One trip I never wrote about but loved was a long weekend getaway to Seattle I took a few years back with my mom and sisters. My little sister was living there, and it was the first time all of us were visiting her since she had moved.
Of course, it was fun to explore Seattle, but some of my favorite days of that long weekend ended up being the day trips we took. And I must say: That road trip brought us to some beautiful places. So I wanted to share them with you if you’re looking for some day trip ideas from Seattle.
Just 32 minutes from Seattle, our first stop was at the 270-foot tall Snoqualmie Falls. The observation deck is easy to get to from the parking lot; A quick 15-minute hike will get you down to the river, where you can snap a few photos of this beautiful waterfall. The deck is open during the day, and at night you can also access the observation deck and see the waterfall illuminated by light.
Loop Around Mount Rainier
If you’re looking for an all-day trip and a scenic drive, I’d recommend taking the loop around Mount Rainier. We started by driving south of Seattle and got on the National Park Highway to Paradise Rd E. This route on Paradise gets you to so many beautiful waterfalls to stop at and enjoy.
We stopped at Christine Falls (shown above), Narada Falls (shown below), and Myrtle Falls.
Christine Falls is a charming 69-foot high waterfall framed by the old Christine Falls Bridge, making it a lovely waterfall to capture. Narada Falls is the tallest falls that are accessible by car in Mount Rainier Park and also one of the most impressive. It usually has a rainbow companion, so it’s another great photo opp.
And finally, Myrtle Falls (shown below) is just stunning and my favorite of the three waterfalls we visited. It’s pretty easy to see why, with that epic backdrop of a peeking snow-capped Mount Rainier. It’s one of those views that take your breath away.
Paradise Area on Mount Rainier
If you go past Myrtle Falls, you’ll be near the Paradise area on Mount Rainier, which you 1000% need to see. Why? The name says it all – It’s truly a paradise and one of the most magical places I have visited. When my sister and I were hiking around the area, we kept laughing because it felt like we were walking around in a real-life fairytale.
On top of the fantastic views of the mountain, it has pops of colorful wildflowers, babbling streams, and butterflies floating around rolling green hills. Truly a paradise.
Another spot of interest that photo enthusiasts love is Reflection Lake. POV: A beautiful tranquil lake surrounded by wildflowers with a mirror image of beautiful Mount Rainier.
We were there on an overcast day, and, unfortunately, it had started to rain, which didn’t allow me to get the epic shot I was hoping for. Still pretty nonetheless, sure. But I bet it’s a stunning view on a clear, sunny day.
A 2-hour and 12-minute drive from Seattle, Leavenworth is another great day trip idea from Seattle. It’s a cute Bavarian-styled village in the Cascade Mountains with alpine-style buildings, restaurants serving German beer and food, and even a Nutcracker Museum! It is as if you’re wandering around a small German town in the Swiss Alps.
Pro tip: If you’re in Seattle around the holidays and want some European Christmas market vibes, Leavenworth is the place to be!
I’m so bummed I don’t have any photos to share here. We visited Leavenworth on what seemed like the hottest day of my life. It felt well over 100 degrees, so all we mustered that day were a few stops for a quick cool down. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a comfortable enough day for us to properly explore this adorable town. But a quick Google search or a look at the website will give you an idea of what Leavenworth is all about.
Hopefully, that gives you a few ideas for some awesome places to visit near Seattle. All these places are great excursion options for the solo explorer and families alike. And I’m sure I missed a few here, so let me know if there are any other day trips we should add to this list.
Let’s go places,
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What are some of your favorite day trips from Seattle? Share them in the comments section below and I’ll check them out!