Are you planning a family road trip in the western part of the country? There are a plethora of places to go that will all provide fun for the whole family. However, driving the Pacific Northwest coast is sure to guarantee something for everyone.
To help get your planning started, here are 4 highlights of this trip.
Wildlife in the South
You can see a lot of marine and avian wildlife all along the coast, but the southern and central sections of the Oregon Coast are particularly good places to get in touch with the animals. You could opt to pay for a visit to the Sea Lion Caves in Florence, or you may be able to simply wander down to the fishing boat docks and see some of these huge creatures for yourself.
In addition to sea lions lounging about on the wooden piers, whales also frequent the waters off Coos Bay, Newport, and nearby towns. Whale watching and fishing charters offer trips several times a day. Finish off your visit by taking the kids to see cute otters, impressive fish, and funny birds at the Newport Aquarium.
As you can see, it's a good idea to stay overnight at an affordable motel in order to be able to enjoy all the animals in this area.
If the kids want to get out and run around on the beach for a while, look up one of the many kite flying meccas along this windy coast. Lincoln City boasts kite festivals on the sand in the summer and fall, and Brookings in the south offers the largest festival in the U.S. Your kids will adore watching experienced fliers with complex kites and professional performers.
If staying overnight during the kite festivals, be sure to book an affordable motel or inn early, as small Oregon towns fill up quickly.
For the adults in the family, Astoria -- just south of the Washington border -- is a must-see. The first permanent settlement on the Pacific Coast, Astoria still retains its old world charm. It's filled with historic homes, bed and breakfasts, and maritime exhibits. You can climb the 125 foot tall Astoria Column for a birds-eye view of the whole area, then finish off your day at one of the many local microbreweries.
After time spent in the quaint motels and byways of the coastal towns, it's time to get back to the vibrant city as you finish your trip in Seattle. Famous for its coffee addiction, Seattle can also entertain the whole family with places like the beautiful Chihuly Garden, the Museum of Flight and Boeing Hangars, and the spectacular view from the Space Needle. Take the kids to the Children's Museum or see Muppets at the Museum of Pop Culture.
No matter what size or style your family is, the Northwest coast has something to make everyone happy. And with affordable motels, lots of places to get outdoors, and a variety of attractions, it'll be easier than ever to plan the perfect vacation.