Are you ready to venture outside of Seattle on a road trip? If so, you have a seemingly endless number of exciting destinations to visit, all well within driving distance. All you have to do is decide what kind of experience you're looking for. Fortunately, there's something available for everyone, including those traveling with the whole family. Here are the top 10 destinations for road trips from Seattle.
1. Visit the apple capital of the world in Wenatchee
Driving time from Seattle: 2.5 hours Distance from Seattle: 140 miles
The quaint community of Wenatchee offers a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle of the big city. You'll find it in between the Columbia River and Cascade Mountains, and the valley has much to offer. You'll find sprawling forests and tranquil waterways to explore, and there are numerous apple orchards in the area, many of which offer tours.
2. Take in scenic vistas in Island County
Driving time from Seattle: 1.5 hours Distance from Seattle: 50 miles
Island County is just a short drive from Seattle, yet it seems so far away. You'll feel truly isolated from the hustle and bustle of the city here, as breathtaking vistas surround you in virtually every direction. As the name suggests, this county is composed entirely of islands, so you can watch the sun set and rise over the water depending on what side you're on.
3. Explore the lush landscape of the Kukutali Preserve
Driving time from Seattle: 1 hour Distance from Seattle: 70 miles
At the Kukutali Preserve, you can enjoy extensive hiking and exploration opportunities throughout this quaint and well-maintained island. It's owned and managed by both the state parks service and the Swinomish Indian Tribal Community, so you know its natural splendor is in good hands. Just be sure to restrict your exploring to foot travel, as no bikes or horses are allowed.
4. Take it easy with a road trip to the San Juan Islands
Driving time from Seattle: 2 hours Distance from Seattle: 90 miles
To get to the San Juan Islands, your road trip from Seattle will first take you to Anacortes. Once there, you can hop on the ferry to the islands. After arriving, it's easy to relax thanks to the mellow atmosphere and breathtaking natural scenery. While the islands are relatively isolated from the rest of the state, you'll still find convenient amenities here including delicious seafood restaurants and designated trails.
5. Venture across the border to Whistler
Driving time from Seattle: 4 hours Distance from Seattle: 210 miles
If you're looking for outdoor adventure, you won't have to look further than Whistler. Located in British Columbia, this town is situated at the base of two mountains and offers extensive adventure whether you're looking to hike or go skiing or snowboarding in the winter. The region is also home to numerous spas and bars along with pristine golf courses to enjoy all year long.
6. Experience the small-town charm of Bend
Driving time from Seattle: 5.5 hours Distance from Seattle: 320 miles
Small-town charm lies at the heart of Bend in Oregon. In this town, you'll find a friendly community with a knack for creating craft beer and artisanal coffee with quality that you'll have to taste to believe. Outdoor adventurers can also find plenty of fun thanks to the numerous scenic hiking trails and tranquil lakes perfect for boating and fishing.
7. Find family-friendly fun in Whatcom County
Driving time from Seattle: 2 hours Distance from Seattle: 110 miles
Whatcom County is one of the best destinations around if you're looking for family-friendly, outdoor-oriented fun. Located in a vast forest region, the area offers numerous hiking trails of various difficulties that everyone can comfortably experience. Additionally, the central town of Bellingham has a bustling arts scene and farm-to-table restaurants.
8. Find varied adventure in Grays Harbor County
Driving time from Seattle: 2 hours Distance from Seattle: 100 miles
When you visit Grays Harbor County on your road trip from Seattle, you can enjoy a notably varied experience. You can explore part of the Olympic National Forest and then find yourself dipping your toes in the Pacific Ocean an hour later. Additionally, you'll find numerous lakes and streams that you can venture out into along with more than 50 miles of beachfront.
9. Experience seaside splendor on an epic scale at Port Angeles
Driving time from Seattle: 2.5 hours Distance from Seattle: 80 miles
Port Angeles offers a unique experience that you'll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. At its core, it's a quaint seaside town with delicious seafood restaurants and a relaxing atmosphere. All this exists with a backdrop of the towering peaks of Olympic National Park, and you can explore all its hiking trails, too.
10. Explore the gateway to the Oregon coast in Tillamook
Driving time from Seattle: 4 hours Distance from Seattle: 240 miles
When you visit Tillamook, you'll find yourself surrounded by breathtaking scenery as the lush vibrant landscape of Oregon meets the Pacific. You can explore this all yourself on more than a dozen well-maintained hiking trails, or head to the navigable waters with a kayak. There are even fishing and crabbing opportunities in the area.