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Popularity is pretty tricky to measure. Is it based on streams? Album sales? Radio plays?

This list will change depending on what’s used to measure popularity, but based on historical popularity and enduring appeal there are several songs about the Pacific Northwest that have stood the test of time and continue to be well-regarded.

These songs are perfect to listen to while cruising in a Seattle RV Rental.

Most Popular Songs About The PNW

  • “Home” – Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros:

    This folk-pop gem released in 2009 has been a favorite among audiences for its catchy tune and feel-good lyrics. It celebrates the sense of belonging and adventure often associated with the Pacific Northwest.

  • “The Night We Met” – Lord Huron:

    Since its release in 2015, this indie-folk ballad has gained popularity, particularly after being featured in the popular TV show “13 Reasons Why.” Its emotive melody and introspective lyrics strike a chord with listeners.

  • “Rivers and Roads” – The Head and The Heart:

    This heartfelt track from 2011 has resonated with many, becoming a staple in playlists about travel and journeys. Its evocative lyrics and harmonies capture the spirit of exploration and connection with the Pacific Northwest’s nature. Warning: it’s known to evoke strong emotions.

  • “Pacific Northwest Blues” – Portugal. The Man:

    From their 2006 album “Waiter: “You Vultures!”, this indie-rock song has captured the essence of the area’s ruggedness and beauty, making it a favorite for fans of the region’s music scene.

  • “Meet Me in the Woods” – Lord Huron:

    Another hit from Lord Huron, this song from 2015 beautifully encapsulates the allure of the woods in the Pacific Northwest, making it a popular choice for nature lovers and adventurers.

  • “The Cascades” – Fleet Foxes:

    This indie-folk track from 2017 is an ode to the breathtaking Cascades mountain range, which stretches through the entire PNW. Its rich harmonies and poetic lyrics are what makes it worthy of a playlist.

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The Oldest Songs About The Pacific Northwest?

Because things like the internet weren’t around in the 19th century, figuring out the absolute oldest song about the Pacific Northwest isn’t really possible and it also depends on the criteria used to define what qualifies as a song “about” the region. Plus, the history of older songs can be murky with older tunes being passed down orally and not always recorded in a standardized manner.


One of the oldest songs that references the Pacific Northwest is “The Banks of the Sacramento” (also known as “Sacramento City”). This folk song dates back to the mid-19th century during the California Gold Rush era, which is often associated with the westward expansion and exploration that reached up and down the coast.

Some more older songs include:

  • “The Oregon Trail”:

    The Oregon Trail was a significant route used during westward expansion, which included parts of the Pacific Northwest. Songs and ballads related to this trail and the experiences of pioneers traveling through the region likely emerged during the 19th century. Specific titles may not be available, but folk songs about this historical journey are likely among the oldest songs connected to the Pacific Northwest.

  • “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”:

    Although not exclusively about the Pacific Northwest, this iconic song by Gordon Lightfoot recounts the tragic sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald in Lake Superior, which is part of the Great Lakes region in North America. The song’s themes and maritime connection resonate with stories of shipwrecks and navigations along the Pacific Northwest coast.

  • “Sweet Betsy From Pike”:

    This popular American folk song from the mid-19th century recounts the journey of a pioneer woman named Betsy and her partner Ike as they travel from Missouri to California during the Gold Rush era. Though the song primarily focuses on the California Gold Rush, it reflects the broader westward expansion that included parts of the Pacific Northwest.

  • “Klondike Gold”:

    During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Klondike Gold Rush attracted prospectors to the Yukon region in Canada, which is adjacent to the Pacific Northwest. Songs related to the Gold Rush and the allure of riches in this part of North America likely emerged during this time.

  • “Bound for the Promised Land”:

    Also known as “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand,” this Christian hymn from the early 19th century has been associated with westward migration and the idea of finding a better and promised land. As pioneers ventured towards the Pacific Northwest, this hymn’s themes of hope and a new beginning likely resonated with their aspirations.

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What artists write about the PNW?

Looking to dig through some albums? He are a few suggestions for artists and genres known for producing music inspired by the region:

  • Fleet Foxes:

    This indie folk band often draws inspiration from the Pacific Northwest’s landscapes and nature, and their recent releases might include songs about the region.

  • The Head and The Heart:

    This Seattle-based folk-pop band has a strong connection to the Pacific Northwest and often infuses their music with themes of love, wanderlust, and nature.

  • Lord Huron:

    Known for their dreamy indie-folk sound, Lord Huron’s recent songs explore themes related to the West Coast and the Pacific Northwest.

  • Portugal. The Man:

    This alternative rock band from Portland, Oregon, has been known to incorporate elements of their Pacific Northwest roots into their music.

  • Big Thief:

    An indie rock band with introspective and poetic songwriting, their music often evokes the spirit of exploration in the Pacific Northwest.

  • Sufjan Stevens:

    While not exclusively focused on the Pacific Northwest, Sufjan Stevens’ experimental folk-pop often incorporates themes related to specific states, including Oregon and Washington.

  • Death Cab for Cutie:

    As a longtime staple of the Seattle music scene, this indie rock band’s newer releases sometimes touch on themes relevant to the Pacific Northwest.

  • Iron & Wine:

    With a serene and folk-inspired sound, Iron & Wine’s music captures the tranquility and beauty of the region.

  • Damien Jurado:

    A singer-songwriter with roots in the Seattle area, his music often explores themes of identity and belonging in the Pacific Northwest.

  • The Decemberists:

    Known for their storytelling and folk-rock sound, this band’s songs draw inspiration from historical events and folklore of the Pacific Northwest.

These artists often create music that reflects the unique beauty, culture, and experiences of the Pacific Northwest. While there are too many specific song titles from these artists to name, exploring the discographies will help lead you to newer songs about the region.

Make Your Trip One To Remember

A journey around the PNW is more than a getaway from normal life; it’s a chance to get closer to nature and create lasting memories. An RV amplifies this experience, adding a layer of comfort and convenience to your adventure. So, what are you waiting for? Explore our range of RV rental services and start charting your roadtrip across the Pacific Northwest today!