What’s the best scenic route from Seattle to Portland?

I live in Seattle, but my family is in Portland. I drive down a lot to see them, but I’m getting tired of the same old route that takes I-5. What’s an option for a scenic route from Seattle to Portland?

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Answer provided by
Amber Reed
Answered on May 12, 2022
The drive between the Emerald City and the Stumptown is a beautiful one any way you go, but we get it—sometimes you get tired of the same ol’ same ol’.
The best scenic route from Seattle to Portland is the coastal drive via US 101 S.
This route is about twice as many miles and will take you around 6.5 hours versus the usual 3, but the rugged beauty of the Pacific Northwest coastline will be your tradeoff.
Here’s how to do it:
  • Take the I-5 south until you get to the Olympia area, then head west on WA-8 and US-12 W to WA-105 S in Aberdeen
  • Stay on 105 S until you can connect with US 101 S in Raymond
  • From there, cruise down the coast and enjoy the gorgeous sights until you decide to head east to Portland. Depending on how much of the coast you want to see, you can head east on US-26 east or OR-6 east.
There are an abundance of lovely towns and beautiful coastal areas, so you may want to plan to take your time and spend a night somewhere.
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