Itinerary Highlights
    • Trace the legendary rock’n’roll scene of Seattle with a visit to the immersive MoPop museum
    • Get off the beaten track in the Pacific Northwest and discover beautiful islands that are home to orcas
    • Swap the coast for the mountains and round off your trip exploring Mount Rainier National Park

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Misty rainforests, orca-inhabited islands, virgin beaches, snow-capped mountains, rock’n’roll legends, renowned vineyards… Washington State has it all. You’ll kick off this road trip in Seattle and spend a few days savouring the city’s rhapsody of iconic musical heritage, contemporary cultural offerings and at-your-fingertips nature. Then, once the city lights are in the rear view mirror, it’s all about nature, nature and more nature. From hiking in the North Cascades National Park (with a foray into the Wild West at Winthrop) and orca-watching across the San Juan Islands, to lakeside lounging on the Olympic Peninsula and mountaineering in the glacier-capped Mount Rainier National Park, this itinerary is all about soaking in the scenic splendour of the Pacific Northwest.
Hiking boots packed, camera-roll empty, let the adventure begin…

Route

Everything is 100% tailored to you
DAY 1

CULTURAL IMMERSION IN SEATTLE

Rise and shine, your epic road-tripping adventure through Washington starts today. Head to the airport, whizz through security and enjoy some nibbles and refreshments in the airport lounge as you await the departure of your ten-hour flight to Seattle. A private driver will be waiting for you at the airport in Seattle to whisk you off to your first hotel: a contemporary and elegant property located on vibrant Fifth Avenue. Thanks to the time difference, you’ll arrive in the afternoon, local time, which gives you plenty of time to head out and sample the city’s delights. You’ll have tickets waiting for you at your hotel for the pop culture museum MoPop, so once you’ve settled in and freshened up, head out for a spot of cultural immersion in Seattle. Created by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen in a fabulous space designed by Frank Gehry, the museum aims to showcase iconic moments in TV, rock’n’roll music and science fiction. This is a great way to learn all about the city’s status as a linchpin in the nation’s iconic rock’n’roll scene: Jimmy Hendrix, Nirvana Pearl Jam, Soundgarden and Alice in Chains all hail from here.

DAYS 2 & 3

EXPLORE THE ‘EMERALD CITY’

Nicknamed the ‘Emerald City’ in reference to its year-round lush greenery, Seattle is as scenically stunning as it is culturally exciting. You’ll have the next two days here to immerse yourself in the laid-back local life. You can take a stroll through the Pioneer Square District, a neighbourhood full of brick and cobblestone streets; admire the city skyline from Alki Beach; browse the independent shops and the arty Fremont district; tuck into a classic fish and chips lunch in the picturesque Pike Place Market; learn more about the city’s distinctive culture at the Seattle Art Museum and the Flight Museum; soak in the 360° view of Seattle from the Space Needle, a futuristic tower stretching 600ft into the sky. If you’re travelling with kids in tow then we also recommend visiting the beautifully-curated Pacific Science Centre, as well as the aquarium. And finally, when you’re ready for a good dose of nature, you can turn your sights to the immense landscapes that surround the city: the beaches of the Pacific, the enchanting woodlands and the snowcapped mountains towering in the distance. We could also arrange for you to discover the city through the lens of a local on a private walking tour.

DAY 4

HIT THE ROAD

It’s time to get some miles under your belt on this road-trip across Washington State. After breakfast this morning, collect your hire car and hit the road northeast to Winthrop, a beautiful old Western town nestled on the edge of North Cascades National Park, a four-hour drive away. Your home for the next two nights here is a well-established hotel surrounded by beautiful nature. Once you’ve settled in and freshened up, head out and spend your first evening soaking in the scenic delights of the old centre, which is full of multicoloured Victorian properties, log cabins and atmospheric saloons.

DAY 5

GET INTO NATURE

After enjoying the cultural offerings of Winthrop yesterday, today is all about getting into nature and admiring the stunning scenery of North Cascades National Park. Featuring over 350 miles of well-marked trails, this park is a big hit among lovers of the great outdoors. You can hike and mountain bike along the beautiful forested trails, spot incredible wildlife (which include elk, beavers, eagles and even bears), or opt for a climbing adventure or mule ride. Other natural wonders around Winthrop include Lake Chelan, which looks a Scandinavian fjord, and Lake Pearrygin, a popular swimming spot. When you’re ready to soak in a bit more culture, head to the Shafer Museum to learn about the fascinating daily lives of Winthrop locals in the 19th and 20th centuries. After a busy day in nature, spend this evening sampling a delicious beer or two at one of the town’s many micro-breweries, or simply kick back, relax and enjoy the facilities at the hotel.

DAY 6

COAST CALLING

Today you’ll be switching things up a bit, swapping the mountains of Winthrop for the beautiful coastline of San Juan Island. After a delicious breakfast this morning, hop back into your hire car and head five hours to Anacortes, where you’ll catch a one-and-a-half-hour ferry ride to Friday Harbor, the main village on the island. On arrival, check into your next charming hotel, a small historic property overlooking the village, and spend the rest of today settling into island life. The village charms visitors with its peaceful atmosphere, colourful wooden facades and beautiful views across the water.

DAY 7

ORCA WATCHING CRUISE

Seattle is the only major metropolis in the world to have a resident population of orcas: three families, consisting of nearly 90 orcas, have taken up residence here and roam the waters of Pudget Sound in search of salmon. Today you’ll be heading out on an orca watching cruise to admire these majestic creatures, as well as other local marine life, including seals, sea lions and porpoises. The rest of today is yours to spend further soaking in the island’s scenic and cultural offerings at your own leisure. You can rent bikes and cycle along the coast paths and through the rainforest, kayak in the harbour and admire aquatic life, learn more about orcas at the small Whale Museum, tuck into delicious fresh seafood at one of the many lovely restaurants in the village or visit one the island’s many farms and vineyards, such as the San Juan Island Vineyard, the Westcott Bay Cider house and distillery or the small Pelindaba lavender farm.

DAYS 8 & 9

ISLAND LIFE

The island-hopping chapter of this Washington State adventure continues today on Orcas Island, the archipelago’s largest island, a one-and-a-half hour ferry ride away. On arrival, check into your next hotel: a cosy and beautiful holiday home well-located for getting around and exploring. You’ll then have the rest of today and tomorrow to soak in the vast and varied landscapes of the island. There’s the Moran State Park, a 2,000-acre protected area home to five lakes and thirty miles of hiking trails. Orcas is also home to the highest mountains of the archipelago, which offer excellent views across the archipelago, Cascade Mountain Range and the Olympic Mountains, as well as Vancouver Island and the Canadian coast.

DAY 10

INTO THE MOUNTAINS

Today you’ll be bidding a warm farewell to the beautiful island landscapes of the San Juan archipelago and embarking on the journey back to the mainland. After breakfast this morning, board the ferry back to Port Townsend, a thirty-minute ride away, and hit the road an hour west to Port Angeles, the largest city on the Olympic Peninsula and gateway to the national park. From here you’ll continue on a further twenty miles to Lake Crescent, a beautiful glacial lake surrounded by lush forested hills. Settle in for the night here in a rustic lodge overlooking the water and spend the rest of today exploring this splendid natural environment. You can walk through the forest to the spectacular Marymere Falls waterfall; bathe in the mineral-rich natural hot springs of Sol Duc Hot Springs; explore the small chain of Hurricane Mountains, with its thick forests, alpine meadows and vistas of snow-covered peaks, valleys and distant ocean; and hike through enchanting forests with lush, humid vegetation, such as Hoh Rain Forest and Quinault Rainforest.

DAYS 11 & 12

RELAX ON THE PACIFIC COAST

Your adventure across Washington State continues today with a two-and-a-half hour drive to Kalaloch, a small coastal resort town in the heart of Olympic National Park. On arrival, check in for two nights in a charming rustic lodge and spend the rest of today and tomorrow discovering the beautiful nature that surrounds you. Kalaloch is a great base for exploring the south of the Olympic Peninsula and the Pacific coastal strip, which is teeming with enchanting misty beaches and coves.

DAY 13

VISIT AN ARTY SCULPTURE PARK

Today you’ll be leaving the coast behind and heading off to your final destination in Washington: Mount Rainier National Park, the state’s most emblematic national park, a four-hour drive away. Make sure to stop along the way at the Recycled Spirits of Iron Sculpture Park, a fascinating field of outdoor sculptures designed by artist Dan Klennert located on the edge of the park. From here, continue on to your final hotel: an impressive property located in the heart of the park, where you’ll be hanging up your hat for the next two nights. The rest of today is yours to play with. We recommend simply kicking back and enjoying the facilities at the hotel and the magnificent panorama of snow-capped mountains that surround you, ready for a day of outdoor adventures tomorrow.

DAY 14

EXPLORE MOUNT RAINIER NATIONAL PARK

Your final full day in Washington State is dedicated to soaking in the natural splendour of Mount Rainier National Park. You can embark on a guided hike to the Paradise Glacier to admire its many ice crystals; walk a section of the Wonderland Trail, which circles the snow-covered summit and offers views across forests, mountains streams and blueberry fields; visit the Henry M. Jackson Memorial Visitor Centre and learn about the geological characteristics, fauna and flora of the park at the observatory; and take a trip through the forests aboard a steam train.

DAYS 15 & 16

JOURNEY HOME

Sadly the time has come to peel yourself away from the majestic landscapes of Washington State and embark on the journey home. After breakfast this morning, travel two hours back to the airport in Seattle. Drop off your hire car, whizz through security and enjoy some down time in the airport lounge as you await the departure of your ten-hour flight back to the UK. Most direct flights depart in the late afternoon, so you’ll spend tonight onboard and touchdown on home turf tomorrow morning. If, however, you’re not quite ready to bid the Pacific Northwest goodbye just yet, you could opt to extend your holiday with a few days across the US-Canada border in Vancouver, or further south, in Portland, Oregon.

A la carte

PRIVATE WALKING TOUR OF SEATTLE



Set off in the company of a clued-up local guide to get an in-depth look at Seattle's history, industries, culture and landmarks. The walk is relaxed and based around you, so you can be totally spontaneous. You can discover some of the city’s most exciting points of interest, such as Pike Place Market, Pioneer Square, the International District, the stadiums, the Ballard Locks, the Fremont Troll, Kerry Park or even the Seattle Centre.



WITH A FEW MORE DAYS… HOP ACROSS TO CANADA



Just a hop, skip and a jump north of Washington State is Vancouver, the Canadian ‘Pearl of the Pacific’ with its lush forests, modern skyscrapers and effortlessly trendy feel. There is also Vancouver Island, a vast, wild and preserved island and refuge to splendid wildlife, such as bears, whales and orcas.



WITH A FEW MORE DAYS… VISIT PORTLAND, OREGON



Located between Seattle and San Francisco is Portland, a charming city that sits a little apart from the rest of the country. Everything here is centred around being as eco-friendly as possible, from its masses of cycle lanes to its architecture and gastronomy. There are also a dizzying number of beautiful parks and gardens worth visiting, including the International Rose Test Garden, the Japanese Garden, Forest Park and the banks of the Willamette River.

A Rough Idea of Price

Dependent on season, accommodation and activities
The estimated cost for this trip starts from £4,695 to £5,650 per person. The final cost of the trip depends on the way we tailor it especially for you. The final cost varies according to several factors, which include the level of service, length of trip and advance booking time. The exact price will be provided on your personalised quote. The average starting price for this trip is £5,390 per person.
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