Montana to Seattle is one of the most scenic road trips you can make in the Northwest. And with only about a day of driving each way, you can make the most of a little time with even just a three-day weekend getaway. This is the perfect opportunity to take advantage of big city living and a change of scenery. So grab your favorite road trip snacks, and hit the road!
On the Way
From Bozeman, you’re looking at about ten hours in the car. The drive can seem a little daunting, so break it up with fun stops along the way. If you can leave the night before, set out early and spend the night in Missoula or Spokane to help maximize your time near the coast.
Missoula Coffee Break
If you get an early start, Missoula is the place where you’ll start feeling that caffeine itch and they have the shops to quench it. Zootown Brew makes gas station coffee stops embarrassed by how tasty their fresh-brewed French press tastes.
Coeur D’Alene Leg Stretch
Paved trails along Coeur D’Alene Lake make this the perfect place to get out and work out some of the kinks from a day behind the wheel. Explore the lake and enjoy the scenery.
Columbia Gorge Jaw-Dropper
You can’t miss this pull-off just past George, Washington (yes, we’re serious). Take in the river view, and then spot the statues of art installation Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies—known as Wild Horse Monument—up on the hill high above.
Ginkgo Petrified Forest: Nature Pit Stop
People complain about the long straight stretch of I-90 through Eastern Washington, but if you’re a nature buff, there’s tons to see. Ginkgo Petrified Forest State Park is just one of many geological jaw-droppers along the way. Take a few minutes to stretch and see petrified wood scattered along the western shore of the Columbia.
One Short Day in the Emerald City
Cheese it up with one of the infamous Ride the Duck tours, where amphibious vehicles take you from water to pavement as you tour the city. Or hop on the monorail to Seattle Center to get a bird’s-eye view of downtown. You can also go below the streets on the classic Seattle Underground Tour to take a deep dive into the city’s history and hidden spots.
The coffee scene is a no-brainer in Seattle. Once you’ve had a chance to check out the original Starbucks, you’ll want to hit up some Essential Seattle Coffee Shops like minimalist beer/coffee bar Sound and Fog, Dubsea Coffee with its local art and famed Cardamom Latte, and Empire Espresso, where the latte art will not disappoint.
Big city Seattle has everything you’ve been craving, from curry to Brazilian barbeque and burgers. But the Asian cuisine in this town is out of this world. Uwajimaya, Asian food and gift market, has been going strong since 1928. You’ll find way more than just tasty sauces and other ingredients for your own cooking. Prepared foods on offer make this a quality choice for lunch or brunch too.
Cruise Back to the 406
Spring for a Hot Spring
On your way back home, you can make some of the stops you missed on the drive out. Or take an even more soothing break from being behind the wheel, since Lolo Hot Springs is just a short detour from Missoula. Soak out the sore muscles from a long drive, and then finish up the quick couple hours on the road home.
Whether you are looking to get away from the stress of the week or are trying to plan a fun trip for you and your friends, head to Seattle. There will be plenty to do and see and keep you entertained along the way. And if you need a car to get you there, get a new auto with a loan financed by RMCU.
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