Sure, the city life is exciting – always filling up with new shops and restaurants that seem to pop up every week. You can never go wrong with grabbing drinks on Capitol Hill or picking up a Pike Place bouquet for mom. Since it’s so easy to fall in love with Seattle proper, Seattle’s surrounding natural wonders are often overlooked. Do yourself a favor – hop in your horse-drawn carriage (or Subaru) and explore these spectacular drives through Washington.
1. Mount Rainier National Park
2 hours and 87.5 miles away from Seattle.
With four distinct driving loops, these rides are fantastic. Hike up the meadow filled with wildflowers, jump into a few waterfalls and snap a tourist pic by the Nisqually Entrance. Mount Rainier offers a hundred hidden treasures within one trip.
2. Whidbey Island
1.5 hours and 34.4 miles away from Seattle.
Whether you’re interested in having a relaxing trip or staying active, the Islands have plenty of options for you. Whidbey Island is part of the Cascadia Marine Trail, a 150-mile water trail which is ideal for kayaking throughout the islands. If that’s not for you, sit back after grabbing a drink from any of a number of wineries and microbreweries in town.
3. Olympic National Forest
3 hours and 112 miles away from Seattle.
The Olympic Forest is tranquility at its finest, and serves as a fantastic place to disconnect from technology. Surrounded by 100 year old trees that reach 250 feet can be mesmerizing. This is a nature experience even the kids will appreciate.
4. Cape Flattery
5 hours and 160 miles away from Seattle.
The Cape Flattery trail supplies you with a handful of scenic views. Huge rugged rocks, birds, the Pacific Ocean and Sea Lions are your reward for checking this trail out.
5. Gold Bar
1.5 hours and 47 miles away from Seattle.
Home to Wallace Lake and Wallace Falls, it doesn’t take an outdoor enthusiast to appreciate the gorgeous terrain of Gold Bar. This trip will be particularly appreciated by your four legged companion, as there is a body of water on both trails for her to jump into.
6. Port Angeles
2.5 hours and 82 miles away from Seattle.
It’s all about culture and arts in this charming city. Filled with museums and sculpture galleries, Port Angeles suits the travelers that crave an array of refinement. Of course, there’s also crab fishing for those who want to get more hands on.
What are you waiting for? Pack the coolers, slap on the sunscreen and get going!