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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.
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.
Other book pages
The Santa Barbara Guidebook from Moon Handbooks also covers California’s Central Coast with Ventura, San Luis Obispo, wine country, and Hearst Castle.
West Coast Road Eats is a road food guide covering the Pacific Coast from California through Oregon to Washington, giving the best road trip food stops.
Brewpubs and good beer are at the heart of the Good Beer Guide to the West Coast USA which lists the best bars and breweries from Seattle to San Diego.
This John Steinbeck California Guide, A Journey into Steinbeck's California, shows readers how towns like Monterey, Carmel and Salinas influenced the author.
Pacific Coast Highway Travel reviews the book Culture Trails by Lonely Planet, which has a section on Vintage Hollywood alongside 51 other perfect weekends.
Plant lovers can visit hundreds of gardens along or near the Pacific Coast Highway,ranging from lush gardens in the Pacific North-West to southern California.
Moon's Spotlight Guide to the Olympic Peninsula covers hotels, restaurants, and sights, including Forks, the Olympic National Park and other places.
The Pacific Coast Highway in California book shows in historic photos the building of the Pacific Coast Highway from its earliest beginnings in 1911.
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.
Lonely Planet's Guide to Cycling the USA West Coast is a bicycling guidebook for anyone touring California, Oregon and Washington by bike.
The Michelin Guide to California is a gourmet's guide to the best restaurants along the Pacific Coast Highway and elsewhere in California.
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.
One of the best guides to West Coast RV Parks, covering campgrounds in California, Oregon, and Washington, is West Coast RV Camping from Moon Guides.
Soul of Los Angeles from French publishers Jonglez is a travel guide to 30 Exceptional Experiences in California's largest city.
The best things to do in Seattle include visiting Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium and the Seattle Art Museum.
Some of the best California Backroads are included in Backroads of the California Coast, with 24 highly recommended driving tours off the Pacific Coast Highway.
Pacific Coast Highway Travel reviews an Olympic Peninsula Travel Guide published by the Beautiful Pacific Northwest website.
The Frommer's Guide to Oregon has good information on hotels, restaurants and what to see in Portland, and along the Pacific Coast Highway.
The Washington Coast's hotels, inns, guesthouses, b&bs and other places to stay include 5-star luxury hotels and resorts, motel chains, RV parks and camping.
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 Travel reviews the Pacific Coast Highway Road Trip Guide book covering the drive from Vancouver to San Diego.
Port Townsend is noted for its Victorian architecture, sits at the top of the Olympic Peninsula, close to the Olympic National Park and 55 miles from Seattle.
The Best Coast is a west coast travel guide, sub-titled A Road Trip Atlas it doesn't use photos but instead has hundreds of beautiful illustrations.
Vintage Hollywood in Los Angeles is an extract from the Lonely Planets book Culture Trails.
The Los Angeles travel guide book from Lonely Planet also covers San Diego and Southern California, including Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, and Disneyland.
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