I hate driving. You probably do too.

Actually, let me restate that: I hate city driving.

I hate the busy tangle of stop signs and roundabouts and signals and railroad crossings because, for each of these things, there are a dozen drivers not paying attention, ignoring the rules of the road, or driving recklessly. I hate having to drive defensively, checking around me in every direction for every little thing with the same fight-or-flight readiness that a rabbit on the open plains does.

City driving is predatory, and in the driver's seat, we are the prey, ready to fall victim at any second to an accident that may change - or end - our lives.

The open road, however, is a forgotten paradise.

Driving along long stretches of highway in the country, along the open road, is the next best thing to hiking. As someone who loves spending time deep in nature, I don't say that lightly.

Once you're out of the city and into the rural and undeveloped world beyond, serenity settles over you. Without dozens of things demanding your attention, you have the opportunity to look around you at the world and see the land for what it is. Amazing views, wildlife, and hidden pockets of civilization that you've never heard of.

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The quiet of the road - even with its bumps and rumble strips - is meditative. Now you can turn your attention safely to a conversation with your passengers, or turn within to have a conversation with yourself. You can listen to an audiobook without losing your place; you can sing along to the whole song on the radio without interrupting yourself to curse or catch your breath.

That's why whenever I have to travel for work here in Washington - shuffling sometimes between Tri-Cities, Wenatchee, and Yakima - I get excited. Road trips are a joy to me, a way to "get away" without having to make plans or tie myself to a schedule. That's even why my anniversary plans involve a road trip - because each one I've been on has been a memorable experience.

Are you ready to embrace the open road? Check out these wonderful Washington road trip suggestions.

The 6 Best Washington Backroads for a Relaxing Road Trip

8 Really Fun Day Road Trips To Take in Washington State

Ready for a day of fun and adventure? Here's a list of eight amazing road trips you can take in Washington state no matter the time or budget. 

Gallery Credit: Rik Mikals

Stuck in the city? You're not alone.

A new survey for 2023 reveals the Best and Worst Washington State cities to drive in.

Gallery Credit: Rik Mikals


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