While downtown Seattle isn’t lacking for things to do or sites to see, a change of pace can be nice during any vacation.
If you are feeling adventurous and would like to explore other parts of Washington State, there are numerous day trips that you can take during your Seattle stay.
How does a Bavarian town in the mountains sound to you? Are you in the mood to connect with nature? Perhaps you’d like to go whale watching?
You’ll be excited and surprised to hear that all of these activities are just a day trip from Seattle. Even though Seattle is a bustling city, some of the most picturesque nature scapes can be found just a short drive away.
Here are the 7 best day trips that you can take from Seattle!
1. Mount Rainier National Park
Seeing more than 2 million visitors annually, Mount Rainier is a majestic volcano that towers over Seattle and the surrounding region. An easy day trip from Seattle, Mount Rainier is fully worth a visit as it is a well-known icon of the city.
Here at Shutter Tours, we offer a day trip tour to Mount Rainier that you won’t want to miss.
During this Seattle day trip, you will get your fill of mountain wildflowers, icy glaciers, and crystal falls. Mount Rainier is one of the best day trips from Seattle so don’t miss your opportunity to visit one of Washington State’s most treasured locations.
lIf you’d like to know more about the best time of year to visit Mount Rainier, check out this resource from our blog.
2. Snoqualmie Falls
One of Washington State’s most scenic, natural attractions, Snoqualmie Falls sees more than 1.5 million tourists per year.
The 268-foot (82 meters) waterfall is a breathtaking natural tourist attraction and a short day trip from Seattle. At the falls, you will be able to take gorgeous photos from the observation deck, get souvenirs from the gift shop, and wander around the park.
If you would like to experience Snoqualmie Falls with an expert tour guide, Shutter Tours offers an enjoyable tour of the falls. This 4-hour tour is paired with other locations around Seattle.
Leavenworth will give you a taste of Europe in the Pacific Northwest. Nestled in the Cascade’s, this picturesque Bavarian town always has festivals running and makes for one of the best day trips from Seattle.
The town was originally built in the 1800s and has successfully preserved its Bavarian aesthetic and culture over the years. Leavenworth is the place where you can find artisan German food, drink, and souvenirs galore.
4. San Juan Islands
If you want to go wildlife or whale watching, the San Juan Islands are a day trip from Seattle that you don’ t want to miss.
One of the most popular methods of visiting the islands is by riding one of Seattle’s iconic ferries. The ferries will carry you around the islands at a relaxed pace, giving you ample time to soak in the majestic scenery that Washington State has to offer. You might see whales, orcas, seals, or hundreds of seabirds! And above it all, the looming summit of Mt. Rainier.
Don’t forget to bring a camera and binoculars for this day trip from Seattle! Prepare to be amazed by Mother Nature.
5. Deception Pass State Park
Deception Pass State Park is located at the top of Whidbey Island and can be reached via I-5 (exit 226).
You enter the park via Deception Pass Bridge, an enormous steel bridge that offers knee-knocking vistas of the Puget Sound. While you can simply drive across, you won’t regret parking your car on the far side and then crossing the bridge again on the pedestrian path.
Once you’ve finished enjoying the bridge, you can take one of the state park’s trails down to the beach. The coast will give you many photo opportunities and is the perfect location for a family picnic or some quality time spent in nature.
6. Diablo Lake
Diablo Lake still is a serene escape into nature and makes for the perfect day trip from Seattle. The lake is picturesquely nestled in the Cascade Mountains and is actually a manmade reservoir created by Diablo Dam.
The drive out to Diablo Lake offers forested scenery, mountain tops, and cool Cascade wind — making this one of the most peaceful road trips from Seattle.
7. Olympic National Park
With its aged trees and mossy overgrowth, Olympic National Park will have you on the lookout for elves and mythical beings.
The Olympic National Forest is one of Washington State’s greatest treasures and is home to the Hoh Rainforest. This temperate rainforest is one of the seven of its kind in the world. The Pacific Northwest is home to the world’s largest temperate rainforest ecoregion.
This forest is entirely worth the drive from Seattle and is one of the best day trips that you can take while visiting Washington.
Plan Your Seattle Day Trip
If you are visiting Seattle and aren’t sure how to navigate the area, then it is a good idea to partner with one of the city’s many tour organizations. Here at Shutter Tours, two of our most popular day trips are the Snoqualmie Falls tour and our Mt. Rainier tour.