Road Trips From Seattle

Beaches & Islands Road Trips

Road Trips From Seattle | Seattle Road Trips

The best part about Seattle is that one can find an entire world of towns and topographies to explore, from mountains to forest, and even islands, all located just a few hours away from the city! One (Read More) can plan a day trip to these places, or spend the weekend away from the hustle and bustle of the city. So whether it is a road trip from Seattle with your buddies or with your family, we have curated a list of all the places, that deserve to be explored. It is not just the final destination which is worth a visit, but the entire road trip journey to all these places make for a fun weekend getaway from Seattle. Read on to know about the best road trips from Seattle!

Here is the list of 12 Road Trips From Seattle

1. Diablo Lake, WA

Diablo Lake, WA

Diablo lake, a popular destination among water lovers, is one of North Cascades’ finest gems. Located just a short drive away from Seattle is this absolutely gorgeous turquoise coloured lake, with breathtaking views of the pickets and surrounding cascades. The unique colour of this lake is due to the sun’s reflection on the dust suspended in the water.

The Diablo Lake Trail is great for all the adventure freaks. Throughout the 7 miles trail, one will get to experience the mesmerising views of cascading waterfalls, Jack Mountain, Davis Peak, as well as Ross Lake. This lake makes for a great one day road trip, but if one wishes for a peaceful retreat, this lake makes for a great weekend getaway.

Distance from Seattle: 124 miles

Driving time: 2.25 hours

Pro tip: The Diablo Lake trail is a good option for early season hike as most of the areas in North Cascades National Park remain inaccessible during the winter months. For overnight stay, one must make sure to reserve a campsite online.

2. Lake Chelan

Lake Chelan

Located just 180 kms from Seattle, Chelan is a land of sunshine, apples and wine. One unique feature of this town is that it enjoys 300 days of sunshine in a year and anywhere you look, you will be able to spot mountains, glistening waters of the lake and vineyards.

However, Chelan is famous not just for its beauty , but for being a multi-faceted weekend getaway spot with various exciting recreational activities. At the lake, one can try out some sports like paddle boating, kayaking, parasailing etc or even go fishing in the lake. One can also visit the Remote Town of Stehekin on the Lady of the Lake Tour and then definitely go wine tasting in the land of wines.

Distance from Seattle: 180 kms

Driving time: 3 hours

Hikes: Chelan Butte (7.5 miles), Pot peak and devil’s backbone ( 13 miles), Echo Ridge ( 15 miles) , stormy mountain ( 13 miles)

Word of advice: stay away from the lake chelan dragon, a mighty beast, rumoured to be related to the Loch Ness Monster, is said to haunt the lake of Chelan.

3. Leavenworth, WA

Leavenworth, WA

Leavenworth is a popular weekend spot, located just 117 miles away from Seattle. This beautiful Bavarian inspired village sits amidst the cascading mountains and has its very own german breweries, local pretzel shops and a traditional Bavarian Lodge. With plenty of adventurous trails nearby, one also has the opportunity to go hiking, backcountry alpine skiing and even whitewater rafting.

Every season at Leavenworth is worth visiting but Holiday season is typically the best time to visit this beautiful village as Christmas in Leavenworth is known for its magical lightings and various ceremonies.

Distance from Seattle: 117 miles

Driving time: 2 hour 20 minutes

Where to stay: Bavarian Lodge, Sleeping Lady Resort, Enzian Inn

Events to look forward to:
1. Oktoberfest ( October) : This fest takes place every autumn and has an array of activities lined up, starting from live music, traditional food, beer trucks and much more.
2. Christkindlmarkt (November) : This is an annual Bavarian style market festival which features Christmas themed entertainment with authentic Bavarian foods, including freshly brewed beers, handmade arts & crafts etc.
3. Christmas Lighting Festival (December) : The entire village gets decked up in magical lights.

Best things to do in Leavenworth : Hiking, Skiing at Stevens Pass Resort, Mountain Biking, sledding, attend farmer’s market every thursday ( june to october ) , soak up at scenic hot springs

4. Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park

Also known as Olympic National Park, this Park is all about waterfalls, rainforests, snow capped mountains and beaches. With 70 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline, and over nearly a million acres, this park earned a natural UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve designations. This is a great place to spend a weekend doing all kinds of activities like hiking, river rafting, bird watching, trekking and a lot more.

Distance from Seattle: 110 miles

Driving time: 2 hours 6 minutes

Must see attractions: Olympic Beach, Lake Crescent, Hurricane ridge, Hoh rain forest etc

Pro tip: Camping at night is one of the most maginal experiences in Olympic Nation Park

5. Long Beach

Long Beach

Long beach is much more than just its 28 mile sandy shorelines. It is famous for its boardwalk and colourful skyline which is adorned with vibrant kites during festivals. At the two ends of the shoreline, there are two recreational activity areas namely Leadbetter Point State Park and Cape Disappointment State Park and freshwater deltas as well.

For hiking enthusiasts, the Discovery Trail is definitely a must visit. At Long Beach, one can also have lip- smacking seafood and drinks. There is a lot to do for kids like spotting diverse marine animals and more than 100 different species of birds that Long Beach houses, visiting the Cranberry Museum, the kite museum and then visiting the famous candy store called Candy Man.

Distance from Seattle: 171 miles

Driving time: 3 hours 15 minutes

Festivals to look out for: Wild Mushroom Celebration (October 1-November 15), Crab pot Christmas ( first saturday of December), Cranberrian Fair (second weekend of October), Restaurant Month (January), Columbia-Pacific Fiber Festival (November)

6. Mount Baker

Mount Baker

Mount Baker makes for a great road trip from Seattle, with breathtaking views till the final destination. Although not a great spot for a weekend getaway but is a great location for a day trip. It is important to note that Mount Baker is not easily accessible, which is what makes it a great escape for the city life.

There are quite a few forest roads, which lead to Mount Baker. There are more than 150 miles of snowmobile trails, numerous exciting trails and multiple skiing slopes. Breathtaking views of the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, Nooksack River Valley, and the North Cascade Mountain Range peaks can be enjoyed from here, during summer and winter seasons. Camping is an option here, but it is highly recommended for a day trip.

Distance from Seattle: 110 miles

Driving time: 2 hours

Recommended hikes: picture lake ( 0.5 miles), artist ridge ( 1 mile), heliotrope ridge (5.5 miles), skyline divide ( 9 miles)

Things to keep in mind: There are no gas stations on the way so be prepared with a full tank of gas. If you have a pet, make sure the respective trail permits pets as there are quite a few trails where pets are not allowed.

7. Portland

Portland

The two sibling cities of Pacific Northwest namely Portland and Seattle, make a great pair for a mini vacation. There are a lot of paths travellers can take to reach Portland from Seattle, but the most scenic route is along the coastline, via the various small towns located along the shore. Once you reach Portland, there is a lot to do.

Portland Downtown has a lot of famous breweries and hangout spots, if you are interested in relaxing during your weekend trip. For the ones interested in some fun activities, there are numerous hikes, a 12- acre Japanese garden, Washington Park, Lan Su Garden and a lot more. For kids, there is a hands- on science museum ( Oregon Museum of Science and Industry), which has a planetarium too!

Distance from Seattle: 174 miles

Driving time: 2 hours 45 minutes

Stops along the way: Lan Su Chinese Garden, Bachelor Island, Lewis and Clark State Park, The Olympic Flight Museum

8. Methow Valley

Methow Valley

Methow Valley is a hotspot for all things outdoorsy. From rock climbing to hiking, from biking to trail running, there’s always a space for everything in this valley. The entire journey from Seattle to Methow Valley is a scenic one with spectacular views.

Summers in this town are especially crowded and one can choose to Hike to Harts Pass, climb the washington pass, mountain bike on the Methow Trails and a lot more. For night stay, one can choose among the many campgrounds and inns.

Distance from Seattle: 190 miles

Driving time: 3 hours 30 minutes

9. Wenatchee

Wenatchee

Known as the Apple Capital of the World due to its apple production, Wenatchee is located just 3 hours east of Seattle. A perfect weekend getaway all round the year, this spot has too many famous restaurants which offer lip smacking delicacies. Given its location, amidst the wilderness, there is ofcourse a lot of hiking trails in Wenatchee. You can walk along the Apple Capital Loop Trail or the Ohme Gardens for a leisure walk or run.

Wenatchee is also famous for wine tasting, so one should definitely visit one of the many wine tasting rooms.

Distance from Seattle: 180 miles one way

Driving time: 3 hours 30 minutes

Recommended wineries: Horan Estate Wineries and Creyelle cellars

10. Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens

Mount St. Helens is all about breathtaking views, intense trails and learning centres as everything else burned down when the mountain erupted back in 1980. Even today, the mountain is active but is home to lush greenery and beautiful waterfalls. Fun activities include helicopter tours of the volcano, exploring ape caves,elk view, fishing and horse riding at eco park.

Distance from Seattle: 148 miles

Driving time: 2 hours 30 minutes

Must Visit: Mount St. Helens Visitor Center at Silver Lake, Hoffstadt Bluffs Visitor Center, Charles W. Bingham Forest Learning Center, Johnston Ridge Observatory

11. Bellingham

Bellingham

Bellingham is probably the most underrated city in Washington but one weekend trip to this city is bound to change anyone’s perspective. Other than the gorgeous views from Boulevard Park, there is the Whatcom falls park, a 240 acre park with four waterfalls and various activities for kids. For the outdoorsy, there are various trails, all leading to mesmerizing view points. The ones interested in science can visit the Spark Museum of electrical invention to have a glimpse of some of the biggest inventions till date.

Distance from Seattle: 90 miles

Driving time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Must Visit: Whatcom falls park, Sparks museum, Mt Baker theatre, Bellingham Farmers market, Boulevard Park,

12. St Juan Island

St Juan Island

For all those who are in search of a calm and relaxing weekend getaway destination, St Juan Island should definitely be on your list. A small but charming town, with friendly shops and restaurants where one can relish tasty homemade delicacies. On the harbour one can enjoy the coming and going oh water boats and ferries or enjoy some water spots like Kayaking.

Another must try activity here is Springtide paddlesports. For all the explored out there, Mount Young trail is definitely worth exploring. All throughout this trail, one gets to enjoy spectacular panoramic views of the Olympic Peninsula, Henry Island, Pearl Island and Garrison Bay.

Distance from Seattle: 90 miles

Driving time: 2 hours

Must try activities: Zip lining in the trees with zip line San Juan, Springtide paddlesport, explore San Juan County Park, Go on a sunset trail

All you need for a fun road trip is some good music and a great destination. This list of road trips from Seattle covers every place near Seattle which is worth discovering. So now with this list in hand, you are sorted for your next mini- vacation!

This post was published by Asmita Sarkar

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