Fresh air and green space abound in Seattle. So do fun summer activities.
As far as cities go, it’s one you rarely feel the need to escape. Still, a change of scenery can be nice on occasion.
If you’re looking to plan an exciting weekend getaway for the Fourth of July, Labor Day, or any other weekend coming up this summer, consider one of these great Seattle escapes.
Olympic Peninsula Adventure Weekend
Do you want to scramble up a mountain trail, climb a natural rock wall, or take a dip in a freshwater lake? With hundreds of well-maintained hiking trails, thousands of idyllic camping spots, and an immeasurable quantity of pristine natural beauty, Washington’s Olympic Peninsula is one of the most naturally abundant and biodiverse areas in the country.
Connected to the Emerald City by road and ferry, the Olympic Peninsula is readily accessible. If you’re not looking for a do-it-yourself adventure weekend, but would like to bask in the stunning beauty of the peninsula, there are plenty of bed and breakfasts or vacation homes for rent scattered throughout the large land mass. Depending on what part of the Olympic Peninsula you plan to visit, you can expect the drive to take anywhere from two to five hours.
Wine Tasting, Dining, and Relaxing in Willamette Wine Country
You don’t have to go very far from your South Lake Union apartment to enjoy fine Washington wine in its natural setting. Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery in Woodinville, Wash. is just a half hour’s drive from downtown Seattle, and it’s an awesome place for a tasting. If you’re willing to go further, you have the fecund wine-producing regions of Walla Walla, the Columbia Valley, and Yakima Valley at your fingertips. Make the leap south of the Washington – Oregon border, and Willamette Valley’s fine wines are also at your fingertips.
Willamette Wine Country is one of the shining stars of the booming Pacific Northwest vineyard scene. Known especially for its pinot noir, Oregon’s Willamette Valley is home to more than 150 wineries. Bike tours of the region are popular, and hot air balloon rides over the picturesque valley are an increasingly popular splurge. A range of vacation rentals, both on and off of wineries, make spending an entire weekend in Willamette Wine Country enjoyable and relaxing. With 2015 marking the 50th anniversary of the first grape planting in the Willamette Valley, vineyards are celebrating in style. If you consider yourself an amateur sommelier, try to get there before summer’s end!
R & R at Snoqualmie Falls
Almost a straight shot east of Seattle, Snoqualmie Falls can be reached from Bellevue and parts of Seattle in as little as 30 minutes. The falls themselves are spectacular, vast, and raging with impressive fervor. But they can easily be visited in a day trip. It’s the presence of world-class resorts like Salish Lodge and Spa and unique bed and breakfasts such as TreeHouse Point that lead us to recommend making a weekend out of a trip to Snoqualmie Falls
Spend a small fraction of your time hiking to the best viewpoint and admiring the natural beauty of water spilling 300 feet into the river below. For the duration of your weekend, get pampered with massages and enjoy fine food and wine at Salish Lodge. If it sounds like a better alternative, practice yoga to the soothing soundtrack of rushing water at TreeHouse Point.
Unplug on the San Juan Islands
Lopez Island, Orcas Island, and San Juan Island are as scenic as it gets. Get packed and ready the day before you head out, and you can reach one of these calm island retreats three hours after you power down your computer for the weekend.
In the San Juans, time slows down and is yours to do with as you wish. Cycling, hiking, kayaking, whale watching, and organic farming are a few of the ways you can spend your time. Dozens of cute lodging options and an array of well-trained chefs working with the freshest fish and finest ingredients make sleeping and eating in a treat. Camping is also an option.
Are you still trying to plan your next weekend escape from Seattle? If you’ve already crossed off everything on this list, there’s so much more for you to explore in the area. The Pacific Northwest has it all. It’s just a matter of finding what you want.
What are your favorite weekend escapes from Seattle?
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