Washington January 12, 2017
The Lighthouse Road Trip On The Washington Coast That’s Dreamily Beautiful
Lighthouses have a fascinating history, and there’s something about these structures that inspires nostalgia and creativity. The Washington coast is dotted with stunning lighthouses, and this road trip will take you to some of the best. We recommend allowing as much time as possible for this trip so you can explore the coast.
Start at Alki Point Lighthouse, located at 3200 Point Pl SW in Seattle.
Start your trip with a stop at Alki Point, which is located on the Alki Peninsula across Elliott Bay from downtown Seattle. This particular part of Seattle feels more like a small East Coast beach town than anything in Washington (and it’s amazing).
Next up is Browns Point Lighthouse on Tulalip St NE in Tacoma.
Head south to Tacoma and the majestic Browns Point Lighthouse, situated on the eastern side of the entrance to Commencement Bay. At one time, this location was considered remote, and the point and the hills were covered with timber.
Next, you’ll drive up toward Port Townsend until you reach Marrowstone Island.
Marrowstone Island is a hidden retreat, but you won’t need a ferry to access it. Extending from the base of the bluffs on the northeast corner of the island is Marrowstone Point, named by Captain George Vancouver. While the lighthouse itself isn’t much to look at, the island is peaceful and gorgeous with breathtaking views.
When you reach Port Townsend, drive to the Point Wilson Lighthouse on Harbor Defense Way (at Fort Worden State Park).
This lighthouse is an iconic part of Port Townsend, and you’ll get some great photo ops here. Port Townsend is a pretty charming town, and it’s a great place to spend the night.
The next morning, head down Highway 101 and you’ll pass the New Dungeness, Ediz Hook and Slip Point lighthouses before you reach Cape Flattery.
Cape Flattery is the northwesternmost point of the contiguous United States, and it’s the northern boundary of the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary. The lighthouse is reached by a short hike, most of which is boardwalked. Built in 1854, Cape Flattery Light was Washington Territory’s third lighthouse.
Next, head south to the beautiful seaside town of Westport.
You’ll find the Grays Harbor Lighthouse on Point Chehalis on the southern side of the entrance to Grays Harbor. Grays Harbor is named after Captain Robert Gray, a Boston fur trader who discovered it in 1792. This is the tallest lighthouse in Washington and the third largest on the West Coast.
Last but not least, drive to Cape Disappointment State Park in Ilwaco.
The Cape Disappointment Light, dating back to 1856, is located near the mouth of the Columbia River. The state park, which was named after Captain John Meares’ first thwarted voyage to the Columbia, is rich in local history. You’ll also find the North Head Lighthouse (pictured) here, which was constructed in 1897 after mariners realized the Cape Disappointment Light couldn’t be seen from the ships approaching from the north.
Whether or not you become a lighthouse enthusiast, you’ll enjoy learning so much local history on this road trip. There’s a lot to learn about our beautiful state. Here are a few things you may not know about Washington.