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With its warm temperatures, long hours of daylight, and kids out of school, summer has always been a great time to travel. While we’re still in a pandemic, though, day trips are a great option for exploring without traveling far from home. 

This summer, we encourage you to use NCW Libraries as a starting — and a resting — point for your adventures. Our libraries have a wide range of books about road tripping around Washington state, as well as all manners of recreation like hiking, biking, kayaking, and much more.

Once you’ve planned your trip and hit the road, we invite you to stop in at any of our 30 library branches around NCW to use the bathrooms, free Wi-Fi and public computers, as well as browse books and movies, check out an audiobook for your drive, and escape the heat and smoke outside. 

Here are a few day trip ideas found in some of the travel books available in our library branches:


The Pacific Northwest’s Best Trips: 32 Amazing Road Trips calls the Cascade Loop the most classic road trip in Washington state. The majestic route that crosses the Cascades not once but twice passes by nine of our libraries! Take a break in the shaded park next to the Winthrop Library in the western theme town, or stop in at the bakery in Pateros and check out the library next door. Our Twisp, Chelan, Entiat, Wenatchee, Cashmere, Peshastin (and it’s beautiful, shaded riverfront backyard), and Leavenworth libraries also lie along the loop.


Washington Off the Beaten Path recommends a trip through the Okanogan Valley, visiting the historical museum in Okanogan, the mining-town-turned-recreation-hub Conconully, and seeing the 600-year-old larch trees at Lost Lake near Tonasket. We have five libraries in the valley: Brewster at the south, Okanogan and Omak in the middle and Tonasket and Oroville to the north.


Weird Washington is a wonderful book — even if you aren’t planning a trip — full of the stories, locations and people that make Washington the unique place that it is. Read about the “monsters” behind Grand Coulee Dam, then visit and search for the ancient sturgeons yourself; read about the infamous backyard toilet fence that caused much conflict in Soap Lake many years ago, then visit the lakeside city; or read about the Cascade Tunnel Mystery and then take a hike along the Iron Goat Trail near Leavenworth.


Washington Byways: 56 of Washington’s Best Backcountry Drives offers detailed instructions on traveling several backroads in Chelan and Okanogan counties, including Buck Mountain Lookout, the rocky canyons of Mud Creek and Johnson Creek in the Entiat Valley, and scenic Cooper Ridge north of Lake Chelan. 

Here are some other Washington state travel books in our collection (we have many more books, so we invited you to visit your local library or call your librarian to discover more ideas):

Online Resources

Summer Road Trip Collection on Hoopla

Best Audiobooks for Road Trips on Overdrive

Get inspired for your road trip by watching Road Trip on Kanopy, featuring a series of unforgettable, all-American road trips. 


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