There are countless things to do in Seattle. Still, one of the best bits about visiting this Washington city is its incredible national parks and other wonderful places, which you can see on weekend trips from Seattle!
Thanks to Seattle’s position on major Washington roads that lead in all directions—east to the beaches, north to Canada, south to Oregon, and west to Washington’s wine region—there are so many incredible weekend trips you can take from the city.
These trips are less than five hours from Washington’s largest city and are packed full of things to do. Whether you want a camping excursion to enjoy nature or something more urban-focused, we guarantee you’ll find it in a weekend trip from Seattle!
Weekend Trips From Seattle
Table of Contents
- Weekend Trips From Seattle
- 1. Whidbey Island
- 2. Mount Rainier National Park (A Popular Weekend Trip from Seattle)
- 3. San Juan Islands
- 4. Olympic National Park
- 5. Leavenworth
- 6. Westport (A Perfect Surf Weekend Trip from Seattle)
- 7. North Cascades (A Personal Favorite Weekend Trip from Seattle)
- 8. Wenatchee
- 9. Yakima
- 10. Vancouver, BC, Canada (A Weekend Trip from Seattle That Requires Your Passport!)
- 11. Long Beach
- 12. Portland, Oregon
- 13. Columbia River Gorge Area
- 14. Astoria, Oregon
- 15. Mount St Helens
- 16. Lake Chelan
- 17. Mt. Hood, Oregon
- 18. Walla Walla
- 19. Spokane
- More Around Seattle
It’s honestly shocking how many options are just beyond your doorstep if you’re looking for weekend trips from Seattle. With that said, you don’t want to be driving half the time!
That’s why we kept this list pretty reasonable and didn’t go beyond five hours. For any of the trips that are around four to five hours, it might be best to leave those for a long weekend where you have a Friday or a Monday available to tack on.
Otherwise, most are well under that and can be enjoyed on a rather relaxing or super exciting weekend trip from Seattle! We’ve also ordered everything from closest to farthest away from Seattle for your convenience.
✋ HOLD UP! Don’t Forget…
You need some wheels! It’s nearly impossible to get around the USA and check out the best adventures without a car! Here are our top recommendations…
1. Whidbey Island
35 miles, 1 hour 10 minutes by car or 20 minutes by ferry
Possibly one of the most accessible weekend trips from Seattle, the dramatic Whidbey Island is home to Fort Casey State Park (a must for history fans!) and Fort Ebey State Park (also steeped in history). Traverse the wild terrain of other parks, like Joseph Whidbey State Park’s epic trail system.
But possibly, the most popular Whidbey Island attraction is Deception Pass State Park, which is famous for its beautiful coastline and enigmatic forest. Whidbey Island is the ideal destination for a camping break from the city, especially if you want a dose of nature without traveling too far.
BEST PLACES TO STAY: Whidbey Island Accommodation
2. Mount Rainier National Park (A Popular Weekend Trip from Seattle)
103 miles, 2 hours 16 minutes from Seattle
As the highest mountain in Washington, it’s no surprise that Mount Rainier National Park is on many people’s bucket lists!
While it’s possible to summit the mountain with enough experience and fitness, most people enjoy the other hikes around Mount Rainier while looking at the fantastic view of the jagged peak!
The Skyline Loop Trail is probably the most famous one, and while it’s quite challenging, it’s only 6.2 miles and boasts some of the best views in the state. This spot is located in the Paradise area of Mount Rainier, and there are several other hikes to enjoy here.
However, if you’re looking for the absolute closest areas to Seattle, you’ll want to head to Mowich Lake and hike up Tolmie Peak or head to one of our favorites, Tipsoo Lake and the Naches Peak hike. Mount Rainier National Park is a popular place for camping, making it a dreamy weekend break from Seattle.
BEST PLACES TO STAY: Mount Rainier Accommodation
3. San Juan Islands
107 miles, 3 hours 18 minutes from Seattle (depending)
Accessible from downtown Seattle by a 3-hour 45-minute ferry, the San Juan Islands are an archipelago between the U.S. mainland and the border with Canada (you can also catch a ferry from Anacortes).
Home to incredible whale-watching opportunities, Lime Kiln Point State Park, and gorgeous lavender fields, this archipelago has all you need for a fun-filled break from the city.
Accommodation options are varied, from campsites to boutique hotels, so there’s something for every budget and taste on these gorgeous islands!
BEST PLACES TO STAY: San Juan Islands Accommodation
4. Olympic National Park
110 miles, 2 hours 10 minutes from Seattle
Olympic National Park is perhaps the most iconic weekend trip from Seattle. One of the most popular national parks in the country, this region packs in distinct ecosystems and millenniums of history.
It’s impossible to see all of Olympic National Park on a weekend, but you can get a taste of what it offers. If you want to pack in the closest areas to Seattle, head to the glorious Lake Cushman and Hurricane Ridge, home to iconic hikes.
Or, if you want to venture a little further, the coastline is well worth the trip. The closest beach in Olympic from Seattle will be Rialto. To get away from the coast, you’ll find the temperate rainforest that the Pacific Northwest is famous for in Hoh.
Lake Crescent is another popular favorite, with brilliantly blue waters, watersports, swimming options, and one of our favorite hikes, Mount Storm King. If you have the time, add on the Sol Duc Falls hike, which isn’t too far from here.
Again, everything here is impossible to do on a weekend getaway from Seattle, so figure out an area you want to focus on so you can enjoy yourself and not be stuck in the car all day.
BEST PLACES TO STAY: Olympic National Park Accommodation
117 miles, 2 hours 12 minutes from Seattle
Is there a town more adorable than Leavenworth? Well, maybe Bavaria itself, but this is perhaps the most aesthetically-pleasing German-inspired town you’ll find on this side of the Pacific, and it’s one of the best weekend getaways from Seattle!
Famous for its European-inspired architecture and many German restaurants and beer houses, it’ll be easy to spend all your time walking around Leavenworth’s town center.
But there are a variety of hikes and biking trails in the vicinity, along with the gorgeous Colchuck Lake, home to an impressive 11.7 mile out and back trail that connects it with Lake Stuart.
If you are lucky enough to get a permit, you can continue hiking beyond Lake Colchuck and camp along the way in The Enchantments!
BEST PLACES TO STAY: Leavenworth Accommodation
READ MORE: 11 Adventurous Things To Do in Leavenworth
6. Westport (A Perfect Surf Weekend Trip from Seattle)
129 miles, 2 hours 15 minutes from Seattle
Westport is a chilled-out beach town that’s perfect for a coastal break. The town is cozy and inviting, with plenty of places to grab a beer and seafood restaurants.
Out in the water, take to the waves with a board (it’s one of Washington’s premier surf destinations!), or head out on a marine life cruise to see whales and dolphins.
There are also a few trails in town, including the 4.5-mile Westport Lighthouse Trail hike. With plenty of accommodation options in the town center, Westport’s the ideal place for a well-rounded beach break from Seattle!
BEST PLACES TO STAY: Westport Accommodation
7. North Cascades (A Personal Favorite Weekend Trip from Seattle)
138 miles, 3 hours 30 minutes from Seattle
We can’t get our heads around why North Cascades is one of the least-visited national parks in the entire country. It’s a little more difficult to access than other entries on this list, but trust us—it is so worth it! North Cascades National Park encompasses coniferous forests, snow-capped mountains, and epic hikes.
Our favorites include the short but sweet Racehorse Falls Trail, the 7-mile Chain Lakes Loop Trail, and the challenging Table Mountain Trail. Go to the southern portion of the park to enjoy the epic Maple Pass Loop and Blue Lake Trail.
There are plenty of places to camp in the park, making this a fantastic option for a rural Washington weekend trip.
BEST PLACES TO STAY: North Cascades Accommodation
140 miles, 2 hours 40 minutes from Seattle
Sitting in a lush valley, Wenatchee is perhaps most famous for its orchards—so much so that it’s earned the nickname “the apple capital of the world!” However, there’s much more to Wenatchee than meets the eye.
Visit for the excellent hikes to the west of the town, such as the 2.5-mile Saddle Rock Trail with epic views. Back in town, dine at local restaurants, visit Pybus Public Market, or enjoy a Wenatchee-brewed beer or wine.
BEST PLACES TO STAY: Wenatchee Accommodation
142 miles, 2 hours 45 minutes from Seattle
A lovely place to visit if you want to see a smaller city outside of Seattle, Yakima is famous for producing many fruits and vegetables—and delicious wine!
Tour orchards and vineyards and try some local produce, enjoy the museums and galleries in the city itself, or head out into the surrounding nature of Central Washington.
The Cowiche Canyon Trail is a 5.2-mile out-and-back route that takes in some of the area’s best natural sights. There are plenty of hotels and guesthouses in town, so it’s the ideal place for a weekend trip from Seattle.
BEST PLACES TO STAY: Yakima Accommodation
READ MORE: 13 Cool Things To Do in Yakima, Washington
10. Vancouver, BC, Canada (A Weekend Trip from Seattle That Requires Your Passport!)
143 miles, 2 hours 30 minutes from Seattle
Not only can you hop over state borders from Seattle, but it’s not too difficult to pop over to Canada, too—and it’s one of the best weekend getaways from Seattle!
Vancouver needs no introduction, it’s one of Canada’s largest cities, and its highlights include the adrenaline-boosting Stawamus Chief, whale watching out at sea, and the impressive Granville Island, a mix between urban and nature.
Of course, because it’s such a big city, there are countless places to enjoy dinner or drinks and accommodation options for all budgets too! Remember that you will need a passport for this weekend trip.
BEST PLACES TO STAY: Vancouver, BC Accommodation
11. Long Beach
171 miles, 3 hours 10 minutes from Seattle
Sitting on a peninsula, Long Beach sits at the start of a peninsula equidistant between Seattle and Portland in Oregon.
Activities here include checking out Long Beach itself (it’s often known as the world’s longest beach, which it isn’t, but it is the world’s longest peninsula beach!), horseriding, or birdwatching at Leadbetter Point State Park.
One of our favorite activities in the area is hiking around Cape Disappointment State Park, which isn’t at all disappointing and offers some of Washington’s best Pacific views. Enjoy fresh seafood in town at its many restaurants and try some beer-tasting rooms!
BEST PLACES TO STAY: Long Beach Accommodation
12. Portland, Oregon
174 miles, 2 hours 50 minutes from Seattle
The largest city in Oregon, Portland, has something for the city slickers and nature fans!
Highlights include museums like the Oregon Museum Of Science And Industry, expansive parks like the enormous Washington Park, and fascinating coffee, dining, and drinking establishments.
Check out Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Voodoo Donut (you can even do an underground donut walking tour!) if you want to hit up the popular spots.
For more nature-based activities, check out Tunnel Trail near Macleay Park, which has epic views back to Portland, Mount Hood, and The Marquam Trail just south of the city center.
13. Columbia River Gorge Area
181 miles, 3 hours from Seattle
Straddling the border between Washington and Oregon is the Columbia River Gorge Area, a region known for its waterfalls (check out Ponytail Falls and Multnomah Falls!).
Hiking is the main activity here, but there are also plenty of scenic spots where you can take in the Pacific Northwest’s natural beauty. There are many campgrounds around the region and even some glamping opportunities where you can stay in more unique accommodations!
14. Astoria, Oregon
181 miles, 3 hours from Seattle
Sitting right at the top of the state of Oregon, with a bridge linking it to Washington, Astoria is famous for its historic buildings and intriguing culture. It’s the oldest city in Oregon, so it’s easy to get lost in the city’s fascinating tales as you walk around.
You can absorb this by taking the historic trolley, which dates back to 1913, along the waterfront. For something a little more adventurous, take the Cathedral Tree Trail to see a gorgeous view of the city or the Airport Dike Trail, an easy route with incredible river views.
When night falls, there are plenty of things to do in Astoria including many restaurants in the city center, along with abundant choices for accommodation.
BEST PLACES TO STAY: Astoria Accommodation
15. Mount St Helens
189 miles, 3 hours 25 minutes from Seattle
We’ve got epic natural parks, mountains, and beaches on this list—but did you know you can also make a weekend trip from Seattle to an active volcano? Mount St Helens last erupted in 1980 and is still active today.
While that can seem a little hair-raising, it remains one of Seattle’s most popular weekend trips! It’s possible to hike to the rim (although entering the crater is strictly forbidden), or there are many other hikes where you can take in views of the volcano itself.
BEST PLACES TO STAY: Mount St Helens Accommodation
16. Lake Chelan
207 miles, 5 hours from Seattle
Lake Chelan sits amid Lake Chelan State Park, a beautiful 50-mile state park that is extremely popular with campers. Along with enjoying the beauty of the water, Lake Chelan boasts impressive walks like Chelan Butte for epic vistas or a stroll around Beebee Bridge.
You can also take a boat to Stehekin, a North Cascades community that isn’t accessible by road. You can easily visit for a day but do keep in mind the ferry ride there is a few hours, so you’re literally eating up a whole day heading out here!
BEST PLACES TO STAY: Lake Chelan Accommodation
17. Mt. Hood, Oregon
241 miles, 4 hours from Seattle
Mount Hood is to Oregon, what Rainier is to Washington. It’s a bucket-list peak with plenty of activities to enjoy around it! Popular hikes include Bald Mountain Hike and Tom, Dick, and Harry Trail, which take in the incredible volcanic peak and its surrounding natural beauty.
A popular destination for camping, you can also check out waterfalls, swim in lakes, and go skiing or snowshoeing in the winter months.
BEST PLACES TO STAY: Mount Hood Accommodation
18. Walla Walla
261 miles, 4 hours 50 minutes from Seattle
Known as one of the state’s premier wine-producing regions, Walla Walla is home to more than 120 wineries. It’s definitely somewhere to check out if you’re looking for somewhere to kick back and enjoy a drink on your vacation!
On you’re way back out, try detouring to Palouse Falls State Park, which has its namesake, Palouse Falls descending into a plunge pool.
BEST PLACES TO STAY: Walla Walla Accommodation
278 miles, 4 hours 45 minutes from Seattle
A must-do weekend break for anyone who likes urban attractions, Spokane is one of Washington’s larger cities. Home to an impressive amount of shops, bars, and restaurants, there’s always something going on in Spokane.
It also boasts a few urban parks, such as Riverfront Park and Manito Park, as well as the nation’s largest inter-city waterfall—Spokane Falls, which divides the city in two and is a spectacle to watch.
There are so many epic weekend trips from Seattle! Whether your interests lie in hiking, history, culture, or wine (you’re on vacation, after all!), there’s something on this list for you.
BEST PLACES TO STAY: Spokane Accommodation
Don’t have a whole weekend to get away in Seattle? Here are the best day trips from Seattle (less than 1.5 hours away!)
Phew! That was quite a list of the best weekend trips from Seattle! You are surely not short on options!
I’ve been perpetually traveling and living around the world for years but it’s hard to beat Washington and the PNW. After years of road-tripping the area, I guess you can say I know it pretty well! When I’m not writing guides for you, you can catch me somewhere petting a dog, attempting to surf, hiking a volcano, or stuffing my face with bread and cheese.