Let’s be honest. Coronavirus has derailed most, if not all, of our vacations this year. The good news is that with most counties in Washington currently in Phase 2 and some in Phase 3, some limited travel is possible if you travel wisely. And this summer could be a great opportunity to reconnect with the gorgeous sights of our own state.
Here are a few good tips to stay safe while traveling this summer:
- Travel only with those in your own household
- Or, if you are traveling with a small group of people outside your own household, drive separately and sleep in separate rooms
- Stay in accommodations that you are confident are being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected after each stay and wear masks in common areas. If weather allows, keep windows open for air ventilation. If you are camping, even better! Sleep in separate tents from those outside your own household.
- Wear masks while inside any public spaces and outside if you aren’t able to maintain more than 6 feet of distance between people.
- If eating at restaurants, sit at an outdoor table if weather allows.
- Make sure to check for the latest updates and phases for the region you’re traveling to.
- And, of course, keep hand sanitizer and a mask with you at all times.
We’re heading up to the gorgeous North Cascades! Drive along Highway 20 for spectacular mountain views and glittering lakes, pulling off along many scenic views along the way. For an extended trip, drive the entire Cascade Loop connecting Highway 20 through Twisp to Lake Chelan and Wenatchee, then across Highway 2 through Leavenworth back to Monroe.
Hike: Diablo Lake, 7.6 mi – Stunning views of Ross Lake, mountain peaks, and waterfalls, or family-friendly Sourdough Creek, 3.5mi – a forested trail to waterfalls.
Explore: The old western-themed town of Winthrop. Stroll along the boardwalk shops and take an old-timey portrait.
Eat: Marblemount Diner in Marblemount or East 20 Pizza in Winthrop
Bartell’s picks for the road: Zing Bars and Liberty Works water bottles – great for your hikes!
For our second highlight of our road trip, we’re heading down to the Columbia Gorge. Travel east along Highway 14 from Vancouver to White Salmon for some gorgeous views and waterfalls, fishing, and kite surfing. Pop over the border from White Salmon to explore the artsy town of Hood River and explore the many outdoor activities the area has to offer.
Hike: Cape Horn, 7.2mi and Falls Creek Falls, 6.2mi. For the little ones, Panther Creek Falls, 0.2mi with a viewing deck.
Explore: The art galleries, shops, breweries, and wineries in the small towns that dot along the mighty Columbia.
Eat/Drink: Everybody’s Brewing in White Salmon or Walking Man Brewing in Stevenson.
Bartell’s picks for the road: Sahale Snacks Glazed Mixes or Oberto Beef Jerky – great car snacks for long drives!
Our next stop is the beautiful San Juan Islands. Wander the restaurants and galleries of Friday Harbor on San Juan, explore the hikes and shorelines of Orcas Island, and bicycle along Lopez Island. No visit to the islands is complete without a whale watching tour – be it from a boat or a kayak! The Islands’ lodging, restaurants, and tour companies are currently all open in a modified Phase 2 and are excited to welcome visitors for the summer season!
Hike: Mount Constitution, Orcas Island – 7.2 mi, 1500ft. Hike to the tallest peak on Orcas for amazing views! Or try Mountain Lake, Orcas Island – an easy 3.9 mi lake loop for the whole family.
Explore: Cycle along Lopez Island, wine taste along San Juan Island, kayak the shorelines of Orcas Island – and whale watching of course!
Eat/Drink: San Juan Bistro in Friday Harbor or Mijitas in Eastsound
Bartell’s picks for the road: Orchard Bars or Bark Thins chocolate covered pretzels