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Photo of a walking bridge
Photo of a walking bridge
Photo of a walking bridge

Road trip ideas that won’t break the bank.

Published August 2, 2022.

Updated March 2, 2023.

Head out and have some fun.

High gas prices, expensive airfare, and the rising cost of pretty much everything might be stretching your vacation budget a little thin.

We have a few backup plans for you. There are lots of fun places to go and things to see across the Northwest if you want to pack up the car and hit the road.

Don’t know where to go? We’ve got you covered! Here are some of our employees’ top picks.

To make it easier to see how many miles you may be traveling, we’ve calculated the distance to all those places from our Downtown Spokane branch. It’s located at 207 N. Wall Street in Spokane, which is inside Riverpark Square.

Steptoe Butte State Park.

You can’t miss this landmark in the Palouse Hills of eastern Washington. Steptoe Butte is a 168-acre day-use park contains some of the oldest rocks in the northwest.

Plus, it’s a scenic place to stop and stretch on the way to Pullman.

Since it is a state a park, you’ll want to make sure you have a Discover Pass handy. You can buy one or check one out for free at your local library.

Distance: 52.2 mi | Find directions from your location.


Silver Valley, Idaho.

There are a few places to choose from when it comes to planning a trip to the Silver Valley in Idaho.

The historic town of Wallace offers a glance into the past with mining museums underground mine tours, and a train station. You can also hop on the Route of the Hiawatha to mountain bike or walk.

Before you get there, you can also make a stop in Kellogg. There, you can enjoy a waterpark, or gondola ride up Silver Mountain.

Distance to Wallace: 80.9 mi | Find directions from your location.

Distance to Kellogg: 70.1 mi | Find directions from your location.


Metaline Falls, Washington.

There’s something for every kind of vacationer in the Metaline Falls area. You can sit back, relax, and enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. You can also explore Gardner Cave nearby, head out on a hike, or kayak.

No matter what you decide to do, you’ll be surrounded by beautiful scenery.

Distance: 95 mi | Find directions from your location.


Republic, Washington.

This northeastern Washington of Republic has no shortage of things to do, especially for people who love being outside. There’s horseback riding, ATV rides, and plenty of places to fish.

If you dig history, you’ll want to check out the Stonerose Interpretive Center and Eocene Fossil Site.

Distance: 123.2 mi | Find directions from your location.

Walla Walla, Washington.

Photo of downtown Walla Wall
Photo of street in Walla Walla with people walking and eating outside.

You might go to Walla Walla for the wine and end up staying for everything else it has to offer.

Its Main Street is an especially fun area where you can find outdoor patios to eat outside, tasting rooms, candy shops, and more. Don’t miss the food court area on 1st Street.

You can also grab some bicycles and take a beautiful ride to Pioneer Park.

Distance: 152 mi | Find directions from your location.


Winthrop, Washington.

The cowboy town of Winthrop is full of fun with a variety of shops and restaurants. The Methow Valley is absolutely beautiful. There are plenty of places to hike and camp nearby.

If you have time, take the Highway 20 scenic byway for breathtaking views.

Distance: 183.2 mi | Find directions from your location.


Leavenworth, Washington.

It’s not just a town in the Cascades, it’s a Bavarian style village. It’s filled with charming shops, great places to grab a bite to eat, and is home to lots of festivals and activities year-round. 

Distance: 192.5 mi | Find directions from your location.


Missoula, Montana.

Nestled in the Rocky Mountains is this quirky college town. You’ll find yourself surrounded by hiking trails and outdoor activities. Head downtown to shop and eat. If you’re there on a Saturday, the farmer’s market is a must-do activity.

Distance: 197.8 mi | Find directions from your location.


Glacier National Park.

Photo of a lake at sunset with mountains in the background
Photo of Saint Mary Lake at sunset, in Glacier National Park.

There’s a reason it’s often referred to as the “Crown of the Continent.” This gorgeous national park in northwestern Montana features beautiful alpine meadows, breathtaking views, scenic lakes, and melting glaciers.

Distance: 274.3 mi | Find directions from your location.


Blaine, Washington.

It’s a summertime treat to spend time in this northwestern Washington town. It’s a great place to get a cabin and spot wildlife. Plus, we hear it has great seafood.

Distance: 382.8 mi | Find directions from your location.


Port Angeles, Washington.

Located on the Olympic Peninsula, Port Angeles is the gateway to Olympic National Park. That’s not the only outdoor adventure you can go on. The Hoh Rain Forest, Hurricane Ridge and Lake Crescent are nearby.

Plus, it’s only an hour and a half ferry ride away from Victoria, BC, if you want to add in a day trip.

Distance: 396.2 | Find directions from your location.


Seabrook, Washington.

Photo of beach houses next to a walking path
Photo of the Pacific Glen neighborhood overlooking the ocean, in Seabrook, WA.

This beach town offers lots of great vacation activities if you’re willing to put in a little extra drive time. From shopping and dining, to finding a hike nearby, it has it all.

Our community relations officer, Erica, said it’s one of her favorite places to walk along the beach with her dog and watch the sunset.  

Distance: 396.9 mi | Find directions from your location.

Seaside, Oregon.

Photo of a sign that says welcome to Seaside Oregon
Photo of the welcome sign coming in to Seaside, Oregon.

Lots of people who work at STCU ranked this small resort city in northwestern Oregon their top spot for a vacation. The nearly seven-hour drive can make for a long day in the car, but to so many people, it’s worth the trip.

Once you’re there, you can enjoy flying kites next to the ocean during the day. At night, you can gather around a fire on the beach.

“Seaside, Oregon, has my heart; between the lush greenery, ocean fun, and overall sea town feel,” said Shayla, who works in Consumer Lending.

Distance: 430.8 | Find directions from your location.

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