Seattle is such a fun city to explore, with diverse attractions and interesting geography. From the Pike Place Market to check out the city’s distinct music scene, a visit to Seattle is bound to be worthwhile. However, the city is also a perfect base to see nearby islands, more of the Washington state, and even visit Canada. It’s also a good starting point for a road trip to the West Coast side of the country.
So here are our best exciting day trips from Seattle, Washington.
8 Best Day Trips From Seattle, Washington
1. Bainbridge Island
If you are in the lively capital of the Washington state and want a quick break from the city hustle, try Bainbridge Island.
It is one of the easiest day trips from Seattle, easily accessible by a quick ferry ride. Bainbridge is a lovely place to explore on foot, whether you’re after a leisurely stroll or a hike to the lush Bloedel Reserve, which boasts of beautifully landscaped gardens.
You may also check out the various exhibitions featuring contemporary local artists at the island’s eco-friendly museum.
Bainbridge Island is one of those go-to places for city residents and frequent visitors who want to enjoy a more relaxing time but still close enough to the city proper.
Some do not even get off from the ferry and prefer to enjoy the round trip journey, which is also an interesting way to see Seattle, particularly its beautiful skyline.
2. Blake Island
Another easy Seattle day trip is the Blake Island State Park, which is accessible only by boat.
Located within Puget Sound, this place is knowns for its quiet beaches, stunning views of the Olympic Mountains, and a look into its fascinating Native American heritage.
If you’re up for some leg workout while exploring, Blake Island has plenty of hiking and biking trails. You may also rent small boats and paddle along the island’s shoreline.
For more about Blake Island’s heritage, visit the Tillicum Village located at its northeast end, or better yet, join a guided boat tour. The tour is a fun way to learn more about the island’s Native American history and culture.
A visit to Leavenworth takes you through stunning sceneries and easily one of the best day trips from Seattle. Rent a sturdy car or join a guided tour, and discover more of the picturesque Cascade Mountains.
To reach Leavenworth, you must head up Stevens Pass, cruise along the Skykomish River and savor views of the stunning Bridal Veil Falls and Deception Falls on the way. Once you get to this Bavarian town, enjoy a hearty lunch, explore art galleries, or visit the wine shops.
See more of this town along with the Cascade as you head towards Blewett Pass and see more natural attractions such as the dramatic Snoqualmie Falls.
4. Mount Rainier Park
Mount Rainier National Park is a vast area of stunning scenery, which is comprised of 236,381 acres that includes Mount Rainier itself. An active volcano, it stands at 14,410 feet above sea level and home to the most number of glaciers in the United States.
A must-visit for those looking for an unforgettable day trip from Seattle, Mount Rainier is one of the best-known landmarks in Washington. Wear comfortable hiking shoes and enjoy the various hiking trails and climbing spots.
Bring a basketful of your favorite food and have a picnic in designated areas, while taking in the beautiful surroundings. This is definitely the ideal place to visit if you want to see more of the Washington state without venturing too far from its vibrant capital.
5. Olympic National Park
Comprising 628,115 acres of land, the Olympic National Forest is too vast to explore for just a day.
It is still one of the best day trips from Seattle, as it offers a variety of landscapes that are ideal for hiking, picnics or simply enjoying the spectacular views.
It is recommended to explore Olympic National Park on horseback, or by car, to get to know more of its geography that’s made up of a rainforest, the peaks of Mt. Washington, and a saltwater fjord.
The area also offers fishing facilities as well as campgrounds for those who want to stay there overnight.
6. St. Helens National Monument
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument makes for an ideal Seattle day trip for those interested in volcanoes, nature hikes, and scenic views.
The monument is a must-see. Encompassing 110,000-acres, this area has the education, research, and recreation facilities.
Established after the volcano erupted in 1980, Mount St. Helens has several hiking trails as well as viewpoints that are easily accessible by car.
One of these is the Windy Ridge viewpoint which overlooks the pristine Spirit Lake, and the areas that were devastated during the volcanic eruption. The more adventurous ones can also climb the volcano itself but a permit has to be secured first.
7. Victoria, BC
Set out early and go on a three-hour ferry ride that will take you to the picturesque city of Victoria.
Located in Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada, this area is surrounded by mountains and the North Pacific current. Victoria is blessed with a mild climate that complements its lush sceneries and colorful architecture.
Some of the city’s best attractions are the beautiful Butchart Gardens, the Royal British Columbia Museum, and Craigdarroch Castle.
Stroll along the city center and admire a stunning example of Victorian architecture: the dome-capped parliament buildings.
Relax in the afternoon by having tea at the historic Fairmont Empress Hotel, which is a city landmark. This is a jampacked yet fun day trip from Seattle that’s a definite must experience.
8. Whidbey Island
Another of those easy Seattle day Trips that’s just along the Puget Sound is Whidbey Island. It is situated in the northern part of the city, and just an hour and ten minutes away.
Here, you’ll enjoy strolling along the beaches, hiking up the hills and cliffs, or when traipsing through farmlands.
If you love wine, then you’ll be happy to know that Whidbey Island is also a popular wine tasting destination in Seattle.
Apart from nature and wine, the island has cute cafes, boutiques, and galleries that you can find in the island’s quaint coastal villages such as Coupeville, Langley, and Oak Harbor.
Staying in Seattle and don’t know where to stay yet? Here are some of the best places to stay in Seattle.