The intensity of sunny and party-fueled spring break vacations are not something most people relate to when thinking about the Pacific Northwest, but that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do during that period around here. In fact, there’s so much to do that you’d be hard pressed to fit everything in a single week.
This list will show you only the best options if you’re looking for good, clean (and affordable) destinations for spring break in the PNW, but they’re also good for a quick weekend getaway.
Olympic National Park
Seattle is not only the home of great seafood, rainy days and the best cleaning teams in Washington, but is also in driving distance of one of America’s most beautiful national parks; the Olympic National Park.
Beloved by tourists, campers and outdoorsy people in general, this almost-million acre jewel houses an impressive variety of terrains and sceneries, including a rainforest, snow-capped mountains, and a beautifully rugged shoreline.
Whale Watching in Oregon
It’s not something that you usually relate to Oregon, right? But from March 19 to the 26 you can watch the gray whales on their yearly trip to Alaska, and it’s as beautiful (if not more) than the more popular Puget Sound. Known as the Spring Whale Watching Week, some 20,000 of these majestic animals will show up all along the Oregon Coast.
And since you’re already there, why not make it a point to visit some of Oregon’s most beautiful beaches, such as Haystack Rock, Cannon Beach or Tolovana Beach? Nothing like a road trip to make fun memories with friends or family.
Painted Hills Scenic Bikeway
If the coast is not your favorite spot, there are plenty of other options in central Oregon for spring. The Painted Hills Scenic Bikeway offers outdoors and cycling enthusiasts a challenge and a beautiful, jaw-dropping reward amidst all the quaint small towns. It has different interconnecting segments showcasing the colored stratification of the soil and the rolling hills and was designed to connect all three units of the renowned John Day Fossil Beds.
When planning your trip, be sure to leave spare time to spend at each of these units, such as a walk on the boardwalk at the Painted Hill unit, and to take in the land both on and off the bike in one of the most breathtaking Pacific Northwest getaways there are. You’ll be thankful that you did.
Cruise along Vancouver Island
Enjoying the Pacific Northwest doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to stay within the United States. Vancouver Island, just off the coast of our neighbor up north, offers beautiful green stretches, hidden lakes, and the incredible Pacific Marine Circle Route. The Route is a 185 mile loop that touches on sun-kissed beaches, pristine lakes, breathtaking views of the Olympic Mountains (hi, Washington back home!) and delicious restaurants and wineries.
You can plan trips lasting from one to five days, mixing natural wonders and excellent tourist spots and towns along Victoria’s coastal roads. Make your own itinerary or contact an agency for the best picks in food, scenery, and transportation; either way, an unforgettable adventure awaits.
Boise, Idaho’s Treefort Music Festival
The Pacific Northwest has had long, storied, and influential alternative-music scene spanning decades, and the Treefort Music Festival (March 23-27) will bring together big names such as Built to Spill, Youth Lagoon, Charles Bradley and smaller, local bands and performers over nine stages around the city.
Buying tickets for every day of the festival might be too expensive for most, but staying for a couple of days enjoying what the city has to offer and getting in the day where your favorite acts are playing can prove a fun, memorable spring break trip for most. Let the festival be the cherry on top, not the focus of your trip, and enjoy!
Finding cheap and fun alternatives for a Pacific Northwest family vacation is easy when you know what you’re really looking for. Whether you’re a more outdoorsy person or prefer the commodities that a city offers, the Pacific Northwest is full of options for you!