch
Stop in Beaverton – Nike Employee Store
Airbnb – 2 nights (Arch Cape)
Dinner – Pelican Brewing
Day 8 – Oregon Coast
Tillamook Bay Lighthouse
45m drive – Tillamook Cheese Factory
Lunch – Tom’s Fish and Chips
Haystack Rock, Ecola State Park, Hug Point State Park
Day 9 – Seattle
Drive 15m to Seaside
Drive 2h lunch in Olympia (visit the Hands on Kids Museum)  
Drive 1h- Boeing Museum
Stay at Airbnb

Check out: South Lake Tahoe in Winter – 2 Day Guide

Washington State and Oregon Wine Valley Itinerary

This was our very first trip to the Pacific Northwest. This was a week long road trip exploring parts of Washington and Oregon.

Washington and oregon road trip

Day 1 – Arrive in Seattle
Lunch at Pike Place Chowder
Drive 2h 45m to Yakima Wine Valley
Dinner (pick up something at market and cook outdoors)
Day 2 – Washington to Oregon
Breakfast – B&B
Wineries – Bon Air Winery and Two Mountain Winery
Drive 2h to see Mt. Hood/Columbia Gorge area
Lunch – Full Sail Brewery and Pub
Drive to Portland Hotel – Portland Marriott Courtyard City Center
Dinner – Whiskey Soda Lounge/Pok Pok
Day 3 – Portland and Willamette Valley
Brunch – Tasty and Sons
Drive 1h to Penner Ash Winery
Drive 15m to Dobbes Family Estate Winery
McMinnville area visit
Lunch – Community Plate
Carlton – Carlton Wine maker’s Studio, Republic of Jam
Drive 1h to Hotel – Feller B&B
Newberg Area visit
Dinner – Subterra
Day 3 – Willamette Valley
Salem area visit – Melting Pot Candy
Cubanisimo Vineyards
Drive an hour to Eugene
Lunch – Not Your Mama’s Sandwich Shop
Visit the University of Oregon
Drive 30m to Sweet Cheeks Winery
Drive 1h to Corvallis
Hotel – Harrison B&B
Dinner – Les Caves Bier and Kitchen
Day 4 – Drive to Coast
Breakfast – B&B
Visit Oregon State University, Corvallis Farmer’s Market
Drive 1h to Newport
Lunch – Local Ocean Seafood
Stop at Yaquina Bay, Whale Cove to sightsee
Drive 40m to Lincoln City
Hotel – SalmonBerry Inn
Dinner – Blackfish Cafe
Day 5 – Coast and drive back to Portland
Breakfast – B&B
Drive 1h to Tillamook Cheese Factory
Drive 1h to Cannon Beach, have coffee at the Stephanie Inn
Lunch – Sweet Basil’s Cafe
Drive 1h 30m to Beaverton/ Nike Headquarters
Drive 20m to Portland
Hotel – Park Lane Suites
Dinner – Pine State Biscuits
Day 6 – Portland all day
Breakfast – Screen Door
Powell Books, Mississippi Street walk around, Waterfront Bike Rental
Lunch – Food trucks
Cacao (drinking chocolate)
Blue Star Donuts
Cork Wine Shop 
Dinner – Pacific Pie Co
Day 7 – Fly Home
Breakfast – Waffle Window
Leave back home


Oregon Road Trip Itineraries

There are many Oregon road trip ideas, as that is a state filled with outdoor adventure. If you fly into Portland, it is a very quick drive to the Willamette Valley for some delicious pinot noir and adorable towns. The Columbia River Gorge, about an hour away from Portland, has some epic hikes and gorgeous scenery. If you’re interested in only doing a coastal drive, check out this complete Oregon Coast road trip itinerary.

West Coast USA Road Trip

Our family loves going on road trips. This Pacific Northwest road trip itinerary was designed to share one of our favorite areas in the country and give others ideas on where to travel around the Pacific Northwest area. Since Seattle is not too far away, we have often included it in our Pacific Northwest road trip plans due to flight availability.

For our West Coast USA road trip, we used the app Roadtrippers to help us calculate miles and gas expenses, as well as Google Docs to organize the day to day activities. This Pacific Northwest vacation itinerary can be modified depending on the season you are visiting. Regardless of your choice, a PNW road trip is a great family/couple adventure. If you are traveling with your family check out these great road trip activities for kids to keep them entertained on some of the longer drives.

Check out: Road Trip Through Olympic National Park

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5 thoughts on “Pacific Northwest Road Trip Itinerary: Winter and Summer Ideas”

  1. Thanks for some great itineraries. I love the Pacific Northwest. We have not yet traveled there as a family. I love Ashland, Oregon. It’s one of my favorite place on earth.

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