30 Washington Bucket List Destinations for RVers

Travel Inspiration

RVing in Washington is an adventurer’s dream come true. This amazing state is home to gorgeous beaches, incredible forests, and some seriously spectacular mountains, meaning you can park your RV right in the middle of some of the most beautiful scenery on earth. Of course, the many Washington bucket list destinations provide even more reason to hop in the RV and drive to this northern state. 

  • Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve
  • Fort Vancouver National Historic Site
  • Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park
  • Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area
  • Lewis and Clark National Historical Park
  • Manhattan Project National Historical Park
  • Minidoka National Historic Site
  • Mount Rainier National Park
  • Nez Perce National Historical Park
  • North Cascades National Park
  • Olympic National Park
  • San Juan Island National Historical Park
  • Whitman Mission National Historic Site
  • National Trails
  • Chihuly Garden and Glass
  • Chihuly Bridge of Glass
  • Museum of Flight
  • Future of Flight Aviation Center
  • Pike Place Market
  • Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience
  • Space NeedleSky View Observatory
  • LeMay – America’s Car Museum
  • Hands On Children’s Museum
  • Mount St. Helens
  • Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area
  • Museum of Pop Culture
  • Whale Watching
  • Trek Wildlife Park
  • Port Angeles Fine Arts Center

Bucket List Vacations: Washington’s National Parks

First, let’s take a look at Washington’s national parks. You see, we find that NPS sites are always wonderful, bucket-list-worthy destinations, and we’ve included several on each of our state travel lists. 

#1. Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve

A gorgeous landscape that is full of Native American and Euro-American history, Ebey’s Landing is a wonderful park. Visit this place to learn about cultural traditions and have fun exploring a lovely natural setting that offers a variety of recreational opportunities. 

RV camping is not allowed on this NPS site. That said, RV camping is available at Fort Ebey State Park and Forest Casey State Park, both located on Ebey’s Reserve. 

#2. Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

Fort Vancouver has a rich and complex history. It has been used as a fur trading post, a military fort, and much more, meaning it has a lot to offer when it comes to stories of the past. Come hear some of these stories and learn about one of the places that helped shape the Pacific Northwest that we know and love today.

There is no RV parking at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. That said, there are RV parks nearby

#3. Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park

The Klondike Gold Rush was a history-changing event that everyone should learn about. At Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, you can dive into the past, learn the stories of the people who trekked to Alaska in search of gold, and discover how this event helped make the city of Seattle what it is now. 

This park is located in downtown Seattle, a city we do not recommend driving an RV through. Instead, consider camping at one of the many Rv parks surrounding the city. Tall Chief RV Campground is a good pick. 

#4. Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area

Want to get outside and enjoy the natural beauty that Washington has to offer? Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area is an excellent place to do just that. Explore shorelines and learn about the Native Americans that once called this place home, as well as the settlers and trappers who passed through here. Then, finish off the day by fishing, swimming, boating, hiking, and generally enjoying the great outdoors. 

This NPS site features onsite camping. Reservations can be made online

#5. Lewis and Clark National Historical Park

With a number of historic sites to its name scattered along the Pacific Coast, Lewis and Clark National Historical Park offers guests an opportunity to learn about the incredible journey that Lewis and Clark took across the country. Thanks to their ability to immerse visitors in the past, a visit to any one of these sites is sure to be more informative than any textbook.  

While you can’t camp in Lewis and Clark National Historical Park, RV camping is available in the nearby Fort Stevens State Park

#6. Manhattan Project National Historical Park

Manhattan Project National Historical Park is broken into a few different sites and scattered across the US. These pieces work together to tell the story of the creation of the atomic bomb that helped to end World War II. Pay a visit to the Washington site to learn more. 

Unfortunately, although the Tennessee branch of this park boasts RV and bus parking, the Washington branch does not. You may be able to park a smaller rig in the parking lot during slow times of year, but we recommend finding a nearby campground, dropping the RV, and driving you tow car to the NPS site instead. 

#7. Minidoka National Historic Site

Many people are completely unaware of the horrible things that happened right here in the United States during World War II. You see, the attack on Pearl Harbor created added hostility toward Japanese Americans. Eventually, this led to the opening of 10 prison camps which those of Japanese ancestry were forced to live and work in. Minidoka is one such camp and it has some haunting history to share. 

There’s no camping at Minidoka NHS, nor is there official RV parking. That said, as long as the park isn’t busy, you shouldn’t have trouble parking a small RV onsite. 

#8. Mount Rainier National Park

An iconic part of Washington’s landscape, Mount Rainier stands a full 14,410 feet above sea level. Not only is this incredible mountain an active volcano, it’s also home to more glaciers than any other peak in the contiguous United States. Visit Mount Rainier National Park to observe this incredible piece of nature and explore the area surrounding it. 

Mount Rainier is home to a few RV friendly campgrounds and we absolutely recommend making use of them as long as you don’t exceed the length restrictions. That said, we do not recommend attempting to park an RV in the visitor center parking lot during busy season. 

#9. Nez Perce National Historical Park

The Nez Perce people have called this area home for hundreds of years. Here, they survived the Europeans settling in their home country and adapted to an ever-changing world. Today, this area has been made into a park that consists of 38 sites important to the culture of the Nez Perce, striving to educate visitors by sharing stories of the past.

As mentioned above, this park consists of 38 sites. The parking situation varies from one to another, but camping is not allowed at any of the sites.  

#10. North Cascades National Park

Home to dozens of jagged peaks and more than 300 glaciers, North Cascades is a natural wonderland that spotlights the beauty of Washington in her natural state. Visit this park to witness cascading waters and rich forests, and to see for yourself one of the landscapes that is most affected by the rapidly changing climate here on Earth. 

Because of snow, most of this park is only open in summer. During this time, there are a few RV campsites available on the park grounds, but all must be reserved in advance. It is possible to drive an RV through this national park as long as you take it slow. 

#11. Olympic National Park

An incredibly diverse place, there is something new and interesting to discover around every corner in Olympic National Park. This gorgeous place is home to rainforests, ocean beaches, glacier-capped mountains, and more. Come explore it all and experience the magic that comes along with these incredible places.

There are several RV campsites scattered throughout this park. We especially love the Hoh Campground. You can drive an RV through much of this park, but parking at beaches and visitor centers can be a problem during the busy season. 

#12. San Juan Island National Historical Park

Those who appreciate incredible views are sure to love San Juan Island National Historical Park. Here, you will find incredible vistas, a beautiful shoreline, lovely woodlands, and even some whale sightings. On top of all that, this was also the site where the US and Great Britain almost went to war over possession of the island back in 1859.

San Juan Island NHP is interesting in that you have to take a ferry over. While there is no RV camping in the NPS site, there are RV campsites on the San Juan Islands. You’ll have to decide for yourself whether you prefer to ferry your RV over or leave it on the mainland. If you do choose to ferry the rig over, be sure to make reservations for both the ferry and your campsite well in advance. 

#13. Whitman Mission National Historic Site

Have you ever been told the story of the 1847 attack on the Whitmans? This attack was horrifying for many, and it definitely changed the lives of the people living in the area. Visit this site to learn more about the tragic event and discover how it might resonate with modern issues. 

Whitman Mission National Historic Site does have dedicated RV and bus parking available for day visitors. 

#14. National Trails

Of course, there are also some national trails to explore when in Washington state. We highly recommend checking these out and stopping in at visitor centers to learn more about their history. 

These trails include:

  • Oregon National Historic Trail
  • Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
  • Ice Age Floods National Geologic Trail

More Washington Bucket List Experiences 

Of course, Washington also has a number of attractions that aren’t run by the National Park Service. These are all so awesome that it can be hard to choose, but we finally settled on the places below for our Washington bucket list. 

#15. Explore Chihuly Garden and Glass

Dale Chihuly has played an important role in the international glass art scene and is one of the most well known glass artists in the world. See some of his work at the super cool Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit inside the Seattle Center. 

#16. Cross Chihuly Bridge of Glass

Want to see even more amazing work by Chihuly? The Chihuly Bridge of Glass in Tacoma is an absolutely beautiful piece of art that can be seen free of charge. Those with a special interest in glass might also want to go into the glass museum that the bridge leads to. 

Like the Klondike Gold Rush NHP mentioned above, this museum is located in downtown Seattle. Because of busy, narrow roads, we recommend leaving the RV elsewhere and taking a day trip into the city. If you stay at Suquamish Clearwater Casino RV Park you can take a ferry to the city. 

#17. Discover The Museum of Flight

Have you ever been curious about the history of aviation? If so, The Museum of Flight is the place for you. This amazing museum is the largest privately owned air and space museum in the world. It is home to more than 150 aircraft, including a replica of the plane flown by Amelia Earhart herself. 

This amazing museum provides dedicated RV and bus parking during operating hours. 

#18. Learn at The Future of Flight Aviation Center

Those more interested in learning about where aviation is headed should visit The Future of Flight Aviation Center. This spot is dedicated to educating the public about the future of aviation and is home to a Boeing factory tour, as well as the largest building in the world (by volume). 

RVs can park onsite when visiting this museum for the day. 

#19. Shop Pike Place Market

No visit to the Seattle area is complete without a visit to Pike Place Market. This famous historical marketplace is chock-full of interesting things to browse through. Local food is offered around every corner, making this an excellent place to grab lunch on the go while in the city. 

Another Seattle attraction, PikePlace Market would be a great addition to your day trip into the city without the RV. 

#20. Wander The Wing Luke Museum of the Asian Pacific American Experience

For obvious reasons, the west side of the United States is home to an especially high concentration of Asian Americans. Learn all about the history and culture of these peoples as you browse the beautiful exhibits on display in the well-thought-out and unique Wing Luke Museum. 

This museum is also in Seattle, meaning you should leave the RV behind. If you do not have a car and the ferry mentioned above won’t work for you, it is also possible to park your RV in the Woodland Park Zoo and take the #5 bus to the city center. 

#21. Look Up at the Space Needle

The Space Needle defines the Seattle skyline. It is a must-visit when in the city and offers a number of great photo opportunities. Whether you head to the top of the needle for a great view or just snap photos of the structure from the bottom, you’re sure to enjoy a visit to this iconic spot. 

#22. Take in the View at Sky View Observatory

If you choose to skip the observation deck at the Space Needle, you might want to head to Sky View Observatory instead. This place offers incredible views of the city, and folks who visit are able to snap photos of the skyline that include both the Space Needle and Mount Rainier.

#23. Check Out LeMay – America’s Car Museum

Traveling with a car fanatic? If so, LeMay – America’s Car Museum needs to be on your Washington bucket list. This awesome museum contains an impressive 350 cars, including super fast cars, well designed cars, technologically advanced cars, and much more. 

The parking lot at the car museum is quite large and could probably hold an RV as long as it wasn’t a busy day. There are also plenty of campgrounds in the Tacoma/Seattle area

#24. Get Hands-On at Hands On Children’s Museum

People who visit Washington with kids should head to the Hands On Children’s Museum in Olympia. As the name suggests, kids are encouraged to touch and interact with everything in this museum, making it a fun learning experience they won’t soon forget. 

There is no dedicated RV parking at Hands On Children’s Museum. Therefore, it is probably best to leave your RV at one of the RV campgrounds in Olympia if possible. 

#25. Admire Mount St. Helens 

On May 18th, 1980, Mount Saint Helens erupted, changing the Washington landscape forever and completely wiping out anything in its path. Today, guests can visit the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center to learn more about this historic eruption and the events surrounding it before seeing the volcano itself.

There are several campgrounds near Mount St. Helen’s. Additionally, RVs, especially smaller motorhomes, can usually find places to park when visiting this National Forest Service site. 

#26. Hike Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area

One of the most beautiful parts of Washington state, Columbia River Gorge is the place to go if you’re looking to escape into nature. We especially like visiting the gorgeous Multnomah Falls in this park, and highly recommend it to anyone visiting the area. That said, even if you don’t make it to the falls, the place is worth visiting for the many beautiful views and recreation opportunities. 

Another National Forest Service site, the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area plays host to two camping areas. If you drive an RV through the park, it’s best to stick to the interstate.

#27. Have Fun at the Museum of Pop Culture

Easily one of the best museums in the country, the Museum of Pop Culture focuses on contemporary pop culture. Interactive displays draw visitors in, and the unique topics such as cinema, video games, and literature make it easy to find exhibits that interest you and will stick with you long after your visit. 

#28. Go Whale Watching

Washington is famous for its whale sightings. Often, you can even see the magnificent creatures while hanging out on the beach. That said, for the best chance of seeing whales, we recommend going on a whale watching tour with a company such as Maya’s Legacy Whale Watching. 

#29. Befriend an Animal at Trek Wildlife Park

Curious to know more about the animals that call the Pacific Northwest their home? Trek Wildlife Park is ready to help with that. This beautiful park is home to a huge number of native animals and offers self-guided and guided tours of the grounds. 

Although RVs are not allowed on driving tours of the park, the parking lot is large enough that it may be able to accommodate an RV in order for you to go on a walking tour or tram tour. 

#30. Stroll Port Angeles Fine Arts Center

A unique and beautiful art museum, the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center is located in the former residence of the Websters. This 1951 home is architecturally interesting, and the surrounding grounds are scattered with sculptures that are absolutely beautiful. Inside the home, fine arts exhibitions are on display throughout the year.

This attraction does not have dedicated RV parking and the lot is relatively small, so bringing an RV along is not recommended. The city bus does drop off at the museum, so taking it from your Port Angeles RV Park may be an option. 

By heading to Washington in an RV, you give yourself the freedom to wander, checking off bucket list items as you go. Additionally, you’ll be able to do and see it all in complete comfort. Lucky for you, we have tons of Washington RV rental options available.