Ashford, Washington, is one of the lucky towns of America. This small town with just a few hundred residents rests in the shadow of Washington’s most iconic mountain. Set along the National Park Highway, this mountain village is full of character, adventure and memorable experiences, making it the perfect place to retreat or explore. This rustic community is the last town before entering Mount Rainier’s breathtaking wilderness, something the town takes pride in. Celebrating tourism, the outdoors and its own history, Ashford is one of the gems of the Evergreen State. While not large in size, Ashford is big in personality and perfect for a post-Rainier visit or a jumping off point for adventure. Whether you stay in Ashford for a week or a long weekend, you’ll want to explore every inch of this mountain town.

Experience Whittaker’s Basecamp Complex

History meets the modern era in the small town of Ashford, Washington. Photo credit: Nathan Gibbs.

Styled more like a destination in the Alps, a stop by the multi-building complex at Whittaker provides visitors with hospitality, local history and a good dose of local charm. Year round, you can stop here for coffee, a tasty meal from the bar and grill, information from the visitor center or even to pick up a much needed piece of gear for your hike. During the summer months, you’ll find longer hours and more options. Whittaker’s is a must-see destination in Ashford and is the perfect stop before or after your trip to Mount Rainier National Park.

Explore Wander Suver’s General Store

The Rainier Basecamp Complex is full of great food, incredible gear and family fun. Photo credit: Nathan Gibbs.

Suver’s General Store is one of the oldest buildings in Ashford and still holds on to its rustic charm today. Built in 1905, the store is still run in a similar way as it was back in the early days. Carrying an eclectic mix of everything, a stop here will let you find the supplies you need for your trip, including firewood, food, beer and even movie rentals. Open daily, stopping here is a fun time, no matter the season. Chances are, if you are in need of something for your stay in Ashford, you’ll find it here, along with happy, helpful, smiling faces.

Frolic at Ashford County Park and Amphitheater

Only open from dawn to dusk in the months of April until October, Ashford County Park is a great place to stretch your legs and enjoy the fresh air of Ashford. It has a 1.2 mile walking path which is great for kids, as well as a children’s play area and restrooms. The park also has a seasonally operated amphitheater, designed to host concerts, festivals and even outdoor movies.

Let Your Taste Buds Travel at Wildberry Restaurant

At the Copper Creek, you’ll find delicious foods, including one of the best pies in the Pacific Northwest. Photo courtesy: The Outdoor Society.

Closed in the winter months, the return of warm weather to Ashford also means the reopening of one of the more quintessential dining experiences in town. Open in the spring through fall, Wildberry serves everything from traditional America burgers to flavorful and unique dishes from Nepal. Owned and operated by an incredible climber and his wife, an amazing chef, the delicious dishes and friendly people at Wildberry make this a can’t miss stop.

Take a Stroll around the Recycled Spirits of Iron Sculpture Park

Chances are, you have driven by the Recycled Spirits of Iron Sculpture Park numerous times as you head through Ashford on your way to Mount Rainier, but have you stopped there? If not, you are missing out on a unique and fun attraction. Showcasing incredible skill in design, the iron sculpture park is full of wonder and imagination. Using scrap metal and pieces of wood, the talent shown by Dan Klennert at his park is amazing and worth the stop in any season.

Pick Up Snacks and Gifts at the Copper Creek Restaurant

Staying at the Nisqually Lodge is the perfect way to fully experience the wonderful sights, sounds and tastes of Ashford. Photo courtesy: The Outdoor Society.

If you are hoping to find one of the best slices of pie in the State of Washington, you must stop in to Ashford’s Copper Creek complex. Serving what most consider to be one of the best blackberry pies, this restaurant and gift shop will become a traditional stop each time you pass by. Open year round, with varying hours depending on the season, you’ll always find what you are craving here.

Stay at Nisqually Lodge

If you’re looking for a great place to stay in Ashford, you must check out the Nisqually Lodge. This great hotel has fantastic amenities, including free Wi-Fi, microwaves and refrigerators and even Keurig coffeemakers. This property is newly remodeled and you’ll even receive a huge continental breakfast and nightcaps from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Open year round, the quiet and scenic Nisqually Lodge is the perfect place for adventures, a good night’s sleep and access to the awesome destinations in Ashford.

There is something incredible about small towns near the entrances to national parks and Ashford is no exception. In Ashford, quirky shops sit next to eclectic restaurants and the splendor of nature is celebrated. Year round, Ashford dazzles with a slower paced lifestyle and memorable destinations. Next time you are looking for a getaway, be sure to visit the rustic town Ashford. It will leave you and your family with lifelong memories that can be revisited year after year.


Print Friendly, PDF & Email