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The Perfect Pacific Northwest Bucket List

Summer days are long, but the season is short. And fast. 

To avoid panicking about your plans in August, we’re here to show you how to have the best PNW summer. No matter by foot or boat, there are so many ways to make the most out of your summer, like packing a picnic for a hike, jamming out at an outdoor music festival or taking a dip in the ocean. So let’s get into it. 

Explore all the things to do in the pacific northwest below.

The Perfect Summer Bucket List 

1. Explore epic sand dunes

Recommendation: Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Where: Oregon

Oregon sand dunes

The Details:

If you’re in the PNW, it would be a shame to never step foot on the iconic Oregon sand dunes, nestled in Siuslaw National Forest. Whether you go by ATV or foot, the expansive dunes are incredibly fun to explore. And if you need a break from the dry terrain, there are also several lakes to go fishing, canoeing or boating.

Plan your trip to conquer the dunes here.


2. Go for a hike with a blue view

Recommendation: Tamolitch Falls Blue Pool/McKenzie River Trail

Where: Oregon

Tamolitch Falls Blue Pool


The Details:

Not afraid of a cold plunge? This trail is for you. Head to the McKenzie River Trail to experience a scenic hike surrounded by Douglas fir trees. At the end, you’ll stumble upon the famous Tamolitch Falls Blue pool, known for its vibrant hue and chilly temperatures. 

Plan your plunge here.

3. Find a music festival

Recommendation: Day in Day Out Fest 

Where: Fisher Pavilion in Seattle, Washington 

Day In Day Out Fest

The Details:

Like jamming out to live music? Summer is the perfect time for music festivals, and Seattle has a ton to offer. Our pick is the Day in Day Out Fest, hosted in the heart of town. Headliners this year feature Bon Iver and Leon Bridges. 

Buy your ticket for August 12 - August 13, 2023 here


4. Make it the summer of suspense

Recommendation: Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Where: North Vancouver 

Suspension bridge

The Details:

If you love the thrill of heights, you must walk across the 450-foot Capilano Suspension Bridge. Throughout the park, you can get your steps in through lush rainforests, check out the Cliffwalk walkway above a canyon, or even make acquaintances with an owl. 

Go wild here.


5. Wander through a winery 

Recommendation: San Juan Island

Where: San Juan, Washington

people enjoying a winery

The Details:

The San Juan Islands are a must-visit area to explore if you’re in Seattle. Aside from whale watching, you can take a more relaxed route and head to a winery. We recommend San Juan Vineyard, which features delicious wine varieties, and live music on the weekends. 

Plan your visit to the vines here.


6. Head to the beach

Recommendation: Cannon Beach

Where: Oregon

Cannon Beach Oregon

The Details:

Get captivated by the coastline at the legendary Cannon Beach. There’s plenty of things to do, like take a food tour, go surfing or get a peek of the local puffins. If you visit one beach this summer, make sure this is on your pnw bucket list.

Book your stay here.


7. Take a bike ride 

Recommendation: Burke-Gilman Trail

Where: Seattle, Washington

Woman riding a bike

The Details:

Up for a 19-mile bike ride? No matter the distance you go, you’re guaranteed a beautiful bike ride winding through the Burke-Gilman Trail. You’ll pass by charming houses, lakefront parks and plenty of greenery. 

Pedal to the metal here.


8. Go fishing

Recommendation: Kenai River Drifters Lodge 

Where: Cooper Landing, Alaska

Men fishing in Alaska

The Details:

Explore the stunning Kenai River and earn your catch of the day at Drifters Lodge. If you want to have the instructors show you the ropes, you can take a guided fishing tour. Aside from casting your line, you go rafting or spot beautiful wildlife on land including eagles, moose and bears.

Plan your trip here.


9. Visit a national park

Recommendation: Yellowstone National Park

Where: Wyoming/Montana/Idaho (Depending on entrance)

Geyser in Yellowstone National Park

The Details:

We don’t like to play favorites, but out of all the National Parks, Yellowstone may be the ultimate bucket list item. From trusty Old Faithful to hot springs and epic hikes, there is so much ground to cover. Bring your best camera for this one. 

See the great sights here.


We hope you’re ready to make this the summer of checking off this pacific northwest bucket list. And if you need help with a packing list, we have a wide range of easy moisture-wicking layers including jackets, vests and tees. View our Cutter and Buck new arrivals here.