Top 6 Washington Road Trip Destinations
Seattle is home to a seemingly endless variety of attractions that can easily entertain your family or friends and fill up an afternoon. At the same time, there are a number of scenic destinations that are well worth seeing and just a short drive away. From the mountains to the sea, few areas can compare with the beauty and diversity found in Washington state. When a change of scenery is in order, a road trip can be just the thing to satisfy that desire to experience something new, without the fuss or expense of embarking on a full blown vacation. The next time you are in the mood to get away, whether for a day or a weekend, check out one of the following, which are our picks for the top five road trip destinations in the area:
For a complete change of scenery, take a trip to Orcas Island, located on the Canadian border, just three hours north of Seattle via Interstate 5 N. As the island is inaccessible by car, getting there is an adventure in itself. You can choose to take the Washington State Ferry, or arrange for a charter via boat or seaplane. Plan your trip around festivals and events that are held on the island year round, or go an off-weekend to simply soak in the salt air and enjoy the views.
Two hours west of Seattle, OlympicPeninsula offers a wealth of outdoor attractions, such as waterfalls, hiking trails, and beaches. Its big appeal lies in its wildly diverse terrain and environment, which includes snow-capped mountain peaks and lush rainforests, as well as the opportunity to see a variety of wildlife, including falcons and eagles. To get to the Olympic Peninsula, head south on I-5, then north on US 101.
Operated and maintained by the National Park Service, NorthCascades National Park is located two hours north of Seattle, via I-5 N and WA-530. In addition to offering spectacular back country hiking and climbing among its mountain peaks and valleys, the park boasts nearly 300 glaciers, which are regularly monitored by teams of scientists in order to gain a better understanding of climate change.
Mt Rainier National Park
Another park operated by the National Park Service, MountRainier is located roughly 14,000 feet above sea level and has the distinction of being the most glaciated peak in the U.S. An active volcano, visitors are drawn to the ring of subalpine wildflowers that border the base, while a range of wildlife calls the mountain home. It is less than two hours southwest of Seattle via WE-167 and 165; make sure to call to check on weather conditions before you head out, which can vary wildly and change at any time.
Northwest Trek Wildlife Park
A 723-acre wildlife park located a little over an hour south of Seattle via WA-167, NorthwestTrek offers visitors multiple ways to view indigenous wildlife, such as bison, bighorn sheep, moose, and caribou. The tram tour is a fan favorite, guiding visitors through the parks free range area, while a walking tour allows you to get a closer view of the same animals, this time in enclosed spaces. You can set your own pace on a self-guided tour on the park’s nature trails, and learn more about both the animals and their habitat through two discovery learning centers.
Located less than an hour south of Seattle via I-5, Puget Sound may be only a short drive, but it is like a whole other universe. An inlet of the Pacific, it offers boating and kayaking adventures, walking and hiking trails, environmental education tours, as well as numerous markets, shops, and eateries. A rare gem located right in our own back yard, it is an excellent place to ‘get away from it all’ without having to drive far from the comforts of home.
There are so many great things to see right in our backyard. Of course, even during an exciting trip, accidents can happen. And if you find yourself in an accident while on a road trip this year, make sure to reach out to a Seattle car accident lawyer for immediate assistance.
Thanks for visiting today, I hope you enjoyed the road trip journey around Puget Sound! Have you visited any of these spots lately? I don't know about you but I LOVE road trips and exploring the outdoors. I have lived here forever and I've never been to Orcas Island or Mt. Rainier. I know a crying shame!
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