The Hotel Rio Vista In Winthrop Makes For A Great Road Trip Stop

NWRoadtrips Hotel Rio Vista Riverfront

Winthrop on the Cascade Loop

One of the more unique and special towns in the Pacific Northwest is Winthrop, Washington. This little community is located up in the North Cascades, just east of Washington Pass, Mazama, and North Cascades National Park. It’s the perfect place to head to for a great getaway. If you’re wanting to take a road trip on the North Cascades Highway, it’s also a great place to stop along the way.

Winthrop has a very rural mountain feel to it. This is mainly due to the incredible scenery located all around it. it also doesn’t hurt that the town has an Old West theme that it adheres to from one end to the other. That’s right, all of the businesses in the downtown area and beyond feature Old West designs, architecture, and decor. This really does make it one of the more unique experiences you’re bound to visit in the Northwest.

NWRoadtrips Hotel Rio Vista Front

Staying in Winthrop is a lot of fun. One of the best places to stay when you go there is the Hotel Rio Vista. This elaborately decorated Old West hotel is located on the east end of town and is the perfect spot to headquarter your stay from.

The Hotel Rio Vista offers more than just decor and a cowboy theme though. It’s perched right on the shore of the river running in front of it. In fact, every room in the hotel features its very own private deck where you can venture out and enjoy a view of the river and the local scenery. You’ll also love the hot tub that overlooks the same view.

NWRoadtrips Hotel Rio Vista View

NWRoadtrips Hotel Rio Vista Riverfront

Being able to set out from the Hotel Rio Vista and easily walk to any of the local restaurants, bars, shops, the local museum, and the nearby pedestrian suspension bridge also shows just why so many like coming back there year after year.

Venturing out from Winthrop allows you to experience things like North Cascades National Park, Washington Pass, Diablo Lake, and the communities of Mazama, Twisp, and Pateros. Even Lake Chelan can be reached easily from Winthrop. And when you’re done experiencing that, you get to return “home” to the welcoming Hotel Rio Vista. It can’t get much better than that.

Check out the Hotel Rio Vista online:
Hotel Rio Vista

Winthrop on the Cascade Loop

Visit Mt. Rainier And Stay At Cowlitz River Cabins

Packwood Washington Photos

Cowlitz River Cabins
Mt. Rainier is one of the biggest attractions in Washington State, literally. It makes sense then that one of the best ways to experience it is by taking a road trip that either runs right by it or uses it as its ultimate destination. When you go there, you’ll want to take in all the sights too. This includes the visitor centers, historical attractions, high mountain lakes, stunning waterfalls, and more. Be sure to bring your camera too as there will be tons of things to take photos of.

You’ll also need a place to stay when you visit Mount Rainier National Park and one of the best available goes by the name of Cowlitz River Cabins. Cowlitz River Cabins are located in between the towns of Packwood and Randle, right off of Highway 12, the White Pass Scenic Byway. We recently stayed in the Rainier House there and it was a first for us as we’d never spent the night in a real log home. The construction and styling of the house was top notch, inside and out. It also had everything we needed for our family of four to have the best time possible.

Inside, the Rainier Log House features wireless internet, a flat screen television, a fully stocked kitchen, two bedrooms, and a beautiful atmosphere and welcoming environment. The attention to detail in the custom craftsmanship will jump right out at you.

Cowlitz River Cabins

Outside, all the extras that were present there really bumped this place up into one of the favorite places we’ve ever stayed. There is a firepit in the backyard perfect for cooking smores on. There is a wraparound deck that we used for morning breakfast. There’s also an extremely impressive covered picnic area, featuring the same log home construction, that comes with a table, barbecue, wood stove, and goldfish pond. Last but not least, one of the top draws for us, especially once the sun went down was the secluded outdoor hot tub. What a way to end the evening in such beautiful surroundings.

Cowlitz River Cabins

Exploring Mount Rainier National Park was incredibly awesome. We ended up with some great memories and the kids not only had fun, but came away having learned a whole lot too which is a nice bonus. Cowlitz River Cabins really tied it all together for us and made what was bound to be a great little vacation even better. If you’re looking for a place to spend the night at Mt. Rainier, you just can’t go wrong with Cowlitz River Cabins.

Cowlitz River Cabins

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Cowlitz River Cabins

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Six Great Reasons To Stay At Ovenell’s Heritage Inn in Concrete, Washington

Concrete - Ovenells Heritage Inn

The Concrete, Washington area is a beautiful part of the state and a great place to visit. There’s a lot of reasons to go there, including the North Cascades Highway, nearby North Cascades National Park, and a number of opportunities for outdoor recreation. If you’re looking for lodging in Concrete, you won’t be disappointed with Ovenell’s Heritage Inn.

Concrete - Ovenells Heritage Inn

We were lucky enough to stay in Concrete at Ovenell’s Heritage Inn recently, and here’s a look at the six main reasons we enjoyed our time there.

The Lodging

Concrete - Ovenells Heritage Inn ~16
The lodging options at Ovenell’s Heritage Inn are incredible. We stayed in one of the guest houses available there, though there are cabins available as well. The guest houses and cabins are located on a working farm, very near wide open pastures and forested areas. The outside of the house was decorated perfectly and the landscaping was pleasant and also offered some privacy from the nearby units. Inside, the cleanliness was immediately recognizable. It was also outfitted well too with free wireless internet, flatscreen TV, a fully stocked kitchen, and incredibly comfortable beds. The wraparound deck was a favorite part for both us and the kids. There was plenty of seating out there too for both relaxing as well as sharing a meal outdoors. It was really something special.

The Atmosphere

Concrete - Ovenells Heritage Inn
One of the things we were looking for during this chance to visit Concrete was to have a relaxing time. Ovenell’s Heritage Inn was perfect for this. Sitting inside, the house was laid out with plenty of space for everyone to stretch out and at the same time with places everyone can gather together. The quiet farm atmosphere there made sitting outside a pleasure. Whether listening to the quiet or watching the grazing cows that would occasionally come by the back deck, relaxing was something that was very easily done. As you walk around the property, including on the trails that take you down to the river and into the forested areas of the farm, this feeling of relaxation meets you absolutely everywhere.

The Scenery

One of the things most people love about the area is the gorgeous natural scenery. When you stay in Concrete you get a better chance to enjoy it because you’re spending more time there. You’ll get views of the beautiful Skagit River, impressive Mount Baker, as well as the tranquil lakes that dot the region. You’re also within an easy drive of several gorgeous areas like Baker Lake, Shadow of the Sentinels trail, North Cascades National Park, Diablo Lake, Trail of the Cedars, and more. You can even get some great scenic views right from the farm itself. That includes an incredible view of the star attraction of the region, Mount Baker.

The Animals

Concrete - Ovenells Heritage Inn
Right next to the cabins and guest houses is a large pasture area. The kids especially loved seeing the cows grazing at different times during the day. Sometimes they’d be close to the house and at other times they’d be on the other side or up in the trees. Up at the main house where you check-in are more animals, including turkeys, chickens, ducks, geese, more cows, and of course the horses. Farm animals aren’t all that you might find at Ovenell’s Heritage Inn. You can also find local wildlife too. We saw a number of deer and a wide variety of different birds. Staying in a beautiful place and being surrounded by animals was a very nice experience for all of us.

The Community

Concrete Washington
A short drive outside the entrance to Ovenell’s Heritage Inn will bring you to the community of Concrete. This is a tiny little town with a very historic feel to it. You’ll find plenty of places to eat, like Cascade Burgers and Perks Espress & Deli, as well as others. The Concrete silos are a great sight to see and make for a nice photo taking opportunity. The historic byway that is laid out in Concrete is very interesting and you can really learn a lot about the town by just getting out and walking around reading the informative signs posted along the route. In many ways, some of the most interesting times we had there were spent just walking around and exploring this little community.

The Surrounding Area

Shadow of the Sentinels
When you visit Concrete, you’re also coming to an area surrounded by lots of fun attractions, mostly involving natural scenery and outdoor recreation. The Shadow of the Sentinels trail located north of the community treats you to a walk through a stunning old growth forest. When you head that direction, you’ll also have a great opportunity to drive across an actual hydroelectric dam. To the west of you will be towns like Rockport and Marblemount which are also fun to explore. Beyond there, you’ll find places like Diablo Lake, the upper Skagit River, several hiking trails, and the North Cascades National Park. Traveling this direction will not only lead you to great natural scenic areas, but also to incredible historic and informational sites like Diablo Dam, Gorge Dam, the North Cascades National Park Visitors Center, Old Number Six train engine, and the historic company town of Newhalem. Finding something to get out and do when you choose to stay in Concrete is an extremely easy thing to do.

The Concrete, Washington area is a very fun area to visit. Whether you’re looking for a small town destination or just looking for a place to spend the night as you explore the North Cascades Highway or the Cascade Loop, Ovenell’s Heritage Inn will serve you well. It’ll let you get away from it all and relax in a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere. It’ll also put you right smack in the middle of some of the most beautiful and impressive scenery in the entire Pacific Northwest. Ovenell’s Heritage Inn made our stay in Concrete very memorable.

Visit Lake Wenatchee State Park

Lake Wenatchee State Park is one of the more popular state parks in Washington. It doesn’t take much more than a first drive through to see just why that is. It has everything you need for a great getaway.


I’ve camped at Lake Wenatchee State Park quite a few times. We usually choose the south shore campground, though the north shore is pretty good too. The beach area is long and has more than enough room for everyone. I’ve had good fishing luck too from around the boat dock area. I’ve also kayaked out to the small island that sits right where water empties from the lake into the Wenatchee River which is a lot of fun. There is a small camp store there too which is a fun stop for a snocone or a soda. All of this and much more go a long way in making it a great destination.

We all go camping for different reasons though and I love the chance to not only get away from it all but to socialize with family and friends. The campsites are large at Lake Wenatchee State Park and there’s plenty of room for multiple tents and a lot of chairs around the fire pit.

There is a lot to do in the Lake Wenatchee area outside the park too. The small town of Plain is less than 10 miles away and has a couple of fun shops to visit. Leavenworth, a shopper’s paradise, is about 25 minutes away and a trip there is a great diversion. You can also explore the roads that lead off up the Little Wenatchee River, White River, and Chiwawa River. Fish Lake is nearby and you can rent everything from canoes to pontoon boats there.

There are reasons Lake Wenatchee State Park is so popular with campers and those same reasons apply to road trippers too. If you’re heading over Stevens Pass or just driving in the area, consider making your overnight stop at Lake Wenatchee State Park. It’s well worth it.


The River’s Edge Lodge in Leavenworth

The Wenatchee River flows from Lake Wenatchee to the Columbia River, and along the way passes some of the most incredible scenery, attractions, and locales in Washington. One of those locales is Leavenworth. This little Bavarian themed city has been one of the more popular tourist attractions in Washington for years… and there are a lot of reasons for that.

Leavenworth is home to a year round festive atmosphere, some incredible food, top notch scenery, and friendly locals who just wait to welcome you in. The shopping opportunities there are legendary too. Whether going for an afternoon, a weekend, or a longer stay, you can easily have a great time in Leavenworth.

My last visit to Leavenworth saw me staying at the River’s Edge Lodge, which is east of town. I bring this up because it ties in both of the above subjects. During my stay, I ate some of the best bratwursts ever, picked up a couple of very cool gifts, and I even danced a polka in public (yeah, you read that right). What I also got to do though was stay right on the banks of the Wenatchee River.


It was very cool, as the sun went down, to sit outside and hear the water rush by and watch it do what it has been doing for centuries. The River’s Edge Lodge was very clean, very comfortable, and worked perfectly for my weekend in Leavenworth.

I’ve got to take some polka lessons though before I head back to Leavenworth.

The Chalet Motel in Cle Elum

The small town of Cle Elum sits just off of busy Interstate 90 on the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountains. Cle Elum has a rich mining history and surprises people with how much there is to do both in it and around it. Most road trippers drive right by this dot on the map and that is a huge mistake to make.


One of the things I’ve always loved about Cle Elum is its history. There is a very cool railroad related attraction, the nationally recognized South Cle Elum Rail Yard National Historic District, located there that is a very fun way to spend an hour or two. You can also check out some of the historical buildings in town, many dating back a century or more, that still house the locally owned businesses. Nearby Roslyn is home to a historic cemetery that is famous as a tourist attraction (hard to believe, I know). Roslyn also offers up their unique movie theatre, complete with huge Marlon Brando mural on the back. Other local historical attractions in the area include the Thorp Mill, Telephone Museum, Roslyn Museum, Carpenter House Museum & Art Gallery, Kittitas County Genealogical Society, and the Kittitas County Historical Museum. I can be a bit of a sucker for a historical attraction and the Cle Elum – Roslyn area is really good at taking advantage of that.

One place that I like to stay when popping in overnight in Cle Elum is the Chalet Motel. The main reason for this is not the luxury accommodations or five star restaurant on the premesis. No, the Chalet Motel doesn’t offer any of that. What they do offer though is a nostalgic looking building that calls back to the days of the motor lodge. The rooms are very clean and modern and staying there is a very warm and welcoming experience. Plus, you’re right downtown which means going for a walk through the heart of Cle Elum is easy and convenient.

There are a lot of reasons to stop and spend some time in Cle Elum during a road trip. But when it is time to stay the night there, the place to go is the Chalet Motel.