When it comes to hitting the open road, there is nothing better than a pacific northwest road trip – and it’s the perfect destination for EV owners, too. Ripe with sights, hikes, bites, and charging stops? You really can’t go wrong.
There are plenty of potential stops to consider in the pacific northwest, but we’ll guide you through a few of our favorites. Let us be your EV road trip planner (and your EV navigation app)– so all you need to worry about is packing and enjoying yourself.
Stop 1: Bend, Oregon
You’ll start your PNW road trip in Bend, Oregon, a unique and outdoorsy city nestled in the Cascade Mountains. Get in touch with the nature explorer within!
Where to Eat:
Whether you’re looking for breakfast, dinner, or a brewery, Bend has an answer. Stop into one of these local favorites to get a real sense of what Oregon has to offer the culinary scene.
- The Sparrow Bakery Northwest: No matter what time of day, be sure to grab a flaky croissant! The star of the menu is the ocean roll, a cardamom vanilla sugar pastry that’s so good, you’ll think about going back for seconds.
- Ariana Restaurant: Featuring locally sourced ingredients, an extensive wine list highlighting some of Oregon’s unique vintages, and the fresh flavors of the pacific northwest, you truly cannot go wrong by dining here.
- The Brasserie at Monkless Belgian Ales: It wouldn’t be a trip to Bend, Oregon without a trip to a brewpub, and TheBrasserie at Monkless Belgian Ales is as good as any. You’ll enjoy views ofBend Old Mill, plus the Deschutes River on the outside and a unique monastery feel on the inside. Hungry? No problem. From poutine to pork schnitzel, you’ve got options.
What to Do:
Bend is ideal for anyone who wants to take a break from the car and really explore nature. Their natural landmarks are breathtaking, so take some time to find your favorites. Need a break from all that wonder? Consider one of their equally impressive museums.
- Explore The High Desert Museum: The U.S. is home to a few high deserts, and Oregon is one of them. This museum, whose mission is to “cultivate a world where people and the landscape thrive together,” offers visitors 135 acres of education. Get a close-up view of native wildlife and peruse the vibrant stories of the Native artists of the region.
- Visit the Newberry National Volcanic Monument:If you’ve ever wanted to step foot on a volcano, now is your chance! A volcano the size of Rhode Island – yep, the state– lies in Oregon. Head to the national monument for hiking, waterfalls, hot springs, and more.
- Revel in the copious natural landmarks: Take an electric bike tour of Bend and the Deschutes River, visit the Lava Lands, check out Hosmer Lake, take in Tumalo Falls. The options are endless.
Where to Charge:
- Charge at Centennial Parking Garage on Lava Rd. It’s free to charge with paid parking. The details: 3 J-1772 plugs, open 24/7.
- Tesla drivers can charge at SpringHill Suites in SW Industrial Way, located near Monkless Belgian Ales. The details: 8 Tesla superchargers, open 24/7.
Do you know what to do if a charging station is broken? 3 Things to Do When a Public Electric Car Charger Is Not Working.
Stop 2: Hood River, Oregon
This charming town, known for its outdoor activities and stunning scenery, is your second destination on your pacific northwest road trip. It’s not quite as popular as some of the others, but it has all of the wonder you’re looking for.
Where to eat:
Take a break from hiking and sightseeing to enjoy the local cuisine. No matter your preference, you’ll find something to your liking.
- Broder Øst: Start your day with a Scandinavian-inspired eatery. Order cardamom coffee, lingonberry jam pancakes, Swedish meatballs… need we say more?
- Boda’s Kitchen:This delectable delicatessen is the perfect place to pop in and grab a few sandwiches and cookies before taking your lunch out to picnic in one of HoodRiver’s beautiful landscapes.
- Visit a local winery or brewery: Napa may be the U.S.’s go-to destination for wine, but Oregon has its own rich history. Take some time to explore local wineries – and, of course, always drink responsibly.
- Dinner at Celilo Restaurant & Bar: They’re focused on local, seasonal Pacific Northwest cuisine, but this is more high-end, so make a reservation here if you’re looking for elegance and innovation in your culinary adventure.
What to do:
Just like the other destinations on your PNW road trip, Hood River is a trove of remarkable outdoor adventuring. Enjoy the sights from your electric vehicle, or get out there and get your boots dirty.
- Take the Fruit Loop: Nope, we’re not talking cereal here. Hood River is home to a true treasure: a 35-mile drive through scenic views and nearly 30 fruit stands, cideries, and truly wonderful scenery.
- Explore the Columbia River Gorge: You can’t miss vistas like this! The Columbia river cuts through the Cascade mountain, and you’ll find hidden gems of beauty all along it. Wildflower valleys, dozens of waterfalls, and truly awe-inspiring hikes are just a few of the delights waiting for you.
- Visit Wilderton Non-Alcoholic Botanical Spirits: Take a trip to the U.S.’s first nonalcoholic distillery and tasting room.
Where to charge:
- Columbia parking garage/lot on Columbia St. The details: 1 J-1772 plug, 1 CHAdeMO plug, 1 CCS/SAE plug, open 24/7.
- Tesla drivers can use the EVCharging Station at Waterfront Park. The details: 16 Tesla superchargers, open 24/7.
Stop 3: Portland, Oregon
Portland has more than earned its quirky reputation, so stop here on your EV road trip itinerary to really take in all of the personality and vibes this city has to offer.
Where to eat:
Step outside of your comfort zone when you arrive in Portland. The city has plenty of restaurants to choose from, so why not give vegan or tapas a try?
- DirtyLettuce: No matter what your dietary preferences are, everyone can find something at this vegan restaurant that is determined to wow their visitors so thoroughly they forget other protein options exist. You’ll bethinking about vegan comfort food even as you’re cruising out of Portland.Cornbread, cajun “crawfish” dip, crispy catfish made of seitan… it’s time to get adventurous.
- Urdaneta: Enjoy this Spanish tapas bar, where its owners have created their “own littleSpain.” It will wow you with pintxos, decadent pisto manchego, and more.
What to do:
You’ll want to spend some time just wanderingPortland on your own and seeing what you find – but here are a few suggestions to get you started.
- Shop Powell's City of Books: Stop into one of the world's largest independent bookstores. Take a walk through their massive collection of titles, both used and new, and find your next read.
- Visit thePortland Art Museum: Peruse their diverse art collections; they hold an impressive selection of American, European, and Asian art and frequently have visiting exhibits featuring Black artists.
- Visit the International Rose Test Garden: One of Washington Park’s best features is the International Rose Test Garden, where more than 10,000 individual rose bushes bloom each season. You’ll have the opportunity to admire over 610 different rose varieties. It’s a wonder, truly.
Where to charge:
- Twelve West parking garage on 12thAve. The details: 4 J-1772 plugs
- Parking garage at 1725 SW 1st Ave.The details: 6 J-1772 plugs, open 24/7.
- Tesla drivers can use Fox Tower Parking Garage on Broadway. The details: 4 Tesla superchargers, open 24/7.
Stop 4: Olympia, Washington
On your tour through the pacific northwest, it’s worth a stop in Washington’s capital city. Add some culture to your itinerary with stops at the Capitol building and the sculpture park.
Where to Eat:
There’s so much to see and do in Olympia, you’ll be tempted to hit a fast food window and keep it moving. Resist the urge! Try one of these local spots.
- Wagner's European Bakery and Café: Start your morning here, where you can indulge in handcrafted, European pastries. The bakery even sources from local suppliers. Grab coffee and something sweet in the cafe or at the drive-thru/walk-up window.
- Dockside Bistro & Wine Bar: Want waterfront views, fresh seafood, and a fusion of Europe and Southeast Asian cuisine? Look no further.
What to Do:
Olympia has the best of both worlds when it comes to outdoor and indoor exploring. Choose from one of these prime destinations to get your started.
- Washington State Capitol Tour: Get to know more about the state and the Capitol through one of the docent-led or self-guided tours. You’ll find memorials, gardens, and of course legislative buildings on the Capitol’s campus.
- Percival Landing Park: Take the opportunity to visit one of Olympia’s three waterfront parks, including Percival Landing.Stroll along the waterfront, enjoy public art, and capture scenic views of thePuget Sound. Walk the boardwalk, and you might find your way to one of the many public celebrations that take place in this popular park.
- Hands On Children's Museum: If you're traveling with kids, stop in to explore, create, and play. Their interactive exhibits (150 of them!) engage children in learning through play, including a half-acre outdoor space.
- Monarch Sculpture Park: Walk or bike this park, where you can take in 150+ impressive, varied sculptures from a long list of artists. There is truly something for everyone.
Where to Charge Your Electric Vehicle:
- Olympia City Hall on 4th Ave. The details: 3 J-1772 plugs.
- Olympia Farmers Market Charging Station on Capitol Way. The details: 4 J-1772 plugs, open 24/7.
- Capitol Gateway Park on 14th Ave. The details: 8 J-1772 plugs, open 24/7.
Worried about range anxiety? We have a few ideas to help.
Stop 5: Seattle, Washington
It wouldn’t be a PNW road trip without a stop in one of the most beloved cities on the west coast: Seattle. People know it for its rainy climate, but the city has so much more to offer. Spend a few days here if you can.
Where to Eat:
Seattle is best known for coffee, and you should definitely indulge if you’re a caffeine fan – but don’t stop there. Explore Seattle’s restaurant scene at your own pace.
- Pike PlaceMarket: Eat your way through Pike Place Market. Stop by Ellenos for the most unique yogurt flavors you’ve ever tasted (olive oil yogurt, anyone?),indulge in award-winning clam chowder at Pike Place Chowder, or go wild atBeecher's Handmade Cheese (we’re talking artisanal cheeses, macaroni and cheese, and grilled cheese sandwiches…). You won’t leave hungry.
- Caffeinate on every corner: Just tour all of the great coffee shops Seattle has to offer. You’ll find creative, delicious coffee options throughout the city.Keep it commercial with the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, get adventurous at places like Ghost Note Coffee, or sip espresso with locals at Cafe Allegro, one of the city’s oldest espresso bars.
What to Do:
Perhaps more than any other stop on your pacific northwest road trip, Seattle really has enough to occupy you for a week or more. Get out and explore the city because you’re likely to find some hidden gems – but if you need suggestions, we’ve got ’em.
- Get your hike on: There is no shortage of views and hikes both in and around Seattle. Discovery Park is a treat, with 12miles of trails in the heart of the city. If you want more unique views, head to Snow Lake for alpine lake wilderness (about an hour outside the city). And, of course, it wouldn’t be a PNW road trip without mentioning Mt RainierNational Park, where you can be near a volcano and snow simultaneously – but it’s huge, so have a full charge before you get going.
- Chihuly Garden and Glass: Find true artistry at this one-of-a-kind garden and gallery. Here, you’ll admire the stunning glass artworks by renowned artist Dale Chihuly in a mesmerizing garden setting.
- MoPOP, the Museum of Pop Culture: It’s got a little bit of something for everyone – delve into the Worlds of Myth and Magic if you love The Wizard of Oz or The Princess Bride; embrace your inner rockstar in the Nirvana exhibit; or try your hand at unique video games in theIndie Game section. And that’s just the beginning!
- Take a self-guided tour through Seattle’s bookstores: Find your next read at The Elliot Bay Book Company, source the perfect coffee table book at Ada’s Technical Books Cafe, get lost in Ophelia’s Books, and find that rare collection you’ve been searching for at Open Books: A Poem Emporium. You could spend a full weekend doing just this.
Where to Charge Your Electric Vehicle:
- 4th & Madison parking on 4th Ave. The details: 4 J-1772 plugs, open 24/7.
- Seattle Center on Harrison St. The details: 6 J-1772 plugs and 1 wall plug, open 24/7.
- Pike Place Market parking garage on Western Ave. The details: 9 J-1772 plugs.
There is almost too much to see and do on a PNW road trip to fit into just one EV road trip planner. If you’ve had your fill of these unique destinations and aren’t quite ready to bring your pacific northwest road trip to an end, then keep it going! Hop on the road and head to Olympic National Park or cross the border and go straight up to Vancouver. Want to try a different EV road trip?We’ve got EVtrip itineraries in Texas and NewEngland already mapped out for you.