When you vacation in Seattle, there are plenty of attractions and activities that you can enjoy.  But sometimes, people like to get in the car and take a day-trip to popular venues.  Fortunately, Seattle has plenty of locations that are just an hour to a few hours away. If you want to venture out of the thick of things and see some of the popular destinations that are a car-ride away from Seattle, here are a few day-trip venues.

Visiting Seattle?  Plan A Few Day Trips Everyone Will Enjoy!

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier is approximately a three hour car ride from Seattle.  This is a popular area for skiing and snow-boarding in the winter.  If you are visiting in December through March, the park offers snowshoe walks approximately a mile long that takes visitors through the Paradise area. Park rangers conduct the tour and point out the native plants and animals to the area.   If you are visiting in September, plan to attend the Mount Rainier Festival that the whole family will enjoy.   If you are visiting in the summer months, you can hike, mountain climb and enjoy scenic drives.

Bainbridge Island

The island is a mere 35 minutes from Seattle. Visitors can enjoy a variety of attractions including galleries, shops, cafes and coffee shops.  Another enjoyable attraction is the ferry ride to get to the island.  Once the ferry lands, bike or hike through the Blodel Reserve’s forest gardens or through Fort Ward State Park.

If you are traveling with teenagers, they might enjoy taking a drive to Forks from Bainbridge Island to see the hometown of Bella Swan and Edward Cullen from the famous Twilight movies.  While you are there, stop at the Forks Visitor Center so you can pick up a map of the area and see the high school, the police station and other locations from the movie.  Make some time to visit the Hoh Rain Forest while you are there which even non-Twilight fans will enjoy exploring.


Go back in time to a Bavarian Village when you visit Leavenworth, home to the Nutcracker Museum.  Tourists can take in the displays of over 5,000 nutcrackers in this popular attraction.  If you visit in the summer, there are a variety of places to camp and hike.  Visitors can also spend a day white-water rafting with a tour guide down the Wenatchee River.  In the winter, Leavenworth takes on an old world charm offering sleigh rides, Christmas light tours and the Bavarian Ice Festival in January.  Leavenworth is about a 2-1/2 to 3 hour drive from Seattle and is also accessible by train.

Fort Nisqually

Incorporate a bit of history into your trip by visiting the first European settlement that existed on Puget Sound.   This living history museum will allow you to experience what life was life during the fur trade period.  Learn about crafts of days gone by or what settlers were cooking in live reenactments that occur throughout the season.  Fort Nisqually is less than an hour from Seattle.

The Author loves the Pacific North West and for an extended stay Mukilteo and the Puget sound is hard top beat