The Best PNW Fall Road Trips

Explore hidden gems this season from the Cascades to the Oregon Coast

By Danielle Centoni, Jenny Cunningham, Chelsea Lin, Hilary Meyerson, Chris Robinson and Virginia Smyth


October 15, 2019

This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of Seattle Magazine.

This article appears in print in the October 2019 issue, as part of the Fall Road Trips cover story. Click here to subscribe.

Arguably, one of the best parts of living in Seattle is escaping it—for short spells, of course. While we love urban life, knowing that a wealth of water, mountains and charming small towns are just a relatively short drive away makes dealing with the general chaos that comes with a busy life in a dense urban setting more bearable. This year’s fall road trips tap into all of that nearby abundance.

You can take any of these nine trips in a weekend or over a few hours yet still achieve the sense of rejuvenation that usually comes with much longer vacations. Keep this list in your back pocket for an unexpectedly free weekend or a mental health day. After all, what could be better for your sanity than a day spent wandering, playing, eating well and recharging? Whether you take to the road in pursuit of a good restaurant or a good trailhead, we’ve got you covered.

Washington State’s Red Mountain and Richland Are a Wine Lover’s Paradise 
A Road Trip to the Oregon Coast Is the Perfect Weekend Getaway 
Hit the Road to Centralia and Chehalis for a Charming Old-school Getaway 
Central Oregon Wilderness Offers Ancient Forests and Mountain Views 
Whidbey Island’s Langley Is the Perfect Out-of-town Dining Destination 
The Best Day Trip Outside of Seattle 
Find Great Puget Sound Beaches and Outdoor Recreation on Camano Island 
A Weekend Trip to Bellingham Promises Excellent Brews and Outdoor Excursions 
Venetian Gondola Tours Are the Best Way to Explore Gig Harbor

The Walkable, Culture-rich City of Victoria Makes a Perfect Winter Escape

Gemma Wilson

Plan the Perfect Day Trip to Bainbridge Island

Sydney Gladu

Washington State’s Red Mountain and Richland Are a Wine Lover’s Paradise

Virginia Smyth