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You are watching: How long does it take to drive from seattle to portland


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The Pacific Northwest is most likely best-known because that its coffee (thanks, Starbucks), adhered to by that stunning nature, including Mount Rainier, mount Saint Helens, the Olympic national Rainforest, and also miles upon mile or greatly unadulterated coastline from the mountain Juan archipelago to gold Beach. It is likewise home to two bustling metropolises, and also a Seattle come Portland journey is the perfect method to take in all the region’s biggest assets.

Each city has a distinctive character, an array of natural and also human-made attractions, and also bragging rights as the hometown the at the very least a couple of pop-culture sensations. They likewise have a spirited rivalry, and also residents that either will certainly not hesitate to administer a laundry list of factors theirs is superior. However why not check out for yourself?

There space a few ways to make the trip, and also many a Northwesterner (yours important included) has tried lock all. By far, the many enjoyable and also possibly many affordable is a road pilgrimage down the I-5 corridor. Below are a few spots you won’t desire to miss out on in your Seattle to Portland drive, as well as tips to make the most of your trip.


Table of Contents


8 ideal Seattle come Portland journey StopsWhere to remain on the Seattle come Portland Drive

Planning a Seattle to Portland road Trip

Before we obtain to the fun stuff, we have to talk logistics. The I-5 corridor among the most-used federal government freeways in the country, i beg your pardon is normally a good thing because that travellers.

As much as transportation, you have a couple of options for her Seattle to Portland roadway trip. Both cities have an excellent public transport equipment within city limits and decent transit choices to their suburbs together well. However, exterior of that, her best choices are Greyhound which, stop be real, is not constantly great, or Amtrak, i beg your pardon is often much more pleasant. Amtrak runs four trains per day between the two cities.

The downside of acquisition public transport is it borders your capacity to protect against when and also where you choose, and also you can miss some exciting spots or the possibility for impromptu adventures. It is why steering is really the ideal option. If girlfriend don’t have a auto of your own, you have the right to rent one because that a reasonable price from RentalCars.com i beg your pardon aggregates the ideal prices across significant providers.

You can also rent one RV indigenous Outdoorsy for can be fried flexibility, specifically if you’re planning a longer trip native Portland to mountain Francisco or come Los Angeles. Although Seattle and also Portland are distinctly urban, huge swaths that the Northwest space still reasonably untamed wilderness. There are plenty the campsites, especially in forested and seaside locales. This is particularly advantageous as an affordable, flexible lodging option.


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View that Portland, Oregon

Outside of urban hubs, many of the U.S. Is lacking in hostels, so camping often tends to it is in your best (cheap) bet, and also the Pacific Northwest is no exception. That said, if you favor creature comforts, or simply a actual bed come sleep in, there are likewise plenty of terrific hotels in the area too, including some distinctive stays.

Along the main stretch, road conditions are generally an excellent (unlike the eastern side the Washington state), and also you shouldn’t have to worry around closures because of snow or absent blasting uneven you decide to take a detour and also pass end the Cascades. The said, if you room embarking on her Seattle come Portland road trip in winter, examine the department of transport website or application before you take turn off to ensure friend won’t operation into any kind of hang-ups. 

Besides relatively well-kept roadways, there are also plenty of remainder stops, gas stations, roadside truck stops, and cafes (many open late) along the route.

The just downside of using such a high-traffic roadway is, the course, the traffic. But this is just really a worry within the Seattle area. Not just is Seattle one of the most populous cities in the nation, yet people commute come the Emerald City from various smaller surrounding towns, which way you will certainly either desire to start prior to 7:30 a.m. Or wait till 11 a.m. Or so come take turn off on her Seattle come Portland journey to protect against congestion. As soon as you’re out of King County, though, it should be smooth sailing.

How far is Portland from Seattle?

The street from Seattle come Portland is approximately 180 mile (290 kilometres) and only takes around three hours if girlfriend stick to the I-5 freeway and also don’t make any type of stops. If you decide to take it the train or bus, the duration will be around the same, three-and-a-half hours, if you take a straight route.

But within the 180-mile stretch, there are numerous spots precious checking out, and even much more if you’re willing to endeavor a small further turn off the main stretch.

If you really desire to do the many of her trip and also get a taste of all the an ar has come offer, I indicate spending at the very least three days because that a truly enjoyable, scenic journey from Seattle to Portland.


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Mount Rainier – one of the finest stops native Seattle to Portland

8 best Seattle come Portland journey Stops

Without more ado, right here are the finest stops to make if you’re driving indigenous Seattle come Portland!

Point Defiance State Park, Washington

The an initial stop on your Seattle to Portland itinerary could be suggest Defiance State Park. Located just exterior of Washington state’s third-most heavily populated city, Tacoma, suggest Defiance State Park is a sprawling city park that contains a enormous zoo and also aquarium, fort Nisqually Living history Museum, rose and rhododendron gardens, and also beaches and trails.

If you desire to invest a bit more time in the Tacoma area, stop right into the city itself, which is just a little over an hour south of Seattle. LeMay — America’s auto Museum, Museum of Glass, and also Antique heat downtown are several of the optimal tourist attractions. Bob’s Java Jive, a kitsch coffee-pot-shaped restaurant-turned dive-bar, is a good pick if you desire to re-publishing a pint or two through the locals.


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Urban Garden in point Defiance Park

Olympia, Washington

Ask many non-Northwesterners what the funding of Washington is, and also they are likely to to speak Seattle. It’s an understandable mistake, yet in fact, Washington’s state federal government is based in Olympia, a mid-sized city around two hrs south of Nirvana’s birthplace and also Starbucks’ headquarters. While it might not have actually Seattle’s prestige, Olympia has plenty of character of that own and is precious visiting on a Portland come Seattle roadway trip.

Check the end the historic town center and limestone capitol building and also mall. Then prevent by few of the area’s small shops and cafes because that Northwest-made items like locally-roasted coffee and one-of-a-kind artwork. Olympia isn’t only significant as the state’s government seat but likewise because that is a thriving ar for creatives of every kinds.

Ever heard of Bikini death or Sleater-Kinney? The city was the birthplace the the riot grrrl movement and is home to some significant indie labels, consisting of Kill absent Stars and K Records. If you have the time inspect out some regional live music if you’re there.


Mount Rainier nationwide Park, Washington

Mount Rainier is the price of Washington state. This majestic glacier-capped 14,410-ft hill is stunning and formidable top top its own. Yet the national Park bordering is exceptional as well.

Ascend 6,400 feet to Sunrise, the greatest point obtainable by car, to gain the finest view that Rainier and also other hills in the Cascade Range, consisting of Mount Adams. Just 1,000 feet lower in heaven overlook are number of hiking trails and, in so late spring and also summer, beautiful, sweet-smelling wildflower meadows.

Consider stopping and also camping at mountain Rainier national Park if possible. It important is massive, with an abundance of things to see and do. Even with two complete days, you won’t get to everything, however 48 hours is long sufficient to struggle the highlights without feeling completely knackered prior to hitting the roadway again for her Portland to Seattle drive.


Mount St Helens

When friend think of volcanoes and rainforests, Washington state more than likely isn’t the very first locale that springs come mind. But that’s part of the Pacific Northwest’s intrigue: the trove the unusual and also beautiful treasures. Mount St Helens erupted in 1980, rocking the Northwest and spewing roughly thousands of feet of ash right into the sky, which spread out from castle Rock to Spokane in the east and also the Pacific ocean in the west.

The woodland Learning center in Seaquest State Park ~ above the spirit Lake Highway is a must-visit because that anyone top top a Seattle to Portland roadway trip. Learn around the area’s geology and background and the aftermath of the momentous explosion, hear from local survivors, and also check the end the “eruption chamber” to acquire an up-close and personal experience.

You can additionally visit a 2nd center, the Johnston Ridge Observatory if you have a bit more time. This one is around an hour away and the finest place to view (and photograph) the mountain.


Astoria, Oregon

As a indigenous Washingtonian, that is my responsibility to note that Washington, too, has some gorgeous seaside areas and also stunning seaside communities (including the san Juan Islands and also Port Townsend phibìc of Seattle). However, I must admit Oregon has actually us beat.

I vividly and fondly psychic summer roadway trips to both shores as a kid and also lived on the Washington coast for a bit after college. But, for much of mine 20s, mine go-to summer roadway trip destination was nearly always the gorgeous, sandy stretches of coast outside of Portland.

The an initial stop girlfriend won’t desire to miss out on on the Oregon side of her Seattle to Portland drive is Astoria, nestled between the Columbia River and the Pacific Ocean. Started in 1811, the quaint town, the oldest in Oregon, is peppered v beautiful Victorian-era houses and shops. Astoria was also the setup of The Goonies and also Kindergarten Cop, so it’s an excuse to practice your ideal Arnold impressions.

Seaside, Oregon

Oregon’s shores may not be as well known as those of surrounding California, but the views are nevertheless stunning. Over there is a raw ruggedness to the Washington and Oregon shores that you won’t watch in plenty of other seaside destinations in the U.S.

Many the the beaches are pebbled or rocky and also the water is virtually always chilly. However for those attracted to the Pacific Northwest, these elements just include to the landscape’s stark, mysterious beauty. The other perk is girlfriend won’t have to resolve hoards of tourists and, external the optimal summer months, girlfriend may even have the beaches mainly to yourself.

Of the coastal destinations that do entice throngs of summertime tourists, Seaside and nearby Cannon coast are amongst the most popular.

Seaside is a quaint town perfect for solo travellers, couples, and also families alike. It’s well known for the surf breaks and also 1920s promenade, and also the beginning point of the Tillamook Head national Recreational Trail, i beg your pardon ascends to Ecola State Park because that a stunning check out of the 19th Century Tillamook light House. Here, you will do it see few of the Northwest’s many beautiful wildlife, consisting of bald eagles and, in season, grey whales en path to or indigenous Alaska.


Tillamook, Oregon

Just a little way south and inland indigenous Seaside is Tillamook. If did you do it heard of this tiny town, it’s much more than likely been in the paper definition of the renowned dairy products, namely ice cream, and also cheese, created at Tillamook Creamery. Noted you aren’t lactose intolerant or otherwise dairy-averse, the creamery and the ability to take your fill the samples may be more than enough reason come visit.

Located in Tillamook Bay, the town is additionally close come a beautiful stretch of shore just beyond the bay, consisting of Cape Meares Beach and also Oceanside beach to the south. Both that these space well worth a protect against if you have actually the time in your Seattle come Portland drive.


Cannon Beach, Oregon

Cannon beach is probably Oregon’s most famous and picturesque seaside point. It’s a little ways off the I-5 but way worth it. Once you’re no lounging on among the Northwest’s couple of sandy beaches, take it a walk to Haystack Rock and its populace of tufted puffins, or stroll the downtown core and also its assortment the quintessential coastal town cafes and also boutique shops.

On the north finish of Cannon beach is Ecola State Park, one more haven because that nature lovers. While over there are numerous hiking routes, the longest 8-mile trail is a segment of the Oregon coastline Trail and part of the Lewis and also Clark historical Trail. Trekking through, you will do it walk in the footsteps that the famous explorers and also enjoy sweeping see of the shore at Indian Beach and also Ecola Point.


Where to continue to be on the Seattle to Portland Drive

If you’re planning on make a couple of of these stops once driving to Portland or Seattle, you’re likely going to desire to discover a place to remainder your head for a night or two. Staying near Mount Rainier national Park is a great option together it will offer you sufficient time to be able to properly enjoy the park and it’s beauty.

Mount Rainier

Mountain meadows Inn – situated in the city of Ashford within simple reach of the entrance of the nationwide Park, this Inn is the perfect location for those trying to find a rustic and also comfortable location to stay. There are a variety of rooms to choose from, a helpful staff and also a beautiful place to ensure that your stay is a great one. Click right here to see their availability

Alexander’s Lodge – positioned only around 10 minutes walking street from the enntrance gate to mountain Rainier national Park in the city of Ashford, this historical lodge is a an excellent accommodation choice close come the park. They have actually a variety of rooms available to fit all kinds of travellers and also there is a restaurant on site, together well. Click right here to check out their availability

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Portland

The culture Hotel — located close to all of the finest that Portland needs to offer, this hotel is an excellent accommodation choice for those in search of a clean, comfortable and also stylish ar to stay in this Oregon city. There room a number of rooms available and they also have a restaurant top top site. Click here to see their availability

Kimpton Riverplace Hotel — If you’re trying to find a little bit of luxury during your continue to be in Portland, then look no further than this chic hotel. Located on the Willamette River, this centrally located hotel has a range of plush rooms to select from and also a host of luxe amenities to make your continue to be a memorable one. Click below to view their availability

Travelers House — A perfect selection for spending plan or solo travellers, this hostel is just one of the top-rated in Portland. There are both exclusive rooms and dorm bed available, castle have fantastic self-catering facilities and also comfortable common areas that do it straightforward to accomplish other travellers. Click right here to view their availability

Private Rental — If you’re crawl to experience Portland through the lens of a local, then finding a personal apartment or home rental is a good choice for you! There space lots of good properties to pick from in the city, such as this quaint, centrally located cottage. Click right here to find the finest private rentals in Portland!

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Seattle

The Mediterranean Inn — situated a stone’s litter from the iconic an are Needle, this hotel is a great place to stay in Seattle. They have a variety of clean and also comfortable rooms accessible (each consists of a little kitchenette) and a beneficial staff come ensure you have a good time in this Washington city. Click right here to see their availability

Inn in ~ the Market– situated at Seattle’s top Pike location Market, this boutique hotel is a an excellent option for those travel on a higher budget. There room a number of lovely rooms to select from, a rooftop bar wherein guests deserve to sip cocktails and admire the skyline and an unbeatable location in the love of the city.

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Click below to check out their availability

HotelHotel Hostel — If you’re travelling solo, on a budget or space simply trying to find a society atmosphere, this hostel is a good choice because that you! They have actually a variety of both private and also dorm rooms on offer and good common areas that make conference others easy. Click below to watch their availability

Private Rental — If you want to watch what it’s choose to live in Seattle or space after a distinct accommodation option, then going for a personal holiday rental may be a an excellent choice because that you. There space a myriad of interesting properties to pick from in the city, from distinct properties prefer this metropolitan treehouse come cool, inner-city apartments. Click below to uncover the finest private rentals in Seattle!

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This is just a sampling that the points to do and also see between Seattle and also Portland. If you have the time and inclination, a couple of other clues to think about including in your Seattle to Portland itinerary incorporate Lewis and Clark State Park, Bachelor Island, Longview, Washington, and Westport, Oregon.

The an ar is ripe with chance for adventure, and also wherever you end up on her Seattle to Portland drive, she almost details to find something remarkable.

Are you planning a Seattle to Portland drive? have you visited any of these areas before? permit us recognize in the comments!