Best summertime adventures in the Pacific Northwest

By Eric Wright

With summer in full swing and Mother Nature in all its glory, its time to get a little dirt on those boots and make some lifelong memories adventuring in the great outdoors. From soaring mountains and pristine lakes to majestic wildlife and adrenaline-pumping recreational activities, the Pacific Northwest has it all. Check out these six unforgettable experiences, and have yourself an exhilarating vacation in this majestic part of the world.

1. Run and hike the majestic Mt. Rainier

Rising into the heavens at an incredible 14,411 feet, Mount Rainier is the largest glacial system and the tallest peak in the lower 48 states, offering a rich diversity of wildlife; fields upon fields of beautiful wildflowers; and, of course, jaw-dropping vistas.

Fitness fanatics can get their blood pumping by heading out on a run on part of the 93-mile Wonderland Trail, which winds its way around the snow-capped volcano. The fabled Skyline Trail is also a favorite among visitors, as the 1,400-foot elevation gain showcases sublime views of the Tatoosh Range and the Cascades.

Relax after a thrilling day of exploration at your own little slice of heaven: this tiny house that's just over an hour from Mount Rainier National Park!

2. Whale watching from the San Juan Islands

Set sail on a once-in-a-lifetime quest to spot fascinating creatures, such as magnificent orca whales, playful seals, and regal eagles, by taking a day boat trip from Vancouver around the gorgeous San Juan and Orcas Islands.

With whale-spotting success rates of up to 90%, these tours last from three to five hours, going into the Strait of Georgia and around the Gulf Islands, and allow intrepid travelers the chance to get a real insight into the native marine wildlife from the hand of experienced guides.

Stay on nearby Mayne Island, and soak up even more nature from right outside the front door at this dreamy cottage.

3. Whitewater rafting near Mt. Hood National Forest

Surrounded by 11 glistening glaciers, the year-round snowy peak of Mount Hood in Oregon is a hiker's paradise. The pristine rivers flowing down from the rugged peaks, however, offer a unique way for visitors to take in the lush Pacific Northwest wilderness.

Companies, like Wet Planet Whitewater, offer spectacular day excursions on the rapids during summer—both on the Columbia River Gorge and the West Fork and Main sections of the Hood River.

Take a different kind of dip by hopping into your own wood-fired bathtub secluded in nature at this
romantic retreat near Mount Hood!

4. Take a cruise from Seattle

For those wanting to get out on the water, one of the best options in the PNW is to set sail from the Emerald City, and enjoy the serene views of the stunning 542-acre Discovery Park—all before venturing into the Olympic Mountains for some epic hiking trials with spectacular scenery.

Since Washington's Olympic National Park overlooks the Pacific Ocean, there are endless sandy beaches, magical rainforests, and native wildlife to be discovered. At the end of an active day outdoors, what could be better than heading back to your own secluded getaway near the Hoh Rainforest?

You may never want to leave this incredible tiny house in the Olympic National Park.

5. Go zip-lining on Vancouver Island

Vancouver Island boasts a raw, ocean-carved landscape that is surrounded by snowcapped mountains, zig-zagging coastline, and rich wilderness—the ideal spot to have the adventure of a lifetime. Apart from unforgettable experiences, such as whale spotting, this pristine area of British Columbia is also ideal for some truly electrifying aerial pursuits. Why not head over to Adrena Line, on the south side of the island, for a rip-roaring day of zip-lines up to 1,000 feet high?

Take a much neeed rest at your own private suite—complete with Jacuzzi tub—near Victoria.

6. Hike and kayak the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest

Sprawling millions of acres across Washington, the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest is a prime location for those looking to immerse themselves in ancient forests and vibrant wilderness. With great hiking, running, and mountain biking trails, those looking for adventure have found their ideal playground. There are also fantastic opportunities for fishing, horseback riding, and climbing in the park, while taking a kayak out on Lake Wenatchee is a serene experience, surrounded by awesome peaks, and one not to be missed.

Get ready to fire up the grill and enjoy some tasty homemade burgers after a full day of activities with a stay at this log cabin in the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest.

Want to keep exploring the PNW? Check out our favorite unique weekend trips in the Pacific Northwest to get some inspiration for yours!

Top Weekend Getaways near Spokane, Washington

By Elizabeth Young

In eastern Washington, about 30 minutes from the Idaho border, sits the city of Spokane. The second most populous city in the state, Spokane attracts people of all walks of life to the Pacific Northwest. The city is surrounded by natural beauty and its residents have lots of opportunities to get outside.

The beautiful Spokane River runs throughout a majority of the city, and the downtown area is home to attractions such as Riverfront Park and the Bing Crosby Theater. From the fresh mountain air to the crystal clear night skies, glampers are sure to fall head over heels for this location.

Riverfront Log Cabin with Hot Tub

This is a photo of a family kayaking on a river.

Spend some quality time out on the river with friends and family.

This stunning log cabin rental can be found on the shores of the Little Spokane River and is perfect for a weekend getaway near Spokane, Washington—located just four minutes from the downtown area. It sleeps a total of six guests and offers two bedrooms, perfect for a weekend getaway with the whole family.

This is a log cabin near Spokane, Washington

Who wouldn't want to spend a weekend away here?

Spacious Family Getaway on Banks Lake

This is a family vacation rental on Banks Lake in Washington.

Staying near Spokane never looked so good.

This property is perched atop a hill overlooking the glorious Banks Lake in eastern Washington, not too far from Electric City. The Columbia River flows nearby and there is no shortage of outdoor adventures. Coleville Reservation is to the north, with Wenatchee National Forest to the west and Coeur d'Alene National Forest to the east.

This is a barbecue on Banks Lake.

You couldn't ask for a better view as you barbecue.

Luxury Cabin with Home Theater

This is a photo of a vacation rental in Spokane, Washington.

On the banks of Pine River, this spacious cabin is the perfect place for friends and family to gather.

This luxury cabin can be found in scenic Spokane, Washington, and can accommodate up to 10 guests between four bedrooms and two full bathrooms. With a home theater, a hot tub, and a spacious backyard, this rental is the ideal spot for friends and family to relax and spend some quality time together. This riverfront rental is the perfect four-season destination!

This is a photo of Mount Spokane Ski Resort.

Come winter, guests are only 25 minutes from Mount Spokane Ski Resort!

Looking for more? Check out these riverfront rentals across Washington or head to Glamping Hub for our full inventory!