9 Unique And Stunning Day Trips From Seattle

Take a break from the hectic city and immerse yourself is some of the Northwest’s most cherished destinations. These stunning day trips from Seattle are a must.

Seattle Day Trips

There’s plenty of great things to do in Seattle Washington but sometimes you just need a break from the big city. Check out these fun Seattle day trips that should not be missed while visiting Seattle.

1. Mount Rainier National Park

seattle day trips

No trip to Seattle would be complete without a visit to Mount Rainier.  This stunning mountain can be seen from all over Seattle but the real magic happens when you get up close and personal.

Standing a mighty 14,410 ft above sea level, this active volcano will leave you pondering life itself.  It’s a powerful and humbling experience to stand amongst this giant.

The park offers endless amounts of hiking from leisurely to more strenuous epics.  After taking in the fresh air be sure to check out Paradise Lodge.

Directions: 

The park has 5 different entrances and during the winter several are closed.

From Seattle, the Nisqually entrance is your best bet, 39000 WA-706, Ashford, WA 98304

2. Snoqualmie Falls

seattle day trips

At over 270 ft high the sound alone will leave a mark in your memory.  The falls are absolutely stunning and perhaps one of the best in America.

The lush forest in the background completes this picturesque scene.  Located only 40 minutes from Seattle making this an ideal Seattle day trip.

The falls can be viewed from one of the viewing decks of the Salish Lodge.  This simple yet elegant lodge serves up terrific food and will add a touch of luxury to your day trip from Seattle.

Directions:

Located about 40 minutes from Seattle on I-90, 6501 Railroad Ave, Snoqualmie, WA 98065

3. Leavenworth

seattle day trips

The once struggling logging town tucked away in the Cascade Mountains has made quite a name for itself.  This insanely popular and fun Bavarian town will leave you wondering if you’re still in the states.

Sitting amongst some of the best country in Washington there is no shortage of outdoor activities.

The window shopping scene here is stellar to say the least.  With all sorts of unique shops, restaurants, and German pubs, you can easily kill a day or two here. 

Directions:

At just over 2 hours from Seattle Leavenworth might best be enjoyed as an overnight.  Directions here.

Accommodations can be found here

4. Whidbey Island

seattle day trips

Having spent a lot of time on Whidbey Island I’ve really grown to like it.  While it has seen its fair share of development over the years, I actually think it’s improved the island.

The once quiet island is now filled with wineries, terrific restaurants, and just the right amount of tourism. Compared to the San Juans which I find a little too touristy, Whidbey is just right.

The island is divided into several distinct seaside towns that all have their own character and charm.  Throughout the island you’ll find several well known wineries with ample opportunities to stop for a taste.  There are numerous places to take in both a long or short hike in addition to the miles of beach to stroll.  Don’t miss Fort Casey and its decommissioned bunkers and large cannons that once protected the Puget Sound.

Whidbey Island is unique in that on one end is a ferry terminal while the other end has the famous Deception Pass bridge.  This makes for a great round trip with Deception Pass landing you back on mainland.  

Directions:

To get there head to the Mukilteo ferry terminal about 30 minutes north of Seattle.  The ferry is a quick 25-minute ride.

5. Boeing Factory Tour

seattle day trips

The world’s largest aerospace company Boeing has a ‘super size‘ factory tour.  The building alone that can house an assembly line of the world’s largest airplanes is quite a site.

But once inside you’ll be ah struck at this massive assembly line that churns out airplanes.  You’ll learn about the history of air travel and how on earth such a massive undertaking happens.

It does sell out so buy your tickets in advance.  The tour typically lasts about 2 hours and finishes at the Future Of Flight Aviation Center.

Directions:

The Boeing Everett Facility is just North of Seattle less than 30-miles.

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6. Bainbridge Island

seattle day trips

Bainbridge Island located due West of downtown Seattle is an ideal day trip.  Just down from the Pike’s Place Market on Pier 52 you can hop on for a quick ferry ride to Bainbridge Island.  Don’t bother taking a car as you can easily explore the island on foot using its new transit system BiRide.

The 30-minute ferry ride will go quickly as you take in some of the best views of downtown Seattle across Elliot Bay with Mount Rainier in the background.

If the weather is right take a short walk from the ferry terminal to Back of Beyond where you can rent kayaks, canoes, or paddle boards.  If staying on solid ground is more your thing pick up a bike rental at Bike Barn Rentals.

Head to Café Nola for a taste of some great European Cuisine or Harbour Public House for some amazing fish and chips.

From there head to the Bloedel Reserve, a 150 acres wildlife sanctuary with Japanese Garden, rhododendron glen and the popular frog rock.

The South Loop of Bi-Ride brings you past Coppertop, a distillery, brewery, winery and café that is definitely worth a visit.  

Continuing on you’ll see Fort Ward Park and the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial.

I just scratched the surface of what you can do on Bainbridge Island.  Don’t miss this easy Seattle day trip.

Directions:

To catch the ferry head to Pier 52 smack dab in the middle of Seattle’s iconic waterfront. Don’t bother taking a car as the ferry can get really busy and you won’t need it once on the island. 

7. Port Townsend 

seattle day trips

Having made my list of Favorite Small Towns Of The West, Port Townsend is a worthy day trip from Seattle.  

This Victorian Paradise perched along the Strait of Juan De Fuca is a dreamy coastal town.  Don’t miss the massive Fort Warden State Park and its decommissioned military fortress.

In town, you’ll have plenty of shopping and an assortment of great restaurants for a bite to eat.  At the end of town the Marine Science Center and Wooden Boat Center will get you acquainted with the sea life of Port Townsend.

Directions:

Port Townsend is about a 2-hour drive from Seattle depending on ferry schedules.  There are several ways of getting there with a couple of different ferry options to get you across.

My choice would be to take the Bainbridge Island ferry and then drive through the island to the peninsula.  You can also drive north from Seattle to the Kingston ferry and get across that way as well.

8. Tillicum Village Salmon Dinner

seattle day trips

Blake Island was the birthplace of Chief Sealth in 1786, for whom Seattle was named. Today the island offers a unique opportunity filled with coastal Native American history and some terrific food.

The island which is reached by a short cruise from Pier 55 in downtown Seattle, is home to Tillicum Village.  Here you can watch traditional Native American dance, live wood carving, and learn about the rich local history.

While enjoying the show your Salmon dinner is being prepared over a traditional open-pit cedar fire.  Argosy Cruises offers daily Tillicum Village trips.

 

Directions:

Blake Island is located west of downtown Seattle via a short ferry ride.  Argosy Cruises offers daily trips from Pier 55 in downtown Seattle.

The island can also be reached by private boat or sea kayak.

 

9. LaConner Washington

seattle day trips

Consistently voted one of Washington’s best weekend getaways is Laconner Washington, located about an hour north of Seattle.

This charming waterfront town has a seasonal variety of things to do – like attending the Arts Alive! event in November, or holiday boat parade and Classic Boat and Car Show in August, or the famous La Conner Daffodil Festival and Skagit Valley Tulip Festival in spring.

In addition to its numerous festivals, you’ve got a great town that is full of shopping, outstanding restaurants, bars, culture, and art to keep you happily entertained for just the day or better yet a weekend.

Directions:

 

LaConner is just over an hour north of Seattle and can be easily reached via I-5. 

Don\'t miss these great day trips from Seattle. Immerse yourself in all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer. How about a Salmon dinner cooked over an open fire? Or stand atop one of the grandest waterfalls in America. How about a ferry ride to one of Seattle\'s many great islands. These unique and fun Seattle day trips are not to be missed.