The best way to experience the Pacific Northwest is not by flying in and staying in expensive Seattle and Portland hotels—but instead taking your RV around the area and camping in our evergreen forests, state parks, and small coastal towns.
Spring is an especially scenic time to plan an RV trip around the PNW. You can visit world-renowned tulip festivals, see wildflowers blooming along trails, and watch gray whales migrating north along the coast. These are five towns you won’t want to miss this season.
1. Newport, Oregon
On the Central Oregon Coast, Newport has a scenic location along the ocean and Yaquina Bay. The south end of Newport can be reached by crossing over the iconic Yaquina Bay Bridge.
Newport is full of attractions and great local food. While you’re in town, visit the Yaquina Bay Lighthouse (the tallest lighthouse in Oregon at 93 feet tall) and the historic bayfront shops and restaurants—Rogue Ales Public House is a personal favorite. Newport is also home to Ripley’s Believe It Or Not Museum and the Oregon Coast Aquarium.
Minutes from the Yaquina Bay Bridge, South Beach State Park has almost 300 RV sites and trails that lead out to the beach. If you prefer full hookups, head about 10-15 minutes north of Newport to Beverly Beach State Park.
The Oregon Coast is a perfect place to visit during the spring whale migrating season. The season begins around late March as the gray whales begin to make their way back up north to Alaska and continues until about June.
2. Woodburn, Oregon
South of Portland, Woodburn in the Willamette Valley is home to Oregon’s famous Wooden Shoe Tulip Fest. You can walk through 40 acres of vibrant tulips and daffodils and get some amazing views of the distant Cascade Mountains and vineyards. The tulip farm also sells fresh flowers, food, and beer and wine on-site. This year’s dates are scheduled for March 20–May 3, 2020.
Portland-Woodburn RV Park makes a great home base while attending the festival. They have about 150 sites with full hookups, an on-site store with RV supplies, a heated seasonal pool, and a BBQ area. They’re within walking distance of the Woodburn Premium Outlet stores and restaurants.
3. La Conner & Mount Vernon, Washington
Skagit Valley also celebrates its local agriculture with springtime flower festivals. The expansive daffodil and tulip fields are within a short drive of one another between La Conner and Mount Vernon. You can get photos of their quaint Dutch windmill and buy fresh flowers to take back home.
Drive to Roozengaarde and Tulip Town to see the vibrant fields or plan your trip around the many other coordinated events with local businesses. This year’s Tulip Festival is set for April 1-30, 2020. You can also check the Daffodil Bloom Map here for the latest updates.
This area has several places to camp including a state park, a KOA, and several privately owned RV parks with full hookups. Bay View State Park is located along Padilla Bay with RV sites only about 10-15 minutes from the tulip fields.
4. Hood River, Oregon
Hood River is located along the Columbia River Gorge, about an hour east of Portland. The town is home to several vineyards, breweries, and specialty shops as well as access to hiking trails, river activities, and the scenic Mount Hood Railroad excursions.
The Hood River Valley celebrates spring with their annual Blossom Time, which takes place every April and includes the Hard-Pressed Cider Fest. This year’s event will be held on April 18, 2020, and host over 25 cideries with 50+ types of cider on tap.
You can also follow a scenic 35-mile Hood River Fruit Loop to pass 28 different stands and businesses. Stop along the way to pick up baked goods, preserves, yarn, fresh produce, wine, cider and more.
Hood River is also known for its windy weather that makes it the Windsurfing Capital of the World. The windsurfing season kicks off during the summer when the wind is warmer and more consistent. You can also go fishing, kayaking, whitewater rafting, paddleboarding, or kite surfing on the river.
Viento State Park and Memaloose State Park are both close to Hood River with RV sites just off Interstate 84. Other campgrounds in the area include the USFS-run Wyeth Campground for small RVs and a nearby KOA.
5. Chelan, Washington
Lake Chelan is long and narrow yet the largest natural lake in all of Washington State. Spring is a perfect time to visit when the weather is warm and before the summer crowds start pouring in. Lake Chelan State Park has almost 150 RV sites by the lakeshore including some with full hookups.
Chelan is in the heart of wine country and home to over two dozen wineries and tasting rooms. You can also take the Lady of the Lake ferry to reach Stehekin across the lake, an area that can only be reached via boat, hiking in, or plane. The area has quiet hiking trails, tent sites and cabins.