This four-day epic roadtrip is a great introduction to the diverse and rich Native American Tribes who have called Washington’s shorelines home since time immemorial. This itinerary is adapted from a two-part series from our friends at the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association. If you’re interested in learning more, we highly recommend heading to NativeAmerica.travel to check out their Discover Native America: Pacific Northwest Tour Part One and Part Two.
Arrive early in Seattle and depart to the Evergreen State College Campus in Olympia to visit the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center.
Longhouse Education and Cultural Center
“The House of Welcome” (sgwigwia?ltxw) was the first building constructed on a public campus that is based on Native American traditions that exists to provide service and hospitality to students, faculty, visitors, and the surrounding Native communities. Its primary function is to provide a gathering place for hosting cultural ceremonies, classes, conferences, performances, art exhibits, and community events.
Squaxin Island Museum Library and Research Center
Open Tuesday-Saturday, 9:00 am-5:00 pm | Call prior to visiting to confirm availability: 360-432-3839 | 150 SE K’Wuh-Deegs-Altxw, Shelton, WA 98584
Next, travel west to Shelton to visit the “Home of Sacred Belongings” (kwedigws?altxw), also known as The Squaxin Island Museum Library and Research Center, where you can explore the past and present stories of the Squaxin Island Tribe. There you can walk through the “Hall of the Seven Inlets,” a permanent exhibit that depicts the relationship between the people and the seven watersheds of South Puget Sound, as well as learn about the history, traditional legends, and Native language. End your day by staying at the Little Creek Casino Resort, just 10 minutes away from the Squaxin Island Museum.
Quinault Beach Resort & Casino
Hit the road early in the morning and drive to the Quinault Indian Nation to visit, stay, and play at the Quinault Beach Resort & Casino and Resort and enjoy breathtaking views while dining at Emily’s Oceanfront Restaurant. For exclusive Eco-tourism excursions, contact Capoeman Bro’s Guides, a local Native American-owned and operated sport and recreation guide service.
Just a few minutes away, visit some local shops and take in beautiful views of the North Jetty in the city of Ocean Shores. Ocean Shores is a small coastal city known for its long Pacific beach and network of navigable lakes and waterways. Just north, the shore pine trees and dunes of Ocean City State Park are a haven for migratory birds. South, Oyhut Wildlife Recreation Area and Damon Point are nesting sites for snowy plovers, and the North Jetty has views of the city of Westport, across Grays Harbor to the south.
Quileute Indian Nation
After your stop, travel north along the coast to visit the Quileute Indian Nation to visit, explore, and stay at the Quileute Oceanside Resort in La Push. La Push is a great destination for whale watching in the spring; surfing, fishing, and hiking in the summer; and storm-watching in the fall and winter. Dine at the Rivers Edge Restaurant (one of the many locations where the movie series “Twilight” was filmed!) for awe-inspiring ocean views.
Makah Museum Cultural & Research Center
Open daily 10:00 am-5:00 pm | 1880 Bayview Avenue, Neah Bay, WA 98357
Begin your day by eating breakfast in the town of Forks, then travel to the most northwesterly point of Washington to visit the Makah Museum Cultural & Research Center. The Museum & Research Center houses and interprets artifacts from the Ozette Archaeological Site, a Makah village partly buried by a mudslide 300 to 500 years ago that was re-discovered in 1970. The museum provides a glimpse of pre-contact Makah life and exhibits feature 500 artifacts including whaling and fishing gear, basketry, and replicas of a full-size longhouse and canoes. There are also guided tours to other local Makah sites to include the Ethno-Botanical Garden, Ozette Archaeological Site, Cape Flattery Trail, and other local village sites and beaches.
Cedars at Dungeness Golf Club and Northwest Native Expressions Art Gallery
Next, head east to the City of Sequim to eat and play at the Cedars at Dungeness Golf Club, owned and operated by the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe. Stop by to enjoy a meal at the Double Eagle Restaurant or play a round of golf at the award winning four-star Golf Digest “Best Golf Course” in Western Washington. Afterwards, travel 15 minutes to the Northwest Native Expressions Art Gallery and House of Myth Carving Shed, located at the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribal Campus, for a self-guided tour. The gallery offers traditional and contemporary forms of art that represents the uniqueness of Northwest Native American culture and history. End the day by travelling 45 minutes east and stay at the beautiful Suquamish Clearwater Casino & Resort, located on the breathtaking Kitsap Peninsula. The peninsula, named after Chief Kitsap of the Suquamish Tribe, boasts more than 250 miles of saltwater shoreline.
Suquamish Clearwater Casino & Suquamish Museum
Begin your day by eating breakfast at the Beach Glass Cafe at the Suquamish Clearwater Casino Resort, then travel a few short minutes to visit the Suquamish Museum. There you can take a guided tour of the museum, Chief Seattle’s gravesite, and the Suquamish Veterans Memorial. dxʷsəqʷəb, meaning “place of clear saltwater” in the Southern Lushootseed language, has been home to the Suquamish people since time immemorial. It is the ancient place on Agate Passage and is the site of the Old-Man-House village and the winter home of Chief Seattle—the heart of the Suquamish People. The Suquamish Museum is designed to share the history and traditional ways of the Suquamish People. The facility features two galleries, a performance space, museum store, and outside learning areas.
Open daily 10:00 am-5:00 pm | 93 Pike Street #103, Seattle, WA 98101
Next, take a 30-minute ferry ride to downtown Seattle to visit Mr. Louie Gong (Nooksack) and his team at Eighth Generation “Inspired Natives” for some shopping. Eighth Generation is the first Native-owned and operated company to ever produce wool blankets with a flagship retail store in Seattle’s iconic Pike Place Market. Founded in 2008, Eighth Generation is a proud participant in the global economy and is currently located in the Atrium, just off of 1st Avenue.
Hibulb Cultural Center & Natural History Preserve
Open Tuesday-Friday 10:00 am-5:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday from 12:00-5:00 pm | 6410 23rd Avenue NE, Marysville, WA 98271
After you visit Pike Place Market, travel north to the Hibulb Cultural Center & Natural History Preserve, where you can experience the journey and civic pride of the Tulalip people. The Hibulb Cultural Center & Natural History Preserve’s mission is to revive, restore, protect, interpret, collect, and enhance the history, traditional cultural values, and spiritual beliefs of the Tulalip Tribes. The Hibulb Cultural Center is approximately 23,000 square feet with a 50-acre natural history preserve. The interactive cultural center features a main exhibit, a temporary exhibit, two classrooms, a longhouse, a research library, and gift shop.
Tulalip Resort Casino
End your day by staying at the beautiful AAA Four Diamond Tulalip Resort Casino. The resort is among the premier destinations in Washington State, offering luxurious accommodations, award-winning dining options, a rejuvenating spa, casino excitement, and world-class shopping. There you can dine at the Blackfish Restaurant where you can find a seafood centric menu paying tribute to regional Northwest ingredients and the Tulalip tradition, play at the 24-Hour Casino, and shop at the premier outlet mall.
Photos and itinerary credit: NativeAmerica.travel, brought to you by the American Indian Alaska Native Tourism Association