You can’t know Washington’s cannabis culture without knowing Seattle. The Emerald City features cutting-edge dispensaries and plenty to do while heightened. But first, you’ve got to get there—via a 176-mile drive with plenty to see along the way. An hour into your drive, you’ll reach the majestic Columbia River, sparkling up from its deeply-etched gorge, and just across it make a pit stop at Vantage—home to the Gingko Petrified Forest State Park. View a huge array of petrified wood (which just so happens to be Washington’s state gemstone) at the Interpretive Center (free admission, open daily 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.), walk along the park’s trails, and marvel at one of the most unusual fossil forests on the globe. Be sure to designate a driver: Everyone else should vape a bit and take a short break at the picnic-and-swimming area along the river’s banks.
Another half-hour along, conquer your munchies at a café beloved by road-tripping Washingtonians for over 20 years. The food at the Yellow Church Café is, yes, heavenly, and you know a place is good when it has its own song.
Vela Cannabis, a premium dispensary in the SoDo neighborhood of Seattle. (Courtesy of Vela)
Finally, make the journey back across the Cascades and on to Seattle. The can’t-miss dispensary here is Vela, where you can pick up a pre-roll of sweet, citrusy Dutch Haze by local fave Raven Grass, and a concentrate from Suncliff (whose flower you can see through the dispensary’s window, growing next door). With your haul in hand, head to your 420-friendly lodging option of choice (book in advance on this one—we’re partial to The Winston House, where you’ll find good company, plenty of cannabis accoutrements, and a gorgeous dwelling, but The Bacon Mansion also accommodates consumption).
If you time your arrival for the right weekend (August 18–20, 2017), you can catch Hempfest, billed as the largest cannabis convocation and “Protestival” in the world (and the largest free speech event in the nation). Hippies, entrepreneurs, celebs, and ordinary cannabis enthusiasts mix and mingle amid clouds of skunky smoke, hemp clothing booths, blown glass pipes, and copious food vendors. If you’re there another weekend, don’t worry: Between jaw-dropping art installations (such as A Sound Garden, from whence the name of the illustrious band, or those at the waterfront Olympic Sculpture Park), plenty of live music throughout the city, and the ultimate Seattle stoner meal (most would argue it’s a burger, fries, and a shake from unconditionally beloved local tradition Dick’s Drive-In, but some, myself included, would say there’s nothing better than a cream cheese-slathered Seattle Dog), there’s more than enough to see, do, and eat.
Hempfest dubs itself the largest cannabis convocation and “Protestival” in the world. (400tmax/iStock)
After the sun goes down, load up on whatever cannabis you have left and head to the Pacific Science Center, which houses the largest domed laser theater in the world. You’re seeing a midnight showing of Laser Floyd: The Wall (12–1 a.m. Saturday nights), and trust us—if that wasn’t made expressly for cannabis lovers, nothing was.
Not ready to end your roadtrip? Follow I-5 South from Seattle to Portland, where the Oregon leg of our Ultimate Cannabis Roadtrip will begin. Keep an eye out for the itinerary on Leafly soon!
Additional image credits:
Bellingham: Courtesy of Bellingham Experience
Soap Lake: Steven Pavlov/Wikimedia Commons
Note: This road trip itinerary is not intended to encourage unlawful cannabis consumption of any kind. Never drive under the influence of cannabis or consume in violation of any state or local law, and always keep your cannabis sealed and locked away in the trunk while on the road.