Best known for its lush natural beauty and the outdoor activities afforded by such a diverse and unscathed ecosystem, the Pacific Northwest is a standout RV adventure destination, no matter how outdoorsy you are. So whether you want to visit the famous cities or get lost in a national park, be sure to check out a few of our Pacific Northwest RV picks and add some of your own!
1. Whidbey Island, Washington
A scenic destination nestled in the Puget Sound of Washington, Whidbey Island is home to dramatic beach landscapes and quaint towns surrounded by views of the Olympic Mountains. You can access the island by ferry, or you can brave Deception Pass Bridge from the northern end. Once there, take in historic Coupeville, with its iconic, highly photographable wharf and art galleries, peruse the naval history of Oak Harbor, and visit any or all of the three state parks: Fort Casey, Fort Ebey, and Ebey’s Landing.
Langley, another close-knit downtown filled with art galleries, bakeries, and boutiques, is another welcoming destination for local cuisine, scenery, and culture. Featuring everything from fine-dining to casual cafes, Langley is well-known for its culinary pursuits. For the more adventurous travelers, try your hand at kayaking, boating, cycling, fishing, or even crabbing from the coast.
Whidbey Island is highly accessible for RVs, and you can find well-traversed and established public campsites at Fort Casey State Park, Deception Pass State Park, and Fort Ebey State Park, as well as privately owned campgrounds such as North Whidbey RV Park, Cliffside RV Park, and Rhododendron Campground. These range from full hookups to more rustic, dry site experiences, so make sure you are prepared for the accommodations you choose!
2. Seattle, Washington
We could probably write an entire blog post only about things to see when visiting Seattle (hey, maybe in 2024?!), but it is definitely a destination worth including on our list of places to visit in the Pacific Northwest. From the famous Space Needle to Pike Place Market, there is so much to do in Seattle, you could spend months there and never take it all in.
Once there, make sure to take in the Underground Tour of Seattle, which explores the area beneath Pioneer Square to learn more about the city’s earliest history. You could also make time to see any of the major sports teams, or eat your way through Capitol Hill.
Since Seattle is quite a large city, RV parks and campgrounds are found just outside the city limits, offering you a secluded home base from which you can travel into the bustling city for day trips. Consider Manchester State Park, which is about 11 miles outside of Seattle and features 50 RV sites with full hookups, or Lake Pleasant RV Park, which has 196 sites and is located just 13 miles north. The Seattle/Tacoma KOA offers full hookups as expected as well as the social amenities that many people associate with the KOA, including planned Seattle Seahawks nights, ice cream socials, group hikes, wine tastings, and more.
3. Astoria, Oregon
“Never say die!” Perhaps best known as the filming location for the 1985 cult classic adventure-comedy, “The Goonies,” Astoria, Oregon is a small coastal town located along the Columbia River mouth. The local tourism industry has charmingly leaned into its peculiar allure, and the Oregon Film Museum is now housed in the old jail featured at the beginning of the film. You can enjoy a self-guided tour of many film locations, including the Goonies’ houses, the aforementioned Clatsop County Jail, Ecola State Park, Cannon Beach, and the Astoria Country Club.
Never seen the movie, or otherwise uninterested? Have no fear, Astoria is still a beautiful coastal town full of things to do and see. Enjoy a stroll along the Riverwalk Trail, go crabbing on a tugboat, enjoy a pint by the Columbia River, explore the local art scene, or camp in the beautiful surrounding wilderness. You can also check out the visitor center at Lewis and Clark National Historical Park near Astoria for a local history lesson or reenactments.
Astoria is welcoming for RVers, and you’ll find full hookups at several private RV campgrounds, including Pier 38 RV Park, Lewis & Clark Golf & RV Park, Kampers West RV Park, or a number of others 5-10 miles outside of Astoria.
4. Multnomah Falls, Oregon
About 30 minutes outside of Portland in the Mt. Hood/Columbia Gorge, you’ll find the magical Multnomah Falls. The most visited natural recreation site in the Pacific Northwest, the site offers a breathtaking waterfall surrounded by lush Pacific forest. At 620 feet tall, it is the tallest waterfall in Oregon. The Multnomah Creek Bridge, which crosses below the falls and was built in 1914, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Native American lore says that Multnomah Falls was created to win the heart of a young princess who wanted a private bathing pool, and even though you can see the top portion from the highway today, you have to walk to the designated viewing area to see witness the full magnificence of the two tiered falls. You can also follow signs outside the Multnomah Falls Lodge to nearby Wahkeena Falls for a bonus waterfalling adventure!
RVers can enjoy accommodations at nearby Ainsworth State Park, Cascade Locks/Portland East KOA, Lewis & Clark State Park, or one of many others within a short drive of the falls.
5. Pacific Rim National Park, British Columbia
Along the west coast of Vancouver Island lies kilometers of long sandy beaches, unfettered temperate rainforests, and all of the adventure your heart desires in Pacific Rim National Park. The 125,000 acre origin site of the 75-kilometer multi-day West Coast Trail also offers kayaking expeditions, whale-watching tours, and hundreds of day hiking opportunities for the adventurous RVer. The Pacific Rim is best known for its climate, marine life, and ferocious winter storms: many claim it as the birthplace of “storm watching” as a hobby!
RVers will find ample accommodations around and within the Pacific Rim National Park. Green Point Campground is the only campground on the Long Beach Unit of the park, featuring 96 sites offering an all-inclusive camping experience with picnic tables, flush toilets, and established fire pits. Bella Pacific Campground offers 55 campsites with full hookups and free wifi, while Crystal Cove Beach Resort offers complimentary hot showers and Starbuck coffee, for those who wish to travel in style.
Ready to take on the Pacific Northwest in an RV of your own?
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