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Irresistible Day Trips From Seattle, Washington - Updated 2020

day trips in seattle
Catherine
Catherine
Updated

Seattle is a lively seaport town set along the tranquil waters of Puget Sound. Boasting a distinctive skyline enhanced by the futuristic-looking Space Needle, Seattle is the biggest city in the state of Washington and is surrounded by plenty of beautiful scenery. In fact, if you look beyond Seattle’s city limits, you’ll find a range of small towns and state parks that are as alluring as Seattle. The Pacific Northwest region is brimming with lots of breathtaking scenes such as the majestic Mt. Rainier and the striking Olympic Mountains, so if you want to roam past Seattle’s city limits then you have to check out this great list of day trips from Seattle, Washington, that are sure to add to your adventure.

1. Olympic National Forest


If a variety of natural landscapes is your idea of outdoor bliss then a trip to the Olympic National Forest is the go-to place. A fine combination of Mother Nature’s riches, Olympic National Forest showcases everything from rain forests and beaches to canyons and mountains. This is a wondrous wilderness park and it is surely a nirvana for outdoor adventurers. Enjoy hiking, climbing, camping, fishing, boating, and so much more.

Olympic National Forest

Address: 47.4644° N, 123.4784° W

Website: Olympic National Forest

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: 30 USD (per vehicle)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Seattle, Washington, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Seattle, Washington, US

2. San Juan Island


Rural beauty and lively wildlife are all around on San Juan Island. This destination is part of a group of islands just off Washington’s northern-most shoreline. San Juan Island’s big draw for daytrippers is the charming and energetic seaside town of Friday Harbor filled with fine dining, quaint shops, and many extracurricular activities. The true highlight, however, is Lime Kiln Point State Park where visitors can thrill at the sight of orca whales from a fabulous lookout!

San Juan Island

Address: 48° 38’ 12.0084’’ N and 122° 54’ 59.7996’’ W

Website: San Juan Island

Opening hours: dawn - 11pm

Price: 12 - 14 USD (ferry)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Seattle, Washington, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Seattle, Washington, US

3. Darrington


Situated in a picturesque mountain valley and tucked away within the beautiful North Cascades region is Darrington. Possessing a wonderful small-town mountain retreat atmosphere, Darrington offers a great space to explore the Pacific Northwest’s far-reaching outdoors. Looming over this destination is the majestic Whitehorse Mountain that provides hikers, climbers, and backcountry wanderers an excellent place to play. Darrington is only 75 miles (120.7 kilometers) northeast of Seattle.

Darrington

Address: 48.2554° N, 121.6015° W

Website: Darrington

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Seattle, Washington, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Seattle, Washington, US

4. Fairhaven


If you’re a shopaholic you’ll love a day trip to the small settlement of Fairhaven. Founded in the 1880s, Fairhaven offers a chill vibe by the water. Eye-catching tree-lined streets filled with a wide array of charming boutiques and stores are what you’ll find in this historic district. From hip bookstores to fanciful pottery shops, you’re sure to leave here with shopping bags stuffed with many items to enhance your home and your wardrobe.

Fairhaven

Address: 48.7184° N, 122.5070° W

Website: Fairhaven

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Seattle, Washington, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Seattle, Washington, US

5. Bellingham


Residing near the Canadian border, Bellingham is a coastal city affording marvelous mountain and water views that include the North Cascades and the San Juan Islands. Only 90 miles (144.8 kilometers) north of Seattle, Bellingham consistently rates highly as one of the best places in the USA to live and it offers a thriving art and entertainment environment. In fact, don’t miss one of the top outdoor sculpture collections in the United States, on the campus of Western Washington University.

Bellingham

Address: 48.7519° N, 122.4787° W

Website: Bellingham

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Seattle, Washington, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Seattle, Washington, US

6. Blake Island Marine State Park


Located 15 miles (24 kilometers) from Seattle and nestled in the shadow of Mt. Rainier is the outstanding Blake Island Marine State Park. A camping park only reachable by tour or private boat, this state park is a real natural gem with a lovely saltwater beach shoreline that affords gorgeous sights of the Olympic Mountains and the Seattle skyline! Along with the inviting wilderness vibe, the part offers a glimpse into Native American culture with dining and dancing activities.

Blake Island Marine State Park

Address: 47.5384° N, 122.4929° W

Website: Blake Island Marine State Park

Opening hours: 8am - dusk (daily)

Price: 10 USD (per vehicle)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Seattle, Washington, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Seattle, Washington, US

7. Birch Bay


Birch Bay is a beachfront community popular with tourists since the early part of the 20th century. Take a day trip to Birch Bay and you can anticipate thrills at a waterslide park, relaxation on a stretch of beach, picnicking at a first-rate state park or dining at a delectable restaurant, swinging a club at a renowned golf course, and more. Make sure to stop by Birch Bay State Park during low tide and enjoy digging for clams and shellfish on the mud flat.

Birch Bay

Address: 48.9179° N, 122.7446° W

Website: Birch Bay

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Seattle, Washington, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Seattle, Washington, US

8. Skagit Valley (from USD 135)

If you desire a one-of-a-kind day trip, consider taking the fantastic Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Day Trip from Seattle. Occurring in April, this tour affords participants the opportunity to explore colorful tulip fields and take endless delightful snapshots. You can also engage with the friendly tulip growers and learn about their proven techniques. This tour includes leisure time in the town of La Connor where participants can browse fun shops, visit interesting museums or take a scenic nature stroll. This tour is the ideal way to spend an April afternoon.

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Day Trip from Seattle

Duration: 8 hours

2 reviews

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Seattle, Washington, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Seattle, Washington, US

9. Flaming Geyser State Park


Whether you choose adrenaline-fueled whitewater rafting or a leisurely pace of a picnic while watching remote-control model-airplanes flying overhead, Flaming Geyser State Park is a wonderful place to spend the day. Situated on the Green River, this park is a 480-acre (194.2-hectare) park with more than 3 miles (4.82 kilometers) of freshwater shoreline. Of course, the park’s unique feature is the “geysers” or methane seeps that draw many to the area. However, be aware that the flame no longer burns because of methane-source depletion.

Flaming Geyser State Park

Address: 23700 SE Flaming Geyser Rd, Auburn, WA 98092

Website: Flaming Geyser State Park

Opening hours: 8am - dusk

Price: 10 USD (per car)

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Seattle, Washington, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Seattle, Washington, US

10. Portland


Just a three-hour drive south of Seattle is Portland, Oregon. Portland is a beautiful eco-friendly city with snow-capped Mount Hood as a backdrop. Visitors to Portland can enjoy the great outdoors with the city offering a myriad of green parks like the iconic Washington Park and a network of scenic bike paths throughout the city. There are also many attractive bridges to admire and don’t forget to check out Portland’s oldest neighborhood, Old Town Chinatown. For indoor treats, Portland is known for its variety of energetic coffeehouses and microbreweries.

Portland

Address: 45.5155° N, 122.6793° W

Website: Portland

Opening hours: 24 hours (daily)

Price: Free

See our full list of recommended Hotels in Seattle, Washington, US and also compare the prices with Vacation Rentals in Seattle, Washington, US

Seattle's fabulous day trips

From green parks to towering peaks and from small coastal towns to bustling big cities, the landscape beyond Seattle is worth exploring. And with this incredible list of wonderful day trips, your time in the dazzling Pacific Northwest is certain to be filled with unforgettable adventures.

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As a child, Catherine's family took a trip to the World's Fair New Orleans and her mom asked what she wanted to see. She exclaimed, "Everything!" She's been working on that endeavor ever since.

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