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
The next stop on our Bartell’s Summer Road Trip is Chelan! Walk the streets of the resort community of Chelan and explore the boutiques and wine tasting rooms. Hire a kayak or paddle boat and paddle the afternoon away on the beautiful deep blue lake. Or camp in one of the many campgrounds that dot along the lake and spend your time hiking some of the gorgeous trails in the area!
Hike: Chelan Butte – 7.6mi, 2500ft or the easier family-friendly Little Bear Trail at Lake Chelan State Park – 2.3mi, 250ft
Explore: The lake, of course! Walk the shoreline, rent a motorboat or kayak, or just float around on your favorite inflatable!
Eat/Drink: Layla’s and Tsillan Cellars & Sorrento’s Ristorante
Bartell’s picks for the road: Blue Diamond Almonds or La Panzanella Artisanal Foods Co. crackers to cleanse the palate from all that great wine you’re tasting!
Heading on over to the Olympics! Whether you’re an avid hiker, a viewpoint photographer, or a beach connoisseur, the Olympics has something for everyone. Take overnight trips to Port Angeles and explore Hurricane Ridge or to Quinault for a beautiful lakeside stay. To explore the whole loop, allow yourself 4-5 days and visit the enchanting Hoh Rainforest and spend an afternoon at Kalaloch or Ruby Beach.
Hike: Ozette Triangle Loop Trail, 9.5 mi or family-friendly Sol Duc Falls, 1.6 mi
Explore: Hoh Rainforest, Hurricane Ridge, and stopover at the Olympic Game Farm for a drive-thru wildlife experience in Sequim! (Open in current Phase!)
Eat/Drink: Chestnut Cottage Restaurant in Port Angeles or BBG Blakeslee Bar & Grill in Forks
Bartell’s picks for the road: Pacifica Sunscreen – avoid burning on those long day hikes! Adam’s Natural Peanut Butter – a staple item for hiking lunches! And Silver City Brewery & Taproom IPA – crack open a nice cold one by the campfire!
Sending love to the east side and driving over to Spokane. Explore River Park Square for shopping and dining, have a picnic and enjoy the flowers at the beautiful Riverfront Park, and taste some beers in the city’s many breweries. Pop over the border to explore the town of Coeur d’Alene, ID. Take a detour off I-90 to visit stunning Palouse Falls. And of course, no trip to Spokane is complete without a visit to Spokane Falls right in the heart of the city!
Hike: Knothead Loop, 7mi or Riverside State Park for something a bit easier, multiple trails from 1-5mi
Explore: Riverfront Park and Downtown Spokane
Eat/Drink: Wild Sage American Bistro – Spokane Restaurant or Frank’s Diner
Bartell’s picks for the road: Essentia Water – stay hydrated in the heat out there! And The Daily Crave Veggie Chips for a healthier alternative when the family gets snacky during the long drive.
The final stop on our Bartell’s Summer Road Trip is Walla Walla. Take a walk or have a picnic at Pioneer Park, stroll through the various shops and boutiques that line the downtown streets, and of course – wine taste at some of Washington’s best wineries! *Walla Walla county is currently in Phase 2, please check what’s open before you go.
Hike: Horse Heaven Hills, 6.8 miles (near Kennewick) or Bennington Lake trails in Walla Walla, various length
Explore: The Wineries!
Eat/Drink: Bacon&Eggs or Colville Street Patisserie
Bartell’s picks for the road: Cretors Popcorn Just the Cheese Popped Corn or Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps – both great snacks after some wine!