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PNW: Best West Coast Road Trip Destination?

Vanlife Sunset West Coast Road Trip Photos

Road Trip Vacation

2020 rhymes with uncertainty. And that is an understatement for all of us. I am usually busy during summertime shooting weddings, elopements, and sessions with my couples.

This year though, and until we find a way to control COVID-19, my schedule is having a lot more holes that are providing me the time to go on adventures.

Incidentally, I have one word in my head: WANDERLUST. It is defined as a strong desire to travel. But where?

Where To Go?

Landscapes are my jam. However, I’ve traveled quite a lot in the West already, so my first plan was to drive from San Francisco to New York City this summer. This is something that has been on my bucket list for years, and I finally felt like I had enough time to do it.

In fact, I’ve owned a Volkswagen Eurovan for several years which opened the door to experience the van life. And it is quite an experience to travel with it! Cruising around with a comfortable mini-home-on-wheels and making connections with other van-lifers is pretty unique.

However, the news is changing daily at this point. Consequently with the closing of so many places across the US, my wife and I decided to change our plan for something more local and to hit the Pacific Northwest (PNW) for our West Coast road trip. And what a great plan!

Pacific Northwest

Instead of facing July heat waves and humidity in the South, the PNW was offering mild weather, epic landscapes with a cascade of mountains, lakes, forests, and the famous Highway Pacific Coast Highway. The PCH, or Highway 1 can take you from Tumwater in Washington state to Los Angeles, California with approximately 1,500 miles along the coast. That sounds like the perfect recipe for a summer road trip adventure.

In fact, the Oregon coast is famous for Cannon Beach (I watched the classic childhood movie the Goonies again after coming back from the trip – it take place in Astoria and this beach) and Crater Lake National Park, where I’ve never witnessed such a beautiful blue-hued lake. But there is much more to see – just open any map and look at how many state parks you have along the coast!

That being said, Olympic National Park was probably my favorite part. It’s a bit of a side hobby of mine to visit as many National Parks as possible. But I had yet to visit Olympic. And I knew little to nothing about it before heading in. As a wedding photographer, my focus has been on the crazy waterfalls of WA or even the Mount Rainier area.

But WOW! I was blown away by the diversity of landscapes and majesty of this place. From snow capped alpine mountains and meadows to outsized giant trees that look like they’re millions of years old; Olympic Nationa Park was truly a beauty.

Finally, if you don’t know anything about the PNW or if you are considering it, I invite you to watch this short video I made of our trip!


My Road Trip in Images

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