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The beautiful Chuckanut Manor has some of the best views in Washington. (Photo Courtesy: Chuckanut Manor Facebook page)

5 stops to make on Washington's beautiful Chuckanut Drive

If you're headed north to Vancouver, you should venture off I-5 to Chuckanut Drive, a scenic 20-mile roadway that hugs the cliffs of Chuckanut Mountain above Puget Sound. To get there, you'll take a turn at Burlington, where I-5 continues north toward Bellingham. Chuckanut Drive will veer hard to the northwest and there are signs marking the turnoff. You'll still end up in Bellingham, but you'll see some of Washington's great beauty along the way.And while Chuckanut Drive is a great distraction on the drive to Vancouver, it's also a great vacation spot in and of itself. Here are five stops on Chuckanut Drive that could make it your final weekend destination.

Rhodedendron Café. This quaint restaurant and art gallery is a great spot for any meal, but I love it best for brunch. The menu is constantly changing and they use lots of fresh fruits and vegetables grown in the garden out back or from local farmers. Try the Biscuits and Gravy made with buttermilk biscuits and Hempler's Chorizo Sausage Gravy or the Rhody Eggs Benedict with a house made English muffin, two local eggs, Hollandaise, Skagit potatoes and local Hempler's natural ham.

5521 Chuckanut Dr
Bow, WA 98232

The Oyster Bar. If you're looking for an incredible view and a tasty lunch, stop by The Oyster Bar. This place used to be a shack where oysters were sold to passing drivers, but it's now a pristine fine dining restaurant. Every table in the restaurant has a great view of the water and there's an extensive wine list.

Try the Baked Oysters: four Samish Bay oysters baked with pancetta, heirloom tomatoes, chives, creamed spinach and herbed bread crumbs. Another favorite is the decadent Cascadia Mushroom Tartlet made with sautéed local mushrooms, leeks, roasted garlic, whipped goat cheese and basil oil all wrapped in a savory herb crust.

2578 Chuckanut Drive
Bow, WA 98232

Chuckanut Manor. Chuckanut Manor has some of the best views of any restaurant in Washington. This beautiful spot makes for a great romantic dinner and definitely makes you feel like you're far from Seattle. This restaurant has been around for more than 50 years and is located on the site of the original Chuckanut Shell Restaurant.

Try the Whiskey Crab Soup, an assortment of fresh oysters and the Seafood Sauté Pasta made with clams, mussels, prawn, sea scallop, fish, bell pepper, onion, tomato saffron broth and linguine.

3056 Chuckanut Dr
Bow, WA 98232

Taylor Shellfish Samish Farm Store. If you love visiting Taylor Shellfish Farms restaurants in Seattle, you'll love seeing where some of the tasty oysters come from. Taylor grows oysters on about 1,700 acres of Samish Bay Tideland and have been doing so for about 100 years. The retail shop at this location sells clams, mussels, geoducks, oysters, halibut, salmon, Dungeness crab, scallops, prawns and more. They also have a picnic area if you'd like to quickly grill up some of your fresh seafood.

2182 Chuckanut Drive
Bow, WA 98232

Clayton Beach parking lot. Okay, a parking lot doesn't sound that exciting, but this parking lot is the gateway to a lot of natural beauty! It's the access point to the southern part of Larrabee State Park, which became Washington's first state park in 1915. Larrabee Park is 2,700 acres with saltwater shorelines, two lakes, a campground, and dozens of miles of hiking trails.