Best Day Trips from Seattle

Seattle enjoys the perfect placement in the middle of some of the Pacific Northwest's best geography. In just a couple hours' time, travelers can easily reach some of Washington's most noteworthy landscapes, including scenic beaches, captivating mountain ranges and some of the USA's best national parks. U.S. News weighed these factors, as well as traveler sentiment and expert opinion, to come up with the Best Day Trips from Seattle. Got a favorite? Vote below to influence next year's ranking list. 

SUMMARY

Best Day Trips from Seattle

  • Tacoma
    Belongs on List?

    Tacoma

    #1 in Best Day Trips from Seattle

    A relatively quick, 35-mile jaunt down the I-5 freeway, Tacoma is probably the easiest day trip for Seattle visitors. Like Seattle, Tacoma offers a hearty mix of cultural and outdoor offerings. In particular, day trippers will delight in the 760-acre Point Defiance Park, which offers scenic, lush trails. Other popular attractions include the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium and the Fort Nisqually Living History Museum.

  • Snoqualmie Valley
    Belongs on List?

    Snoqualmie Valley

    #2 in Best Day Trips from Seattle

    If you're all about getting lost in the outdoors, you'll find solace in Snoqualmie Valley. The valley, which lies about an hour east of Seattle, offers scenic areas, natural wonders and hiking trails galore. Snoqualmie Falls in the town of Snoqualmie is considered to be one of Washington's most popular attractions and Snoqualmie Pass, which cuts right through the Cascade Mountains, is a prime ski spot come winter.

  • Mount Rainier National Park
    View 16 Photos
    Belongs on List?

    Mount Rainier National Park

    #3 in Best Day Trips from Seattle

    This stunning national park is situated less than 70 miles south of Seattle, putting America's most glaciated peak in the contiguous USA within easy reach for day trippers. While you may not be able to do some serious hiking in just one day, the park offers loads of day hikes that can take between 20 minutes and five hours to complete, including the leafy Grove of the Patriarchs loop and the popular Skyline Trail, which takes you right up Mount Rainier.

    Read More
  • Olympic National Park
    View 24 Photos
    Belongs on List?

    Olympic National Park

    #4 in Best Day Trips from Seattle

    Olympic National Park is an exceptional day trip from Seattle, with driving time clocking in at about four hours round-trip. This national park offers a host of diverse scenery, with peaks to climb, rainforests to walk through and beaches to explore. The park is huge (more than 900,000 acres), so choose what you want to see before you go. Olympic National Forest and Lake Cushman, two top attractions, sit closer to Seattle at the eastern border of the park.

    Read More
  • Bainbridge Island
    Belongs on List?

    Bainbridge Island

    #5 in Best Day Trips from Seattle

    A quick ferry ride across Elliott Bay, Bainbridge Island offers a remote, outdoor experience without being too far from the city. This sleepy island is blanketed in verdant forests and lined with rocky beaches that offer beautiful views of the surrounding bay or the Seattle skyline. In addition to taking in the scenery, you can visit cultural spots such as the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art and the Japanese American Exclusion Memorial.

  • Leavenworth
    Belongs on List?

    Leavenworth

    #6 in Best Day Trips from Seattle

    Leavenworth is small town USA at its finest. The only catch? It's German. Situated about 120 miles east of Seattle, Leavenworth mimics a Bavarian village, complete with traditional architecture and restaurants serving German beer. The town is also a gateway to local wineries and the nearby mountains, which are great for skiing. However, the best time to visit this town is around Christmas, when the town is lit up and European-style markets are in full swing.

Vote to Add these Destinations to the Rankings

You May Be Interested In

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended

The 50 Most Beautiful Places in the World

Let these gorgeous destinations inspire you to travel more.

January 16, 2020

50 Amazing Honeymoon Ideas

From relaxing weekend getaways to epic adventures, these honeymoon trips will help couples create memories to last a lifetime.

January 8, 2020

The Cheapest Days to Fly: A Guide to the Best (and Worst) Times to Travel

Use these tips and tricks to get the best deal on your next flight.

December 23, 2019

30 Top Florida Weekend Getaways

Spend sun-filled days exploring Florida's beautiful beaches, cities, parks and small towns.

December 9, 2019

The Best Travel Backpacks for 2020

U.S. News rated the best travel backpacks using recommendations from experts and consumers.

November 25, 2019

30 Top Wellness Retreats

Rejuvenate your mind, body and spirit at one of these relaxation-focused properties.

November 21, 2019

30 Fun All-Inclusive Family Vacations

Book one of these all-inclusive trips that cover food, accommodations and activities galore.

November 14, 2019

5 Ways Cruise Lines Are Becoming More Environmentally Friendly

Industry considers impact as it looks to the future.

November 12, 2019

11 Unique and Quirky Cruise Destinations

Venture off the beaten path for an authentic cruising experience.

November 12, 2019

The 2020 Best Cruise Lines for Families

Gather up the gang and head out to sea with one of these six kid-friendly cruise lines.

November 12, 2019