Get away for a weekend of clear country air, ocean views, whale watching and hiking while exploring unique towns like Kirkland, Leavenworth, Ellensburg, Friday Harbor and Spokane. The properties that made our list include scenic island hideaways, cozy lodges, treehouses and hotels with spas where you can unwind and get pampered surrounded by nature. Next read: 25 Best Day Trips from Seattle Photo: tab62/Fotolia
» Willows Lodge - 30 minutes
A 30-minute drive from the city, Willows Lodge is located in Woodinville wine country on 5 quiet acres. The lodge serves excellent food coupled with delicious wines. Reserve a table at the award-winning Herbfarm Restaurant and have a nine-course dinner to celebrate a special occasion or make a romantic wedding proposal. Guest rooms have fireplaces which invite you to relax with a book, followed by a bath in the soaking tub for two.
The Spa offers a varied menu of treatments, from Lomi Lomi massages, body wraps and exclusive Carita Facials. Once you are done with your massages, explore the surrounding area by bike, take a wine tasting tour and take a stroll through the hotel gardens. Northwest Coast Native American art is exhibited throughout the property, in the gardens and in public spaces. The Barking Frog restaurant serves delicious dishes with Pacific Northwest influences.
The restaurant has received Wine Spectator's Award of Excellence five years in a row. The property is a 25-minute drive from Seattle which makes it a quick getaway from the city. Western Washington's wine country offers many scenic spots, great restaurants and wine tours. Nightly room rates at the Willows Lodge start at $199 per night.
Contact: 14580 NE 145TH Street, Woodinville, Washington 98072, Phone: 425-424-3900
Photo: Willows Lodge
» Salish Lodge and Spa - 35 minutes
Popular with couples and honeymooners, Salish Lodge and Spa overlooks the dramatic Snoqualmie Falls, 30 minutes from the city.
Originally built in 1916, the hotel has been completely renovated and offers all of the modern amenities. One of the top weekend getaways in the Pacific Northwest, Salish Lodge has romantic rooms and a relaxing spa.
Guest rooms have whirlpool tubs and wood-burning fireplaces. Check into one of the top floor suites for the best views of the falls. Rates start at $199 per night.
Contact: 6501 Railroad Avenue SE, Snoqualmie, Washington 98065, Phone: 800-272-5474
Photo: Salish Lodge and Spa
» Suncadia Resort - 1 hour 25 minutes
A year-round getaway with a golf course, spa, ice skating rink, a winery and several dining options, Suncadia Resort offers skiing in the winter and hiking in the summer. The resort is located on 6,400 acres, 80 miles east of Seattle, Washington. Guests can dine at two restaurants and two bars, swim in the pool and work out in the fitness center.
Glade Spring Spa features relaxing cedar saunas and outdoor saltwater pools. Get in shape at the Swim & Fitness Center, an extensive facility featuring indoor/ outdoor pools, fitness machines and indoor water slides. The Cle Elum River corridor offers excellent cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and ice skating in the winter. Guests also have access to downhill skiing and snowboarding. Room rates at the Suncadia Resort start at $129 per night.
Contact: 3600 Suncadia Trail, Cle Elum, Washington 98922, Phone: 509-649-6400
Photo: Suncadia Resort
» The Wild Iris Inn - 1 hour 15 minutes
Located just an hour and a half north of the city, the Wild Iris Inn offers couples 18 romantic rooms and suites, many with in-room spa tubs for two and gas fireplaces. Visit downtown La Conner for shopping, restaurants, galleries and entertainment.
The King Suites are the most spacious, with a private porch, perfect for enjoying fresh outdoor air. The inn welcomes its guests with Signature Wild Iris Cookies. If you are looking for cheap options, guestrooms at the Wild Iris start from $119 per night, suites from $149.
Contact: 121 Maple Ave, La Conner, Washington 98257, Phone: 800-477-1400
Photo: The Wild Iris Inn
» TreeHouse Point - 35 minutes
A perfect hideaway for couples who like nature, TreeHouse Point offers charming treehouses individually decorated with handmade beds, original art and vintage furnishings.
You will have plenty of privacy among the trees to re-connect, curl up with a book and take long naps.
TreeHouse Point is about 25 miles from the city. The property offers 1.5-hour tours that let you see inside the treehouses. Visit nearby farmers' markets, explore the hiking trails and unique attractions in the area.
Contact: 6922 Preston-Fall City Rd SE, Issaquah, Washington 98027, Phone: 425-441-8087
Photo: TreeHouse Point
» Alderbrook Resort and Spa
Overlooking the shores of the magnificent glacier-carved fjord of Hood Canal, Alderbrook Resort & Spa is luxurious spa retreat surrounded by the Olympic Mountains and just two hours’ drive from Seattle. The resort offers comfortable accommodation in the form of cottages and guestrooms, each of which is beautifully appointed with breathtaking views over the lake and mountains and boasts chic décor and luxury amenities. Plush linens, down comforters and spa soaking tubs promise absolute relaxation, while flat screen televisions, high-speed wireless Internet and Keurig coffee makers ensure modern conveniences.
Unwind in the serenity of the onsite spa with a signature massage and an array of pampering body treatments before dining in the renowned Alderbrook Restaurant, which serves an exotic fusion of local seafood from the Puget Sound with tastes and flavors of the Pacific Northwest. Sip sundowners at the bar before dinner and soak up the tranquil surroundings. The resort’s location is ideal for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure lovers. The nearby Olympic National Park offers excellent hiking, while the surrounding state national parks have beautiful beaches to stroll, swim and fish. Play a game of golf at the Alderbrook Golf Club, which is located next to the resort. Rates are inexpensive and start at $159. Look for packages, especially during the off season.
Contact: 10 E Alderbrook Drive, Union, Washington 98592, Phone: 360-898-2200
Photo: Alderbrook Resort and Spa
»Free Spirit Spheres - 5 hours 35 minutes
Although this getaway is a longer drive than others included in our collection, if you are looking for a bit of inspiration out in nature, rent one of the Free Spirit Spheres in the rain forest of Vancouver Island, Canada. Measuring from 9 to 10.5 feet in diameter, the spheres create cozy rooms in the trees.
Choose from three spheres: Eve is the smallest, Eryn is handcrafted from wood, and Melody is the newest sphere, made from fiberglass.
Shared composting toilets are located at the base of the spheres. The property also offers 2 washrooms, 2 showers, a sauna and a covered deck with barbeque and picnicking resources. Nightly rates at Free Spirit Spheres are affordable and start at $145. The property does not accommodate children under 16. Phone: 250-757-9445
Photo: Free Spirit Spheres
» FivePine Lodge - 5 hours 30 minutes
A weekend hideaway in Sisters, Oregon, the Romance Cabin at the FivePine Lodge was built especially for couples. The private cabin has a sunken bath tub next to a stone fireplace, perfect for a romantic getaway. You can unplug from the world and take long soothing baths while the room is warmed by the fireplace, or watch your favorite movie on the 42-inch plasma flat screen television right from the bath tub. There is a separate bathroom with a couples shower finished with Italian tiles.
During the warmer season, enjoy the private outdoor patio with Adirondack chairs. Rates start at $180 in the winter and $215 in the summer.
Located in Central Oregon, the property is a 25-minute drive from Bend and 45 minutes from Sunriver. Guests are accommodated have access to Shibui Spa which offers relaxing treatments. Outdoor enthusiasts can hike and mountain bike along the Peterson Ridge trail. The property offers packages throughout the year. Be sure to book your getaway early if you want to stay in the Romance Cabin because it's quite popular because it's so unique.
Contact: 1021 Desperado Trail, Sisters, Oregon 97759, Phone: 541-549-5900
Photo: FivePine Lodge
» Saratoga Inn on Whidbey Island
Saratoga Inn on Whidbey Island in the scenic Pacific Northwest offers ocean view accommodations, a charming living room with a fireplace, and an old-fashioned porch. Plan a romantic trip from Seattle and relax in style. The innkeepers serve a full breakfast each morning, afternoon wine, tea and hors d'oeuvres. Evening turndown service features Le Belge dark chocolate. Enjoy scenic views of Cascade Mountains and the Saratoga Passage.
Romantic guest rooms have deep soaking bath tubs, fireplaces and cozy alcoves for reading and enjoying the view of the mountains and the water. Wireless internet access is available in the common area and most guest rooms. The island offers numerous events, especially on weekends, throughout the year. Choose from country fairs, art festivals, jazz concerts and other celebrations when planning your trip.
Rates start at $145 per night.
Contact: 201 Cascade Avenue, Langley, Washington 98260, Phone: 866-749-5565
Photo: Saratoga Inn on Whidbey Island
» Friday Harbor House
Friday Harbor House is a romantic getaway located on San Juan Island in the Pacific Northwest. Experience small town hospitality at this 23-room romantic inn overlooking the scenic island marina. The property is located in a quaint town with shops, cafes, restaurants, museums and galleries. Guest rooms are contemporary in design, with floor-to-ceiling windows, jetted tubs, fireplaces and sitting areas.
The area is known for its beautiful views and offers a number of activities, from scenic kayaking to golfing and whale watching. The restaurant serves foods prepares using fresh local products, seafood, and herbs from the garden. The dining room offers beautiful views of the harbor. Room rates start at $169 per night. VacationIdea.com Tip: There are several ways to reach the island. Sea plane is about $100 one-way in high season, and around $40 during the low season. Alternatively, you can take the Washington State Ferry from Anacortes to San Juan.
Contact: 130 West Street, Friday Harbor, Washington 98250, Phone: 360-378-8455
Photo: Friday Harbor House
» The Inn at Langley
The Inn at Langley is about one hour from the city and has rooms with 180-degree water views and cozy fireplaces. In the morning, wake up to the smell of homemade muffins, muesli and fresh fruit. There are 26 guest rooms with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Saratoga Passage and Cascade Mountains. The property is located in the heart of the village of Langley, near antique stores, art galleries and boutiques. The island offers a number of exciting things to do, including whale watching, sea kayaking, scuba diving, biking, golf and fishing. Enjoy a relaxing massage at the Essencia Spa.
The Chef's Kitchen Restaurant serves delicious meals that incorporate fresh seasonal ingredients. The restaurant features an open display kitchen, and overlooks a formal herb garden. Dinner is served on Fridays and Saturdays; Sunday suppers are served in-season. Room rates start at $265 per night, including continental breakfast. During the off season, rooms can be found for $195 per night.
Contact: 400 First Street, Langley, Washington 98260, Phone: 360-221-3033
Photo: The Inn at Langley
» Rosario Resort
Rosario Resort is a romantic getaway on Orcas Island, Washington. The resort has a spa, three swimming pools, a full-service marina and 116 guest accommodations spread across eight acres overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The Moran Mansion, listed in the National Register of Historic Places, houses the resort's restaurant, spa, music room, library and museum. The area is a playground for nature enthusiasts, offering an array of activities, such as whale watching, sea kayaking, sailing, and hiking in Moran State Park.
There are 116 guest rooms and suites located on eight acres. Hillside accommodations, about one-half mile from the mansion, offer views of East Sound, Cascade Bay and lush forests. Ask for one of the rooms with a sunken Jacuzzi tub, gas fireplace and a private balcony. There are four restaurants and lounges that serve Northwest cuisine. The Mansion Pool Bar and Cascade Bay Grill are open during the warm season and offer outdoor seating. Live entertainment is available on weekends.
Contact: 1400 Rosario Road, Eastsound, Washington 98245, Phone: 360-376-2222
Photo: Rosario Resort
» China Beach Retreat
If you are looking for a getaway place where the entertainment consists of the sound of gulls or watching tide come and go, come to China Beach Retreat. This charming Craftsman cottage is snuggled in a cove between the Port of Ilwaco and Cape Disappointment State Park in Ilwaco, Washington on the scenic Long Beach Peninsula. You can sit for hours in front of the floor to ceiling windows of the common room, listen to the sounds of wind and water, and watch the shorebirds running back and forth.
Look for elegant herons or timid deer or the local fishermen bringing their daily catch in. There is a soothing timelessness in the expanse of tidelands, where the only drama takes place in nature. Enjoy the simple but elegant comfort of the four guestrooms, with precious antiques and opulent bathrooms with stained glass windows and tiles made by hand by a local artist. Soak in the jetted tub after a day of exploring the neighboring Cape Disappointment State Park. Coffee and tea are available all day long, and guests are invited to enjoy a gourmet breakfast at the nearby Shelburne Inn.
Contact: 222 Robert Gray Drive Ilwaco, Washington 98624, Phone: 360-642-2442
Photo: China Beach Retreat
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»Fairhaven Village Inn
Fairhaven Village Inn is located at the heart of the Bellingham’s Historic Fairhaven District on Bellingham Bay. The property has 22 spacious rooms with the view of the harbor or the park. West facing rooms have views of Fairhaven’s harbor and a partial view of Bellingham Bay and the San Juan Islands.
They also have lovely corner fireplaces and sliding doors that lead to the private patio. All rooms have private bathrooms, a couple of comfortable club chairs for relaxed reading, a working desk, wireless Internet, and cable TVs. Just outside of the hotel is the Village Green Park, which hosts a bustling farmers’ market every Wednesday. Great restaurants and peaceful walking trails are all within walking distance of the hotel. Alaska State Ferry stops in Fairhaven year round if you want to continue your adventures.
Contact: 1200 10th St, Bellingham, Washington 98225, Phone: 360-733-1311
Photo: Fairhaven Village Inn
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» A Harbor View Inn
A Harbor View Inn is a charming waterfront Victorian bed and breakfast built in 1905 in the Colonial Revival Style. About an hour and a half from both Portland and Seattle and less than an hour from Olympic National Park, the inn is in the perfect spot if you are planning to do some exploring in this magnificent area.
All five luxurious rooms are decorated with precious Victorian antiques and have raised beds to make sure that you take a full advantage of the fantastic views of the Grays Harbor below. While looking like they belong to a romantic Victorian novel, rooms have all modern amenities such as TVs, private bathrooms and Wi-Fi. Guests have access to the cozy living room, fully equipped kitchen, and sunny dining room where a fresh, homemade breakfast is served every morning. Read more
Contact: 113 W. 11th Street, Aberdeen, Washington 98520, Phone: 360-533-7996
Photo: A Harbor View Inn
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» The Shelburne Inn
Snuggled on the Long Beach Peninsula between the Pacific Ocean and Columbia River, the Shelburne Inn Bed and Breakfast is a lovely boutique inn built in 1896 in the small coastal town of Seaview. It is the oldest operating hotel in Washington State. While brought to the 21st century with extensive renovation, the inn’s historic character was lovingly preserved. Fifteen nicely appointed, cozy rooms are decorated with period antiques and original art, and they have private baths. Most even have private decks.
The beautiful décor goes hand in hand with all modern amenities such as free Wi-Fi. There is a library and a computer in the common room. The inn’s own restaurant and bar treats guests with fresh local fare such as Willapa Bay oysters, wild mushrooms, and berries the area is famous for. A fresh, homemade gourmet breakfast is served in the elegant, inviting dining room.
Contact: 4415 Pacific Way, Seaview, Washington 98644, Phone: 360-642-2442
Photo: The Shelburne Inn
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Located in the heart of the historic Port Townsend and surrounded by a magnificent Victorian garden, the Bishop Victorian Hotel greets travelers with the welcoming warmth of its brick-walled reception furnished with cozy sitting area with opulent armchairs around the antique fireplace and original paintings of local artists.
The Hotel offers 15 luxury fireplace suites with private baths, cozy sitting rooms, small but fully equipped kitchens, and exquisite décor that includes period antiques and original art. All rooms have wireless Internet, high definition TVs, telephones, and luxury bath products. A delicious breakfast is served in guests’ rooms. Several suites are dog friendly. Guests also have complimentary access to the nearby Port Townsend Athletic Club. The opportunities for exploring the area are endless: whale-watching, visiting Hurricane Ridge at Olympic National Park, strolling along the beach, watching the picturesque sailing boats, hiking up Mt. Townsend, kayaking across Port Townsend Bay, and much more.
Contact: 714 Washington Street, Port Townsend, Washington 98368, Phone: 800-824-4738
Photo: The Bishop
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» The Swan
When you are in Port Townsend, you want to be on the water. With the view of the picturesque sailboats on the bay and the background of magnificent Olympic Mountains, The Swan is the place where you can literally keep your feet in the sand while enjoying the hotel’s many facilities and comfortable rooms.
The main building, bordering the Point Hudson Marina, has nine rooms, suites, and studios with funky maritime décor and all modern amenities. The views are to die for –endless blue waters of the bay, city skyline or snow-capped Olympic Mountains. The hotel also has four downtown detached cottages for those who need more privacy. Venture out to the beach, explore the Victorian splendor of the city’s historic downtown, or head to the surrounding mountains and parks.
Contact: 222 Monroe at Water Street, Port Townsend, Washington 98368, Phone: 800-776-1718
Photo: The Swan
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» Cedarbrook Lodge
Cedarbrook will surprise you. It is just five minutes from SeaTac International Airport, and you would expect a typical airport hotel. Instead, you find yourself in a discrete, serene oasis with all modern amenities, surrounded by eleven acres of gardens and seven restored natural wetlands. The hotel’s three buildings offer 167 modern, spacious rooms and beautiful common spaces decorated in a combination of North-West rustic and contemporary style with added touches of original art from local artists.
The hotel also offers a fitness center, a spa, modern conference facilities, and an absolutely fabulous continental breakfast in the bright Tamarack Hall where floor-to-ceiling windows offer stunning views of the surrounding lawns and wetlands. The Copperleaf Restaurant & Bar is known for its seasonal fare and farm-to-table policy. Guests are invited to enjoy quintessential North-west cuisine prepared with flare and the freshest possible ingredients.
Contact: 18525 36th Ave S, Seattle, Washington 98188, Phone: 206-901-9268
Photo: Cedarbrook Lodge
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» The Gray Gull
Do you know of any hotel that offers a clam-washing station? Only The Gray Gull. But then, it is not an ordinary hotel. A part of the Ocean Shores, a luxury Washington's resort community that is a short drive from Portland or Seattle, the Grey Gull has 37 unique and independently owned condominiums.
Each unit is different as they reflect their owners’ personal tastes, but all have gas fireplaces and pool or ocean views, and most have kitchens. The view of the sunset from the west-facing windows, porches, and balconies is spectacular. All condos also have Wi-Fi, cable TVs, and DVD players. The ocean is just a short walk away, and you can follow the path there thorough the beautiful protected wetlands.
Contact: 651 Ocean Shores Blvd NW, Ocean Shores, Washington 98569, Phone: 360-289-3381
Photo: The Gray Gull
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» Bonneville Hot Springs Resort and Spa
Surrounded by magnificent Washington wilderness near the spectacular Columbia Gorge, Bonneville Hot Springs Resort and Spa in the small town of Bonneville is a luxury healing oasis. Known for their healing powers for thousands of years, nearby hot springs are channeled into resort’s beautiful indoor and outdoor pool, hot tubs, and drinking fountains to provide guests with all the possible opportunities to take advantage of the healing mineral hot water.
Guests also enjoy spacious, comfortable rooms with balconies, private bathrooms, fridges, cable TV, Wi-Fi, and iPod docks. Suites have their own private hot tubs on balconies overlooking the surrounding nature, and nice, cozy sitting areas. Guests who are more interested in healing their souls than their bodies can enjoy serene hiking trails, spending time on the golf course, kayaking the rapids, or visiting nearby wineries.
Contact: 1252 E Cascade Dr, North Bonneville, Washington 98639, Phone: 866-459-1678
Photo: Bonneville Hot Springs Resort and Spa
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» Mirabeau Park Hotel
Located in the picturesque Spokane Valley, the Mirabeau Park Hotel is only a short drive from downtown Spokane, the Industrial Park, city business core and entertainment options. The Mirabeau has 236 spacious, contemporary rooms that include all the amenities – private bathrooms, Wi-Fi, TVs and queen or king beds.
Many have a patio or a balcony, and suites have jetted tubs. The views range from the snow-covered mountains to the lovely landscaped courtyard. The hotel offers more than 17,000 square feet of meeting space with state-of-the-art equipment for your convention or any other big event needs. The hotel’s award-winning Max at Mirabeau restaurant can provide catering and their highly competent staff can make all the necessary arrangements. Things to Do in Spokane
Contact: 1100 N Sullivan Rd, Spokane Valley, Washington 99037, Phone: 509-924-9000
Photo: Mirabeau Park Hotel
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25 Best Weekend Getaways from Seattle
- Willows Lodge - 30 minutes, Photo: Willows Lodge
- Salish Lodge and Spa - 35 minutes, Photo: Salish Lodge and Spa
- Suncadia Resort - 1 hour 25 minutes, Photo: Suncadia Resort
- The Wild Iris Inn - 1 hour 15 minutes, Photo: The Wild Iris Inn
- TreeHouse Point - 35 minutes, Photo: TreeHouse Point
- Alderbrook Resort and Spa, Photo: Alderbrook Resort and Spa
- Free Spirit Spheres - 5 hours 35 minutes, Photo: Free Spirit Spheres
- FivePine Lodge - 5 hours 30 minutes, Photo: FivePine Lodge
- Saratoga Inn on Whidbey Island, Photo: Saratoga Inn on Whidbey Island
- Friday Harbor House, Photo: Friday Harbor House
- The Inn at Langley, Photo: The Inn at Langley
- Rosario Resort, Photo: Rosario Resort
- China Beach Retreat, Photo: China Beach Retreat
- Fairhaven Village Inn, Photo: Fairhaven Village Inn
- A Harbor View Inn, Photo: A Harbor View Inn
- The Shelburne Inn, Photo: The Shelburne Inn
- The Bishop, Photo: The Bishop
- The Swan, Photo: The Swan
- Cedarbrook Lodge, Photo: Cedarbrook Lodge
- The Gray Gull, Photo: The Gray Gull
- Bonneville Hot Springs Resort and Spa, Photo: Bonneville Hot Springs Resort and Spa
- Mirabeau Park Hotel, Photo: Mirabeau Park Hotel
- Cover Photo: Courtesy of tab62 - Fotolia.com
More Washington Destinations: Leavenworth
In just over two hours from Seattle, you can drive through the scenic Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest to Leavenworth, for a taste of German alpine culture. An erstwhile logging and railroad town that was left high and dry when sawmills closed and the railway was diverted in the 1920's, Leavenworth re-invented itself as a charming replica German alpine village.
op cycling destinhrough the beautiful forests or experience the thrill of white-water rafting on the Wenatchee River with Blue Sky Outfitters who offer half-day, full-day and even overnight rafting adventures. Leavenworth is also a rock-climbing Mecca and there are many challenging and exciting climbs you can attempt. The town hosts several seasonal festivals and events, including the Leavenworth Summer Theater (in the fabulous outdoor amphitheatre) and Art in the Park (from May to October). In December there is the Christmas Lighting Festival and in January you can enjoy the Bavarian Ice Festival.
When the snow arrives the town is transformed into a winter wonderland where you can have endless fun on the groomed cross-country ski trails or go tubing, downhill-skiing and ski-jumping at the Leavenworth Winter Sports Club. In addition you can enjoy sleigh rides and dog sledding, or stay by the fire and sip Gluhwein at Bergdorf Cellars. Foodies can have year-round fun enjoying a variety of German specialties like sauerkraut and bratwurst.
More Places to Visit: Spokane, WA
Spend an exhilarating break in Spokane in central Washington State, where excellent outdoor activities go hand-in-hand with good cultural attractions. Riverfront Park, where you can see both the upper and lower Spokane Falls is a good place to start your visit, and children can enjoy many fun activities such as cooling off in the enormous Rotary Fountain or riding the 1909 Looff Carrousel. Other outdoor attractions include Manito Park where you can picnic or just stroll through the various themed gardens, and the John A. Finch Arboretum, which is famous for its great collection of maples, conifers and rhododendrons and the Touch and See Nature Trail – great for all ages.
Adventurous visitors can make their way to Mica Moon Zip Tours to get a bird's-eye view of valleys, streams and long-abandoned moonshine camps, or go on a thrilling white-water rafting experience with ROW Adventure Center. You can spend many happy hours hiking or cycling the 37-mile Spokane River Centennial Trail or visiting Barrister Winery or Latah Creek Winery to taste the latest releases.
Cultural attractions include the North Western Museum of Arts & Culture, Campbell House and the historic Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox, where you can attend the Spokane Symphony Orchestra or watch a stage show.The Knitting Factory Concert Hall and the 20-screen AMC Theater provide more entertainment in bustling Downtown.
Vancouver is a beautiful and energetic city offering visitors a combination of art, architecture, scenic views and great food. You can get a 360° aerial overview of the city from the Vancouver Lookout on the top of the Harbour Centre, then come back down to earth and explore the very extensive Seawall (the world's longest waterfront path) on foot, bicycle or skate-board. Part of the Seawall runs through Stanley Park, a very popular green space which you can explore on foot or by mini-train or horse carriage.
The VanDusen Botanical Garden and Queen Elizabeth Park (which features the Bloedel Conservatory and a spectacular Rose Garden) will thrill garden lovers, and at the Nitobe Memorial Gardens you can partake of a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony – try to visit during spring cherry-blossom season.
Three of the liveliest areas of town for restaurants, dining and entertainment include Robson Street, Granville Island (where you can go on a 25 minute Aquabus tour around False Creek) and historic Gastown, now a hip and happening place everyone visits to see and be seen. There are some excellent educational attractions including the Museum of Vancouver, the Vancouver Maritime Museum, the Vancouver Aquarium and Science World at the Talus World of Science. For foodies there are a variety of Vancouver Foodie Tours and Vancouver Brewery Tours to savor.
Whidbey Camano Islands, WA
Situated less than 2 hours by car from Seattle, the Whidbey Camano Islands in Puget Sound are perfectly positioned for a weekend break from the city. Completely surrounded by miles of scenic coastline, the islands offer visitors a wide variety of marine activities that range from simply soaking up the sun to exploring the extensive coastline on a Sea Tour or whale watching excursion. You can look forward to amazing wildlife sightings on a guided kayak adventure around the islands with Whidbey Island Kayaking Co., or you can go fishing, crabbing or clamming for your dinner at one of the many public clam and oyster beaches.
There are no fewer than eight State Parks to explore, all of which offer amazing views and endless miles of shoreline. Cycling and mountain biking are very popular island activities - you can bring your own or rent a bike from outfitters such as Bayview Bicycles or Skagit Cycles. The natural beauty of the islands has attracted hundreds of artists and you can have fun exploring the many galleries – each town on the islands has a Visitor's Center where you can get all the information you need about current exhibitions and art tours. Foodies can visit one of the Farmer's Markets, go on a Farm Tour or visit a few of the island wineries.
Olympic National Park, WA
Olympic National Park takes just over two hours to reach by road from Seattle, making it a most attractive weekend destination where outdoor enthusiasts can get back to nature in nearly one million acres of pristine wilderness. Hiking is one of the most popular activities in the park and you can choose from gentle family walks through the temperate rain forest and lowland forests to challenging up-hill hikes to the base of the glacier-capped peaks of Mount Olympus, or go backpacking along the 70 miles of wild and wonderful coastline. Kayaking is another great way to get into the heart of the wilderness and there are 5 rivers and 3 lakes to choose from, depending on your level of expertise. You can fish just about everywhere, and many serious mountaineers come to the park to scale the glacier-peaked Mount Olympus.
You can join several ranger-led activities during the summer, including tide-pooling and wildlife watching, and you can even see the up-stream salmon migration if you visit in the fall, or migrating whales in April/May and October/November. In winter the emphasis changes to skiing, snowboarding and tubing mainly in the Hurricane Ridge area. There are 16 campsites in the park where you can set up your tent (some are suitable for RV's) and for those who prefer their home comforts there are a few lodges and cabins.
Westport is situated about 2.5hours by road from Seattle, which makes it a great place for a weekend escape to miles and miles of beaches and many active outdoor activities. You can spend a long relaxing weekend simply soaking up the sunshine or you can join in the fun of boogie boarding, swimming, kite-flying or surfing – if you have never tried to surf before you can hire equipment and take lessons at Bigfoot Surf. Fishing is great all around Westport and you can also try digging for razor clams or crabbing for fresh Dungeness crabs for your dinner. Children can enjoy dropping a hand-line in the boat basin area or from the boardwalk to catch small perch.
Ocean Sportfishing Charters or Westport Charters (among others) can take you deep sea fishing for halibut, tuna and salmon. Wildlife enthusiasts can try a chartered whale-watching cruise or select a Westport Seabirds Pelagic Tour. If you enjoy hiking and cycling you can make your way along the 2.2 mile trail to the Gray's Harbor Lighthouse, (which forms part of the Westport Maritime Museum History Trail) or explore hiking and cycling trails in Twin Harbors State Park or Westhaven State Park. Children will enjoy the Westport Aquarium in the marina district, the kid's playground at Westport City Park or the Go-Karts at the Breakers Motel.
Whistler BC, Canada
Whistler has achieved international fame as a brilliant ski destination, but what fewer people know is that Whistler is an all-season destination for outdoor enthusiasts with plenty of summer attractions. Regardless of the season, you have to ride the amazing Peak 2 Peak Gondola, which connects Whistler Mountain to Blackcomb Mountain, to experience the most sensational views of the Whistler landscape. Another way to get a birds-eye view of the superb scenery is on a Ziptrek Ecotour, which offers a thrilling 50 mph ride, 180 feet over treetops and deep gorges. If you prefer to stay closer to earth you can cycle some of the 70 thrilling trails in the Whistler Mountain Bike Park or hike, cycle or roller-blade the 25 mile Whistler Valley Trail. There are some beautiful waterfalls to discover in Brandywine Falls Provincial Park and along the Sea to Sky Route off Highway 99.
Other adventures include taking to the water on a canoe or kayak with Whistler Eco Tours, learning how to ski or snowboard at the Whistler Blackcomb Snow School, experiencing the thrill of bobsleigh at the Whistler Sliding Centre or jumping for joy at the Whistler Bounce Acrobatic Academy. To add a few educational activities you can visit the Whistler Museum and the Squamish Lil'wat Cultural Centre.
Whether you want an active summer boating and hiking holiday or would like to improve your skiing prowess, a weekend in Bend, Oregon is just what you need. Bend boasts over 300 sunny days a year, upwards of 20 golf courses, 1000 rock-climbing routes and endless scenic trails.
You can hike the unusual volcanic landscape at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, which is part of the enormous Deshutes National Forest, which lures visitors to a wealth of outdoor activities including boating, fishing, hiking, mountain-biking, horse-back riding and wildlife viewing. There is also good hiking at Tumalo Falls, where you can follow the banks of Tumalo Creek to the base of the 100 ft waterfall. For something really different you can make your way through the 5000 ft-long lava tube which leads to Lava River Cave, to see the year-round ice stalactites.
In winter the Mt. Batchelor Ski Area is the place to go for skiing, snowboarding, snow-shoeing and Snowblast Tubing. If you need a refresher course to get you on your feet Oregon Ski Guides offer guiding and private and group lessons. For foodies there is the Bend Brew Bus, (which will take you to visit 4 local breweries), the Goody's Chocolate and Ice Cream Factory Tour and a selection of food tours offered by the Well Traveled Fork.
Lake Chelan, WA
Located at the base of the North Cascades Mountains, the 55-mile long Lake Chelan offers visitors an excellent array of exciting outdoor activities to fill every minute of your weekend getaway. As you can imagine, this large expanse of water lends itself to just about every type of water sport and swimming, boating, fishing, canoeing and kayaking are very popular; you can bring your own equipment or hire from a local outfitter like Lakerider Sports. You will also have the chance to try your hand at some hair-raising adventure sports like parasailing with Chelan Parasail or Pirate's Cove Parasail, or take your adventure to the next level by doing a skydive with Skydive Chelan. An alternative way to get an aerial perspective of the beautiful landscape is to take a flight with Chelan Seaplanes or Adventure Aviation Trike Flights.
The entire Lake Chelan area lends itself to great hiking and biking and there are many good trails you can explore. For a fun alternative, you can go on a bike tour with Chelan Electric Bikes or take The Lady of the Lake Ferry to the remote village of Stehekin where you can enjoy camping, hiking and kayaking in pristine surroundings. In the last decade a number of wineries have sprung up around Lake Chelan, all of which offer tastings of several cultivars against the backdrop of beautiful lake views – Chelan Seaplanes do fly-in tasting tours to Rio Vista Wines.
The picturesque vineyards of the Walla-Walla Valley nestle in the south-eastern corner of Washington State, just a short flight from Seattle. Although the many wineries are one of the primary draw-cards, the valley offers great recreational activities combined with a good helping of arts and culture.
Walla-Walla means "place of many waters" and you can enjoy boating, canoeing, kayaking and great trout fishing in several areas including the Columbia and Snake River systems and Bennington Lake. There are over 20 miles of hiking trails and the area is one of Washington's top cycling destinations, offering both gentle trails and steep challenging climbs. There are several golf courses within an hour's drive and for the youngsters there is the Walla-Walla Valley BMX Track and a skateboard park. In addition, families can enjoy several playgrounds, tennis courts and the Splash Pad at Washington Park.
Downtown Walla-Walla is the place to go for shopping, dining and to admire the numerous Public Art installations. You can listen to the Walla-Walla Symphony Orchestra in action, or catch a show at one of several theatres which host the performing arts. There are five Winery regions in the valley with over 100 separate wineries. To take the worry out of tasting and driving you can go on a Winery Tour offered by several companies such as Black Tie Wine Tours or Dream Ride Charters and Tours.
More Quick Trips from Seattle
San Juan Island
San Juan Island is a year-round destination, offering whale watching, wine tours, scenic hiking and museums. The island is only accessible by air or by boat. Friday Harbor town is home to charming shops and restaurants. Hotels and inns on the island include Friday Harbor House with rooms that overlook the water the water and Snug Harbor Resort which has 16 brand new cabins on peaceful Mitchell Bay. Lakedale Resort is set on 82-acres with three spring water lakes. The resort offers 10 hotel rooms, log cabins, canvas cabins and camping. Roche Harbor Resort has 25 accommodations with a view of the harbor.
Mount Rainier National Park
Explore the scenic Mount Rainier National Park which was designated as a national park in 1899. The Nisqually entrance at the southwest corner is the most popular of the four entrances to the park and will give you access to the Longmire and Paradise areas.
Across the water from Seattle, Bainbridge Island is a popular weekend getaway from both Seattle and Portland. The island is known for its unspoilt nature where visitors enjoy boating, bird watching, horseback riding and kayaking. Stop at Bainbridge Island Museum of Art which exhibits fine art and crafts with a focus on contemporary works. You can dine at the museum bistro.
Victoria, Vancouver Island
Visit the historic city of Victoria on Vancouver Island which features beautiful Butchart Gardens, cafes, restaurants, a zoo and the Royal BC Museum. The Fairmont Empress offers luxury rooms and suites in a historic setting. British Columbia's capital city offers many festivals, fun events and city tours aboard double-decker buses. There are many great restaurants in the city, serving delicious food paired with amazing wine, beer and cider grown and brewed in the region. Take a boat tour to get closer to magnificent orcas and humpback whales. Explore the surrounding South Vancouver Island Region, enjoying views of the coastline and the Olympic Mountain range. If you are planning a weekend trip with kids, the region offers a great selection of family-friendly activities, such as mini-golf, camping, a bug zoo, butterfly garden and playgrounds.
More vacation ideas: Best Romantic Vacation Ideas in Seattle.
|Seattle, WA To ||Driving Time|
|Woodinville, WA||30 minutes|
|Snoqualmie, WA||35 minutes|
|Cle Elum, WA||1 hour 25 minutes|
|La Conner, WA||1 hour 15 minutes|
|Fall City, Washington||35 minutes|
|Qualicum Beach, BC Canada||5 hours 35 minutes|
|Sisters, Oregon||5 hours 30 minutes|
|Whidbey Island||1 hour 15 minutes (add ferry wait time)|
|Langley, WA||1 hour 20 minutes|
|Eastsound, WA||3 hours|
|Ashford, WA||1 hour 45 minutes|