If you’re tired of visiting the same tourist destinations in Seattle, it’s time to explore some beautiful places outside the city. Whether you’re looking for some adventure or want a break from your monotonous life, nothing feels better than a road trip to your favorite destination. Here are some fun ideas for day trips from Seattle:
Mount Rainier National Park
Best time to go: Summer and early fall
Distance from Seattle: 86 miles (takes 1.5 to 2 hours)
Towering above the Seattle skyline, Mount Rainier National Park is one of the best places for a day trip or even a weekend getaway. Hovering at 14,000 feet, this magnificent beauty will captivate you with its iconic landscapes and wildlife-rich natural spaces. Panorama point in Mount Rainier is a popular spot where you’ll get stunning views of meadows, forests and other mountains. You can spend your day hiking across the mountain while enjoying the enthralling views.
Things to do at Mount Rainier National Park
- Visit the Sunrise: With its endless number of hikes, you’ll never get enough of this place. Located on the eastern side of Mount Rainier, it has numerous vibrant wildflowers, boisterous mountain goats and cute marmots. There are several hiking trails at sunrise like Berkley Park, Burroughs mountain trail, Naches Peak Loop and Mount Fremont Lookout.
- Explore Paradise: Located on the southern side of Mount Rainier, Paradise has more diverse options for you to see and do. You can hike through the skyline trail to climb up the Panorama Point. There are several waterfalls at Paradise, including Myrtle Falls, Narada Falls, Christine falls and Comet falls.
Best time to go: Year-Round
Distance from Seattle: 10.3 miles (takes approximately 45 minutes)
Traveling to Bainbridge Island is one of the best day trips you can take from Seattle. Bainbridge is located across the Puget Sound from downtown Seattle, and you can take the 40-50 minute picturesque ferry ride from Downtown Seattle’s ferry terminal. The ferry ride is a delightful experience as you can see the Seattle skyline, Mount Rainier and the Olympic National Park.
You can explore the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, which showcases photographs, artifacts and information about the local history. Bainbridge’s wineries, restaurants and shops are easily accessible from the ferry terminal. You can use your car, rent a bike or even walk around to explore this beautiful place.
Things to do on Bainbridge Island
You can indulge in various activities while spending your day on Bainbridge Island, which includes the following:
- Wine tasting: Spend the day tasting wines of the Eleven Winery and Eagle Harbor Wine located on the downtown strip. You can even stroll around the broader island to taste wines from the many wineries spread across the island.
- Explore the downtown: Bainbridge Island’s downtown is full of shops, restaurants, cafes, bars and much more. Whether you’re in the mood for some delicious ice cream and snacks or want to savor some drinks, you can find everything at this cute little downtown.
- Visit the Heyday Farm: Relish the delicious meals prepared using local ingredients at the Heyday Farm. You can even purchase farm-fresh vegetables, eggs, produce and much more.
San Juan Island
Best time to go: Summers (from April to October)
Distance from Seattle: 110 miles (takes approximately 3.5 hours)
If you’re in the mood for a long day trip from Seattle, San Juan Island is the perfect place. This archipelago consists of 172 islands containing four main islands: Lopez, Orcas, San Juan and Shaw. This cluster of communities features exciting natural places and rural landscapes. Visit the fun jumping-off town, Friday Harbor, to enjoy the best whale watching views.
Things to do at San Juan Island
A day at San Juan Island will be full of fun with adventures and scenic views. Spend the afternoon exploring the local cute boutique shops and restaurants with majestic water views. If you want to experience whale watching, Lime Kiln Point State Park would be the perfect place. Another popular activity is hiking to the top of Mount Constitution in Moran State Park. If you’re looking for some adventures, you can go kayaking and enjoy the mesmerizing views of the northwest.
Olympic National Park
Best time to go: Spring through fall
Distance from Seattle: 83 miles (takes about 2.5 hours)
One of the most beautiful and serene destinations for a day trip from Seattle is the Olympic National Park. Spread across the Olympic Peninsula, this tranquil place is home to a diverse ecosystem. Its panoramic views make you gaze in awe at the varied landscapes ranging from snowcapped mountains to rainforests to coastal beaches.
Things to do at Olympic National Park
Popular destinations at the Olympic National Park include the Hoh rainforest and Hurricane Ridge. Consider camping here and enjoy the forest canopy at night till you fall asleep gazing at the stars. Turning your day trip into an overnight adventure gives you ample time to explore the nearby exciting hiking trails. You can also enroll for guided tours like the Rialto beach tour and Lake Crescent and Marymere Falls Tour.
Best time to go: Year-round
Distance from Seattle: 135 miles (takes 2 hours 10 minutes)
A unique mountain town located on the east of Cascade Crest, Leavenworth has some incredible mountain peaks surrounding its streets, perfect for a relaxing getaway. Alongside the stunning architecture and authentic landscapes, the town hosts numerous Bavarian festivals like a Kinderfest in July and Maifest in May. It also has unparalleled access to outdoor recreation, restaurant, food and shops.
Things to do in Leavenworth Island
Leavenworth Island’s ideal location near the Cascade Peaks made it a prominent adventure destination. Here’s what you can do on Leavenworth Island:
- Hike the Colchuck Lake to see the dazzling turquoise lake after the climb.
- Head over to the Icicle Ridge and enjoy its tranquil views while hiking.
- Float your way down in the Icicle River and enjoy your snacks and drinks en route.
- Enjoy the adrenaline rush while rafting and camping in the Wenatchee River.
- Take part in the Bavarian festivities and taste the authentic Leavenworth’s culinary delicacies.
- Immerse yourself in the splendid views of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest spread across a four-million-acre area surrounding Leavenworth.
- Feel the rush while skiing at Stevens Park, situated 35 miles from Leavenworth.
Visiting these places for a fun day trip can be a great way to spend time with your friends and family. Irrespective of the destination, caring for your tires and maintaining them lets you enjoy an uninterrupted road trip. For maximum safety and comfort, subscribe to the Treads app and get timely updates about your tire maintenance.