4 Pacific Northwest Rainy Day Adventures
National Parks, Trip Ideas & Guides, Winter Road Trips
April 6, 2023
4 Pacific Northwest Rainy Day Adventures
By Emily Butterfield
The return of autumn signals the return of the rainy season in the Pacific Northwest. It’s true, Seattle and the Pacific Northwest get a lot of damp weather—something many locals don’t mind—but may not appeal to fair-weather visitors. However, there are plenty of gorgeous places to visit year-round, and endless coffee options to warm you up. Here are a few Pacific Northwest rainy day adventures if you’re picking up a campervan from the Seattle camper van rental location (don’t forget to pack your Bumbershoot)!
Visit a temperate rainforest
The Hoh Rainforest is one of four rainforests on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, and it receives 12-14 feet of rain each year (Seattle averages around 37 inches per year)! Located in Olympic National Park, the rainforest is home to moss-draped, old-growth trees and abundant wildlife. Locals and visitors can enjoy a variety of hiking trails, including the 0.8-mile Hall of Mosses trail or the longer Hoh River Trail.
Drift Creek Wilderness is Oregon’s largest old-growth rainforest and is located outside Waldport on the central coast, just 3.5 hours from our Portland camper van rental location. The nearly 6,000-acre wilderness area is home to giant Sitka spruce, western hemlock, red cedar, and maple trees. The forest has received 120 inches of rain some years. There are numerous trails in the area and elk, black bear, eagles, and owls also enjoy the lush forest.
The Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia makes for a great Pacific Northwest rainy day adventure if you’re picking up your campervan at the Vancouver camper van rental location or taking a road trip from the Seattle depot. Visitors can hunt for mushrooms, watch for grizzly bears, soak in hot springs and much more in this 15-million acre rainforest on the BC coast. There’s even a chance at spotting the rare Kermode bear – a subspecies of the black bear but with white fur – which can only be found in this part of the world.
Watch a storm roll in on the coast
Winter can be an exciting time at the coast, with moody skies, giant waves and fewer crowds on the winding Highway 101. Just pick up your campervan rental in Seattle and head for the Washington or Oregon coast.
There are campgrounds dotted along the coast that make for a great storm-watching base camp. Kalaloch Campground is one of two reservable campgrounds in Olympic National Park and the stunning beach is just a short walk from camp (don’t miss the famous Tree Root Cave near the campground too).
If you’re Oregon bound, skip the tourist hub of Cannon Beach and head for the coastal cliffs near Manzanita. Year-round camping is available at Nehalem Bay State Park. And of course, no trip to the Oregon Coast is complete without a stop at the Tillamook Cheese Factory (free cheese samples and delicious ice cream? Yes please!)
Walk through Pike Place Market
The world-famous Pike Place Market is a must-see if you’re visiting Seattle. It’s not just a tourist hub, but a favorite for locals picking up fresh produce, seafood, colorful bouquets, and handcrafted goods.
The Market opened in 1907 and remains one of the longest continually operated markets in the country. In 2017, a major expansion called MarketFront opened and features a large public plaza, viewing deck, and 47 more vendor stalls. Local market favorites include Ellenos Real Greek Yogurt, Rachel’s Ginger Beer and Beecher’s Handmade Cheese.
Catch a show at a historical theater
The birthplace of grunge, Seattle was the launch pad for guitar-heavy bands like Nirvana, Soundgarden and Pearl Jam. Other famous musicians including Jimi Hendrix and Macklemore are also Seattleites. In a city rich with music history, you’re bound to find a live show in just about every neighborhood, any night of the week.
The historic Showbox Market, across from Pike Place Market, opened in 1939. A diverse range of musicians have graced the stage including Muddy Waters, Coldplay and Iggy Pop. Just down the road is The Crocodile, which opened in 1991, is a local favorite and hosts everything from hip-hop to punk shows. If you’re in Portland, check out the Crystal Ballroom which opened in 1914 as Coalition Hall. The mechanical floating floor is one of the last remaining in the United States.
Ready to go on your next Pacific Northwest adventure?
If you’re ready to explore the Pacific Northwest – rain or shine – go ahead and book your campervan from our Seattle, Portland, or Vancouver depot. You’ll be able to see some of the most beautiful sights in North America and have an adventure you won’t forget.