Top 10 Small Towns In The Pacific Northwest To Visit In 2023

Top 10 Small Towns In The Pacific Northwest To Visit In 2023

The Pacific Northwest is probably best known for its natural beauty. Nestled among such splendor are a variety of small towns that are perfect for a relaxing getaway. Here are 10 such small towns that you won’t want to miss checking out in 2023.

1. Leavenworth, Washington

Leavenworth, Washington features a memorable German flair that will have you feeling like you’re stepping into a picture book. You can look forward to walking streets lined with trees and countless local bavarian-themed shops.

bavarian themed building in leavenworth, pacific

2. Astoria, Oregon

Astoria, Oregon overlooks the Columbia river. Visitors can look forward to checking out shops in the town, exploring hiking near Astoria, or even going on a tour of the underground tunnels beneath Astoria.

Green metal bridge leading into Astoria, Oregon across the Columbia river, pacific

3. Seaside, Oregon

Head over to the Oregon coast to enjoy the charming small town that is Seaside. The small town is located near the iconic Cannon Beach, which you may have seen in countless scenic photographs and Instagram posts before. In addition to the beach, the town itself is home to some great restaurants and bars, such as Bridge Tender bar, as well as lots of local shops that are perfect for picking up something for friends and family back home.

beach covered in water at sunset, pacific

4. Sequim, Washington

Located near the Olympic coast, Sequim is a beautiful small town surrounded by lush Pacific Northwest forests. About an hour from Olympic rainforest, the largest temperate rainforest in the United States, Sequim is the perfect place for a weekend retreat or a longer getaway. The downtown area is home to countless adorable local shops, and when it comes to lodging, you won’t be out of luck either. The Juan de Fuca cottages, for example, offer a cozy retreat that overlooks gorgeous views of Sequim day.

Aerial view of marina in Sequim, Washington.

5. Ashland, Oregon

If you enjoy theatre, this is the choice for you! Ashland, Oregon is the home of the Oregon Shakespeare festival, which features a new season of high-quality theatrical pieces each year. It’s also home to some great hiking trails nearby, such as White Rabbit Trail.

Aerial view of Ashland, Oregon with mountains in the background.

6. Port Townsend, Washington

Port Townsend is a beautiful small town with a rich history and countless things to do. Those looking for an adventure will love exploring Fort Worden State Park, which has opportunities for kayaking, bicycling, and hiking and is located a mere 1.5 miles from the downtown area of Port Townsend. If indoor activities are more your thing, there are options for that as well! Check out the Jefferson Museum of Art and History to learn more about the town’s past, or enjoy a drink at Siren’s Pub.

A line of boats docked in Port Townsend, Washington

7. Gig Harbor, Washington

Located on the shores of Puget Sound, Gig Harbor is a small town in Washington. Visitors can look forward to a variety of water-related activities, including boating and even gondola tours. After a day out on the water, head over to Tides Tavern for drinks or Green House for a more formal, sit-down meal.

Marina at Gig Harbor at sunset with mountain in background.

8. Yachats, Oregon

Head over to the Oregon coast to enjoy a peaceful getaway in the small town of Yachats. Yachats is surrounded by a beautiful temperate rainforest, as well as the pacific ocean. Visitors can look forward to some unique natural attractions near the town, such as Thor’s Well – a huge sinkhole on the coast. In the town itself, check out some of the local art galleries or enjoy a meal from a local restaurant such as Ona Restaurant and Lounge.

Water rushing into a sinkhole at Thor's well.

9. Cottage Grove, Oregon

This small Oregon town is surrounded by vineyards and gorgeous woods. It’s home to some of the few remaining historic covered bridges in the west, giving it an idyllic, storybook sort of feel. If you decide you visit, you can look forward to a variety of outdoor activities in the beautiful areas surrounding the town, including hiking trails as well as horseback riding.

An old white covered bridge next to a tree.

10. Anacortes, Washington

Anacortes is a charming town located on Fidalgo Island. This pacific northwest island is accessible by car as well as ferry, with a ferry trip being the fastest way to get there from Seattle. This beautiful town is located near the equally gorgeous Deception Pass State Park. The town is home to numerous things to do, including checking out the local farmer’s market. For those visiting in the spring, you also won’t want to miss checking out the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival nearby.

A field of red and yellow tulips in rows with a pink sunset and mountains behind.

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