It’s always nice when my parents come to town for a visit. We recently took a road trip from Seattle to northern Idaho, and it was fun to reminisce on the old pit stops and routes we used to take on family vacations.
But with my parents now in the back seat, the I-90 trip required two essentials: coffee and patience.
Teens, you may have some
quarrels with mom and dad in your first years of driving, and I’m here to tell you that 15 years later, they’ll still be backseat drivers. They’ll monitor your speedometer over your shoulder. They’ll question your gas status at every exit. They’ll give you unclear directions like,
You can take this exit if you want to – that one was crystal clear, Dad.
But, what’s a family road trip without debating where to eat and at which rest areas to stop? That’s part of the entertainment on those long stretches of highway – along with sing-along karaoke battles and trivia apps.
From one side of the state to the other, here are the five pre-approved spots we all agreed were worth the delay to stop for a sip and stretch.
Top Pot Doughnuts (Seattle and Eastside locations): Our trip usually starts off early, so I have no shame in calling a box of donuts breakfast (or, lunch). Plus, the staff at my favorite location are always so cheery it makes it easy to start the drive off in a good mood.
D & M Coffee Company (1711 Canyon Road, Ellensburg, WA): After the winding roads on the pass, someone in the car is usually begging for a pit stop. The Canyon Road D & M location has drive-thru access off of I-90, and it’s close to several gas stations.
Michael’s Market & Bistro (221 W Broadway, Moses Lake, WA): When we pass through Moses Lake, it’s typically approaching lunchtime. A quick search on customer reviews led us to this coffee/lunch/market spot about 3 miles off of I-90. There are grab-and-go options, or you can sit down and order from a full lunch menu. Thanks to the adjoining market, we also walked out with a bag of kitchen gadgets that we’ll probably never use more than once.
Starbucks (103 W Galbreath Way, Ritzville): Yep, trusty Starbucks is on the list. About halfway between Moses Lake and Spokane, you’ll find a conveniently located Starbucks right off of the exit across from a Chevron. Alternatively, you could skip the Ritzville exit and grab a cup of regular coffee on either side of Ritzville at the
Schrag or Sprague Lake rest areas if you need a break.
Downtown Spokane (W 1st Ave to W Main St.): Now that the driving is done, give the car a rest and have your coffee in a porcelain mug. Great eateries are sprinkled all around Spokane, like Santé (contemporary European cuisine), Mizuna (farm-to-table fare), and Casper Fry (modern Southern). If Spokane is your starting point for a return trip, fuel up with a brunch or lunch downtown. Read more about Spokane’s new foodie destination status
When you can’t convince your caravan of passengers to go with the 4-hour Seattle-to-Spokane driving agenda, hopefully one or more of these pit stops will bring you a boost of energy to get you to your destination.
Stay caffeinated. Stretch often. Simply relax – it’s called a vacation for a reason.
Where are your favorite places to stop on the I-90 stretch?