The Pacific Northwest is spoiled with incredible small towns drenched in history, beauty and access to stunning natural wonders. One such location is in the shadow of Mount Rainier, close to waterfalls, rivers, family adventures and wilderness. Ideally located near Tacoma and Olympia, Eatonville is the perfect staging point for your next adventure into the wilds of Washington – both rural and urban.

Eatonville is a small town that packs a lot of great recreation, dining and lodging opportunities. Photo credit: Steve Pavlov.

The small town of Eatonville, home to less than three thousand residents, is as old as The Evergreen State itself. It’s known as an access point to wilderness and wildlife exploration, as well as a place to experience the rich history of the region. Making a perfect basecamp for year-round recreation, staying a night or two in Eatonville and exploring the region is sure to become a yearly tradition and a weekend getaway.

Where to Eat

Finding good food in small towns can be like finding a needle in a haystack, but not in Eatonville. Whether you’re looking for a pub with grub, family restaurant, pizza joint, Mexican food or even Chinese, Eatonville has you covered. For those hoping to find a great selection of beer and standard American fare, the Pour House on Mashell Avenue is the place. Also serving great food and beer is Bruno’s Family Restaurant and Bar on Center Street. With great chicken fried steak and similar dishes, your taste buds will thank you for stopping.

For non-standard American fare, the big three Eatonville restaurants are Chopstix, Puerto Vallarta Restaurant and Bertoglio’s Pizza. Chopstix is perfect if you are searching for teriyaki, Pho and other mouthwatering dishes. Their porch is the perfect place to enjoy a sunny day.

Close to Eatonville, the Pack Forest is full of hiking opportunities to gorgeous waterfalls. Photo courtesy: The Outdoor Society.

If you’re in the mood for Mexican food, you can’t go wrong with the dishes and margaritas at Puerto Vallarta Restaurant. All of your favorite dishes can be found here, as well as mouthwatering salsa and warm tortilla chips.

Finally, if you’re craving pizza, pick up a pie at Bertoglio’s Pizza. They also have salads, wings and breadsticks, giving you incredible tasty options at a great cost.

Experience the History

Eatonville has a rich history, which can be experienced at the Pioneer Farm Museum and Ohop Village in the nearby Ohop Valley. Open from March 15 until Thanksgiving, this museum is like stepping back in time, giving you a glimpse at life in the region over a century ago. Fun for all ages, this family-friendly destination is hands on, educational and memorable.

We also suggest going to the Eatonville Visitor Center, which can give you more historical information, and direct you to the oldest building in the area – the Van Eaton Cabin. Open during the weekend days of the summer months, the Eatonville Visitor Center shares local’s favorite destinations, as well as tips on how to best experience the town and region.

Best Place to Stay

If you take a trip to Eatonville, a stay at the Mill Village will reward you with great rooms, a fantastic location and even a delicious breakfast! Photo courtesy: HC Lodging.

When planning a trip to Eatonville, a great lodging option is the Mill Village Motel. Conveniently located close to dining options and the main road to wilderness, staying at the Mill Village Motel will have you rested and out the door to explore.

When you just want to hang out at the motel, free Wi-Fi, Keurig coffeemakers and comfortable, clean rooms will help you relax. In the morning, from 7:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m., a full continental breakfast will give you the energy needed for a full day of fun. Staying here is a perfect home away from home year around and they offer deep discounted rates for non-summer season travel.

Go Out and Explore

Just a short drive from Eatonville, Northwest Trek is a fantastic family-friendly destination full of great views and wildlife. Photo credit: Sean O’Neill.

If you haven’t visited Northwest Trek, you are missing out on one of the quintessential Pacific Northwest experiences. This wild zoo full of amazing western animals is a beautiful, educational and fun destination for visitors of all ages. Wander the grounds and see animals in enclosures that mirror their natural habitats. Ride the tram and see bison, elk, moose and mountain goats. Be sure to hike the trails and ride the zipline. There is something for everyone at Northwest Trek.

UW Pack Forest and Mashell Falls is a great local destination with amazing views of one of the region’s many waterfalls. You can access many trails through these beautiful forests. The highlight for most is 120 foot Little Mashell Falls, found along the University of Washington Pack Forest Trail System. This is one of those waterfalls that’s best seen during the run-off months of spring or during the fall months. While it is great any time of year, the raging torrent of water during the snowmelt makes this waterfall a must see. At 5.3 miles in length, the hike to this waterfall passes by numerous smaller falls before culminating in this breathtaking destination. While considered family-friendly, the terrain can be a bit difficult for younger children.

Finally, no trip to Eatonville is complete without a jaunt out to Mount Rainier National Park. As America’s most-visible National Park – seen from hundreds of miles away on sunny days – getting up close and personal with this majestic volcano is an experience unlike any other. Whether you drive up to Paradise or decide to hike one of the many trails of the region, a day trip to Mount Rainier will have you falling back in love with the natural beauty of Washington State.

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