Seattle is a destination packed with stunning natural beauty, vibrant culture, and diverse attractions. Not only that, but the city offers a wealth of day trip opportunities. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best day trip destinations from Seattle for you to enjoy on your adventure.
The Pacific Northwest region surrounding Seattle is as rich in its offerings as the city itself — from its picturesque islands to its majestic mountains. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast or you’re looking to experience something new, a day trip from Seattle offers plenty of options.
If you are planning to start your trip in the city, check out our range of fully personalized Seattle tours to get to know our hometown. Or, if you need any additional information, get in touch with our team for trips that cater to every type of traveler.
Keep reading for a selection of Totally Seattle’s favorite day trips from the city.
Visit Bainbridge Island on a Day Trip from Seattle
Bainbridge Island, just a short ferry ride away from downtown Seattle, is a serene escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. The island boasts a charming downtown area, artisanal shops, galleries, and numerous parks for outdoor enthusiasts. The Bainbridge Island Museum of Art is a must-visit for those interested in local art and culture. Additionally, the island’s natural beauty shines through at Bloedel Reserve, a stunning 150-acre forest garden.
Consider taking a ferry to Bainbridge Island, exploring its attractions, and experiencing the island’s scenic landscapes at your own pace. The downtown portion of Bainbridge, known as Winslow, is accessible on foot and great for pedestrians, but the rest of the island’s featured locations require a vehicle to visit.
Explore Mount Rainier National Park on a Seattle Day Trip
For nature enthusiasts, a day trip to Mount Rainier National Park is a must. The park, located about two hours from Seattle, is a paradise for hikers and wildlife lovers. You can explore a network of hiking trails that lead to stunning vistas, waterfalls, and the iconic glaciers of Mount Rainier.
Plan your own trip to Mount Rainier National Park, and make sure to check out visitor centers for information on trails and current conditions.
When the 14,411-foot active volcano is visible from Seattle, it looks like it is very close to the city. However, getting there and back is a long trip, but worth it! Once inside the park, lines to enter can be long if you are unaware of alternative entrance points.
Adventure to Olympic National Park on a Seattle Day Trip
Venturing west from Seattle, you’ll find Olympic National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that encompasses diverse ecosystems, from rugged coastlines to lush rainforests.
Within the park, you can explore the Hoh Rainforest, hike to the mesmerizing Sol Duc Falls, and visit the pristine beaches of the Olympic Peninsula.
Create your own adventure in Olympic National Park. You can hike, take in the coastal beauty, and visit the Sol Duc Hot Springs at your own pace.
Getting to the park’s eastern most point can take up to four hours from downtown Seattle. While a day trip is possible, we recommend staying at least one night in the town of Port Angeles to give yourself the freedom to see more of the park after taking a long trip to get there.
Experience Bavaria in Leavenworth on a Seattle Day Trip
Nestled in the Cascade Mountains, Leavenworth is a quaint Bavarian-themed village that’s only a couple of hours away from Seattle. The town is known for its charming architecture, specialty shops, and numerous seasonal festivals.
Stroll along the picturesque streets, try authentic German cuisine, and explore the enchanting Nutcracker Museum. Make a day trip to Leavenworth and enjoy the town’s unique ambiance, delicious food, and festivals, depending on the time of year.
Marvel at Marine Life in the San Juan Islands on a Seattle Day Trip
The San Juan Islands, located in the Salish Sea, are a captivating destination for those who love marine life and the great outdoors. These islands offer excellent opportunities for whale watching, kayaking, and exploring charming villages like Friday Harbor.
Witnessing orcas, humpback whales, and other marine life in their natural habitat is an unforgettable experience. Book a whale-watching tour or kayak adventure in the San Juan Islands, or simply take a ferry to the islands and explore on your own but be sure to make your ferry reservations far in advance because of this trip’s popularity.
See the Splendour of Snoqualmie Falls on a Seattle Day Trip
Snoqualmie Falls is a stunning 270-foot waterfall, just a short drive from Seattle. It’s a perfect day trip for those who appreciate the beauty of nature. You can admire the falls from several viewpoints, and the lower observation deck offers a dramatic close-up view of the cascading waters.
Consider our Snoqualmie Falls Tour from Seattle and take in the natural beauty of this iconic waterfall. It’s a perfect day trip for those who want a quick escape into nature.
Climb Mount St. Helens on a Seattle Day Trip
For those intrigued by geology and the power of nature, a day trip to Mount St. Helens is an incredible journey.
The volcano’s eruption in 1980 left a lasting impact on the landscape, and you can explore the Johnston Ridge Observatory, where you’ll learn about the eruption’s effects and its subsequent recovery.
Plan a visit to Mount St. Helens and explore the observatory and surrounding areas to gain a deeper understanding of the Earth’s geological processes.
Seattle and its surroundings offer endless possibilities for exploration and adventure. Whether you’re interested in art, nature, culture, or wildlife, the best day trips from Seattle cater to a wide range of interests.
By planning your own day trips, you can immerse yourself in the beauty and diversity of the Pacific Northwest, creating unforgettable memories and discovering the secrets of this enchanting region. And, if you want to explore the city, be sure to check out our Specialty Experiences & Tours in Seattle.
So, pack your bags, plan your day trips, and get ready to embark on unforgettable adventures from Seattle. The Pacific Northwest is calling, and it’s ready to reveal its wonders to those who seek them! Just get in touch to begin your journey.