Top 10 Small Towns In The Pacific Northwest To Visit In 2023

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The Pacific Northwest is probably best known for its natural beauty. Among such splendor are a variety of small towns perfect for a relaxing escape. Here are 10 such small towns you won’t want to check out in 2023.

Aerial view of Yachats, Oregon, and Pacific coast.

1. Leavenworth, Washington

There is a German victory memorial in Leavenworth, Washington that will tell you that you are entering a picture book. You can look forward to tree-lined pedestrian streets and many local Bavarian-themed shops.

bavarian theme building in leavenworth, pacific

2. Astoria, Oregon

Astoria, Oregon overlooking the Columbia river. Visitors can look forward to browsing the shops in town, exploring hiking near Astoria, or even taking a tour of the underground tunnels beneath Astoria.

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A green metal bridge that leads into Astoria, Oregon across the Columbia River, Pacific Ocean

3. Seaside, Oregon

Head over to the Oregon coast to enjoy this beautiful small town by the sea. The small town is located near the iconic Cannon beach, which you may have seen in scenic photos and Instagram posts before. As well as the beach, there are some great restaurants and bars in the town itself, such as the Bridge Tender bar, as well as lots of local shops perfect for picking up something for friends and family back home.

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beach covered in water at sunset, Pacific Ocean

4. Sequim, Washington

Located near the Olympic coast, Sequim is a beautiful small town surrounded by the lush forests of the Pacific Northwest. About an hour from the Olympic rainforest, the largest temperate rainforest in the United States, Sequim is the perfect place for a weekend retreat or longer getaway. There are many wonderful local shops in the town centre, and when it comes to accommodation, you won’t be out of luck either. The Juan de Fuca homes, for example, offer a cozy retreat that overlooks gorgeous Sequim day views.

Aerial view of a marina in Sequim, Washington.

5. Ashland, Oregon

If you enjoy the theater, this is the choice for you! Ashland, Oregon is the home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, which features a new season of quality theater pieces each year. There are also some great hiking trails nearby, such as the White Rabbit Trail.

Aerial view of Ashland, Oregon with mountains in the background.

6. Port Townsend, Washington

Port Townsend is a beautiful little town with a rich history and lots of things to do. Adventure seekers will love exploring Fort Worden State Park, which offers kayaking, biking and hiking opportunities and is located just 1.5 miles from downtown Port Townsend. If indoor activity is more your thing, there are options for that too! Check out the Jefferson Museum of Art and History to learn more about the town’s history, or enjoy a drink at the Siren Tavern.

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A boat line docked in Port Townsend, Washington

7. Gig Harbor, Washington

Located on the shores of Puget Sound, Gig Harbor is a small town in Washington. Visitors can look forward to a variety of water-related activities, including boating and even gondola rides. After a day out on the water, head to Tides Tavern for drinks or the Green House for a more formal sit-down meal.

Marina at Gig Harbor at sunset with a mountain in the background.

8. Yachats, Oregon

Head over to the Oregon coast to enjoy a peaceful getaway in the small town of Yachats. Yachats is surrounded by a beautiful temperate rainforest, as well as the Pacific ocean. Visitors can look forward to some unique natural attractions near the town, such as Thor’s Well – a huge sinkhole on the coast. In town, check out some of the local art galleries or enjoy a meal from a local restaurant such as Ona Restaurant and Lounge.

Water rushing into a borehole at Thor's well.

9. Cottage Grove, Oregon

This small Oregon town is surrounded by vineyards and gorgeous woods. It is home to some of the west’s few remaining historic covered bridges, giving it a wonderful, storybook feel. If you decide to visit, you can look forward to a variety of outdoor activities in the beautiful areas around the town, including hiking trails as well as horse riding.

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Old white covered bridge near a tree.

10. Anacortes, Washington

Anacortes is a beautiful town located on Fidalgo Island. The island in the Pacific Northwest is accessible by car as well as by ferry, and a ferry ride is the fastest way to get there from Seattle. This beautiful town is located next to the equally gorgeous Deception Pass State Park. There are many things to do in town, including checking out the local farmer’s market. For those visiting in the spring, you won’t want to miss also checking out the annual Skagit Valley Tulip Festival nearby.

A field of red and yellow tulips in rows with a pink sunset and mountains behind.

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