Seaside to Seattle

We spent the night in Seaside, OR, which I highly recommend to break up the drive. Even Cannon Beach would be a great place to stay. By the time we got to Seaside, it was late so we only got to explore in the morning before making our way up to Seattle.

On day 4, we had breakfast at Osprey Cafe, then got back to the open road. We would describe this drive as more “industrial” as we saw a lot of old factories embedded in beautiful waterfront towns. Crossing over one of the bridges, we spotted a moose wading through the water. Yes, it was definitely a moose, and if we weren’t driving over a bridge with no shoulders, we would have definitely stopped to take a picture. You are just going to have to take our word for it, but I will say we have been pretty lucky with seeing wildlife on all of our trips. After this trip, I became much more prepared with my camera so you’ll get to see these wildlife shots in our upcoming blogposts. Promise!

Our first stop of the day was Ape Caves. It was a long 2.5 hour drive out to the caves, but I highly recommend it. It was one of the highlights of our trip! (Note: Keep in mind you will likely have no service about an hour into the drive from the main road and there is only one gas station.)

You can bring your own light, but it is pitch black down there so make sure it is bright. Or you can rent one of their lanterns, which I think is way cooler! It was freezing too so make sure to wear a warm jacket and pants. We walked all the way to the “meatball” which formed around 2,000 years ago after a volcanic eruption.

Next, we drove back to the main road and headed over to the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center. This was a great option to check out before driving over to the Johnston Ridge Observatory because you can check the visibility beforehand. Like most days out of the year, the visibility was poor so we decided to skip out on the observatory.

Like fools we thought we could make it to Mt. Rainier park in the same day. Note: Do not try this! You will waste hours of driving east to the park before realizing it’s getting dark and you have to drive the same distance back all while making it to Seattle. If you are dead set on visiting the park, I recommend setting aside another day and drive from Seattle.

Thankfully, we were fortunate enough to have 2 days of clear visibility of Mt. Rainier, which apparently is a big deal since it usually only happens a couple dozens times a year. So we were not upset about missing out on the park, we were just happy to make it to Seattle at a decent time and have one of the best sushi dinners of our life at Nishino. If you’re into fancy cream cheese rolls, then this is not the place for you, but if you like authentic chirashi, then you should check this place out. We would go back to a Seattle just for this restaurant. Seriously!

Favorite Places: Ape Caves, Mount St. Helens Visitor Center

Favorite Restaurants: Nishino Restaurant


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