Plug it in, plug it in

Electric Vehicle Road Trips from Seattle

Destinations worth draining the battery—and where to charge up again for the return trip.

By Allison Williams May 20, 2024

Electric cars are the future—but that doesn't always make them easy for road tripping in the present. Car and Driver estimates that most battery-powered vehicles can go more than 200 miles on one charge (the lesser known Lucid Air tops 400 miles, and they clock the Tesla Model S at 320), but any electric trip means finding a charging point for the trip home. We found six road trips from Seattle ideal for an EV—and one that won't need any charging until you get back home.
Once you reach Lake Chelan, travel by boat for more sights.


207 miles One Way

It isn't weird to leave the Puget Sound waterfront just to drive to another shore, because Lake Chelan is utterly distinct. The long Central Washington lake is blessed with sunshine and calm waters, ideal for water sports and chill hangs. A water park even recreates a surfing wave and wineries share the rolling hills with orchards. Recharge on the lake while the car is plugged in; public stations surround Chelan and nearby Manson, and several wineries (Hard Roe to Hoe, Fielding Hills) are Tesla Destination Charging locations. 


199 miles One Way

This long drive on Highway 20, otherwise known as the North Cascades Highway, stands as one of the absolute prettiest routes in the Pacific Northwest. The old West town of Winthrop stands as the natural end to that scenic journey in a valley rich with fine dining and standout hotels. Just uphill from the wooden sidewalks and swinging saloon doors of Winthrop, Sun Mountain Lodge has Tesla stations for overnight guests; the website Plug-In North Central Washington gathers information on other charge-up spots.

Vancouver packs dining, culture, and the outdoors into a dense urban center.

Vancouver, BC

143 miles One Way

Try not to get too jealous of the charging infrastructure north of the border; Canada boasts the Plug In BC network of available outlets, searchable on a map. And while on the ground in Vancouver, there are Michelin-starred restaurants to visit and spas for relaxation. Don't miss the Chinese food in Richmond, just south of the metropolis; the short distances mean there should be plenty of charge for the detour.

Ocean Shores

132 Miles One Way

The gloriously retro beach town of Ocean Shores is a goofy juxtaposition to the sci-fi style of an electric vehicle. Maybe don't take the Tesla on the sand itself. The car will travel easily to area highlights like one of the best Irish pubs in the state or north to the surreal-yet-quaint town of Seabrook. A Tesla Supercharger opened in the middle of downtown Ocean Shores in 2023, while the convention center has a collection of eight superchargers.

Hood River, OR

227 Miles One Way

Keep an eye on the mileage, because Oregon's riverside outdoors headquarters pushes the limit of some EVs. But given that the fastest route there travels interstates—hello I-5, I-205, and I-84—there are plenty of spots for a top-up. Check WSDOT's West Coast Green Highway map of main-drag stops. In Hood River the main power is wind with all the windsurfing and kiteboarding on the river, with a Tesla Supercharger right next to the sporty launch point of Hood River Waterfront Park. When it's raining, try the Gorge's twin yet contrasting visitor centers.

Somehow downtown Port Townsend makes everyone feel underdressed.

Port Townsend and Hood Canal

213 miles round trip

No need to pause for a recharge on a loop to the peninsula. Reach the Victorian downtown of Port Townsend via the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (a mere 111 miles) and enjoy the combination of farm-to-table dining and hands-on history in the seaside town. Noodle down Hood Canal to reach beachfront oyster tasting, then loop through Bremerton and its naval history museum to catch a ferry back to Seattle, letting the Washington State Ferry system spend the juice for your final leg.
Filed under
Show Comments