When it comes to the best of the PNW we definitely know a few places. After all, it’s hard to go far in this region of the country without finding something beautiful. So when travel is safe again, you’ll probably want to see a few of these. Here are 11 bucket list locations to see in the PNW.

Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

pnw bucketlist

It seems like the PNW has it all, rainforests, deserts, mountains, and more. But one of the overlooked natural features of our region is the sand dunes. Oregon just so happens to have one of the best sand dunes on the west coast. They’re a unique and beautiful thing to see and also extremely fun to explore. And they are absolutely worth checking out while on a drive down the coast.

Where: Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area

Mount Rainier National Park


To those of us in Washington, this has become a pretty normal part of our everyday existence. But Mount Rainier is truly spectacular and an amazing place to visit year-round.  Not to mention it’s one of the largest mountains in the US and we’re lucky to have it right here. So if you’re looking forward to hiking, scenic drives, sights seeing or mountain climbing this a spot you have to see.

Where: Mount Rainier National Park, WA

Sea Lion Caves


This Oregon natural wonderful is unique for a few reasons. firstly, sea cliffs and caves are spectacular and it’s rare that you can safely explore them. Secondly, this particular cave system is the only mainland winter home of the Steller’s sea lion. So not only will you have an unforgettable cave experience but you’ll also get to view beautiful wild Sea Lions in their natural habitat.

Where: Florence, OR

San Juan Islands

pnw bucketlist

The San Juan Islands are tucked between mainland Wahington and Victoria, BC. They’re a short ferry ride away and make for an excellent day trip or weekend getaway. On the islands, you can find farms, artists, hiking, nature, and of course some of the most beautiful views in the PNW. Not to mention, it is one of the best places to see Killer Whales.

Where: San Juan Islands, WA

Skagit Valley

bucket list pnw

There are very few things more beautiful than the Skagit Valley in spring and summertime. And if you’ve ever enjoyed tulips in the spring months, this is probably where they came from. So if you want to see picturesque fields of flowers and amazing farmland, the Skagit Valley is only a short drive from Seattle.

Where: Skagit Valley, WA

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Painted Hills

bucket list pnw

It’s hard to believe the Painted Hills are in the PNW. Because when you visit them you feel like you’re on another planet. So if you want to blow away by the intricate colors and patterns that earth creates the Painted Hills is the place for you. Not to mention, if you look closely you might see a leaf fossil which could be up to 39 million years old.

Where: John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, Oregon

Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

bucket list pnw

Obviously, BC is part of the PNW, but it will probably be quite a while before Americans can visit Canada again. With that in mind, when you can visit we highly recommend heading to Vancouver Island. Because not only is the Island beautiful but you’ll specifically find the Pacific Rim National Park Reserve. This park is home to unspoiled natural beauty, 511km of land and ocean, and an amazing place to go surfing.

Where: Pacific Rim National Park Reserve, BC

Craters of the Moon National Monument

bucket list pnw

Not only is this monument one of the best-preserved basalt flood areas in the region but it is also where astronauts trained before their first mission to the moon. But well before all of this, it was an area used by the Shoshone Native Americans. Not to mention, pioneers on the Oregon Trail also crossed through this area. This means this monument is not only beautiful and unique but is also rich in American history.

Where: Craters Of The Moon National Monument, ID

Salt Spring Island

bucket list pnw

This Island is another must-visit spot in the PNW region. It is located just off of Vancouver Island making it an ideal spot to visit if you plan on doing some island hopping while in BC. Here you can find a wonderful amount of nature, farmland, and tide pools. It’s a great place to kick back and relax for a weekend. Or you might just find yourself wanting to stay there forever.

Where: Salt Spring Island, BC

Hidden Lake Lookout

bucket list pnw

Next, let’s take a glance at Hidden Lake Lookout, which is an out-and-back hike that is not for the faint of heart. You can expect a difficult hike of about 8 miles and over 3,300 feet of elevation gain. Best of all, when you get to the top you can enjoy an amazing alpine lake and original fire lookout. So if you’re looking for something to do this spring, this is definitely worth scratching off your bucket list.

Where: Mount Baker National Forest, WA

Haida Gwaii

haida gwaii pnw bucket list

Last but certainly not least, let’s take a journey to the end of the world. Haida Gwaii is a lush, mysterious archipelago off the West Coast of BC filled with natural landscapes basically untouched by humankind. If you’re ever lucky enough to explore these islands, you’ll have to do so with the utmost respect and courtesy. But, we can guarantee it’ll be a life-changing experience.

Okay folks that’s what we have when it comes to bucket list locations to see in the PNW. We think it goes without saying but now is not the time for travel. So with this in mind, this guide is a great resource for when traveling is safe again. Enjoy!JTNDZGl2JTIwaWQlM0QlMjJtb2JpbGUtYWQtb25seSUyMiUzRSUwQSUzQyUyMS0tJTIwU2VhdHRsZSUyMC0lMjBNb2JpbGUlMjAtLSUzRSUwQSUzQ2lucyUyMGNsYXNzJTNEJTIyYWRzYnlnb29nbGUlMjIlMEElMjAlMjAlMjAlMjAlMjBzdHlsZSUzRCUyMmRpc3BsYXklM0FibG9jayUzQndpZHRoJTNBMzIwcHglM0JoZWlnaHQlM0E1MHB4JTNCJTIyJTBBJTIwJTIwJTIwJTIwJTIwZGF0YS1hZC1jbGllbnQlM0QlMjJjYS1wdWItNTUyMTg1Njk1NTQ5NzQ1NiUyMiUwQSUyMCUyMCUyMCUyMCUyMGRhdGEtYWQtc2xvdCUzRCUyMjE2MjcxNzI5NDclMjIlM0UlM0MlMkZpbnMlM0UlMEElM0MlMkZkaXYlM0U=