There are a few spots not to miss along the way for photography and the family. Ex Nihilo Sculpture Park, along the way to Mt. Rainier National Park, is the brainchild of Washington artist Daniel Klennert. This is a must-stop spot, especially if you are an artist at heart. If you are traveling with family, they can stay busy while you have time to take some pictures.
Right past there, on the way to the park, stop here and pick up some goodies. It’s all one road, so you can’t get lost.
Mount Rainier National Park Photography – One night, we stayed at the top of the Mountain at The Paradise Inn. It was raining and getting dark. If we were to continue or turn around, it would be an hour’s drive down the winding mountain back to the nearest lodging, so we stayed, and we enjoyed it. The food was fantastic. Everything was good. The service was excellent, the presentation very friendly, and overall, we would rate it an 8 out of 10. The prices were not too insane, being in the middle of nowhere and the only source of food. The atmosphere is out of this world! If I died and went to heaven, this rustic cabin atmosphere is where I would end up. It’s like a ski lodge environment with giant fireplaces and but no skiers.
The room was excellent, but there was no TV or the internet. Boy, we were we lost. We went to the library area in this substantial rustic log cabin style country type place, and we chatted with some fellow non-tv watchers. We survived. Our only complaint was where we were; the walls were paper thin. One of the staff roared, “Isn’t it nice that I can hear every word of your conversation as if I were in your room.” The hint was not taken. We were in the smaller rooms for $117.00 with no bathroom. I have to wonder if the $ 267.00-night rooms were any better. (2015)
More Food and Hotels Inside the park:
Be careful. You sometimes have too long of a way to go before getting to the food locations. Be sure to bring snacks and water.
The National Park Inn at Longmire includes a restaurant that is usually open year round, serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. This is the only in-park dining facility that is open all year.
Adjacent to the National Park Inn, the Longmire General Store offers a limited selection of groceries and camping supplies, as well as gifts and souvenirs.
The Paradise Inn includes a restaurant and a small cafe. Like the Inn, both the restaurant and the cafe are open only from May to early October. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as Sunday brunch. The cafe offers hot drinks, grab-and-go meals, and other quick food items.
The Paradise Camp Deli, a cafeteria located in the Jackson Visitor Center at Paradise, is usually open weekends and holidays in the winter and daily from May through early October.
The Sunrise Day Lodge includes a snack bar. Sunrise Day Lodge is usually open from July through September.