6 Day Trips and Weekend Getaways From Seattle

weekend getaways from seattle
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If you’re looking for a weekend away from Seattle, there’s no shortage of incredible day-trip and weekend trip destinations throughout Washington and surrounding areas.  You can escape to a different state or even country!  With Washington being so close to Canada you can hop over the border for a day or longer to incredible destinations like Vancouver or Victoria.  Or you can escape to the mountains or a nearby town.  Travel via ferry, car, or seaplane.  When you’re planning weekend getaways from Seattle there are tons of unique opportunities at your fingertips.

 

The Best Day Trips and Weekend Getaways From Seattle

 

1. Leavenworth, Washington

Distance from Seattle:  135 miles

Recommended stay:  1 night

Recommended hotel:  The Bavarian Lodge

Best time to visit:  Summertime, during Oktoberfest, or during the Christmas lighting festival

Front Street in Leavenworth with the Cascade Mountains in the background

welcome to Leavenworth sign

Located two hours east of Seattle you’ll come upon this quaint Bavarian village nestled in the Cascade Mountains.  Full of big pretzels, steins galore, kitsch shopping, and friendly locals… Leavenworth is one of the best overnight trips from Seattle.  While you may feel as though you’ve been transported to an authentic German town, the truth is… Leavenworth has no ties to Germany.  The town was hit hard by the Great Depression and had never recovered by the ’60s.  Locals got together and thought up a plan to make Leavenworth seem as though it was a Bavarian town to attract tourists.  They knew if they didn’t do that, Leavenworth would cease to exist.  Turns out, what they did work!  Leavenworth now sees 2+ million visitors per year.

pretzel as big as your head at rhein haus

To get to Leavenworth you’ll need to travel by car, but don’t worry – the views are incredible as the road twists and turns through the Cascade Mountain range.  Once you arrive at Leavenworth and check into your hotel, and head to Front Street for lunch at a kitsch German restaurant (I prefer the giant pretzels from Rhein Haus).  While you can spend your day walking around the small town (only 1.4 square miles!), there are also a host of other activities you can do such as hiking, ziplining, and floating down the Wenatchee River.

 


For a more comprehensive guide to Leavenworth including where to stay and the activities around town, check out my post, 24 Hours in Washington’s Bavarian Village – Leavenworth


 

2.  Victoria, British Columbia

Distance from Seattle:  3-hours by ferry, 4.5-hours by car, 45-minutes by plane

Recommended stay:  1 night

Best time to visit: Summertime (you can still visit in the winter but know that ferries operate less frequently and winters are cold and dark)

parliament building in Victoria with fountain out front

Located near Washington and separated by the Salish Sea, the capital of British Columbia, Victoria, is located at the southern tip of Canada on Vancouver Island.  It’s one of the best weekend trips from Seattle taking you to an entirely different country!  Not to mention there are multiple ways to get to Victoria from Seattle.  You can travel to Victoria by car which will take close to 5-hours, or you can take the bus.  Because of the walkable nature of the city, it’s not necessary to have a car unless you plan to visit other parts of the island.  You can get to Victoria by airplane or seaplane, the fastest option getting you there in 45-minutes, but the most expensive option.  Kenmore Air operates a flight from Seattle to Victoria (and vice versa), dropping you off in the heart of Victoria.  If you’d rather fly to Vancouver Island by airplane you will land at Victoria International Airport (YYJ).  My preferred choice of arriving in Victoria is by taking the Victoria Clipper V.  For everything you need to know about taking the Clipper from Seattle to Victoria, read this post.

view of the waterfront in victoria with parliament building in the back

view of parliament building

When you get to Victoria you may notice that the town is small, but doesn’t lack character.  Covering nearly 7.5 square miles, you can hang around town and relax with tea at the Fairmont Empress or learn the history by taking a tour from Discover the Past.  Or head away from the city to visit the incredible Butchart Gardens.  Before you leave, make sure to stop at Red Fish Blue Fish for fresh seafood on the water.

 


For a more comprehensive guide to visiting Victoria, check out my post, How to Spend the Day Solo in Victoria, BC


 

3.  Cannon Beach, Oregon

Distance from Seattle:  200 miles

Recommended stay:  1 night

Recommended hotel:  Hallmark Resort Hotel & Spa

Best time to visit:  When the weather is nice enough to enjoy the beach

sun beams as the sun sets behind haystack rock in cannon beach

Another one of the best overnight trips from Seattle will take you out of Washington to the coast of Oregon.  The drive to Cannon Beach from Seattle lasts about 4-hours, but there are tons of things to see and do once you pass into Oregon, before you make it to the beach.  If you plan to visit Cannon Beach from Seattle, I would recommend making a long road trip out of it stopping along the way, making sure not to miss Astoria and Fort Stevens State Park.

downtown cannon beach

cave on a beach

Once you arrive in Cannon Beach you can expect to be met with sandy beaches and incredible sea stacks jutting from the ocean lined along the shore.  A laid back town, in Cannon Beach you can explore the surrounding National Parks, beaches, and visit the quaint downtown area.  Make it a priority to visit Haystack Rock and eat dinner at Cannon Beach Smokehouse.

 


For a more comprehensive guide to visiting Cannon Beach and road-tripping down the Oregon coast, check out my post, From Seattle:  A 2-Day Oregon Coast Road Trip Itinerary


 

4.  Woodinville, Washington

Distance from Seattle:  20 miles

Recommended stay:  1 day

Best time to visit:  Year-round

wine tasting at chateau ste michelle in woodinville

Located so close to Seattle, Woodinville is one of the most perfect quick getaways from Seattle.  Woodinville is a small town, only 5.6 square miles, and is known for its many tasting rooms that span the streets.  There are over 100 wine tasting rooms alone in this small town!  Easily accessible by car, it’s the perfect choice to get out of the hustle and bustle of Seattle and enjoy a day away.  (If you are looking for overnight destinations, Woodinville has hotel options).  While there are tasting rooms that are walking distance from one another, my favorites – Matthews, Chateau Ste. Michelle, and Alexandria Nicole Cellars – require a car to get from one to the other.  You can drive from Seattle and park in any of the free parking spots outside these tasting rooms or if you’re worried about drinking and driving you can get an Uber/Lyft.  From Seattle, your rideshare will cost $30-50 each way.  Once you’re in Woodinville there are usually Ubers and Lyfts located close by and you don’t typically have to wait too long before getting a ride.  (If you’re new to Uber use my code vi9bs for $2 off your first three rides.  Or if you’re new to Lyft use my code KYLEE45415 for $5 in ride credit).

wine glass in the air

lush, green vineyards

It’s best to visit Woodinville during the warmer months when it isn’t raining out.  Most of the tasting rooms have outdoor patios, however, if you visit during the rainy months, there is indoor seating available.  While filling up on Washington wines, don’t forget to eat lunch!  You can bring food to the tasting rooms or eat at one of the restaurants around town.  My go-to lunch spot is Village Wines.

 


For a more comprehensive guide to Woodinville, check out my post, Woodinville Wine Tasting – The Best Tasting Rooms to Visit


 

5.  Anacortes + Whidbey Island

Distance from Seattle:  80 miles

Recommended stay:  1 day

Best time to visit:  Year-round

deception pass state park bridge

incredible pink and orange fiery sunset at deception pass state park

One of the most beautiful and unique weekend trips from Seattle takes you up north to Deception Pass State Park located on Whidbey Island where you can spend your day relaxing on the beach, hiking, or enjoying water activities.  To get to this area of Washington you’ll need a car and you’ll need a Discover Pass.  You can purchase the Discover Pass ahead of time for $10/day or $30/year.  If you don’t purchase ahead of time there is an option to purchase once you arrive at the park before entering the north beach or the west beach.

Before you cross the Deception Pass Bridge, you’ll be in the town of Anacortes, Washington.  Anacortes is on the western coast of Washington surrounded by multiple islands and water.  Before heading further to Deception Pass, stop at The Shrimp Shack to pick up lunch to go to enjoy on the beach.  Once you pick up your lunch continue over the bridge (there are multiple entrances to the park but keep going until after the bridge), where there will be an entrance to the park on your right at a stoplight.  Enter here to park on the north or west beach where you’ll get views of the water, beach area, picnic tables, and sighting of the bridge from the land.  If you’re interested in activities, check out this website for a comprehensive list of things to do at the park.

 


If you’re looking for an overnight stay, continue to drive up north towards Bellingham.  For a more comprehensive guide on this day trip, check out, From Seattle:  A Day Trip to Deception Pass State Park + Hiking Oyster Dome


 

6.  Bainbridge Island

Distance from Seattle:  10 miles by ferry

Recommended stay:  1 day

Best time to visit:  Year-round

ferry tickets to bainbridge

For a unique day trip from Seattle, Bainbridge Island is close to the city but makes you feel as though you’ve left Washington entirely.  West of Seattle, this small island is home to wineries, restaurants, shopping, and nature.  As you pull away from the city you will get spectacular views of the Seattle skyline as the ferry chugs along through Elliott Bay.  The ferry takes off from Pier 51 and a one-way, walk-on ticket, costs $9 which you can purchase at the entrance.  If you want a car to drive the island you can pay for a car ticket instead, and drive your car onto the ferry.  Check out this website for information on what time the ferry departs for Bainbridge and comes back to Seattle.

Once you get off the ferry you can walk to the main street in town, “Main Street”, where you’ll find boutique shopping, kitsch souvenir stores, wine tasting rooms, breweries, and restaurants.  Stop in at Eleven Winery for a wine tasting and Ba Sa Restaurant for incredible Vietnamese cuisine.  Note that if you don’t bring a car to the island but want to get off Main Street and visit vineyards or go on hikes, getting a rideshare is difficult.  If you aim to explore the island entirely, I’d recommend bringing a car.

 


For a busy, adventure-packed day, perhaps you’d like to add on the Lena Lake hike and Hama Hama Oyster to this trip.  If so, make sure to check out my post Exploring Lena Lake, Hama Hama Oyster, and Bainbridge Island – A Day Trip from Seattle


 

There are endless opportunities to explore Washington and the surrounding regions with easy weekend getaways from Seattle.  If you’re based in Seattle, don’t take for granted the beauty that surrounds you.  Washington’s beauty is unique and isn’t found around the rest of the country.  And if you’re coming to Seattle to visit, I urge you to also get out and explore what makes this region so beautiful aside from Seattle alone.  All I know is that I can’t wait to get back to Washington to explore more weekend trips around Seattle.

 

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Kylee is a traveling Neonatal Intensive Care Nurse with a love for solo travel, wine, and Taylor Swift. She has spent 6 years caring for babies in the NICU and is an expert on travel nursing. Kylee began Passports and Preemies in 2017 while volunteering as a nurse in Skopje, Macedonia as a way to reach nurses and advocate for the prevention of nurse burnout by traveling. Kylee is the original creator of the “8 Day Vacay” – A vacation geared towards nurses aiming to take advantage of the potentially 8 days off between work weeks with no need to use PTO.

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