Washington State
Travel Guide

The Washington State travel guide from Frommer's covers hotels in Seattle, driving the Pacific Coast Highway, Olympic National Park, where to eat and more.

Mount Rainier in Washington StateMount Rainier

Frommer's Washington State travel guide has almost 400 pages of advice for visitors (and locals) on where to go, where to stay, where to eat and drink, and what to do in the only state in the United States to be named after a President. 

This Washington travel guide from Frommer's hasn't been updated for several years, so you may want to buy an alternative and more up-to-date guide:


There's much more to Washington than the Pacific Coast Highway, of course, and this guide covers the whole area, from Spokane to Seattle, and from the highest point at the top of Mt Rainier (14,410ft/4,395m) down to sea level on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. From wine country to whale-watching, from Aberdeen to Zillah, this Frommer's guide covers it all.

Author Karl Samson actually lives next door in Oregon, and is the author of Frommer's Oregon guidebook. However, he's also written the Frommer's Seattle guide and is one of our favorite guidebook writers. No, we don't know him at all, even though we're guidebook writers ourselves, but we like his style, and the way his enthusiasm for places shines through in every book he writes. And his Washington State travel guide is no exception.

The Best of Washington State

Nor is it an exception to the Frommer's format which involves beginning the book with a few pages on 'What's New', followed by the opening chapter: 'The Best of Washington.' Here the author gets to point readers towards the state's best experiences, including Best Beaches, Best Bed and Breakfast Inns, Best Mountain Lodges and Resorts, Best Waterfront Resorts and Lodges, Best Wineries, Best Off-the-Beaten-Path Restaurants, and the Best Family Attractions and Activities.

Washington State's Best Beaches

So the Best Beaches – they're mostly going to be along the Pacific Coast Highway, right? Wrong. As the author points out, some of the best beaches are in places like Orcas Island and Whidbey Island. His own favorites near La Push are actually in the Olympic National Park but not on 101, which has decided to take a short cut inland at this point, heading through Forks and only reaching the coast again at Port Angeles.

The Pacific Coast Highway in Washington

The Pacific Coast Highway is different in Washington. Very different. It runs around the Olympic Peninsula and even takes you in the 'wrong' direction for a while. That is to say, if you're driving south then you'll find yourself driving north up the eastern side of the Olympic Peninsula, while there are parts where the Pacific Coast is nowhere to be seen.

Washington State Travel Guide on the Road

We took this guide with us on our own recent road trip up the Pacific Coast Highway, and it proved to be a reliable travel companion.

It had a few quirks, of course. We happened to stay in Ellensburg after finishing our Pacific Coast Highway drive and were heading east to Idaho. The only hotel the Frommer's guide recommends is 40 minutes from Ellensburg – so we used the AAA guide and that took us to the really excellent and cheap Cedars Inn and Suites (now the Econo Lodge), just off I-90 and ten minutes from the town center.

We also visited Forks on the Olympic Peninsula, and fell in love with this funky little place. We were surprised the guide makes no mention of the single biggest tourist draw in Forks today – the vampires of the book and movie, Twilight.

These are pretty minor things, though, and overall we liked the writing, and especially the detailed hotel and restaurant reviews, which really did give you a strong feel of whether you wanted to stay/eat there or not. You could tell the author had covered the ground, just as we were doing, and we wouldn't hesitate to recommend this Washington State travel guide from Frommer's.

Buying the Book
A newer edition of this guide has been published since this review was written - see the links below.

Amazon USA

Amazon UK

Other book pages

  • The Frommer's Guide to Seattle has good information about the city and side excursions to the Olympic National Park and elsewhere, plus free city and area map.

    Frommer's Guide to Seattle

    The Frommer's Guide to Seattle has good information about the city and side excursions to the Olympic National Park and elsewhere, plus free city and area map.

  • The Green Guide to the USA West from Michelin covers California, the Pacific North West, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, New Mexico, and even Kansas and Alaska.

    Green Guide USA West

    The Green Guide to the USA West from Michelin covers California, the Pacific North West, the Grand Canyon, Las Vegas, New Mexico, and even Kansas and Alaska.

  • The Pacific Coast Highway in California book shows in historic photos the building of the Pacific Coast Highway from its earliest beginnings in 1911.

    Pacific Coast Highway in California

    The Pacific Coast Highway in California book shows in historic photos the building of the Pacific Coast Highway from its earliest beginnings in 1911.

  • The Longest Beach in the USA is arguably in Long Beach in Washington, though claims that it is also the longest beach in the world are wide of the mark.

    Longest Beach in the USA

    The Longest Beach in the USA is arguably in Long Beach in Washington, though claims that it is also the longest beach in the world are wide of the mark.

  • Port Angeles in Washington is the largest town on the Olympic Peninsula. It stands on the Pacific Coast Highway and is the gateway to the Olympic National Park.

    Port Angeles in Washington State

    Port Angeles in Washington is the largest town on the Olympic Peninsula. It stands on the Pacific Coast Highway and is the gateway to the Olympic National Park.

  • Lighthouses of the Pacific Coast, published by Voyageur Press, is a guide in words and pictures to historic lighthouses along the Pacific Coast Highway.

    Lighthouses of the Pacific Coast

    Lighthouses of the Pacific Coast, published by Voyageur Press, is a guide in words and pictures to historic lighthouses along the Pacific Coast Highway.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Guides. Book and ebook hotel guides to PCH

    Pacific Coast Highway guides include our own printed book and ebook guides to the best hotels along the PCH, available in paperback, PDF and Kindle formats.

  • The Napa and Sonoma Guidebook to California Wine Country is from the Moon Handbooks’ travel guide series with reviews of wineries,vineyards, and wine tastings.

    Napa and Sonoma Guidebook

    The Napa and Sonoma Guidebook to California Wine Country is from the Moon Handbooks’ travel guide series with reviews of wineries,vineyards, and wine tastings.

  • The Los Angeles travel guide book from Lonely Planet also covers San Diego and Southern California, including Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, and Disneyland.

    Los Angeles Travel Guide

    The Los Angeles travel guide book from Lonely Planet also covers San Diego and Southern California, including Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, and Disneyland.

  • Washington Wine Country includes plenty of vineyards and wineries that can be visited while traveling the Pacific Coast Highway including the Olympic Peninsula.

    Washington Wine Country

    Washington Wine Country includes plenty of vineyards and wineries that can be visited while traveling the Pacific Coast Highway including the Olympic Peninsula.

  • To John Steinbeck Monterey's Cannery Row was a place of sardine canneries, bums and honky tonks, but today the Monterey Aquarium attracts visitors.

    Cannery Row in Monterey

    To John Steinbeck Monterey's Cannery Row was a place of sardine canneries, bums and honky tonks, but today the Monterey Aquarium attracts visitors.

  • Vintage Hollywood in Los Angeles is an extract from the Lonely Planets book Culture Trails.

    Vintage Hollywood

    Vintage Hollywood in Los Angeles is an extract from the Lonely Planets book Culture Trails.

  • The guide to California Bed and Breakfast Inns lists over 250 boutique hotels, wine country cottages and more.

    California Bed and Breakfast Inns

    The guide to California Bed and Breakfast Inns lists over 250 boutique hotels, wine country cottages and more.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel reviews the book Culture Trails by Lonely Planet, which has a section on Vintage Hollywood alongside 51 other perfect weekends.

    Culture Trails

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel reviews the book Culture Trails by Lonely Planet, which has a section on Vintage Hollywood alongside 51 other perfect weekends.

  • 101 free San Francisco attractions and things to do are in the Kindle guide, 101 Free Things to Do in San Francisco, in the Travel Free eGuidebooks series.

    Free San Francisco Kindle Guide to Free Attractions

    101 free San Francisco attractions and things to do are in the Kindle guide, 101 Free Things to Do in San Francisco, in the Travel Free eGuidebooks series.

  • Soul of Los Angeles from French publishers Jonglez is a travel guide to 30 Exceptional Experiences in California's largest city.

    Soul of Los Angeles

    Soul of Los Angeles from French publishers Jonglez is a travel guide to 30 Exceptional Experiences in California's largest city.

  • Pacific Coast Highway Travel's California Camping book review rates the 20th anniversary edition of Moon's complete guide to over 1400 tent and RV campgrounds.

    California Camping Book Review

    Pacific Coast Highway Travel's California Camping book review rates the 20th anniversary edition of Moon's complete guide to over 1400 tent and RV campgrounds.

  • Seattle is a great city break vacation destination and also the perfect start for the Pacific Coast Highway drive, and the gateway to Washington wine country.

    Seattle

    Seattle is a great city break vacation destination and also the perfect start for the Pacific Coast Highway drive, and the gateway to Washington wine country.

  • Greetings from California is a beautiful coffee-table book which describes the legends, landmarks and lore of California, including the Pacific Coast Highway.

    Greetings from California

    Greetings from California is a beautiful coffee-table book which describes the legends, landmarks and lore of California, including the Pacific Coast Highway.

  • The Michelin Green Guide to California covers the whole state and is good on maps, the sights, major cities and towns, less good on hotels and restaurants.

    Michelin Green Guide California

    The Michelin Green Guide to California covers the whole state and is good on maps, the sights, major cities and towns, less good on hotels and restaurants.

  • Little Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington is a delightful place to stop if driving the Pacific Coast Highway.

    Sequim

    Little Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington is a delightful place to stop if driving the Pacific Coast Highway.

  • The best things to do in Seattle include visiting Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium and the Seattle Art Museum.

    Things to Do in Seattle

    The best things to do in Seattle include visiting Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium and the Seattle Art Museum.

  • The Frommer's Guide to Oregon has good information on hotels, restaurants and what to see in Portland, and along the Pacific Coast Highway.

    Frommers Guide to Oregon

    The Frommer's Guide to Oregon has good information on hotels, restaurants and what to see in Portland, and along the Pacific Coast Highway.

  • Unique Inns on the Pacific Coast Highway include some of the best independently-owned boutique hotels, spas, and lodges in California, Oregon and Washington.

    Unique Inns on the Pacific Coast Highway

    Unique Inns on the Pacific Coast Highway include some of the best independently-owned boutique hotels, spas, and lodges in California, Oregon and Washington.

  • Review of the Pacific Coast Highway Road Trips book from Lonely Planet, which includes a California Driving Guide, by the Pacific Coast Highway Travel website.

    Pacific Coast Highway Road Trips: Lonely Planet Guidebook Review

    Review of the Pacific Coast Highway Road Trips book from Lonely Planet, which includes a California Driving Guide, by the Pacific Coast Highway Travel website.



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