Summer is coming to a close, but it’s not over yet.
Take advantage of the long days and warm nights by exploring all the best hidden gems that the PNW has to offer.
If you’re looking to get away from the tourist hot spots, we pulled together a list of offbeat destinations that will help you immerse yourself in the region’s raw beauty, minus all the crowds. The PNW is our hometown, so we want you to experience all the magic it has to offer, which is often found in unusual places.
To conquer untapped adventure treasures, we found some exciting finds from petting a kangaroo, hidden waterfalls and a witch’s castle. Trust us, it will all make sense soon.
Start your exploration below, but do us a favor. Keep it all a secret!
The Ultimate Hidden Gems in the Pacific Northwest
Interesting Hiking Trails
Gaze at glacial views in Leavenworth, Washington
If you enjoy hiking near bodies of water, you should check out the Colchuck Lake trail, featuring views of mountain peaks, which look particularly stunning against the captivating blue lake. A tough yet rewarding climb, you will have plenty of space to yourself, especially if you’re brave enough to head out at dawn.
Plan your trip here.
Be surrounded by waterfalls in Comet Falls, Mount Rainier National Park
National Parks are known to be popular, but some trails are still well-kept secrets. Take the Comet Falls trail for instance, which packs in a lot of monumental views and multiple breathtaking waterfalls along your travels. Just be careful as you climb the challenging crib ladder. Trust us, it’s worth it.
Bask in the shade at Lake Angeles in Olympic National Park
In summer, finding shade is the name of the game. If you head to the Lake Angeles Trail, you can calmly wander through shady trails lined with trees. The lake has beautiful views of mountain peaks too.
Start your hike here.
Admire florals in Silverton, Oregon
A quaint countryside town, Silverton is worth taking the drive from Portland. The downtown features historical buildings to gaze at. To connect with nature, you can head to the blooming botanical Oregon Garden, or Silver Falls State park for winding hiking trails.
Learn more about Silverton here.
Get a glimpse of German culture in Leavenworth, Washington
Simply put, this town is cool. Especially if you like Bavarian-style villages. You can obviously have schnitzel, and you can participate in tons of outdoor activities like hikes, river tubing or zip lining.
Book accommodations here.
Soak in coastal views in Yachats, Oregon
If you love a beach town, you have to check out Yachats. Home to the stunning and staggering 1000-foot Heceta Head lighthouse, you will enjoy sweeping views of the coastline. Plus, you can snag one of six rooms at the lightkeepers converted Bed and Breakfast. There’s plenty of art galleries and local shops to stroll through.
Grab your spot here.
Meet a Kangaroo at the Fall City Wallaby Ranch in King County, Washington
If unique wildlife is your thing, you should head to the Fall City Wallaby Ranch. You will learn awesome facts about the animals on their gorgeous farmland. And the best part? You can apply to adopt a kangaroo.
See the ranch here.
Paddleboard at Green Lake in Seattle
A bit off the beaten path, Green Lake packs in picturesque views. You can swim, kayak or paddleboard in clear waters, or take a leisurely stroll around the lake, which is just shy of 3 miles.
Pack your picnic and head here.
Find a Witches Castle in Portland
If you trek through Forest Park in Portland, you will get a solid hike in.
But more importantly, you will stumble on something wicked. It’s not haunted by any means, but the “Witch’s Castle” is one of the strangest sites to see in the forest.
Get spooked here.
Now that you know where to go, here are the summer styles to wear.