The Pacific Northwest is full of charming small towns and natural beauty that make for a perfect weekend getaway. Whether you live in Seattle or are visiting and looking for places to add to your vacation plans, this list has you covered. Here are 7 memorable getaways that are no more than a few hours’ drive from Seattle.
1. Leavenworth, Washington
Leavenworth is a charming small town a little over two hours from Seattle. It’s best known for its Bavarian-inspired buildings and shops, but there’s a wide variety of reasons you should consider visiting.
To start with, it’s gorgeous to visit any time of the year. A winter visit will let you enjoy dazzling Christmas light displays, whereas a summer trip offers river trips and endless nearby hiking opportunities. The town itself is also full of countless one-of-a-kind boutique shops that are perfect for finding some memorable souvenirs.
2. Sequim, Washington
This cozy small town is located near the Olympic Peninsula. It’s probably best known for its lavender farms, but it’s also an amazing place to spend a relaxing weekend. Head over to the bay to spend an afternoon enjoying the fresh air and blissful waves, or check out the shops in town.
3. Seaside, Oregon
This coastal town in Oregon is the perfect place to escape from daily life for a few days! Seaside is located about 3 and a half hours from Seattle. You can look forward to enjoying the crisp ocean air, beautiful beaches, and nearly endless seafood eateries. Seaside is also located nearby the gorgeous Cannon beach, which offers some stunning photo opportunities and can be a great stop to add to your trip.
4. San Juan Islands
If you’re looking for a relaxing getaway without heading too far away from Seattle, consider spending a few days on one of the San Juan Islands. Overall, the chain consists of over 170 named islands and reefs.
Two popular islands to visit are Lopez Island and Orcas Island. To get to the islands you’ll take a short ferry ride from Seattle. The easy access and nearby location make this an especially great option for people who want to maximize vacation time by minimizing traveling time.
5. Whidbey Island, Washington
Whidbey Island is another island located not too far – about an hour – from Seattle. This island has become a well-loved vacation destination and the variety of things to do more than explains why.
To start with, Whidbey Island is home to Deception Pass State Park, which has been dubbed one of Washington state’s best state parks. The island’s largest city, Oak Harbor, also offers countless attractions and restaurants that will add to a memorable and relaxing trip.
6. Astoria, Oregon
Astoria, Oregon is located a bit further from Seattle than Some of these other options, but if you have the time in your schedule for the 3-hour drive it makes a wonderful getaway. This historic city has no shortage of things to do. You can look forward to panoramic views of the Columbia River, countless local boutiques, and some interesting local historical sites and museums.
7. Mt. Rainier National Park
Here’s a great option for nature lovers! The beautiful Mt. Rainier National Park is located about an hour and a half from Seattle, and spending a few days there is a great way to unwind.
There are two options for lodging inside the park if you’re looking to stay at a hotel – National Park Inn and Paradise Inn. National Park Inn is open year-round, making it a convenient choice even for those planning a visit in the colder months. For those looking for an even more rustic stay, the park also has several campsites.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com