15 Amazing Weekend Getaways from Seattle: A Complete Guide
If you live in Seattle or the surrounding area you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to making a quick getaway. There are so many possibilities for weekend trips from Seattle within a relatively short drive that you could spend years checking them all of your list.
With landscapes that range from towering mountains with lakes, waterfalls and rushing rivers to island gems and wild coastlines with driftwood-strewn beaches, there’s something for everyone here. You can even travel to an entirely different country with the Canadian border so close.
Want to explore Seattle? We’ve got plenty of detailed Seattle travel guides to help you explore Seattle and beyond.
- How to Spend a Perfect Weekend in Seattle, Washington
- How to Spend One Day in Seattle (2 Different Ways)
- The Best Things to Do in Seattle: A Complete Seattle City Guide
- The Best Time to Visit Seattle: A Guide to Seattle by Season
- Where to Stay in Seattle: A Complete Neighborhood Guide
- The Best Day Trips from Seattle, WA
- 15 Great Weekend Getaways from Seattle to Plan Now
- 17 Amazing Hikes Near Seattle
- The Best Museums in Seattle: A Helpful Guide to Seattle’s Coolest Museums
- A Complete Guide to Washington’s Amazing National Parks
- The Best Hikes in Washington State: Complete Hiking Guide
Disclaimer: Some of the links in this post, like hotel and vacation rental links, are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you we make a little bit of money if you click through and book. That being said, we would absolutely never recommend something to you that we don’t stand behind 100%.
The Best Weekend Trips from Seattle: A Complete Guide to Planning Your Next Getaway
No matter what you’re in the mood for, from world-class city delights to outdoor adventure, these are some of the best weekend getaways from Seattle.
What Kind of Weekend Getaway Are You in the Mood For?
This guide is a long one – here’s a handy guide to help you find a perfect weekend trip based on what kind of getaway you’re looking for.
Looking for Outdoor Adventure? Washington is home to three amazing National Parks, all of which are great destinations for a weekend getaway in Washington State.
Looking for a charming town or city to explore? From small towns like Leavenworth and Bellingham, to thriving metropolises like Portland and Vancouver, you’ve got a range of choices within three hours or so of Seattle.
Olympic National Park
Distance from Seattle: 2.5 hours/ 111 miles
When to Go: The park is open year-round, but the best time for sightseeing and activities like hiking are enjoyed from spring through fall, with summer bringing the most sunshine, although it can rain in any season. At higher elevations in the mountains, there can be a lot of snow, with a ski resort in the heart of the park. By early summer, most of it will have melted, making it possible to hike in the high country.
Read More: A Complete Olympic National Park Itinerary – Long Weekend Guide
What to Do in Olympic National Park
At 1,442 square miles, Olympic National Park covers a lot of territory, from the lush Hoh Rainforest and coastal beaches near the small town of Forks to Lake Crescent and Hurricane Ridge which are closer to the city of Port Angeles. While you can attempt to see it all in one day, you’ll be spending most of your time driving so it’s best to choose one area to explore for a mix of relaxation and activities.
- Visit some of the most beautiful waterfalls, like nearly 90 ft high Marymere Falls, less than a mile trek from the Storm King Visitor Center near Lake Crescent, and stunning Sol Duc Falls with the overlook accessed via an easy one-mile hike.
- Enjoy the beauty of Lake Crescent in a non-motorized watercraft like a kayak, rowboat or canoe (rentals available at Log Cabin Resort and Lake Crescent Lodge). Or fish (catch-and-release only) for Beardslee trout, a unique type of rainbow trout that can’t be found anywhere else.
- There are many beautiful beaches in and just outside the park’s borders, but for jaw-dropping views of the rugged Olympic coast, Shi Shi and Point of the Arches tops them all. Waves crash against the towering sea stacks and rocky formations with lonely trees, while bald eagles can often be seen flying overhead. Rialto Beach, just north of La Push near the mouth of the Quillayute River is home to the Hole-in-the-Wall formation that perfectly frames the sea stacks in the distance. You’d be hard-pressed to find a better stretch than Second Beach for a stroll on the sand, with powerful waves and sea stacks just off the shore. It’s accessed via a .7-mile trail through a moody forest of Western Hemlock and Sitka Spruce trees.
- Discover the mysterious Hoh Rainforest, one of the Northern Hemisphere’s only protected temperate rainforests, with an easy stroll on the Hall of Mosses and Spruce Nature Trail.
- Paddle around Lake Quinault in dazzling shades that range from sapphire and turquoise to emerald, surrounded by the Quinault Rainforest in the “Valley of the Rainforest Giants.” Paddleboard, canoe, and kayak rentals are available at Lake Quinault Lodge which sits along its shoreline.
- The 3-mile (out-and-back) Hurricane Hill hike is easy enough for the entire family and offers 360-degree views of the Olympic Mountains, Mount Baker, and Vancouver Island. During the late summer you’ll see lots of colorful wildflowers, deer, marmots, and possibly mountain goats on the ridges nearby.
Read More: The Best Hikes in Olympic National Park
Where to Stay in Olympic National Park
The two best places to stay to explore Olympic National Park are Port Angeles and Forks.
Inside Olympic National Park
There are several accommodation options right within the park’s borders too.
Camping. There are more than a dozen campgrounds in the park, ranging from first come, first serve to reservable sites.
Lake Crescent Lodge. Located on Lake Crescent close to Marymere Falls, this property includes a lakefront restaurant and offers accommodation ranging from historic rooms in the main lodge to private cabins.
Log Cabin Resort. Also located on Lake Crescent, this resort is pet-friendly and offers a wide range of accommodation options, including rooms in the lodge, private chalets, and cabins. The property includes a cafe, coin-operated laundry, convenience store, and watercraft rentals like paddleboards and kayaks.
Lake Quinault Lodge. Set along the banks of Lake Quinault just a 35-minute drive from the coast, this historic lodge hosts an outstanding restaurant, along with romantic fireplace rooms and spectacular views.
IN Port Angeles
Port Angeles makes a good base for exploring both Lake Crescent and Hurricane Ridge.
Olympic Lodge. Just 2.2 miles from the Olympic National Park Center, this property offers reasonable rates and picturesque views of both the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Olympic Mountains. Rooms have all the essentials, plus there’s an outdoor pool and hot tub.
Stunning Mountain Views from an Exquisite Guest House. Nestled in the woods, this Airbnb rental is centrally located just 20 minutes from the park close to the Olympic Discovery Trail and the waterfront. It accommodates up to four guests in one bedroom and includes complimentary bikes, an Xbox for gaming and a kitchen with everything you need to make your own meals.
Treehouse Eagles Perch over the Water. A unique Airbnb rental, this treehouse sleeps three (age 12 and older only) and looks out over the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Book here and you’ll be within an hour’s drive from many attractions, including Sol Duc Hot Springs and Lake Crescent, and 20 minutes from downtown Port Angeles. It includes a kitchenette, full bathroom, and a floor-to-ceiling window for enjoying the scenery and the wildlife that pass by, including bald eagles.
Forks is famous among “Twilight” fans with many scenes filmed here, but it also makes a good base for enjoying the coastal area and Hoh Rainforest.
Wild Coast Cottage. This one-bedroom Airbnb cottage for up to four guests is within walking distance of restaurants and includes a fully stocked kitchen with complimentary coffee, a Smart TV with Netflix and Hulu, and a gas fireplace.
“The Beach” Cabin. Ideal for a couples’ stay, this cabin is located on a resort property with a restaurant, convenience store, and other amenities close to Rialto Beach. It’s pet-friendly and even includes biscuits for your four-legged friend and plenty of special extras for humans too.
Mount Rainier National Park – Paradise
Distance from Seattle: 2.5 hours / 107 miles
When to Go: Technically, Mount Rainier is open year-round, but road closures in the winter make summer the best time to visit if you want to hike.
Getting there: The Paradise side of Mount Rainier National Park is on the south side of the mountain. Take I-5 south out of Seattle, then cut over on 512, to 704, and finally to 7, which takes you into the park.
What to Do in Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier, which towers over the city of Seattle at a whopping 14,400 feet, is one of the most incredible natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest. Any day that you’re lucky enough to catch a view of the mountain from the city of Seattle is sure to be a good one, but they’re few and far between.
Getting up close and personal with Rainier is relatively easy if you’re coming from Seattle. There are three main areas of the park to visit – Paradise, Sunrise, and Mowich Lake. The most popular is Paradise, which is what we’d recommend for first-timers, but Sunrise is also a worthwhile trip. Mowich Lake is at the end of an 18 mile dirt road
Whether you’re looking to spend your days hiking at Mount Rainier, or relaxing in a cozy cabin, there’s something for everyone in the park.
- Hike the Skyline Trail, an epic 6 mile hike that gets you up close and personal with Rainier and gives you spectacular 360-degree views of the surrounding Tatoosh Range, Mt. Adams, and Mt. St. Helens. Plus, you might meet a few friendly marmots and majestic mountain goats along the way! A shorter option would be the Nisqually Vista Loop.
- Definitely go chasing waterfalls – namely Myrtle Falls and Narada Falls on the Paradise side.
- Reflection Lakes at sunset, where you’ll find a perfect reflection of the mountain in the calm water, is a must-see.
- Head to the Grove of the Patriarchs, a short and sweet hike through an old-growth forest with towering red cedar trees and informative signage.
Read More: The Best Things to Do in Mount Rainier National Park
Where to Stay in Mount Rainier National Park
Camping: there are a couple of choices inside the park – Cougar Rock, Ohanapecosh, or White River. You’ll want to book early, because camping here is VERY popular! More info here.
Paradise Inn: great location at the Henry M. Jackson Visitors Center, the starting point for the epic Skyline Trail, which is one of the best hikes in Mount Rainier National Park. However, it’s pricey and the facilities are pretty average, so know that you’re paying a premium for the fantastic location. Still, worth a stay, especially for a quick weekend trip.
Airbnb in Ashford or Packwood: This the closest you can get outside the park. Just know that it’s going to take 45 minutes to an hour to get to the Visitors Center in Paradise.
- Fillmore’s Landing @ Mount Rainier (sleeps 2-4): Fantastic little renovated cabin four miles away from the entrance to the park.
- Cozy River Cabin at Mount Rainier (sleeps 4-6): In Packwood, this pet-friendly A-frame is a perfect home base for exploring Rainier.
- Millard’s Cabin @ Mount Rainier (sleeps 8): A cozy compact cabin just outside of Packwood along the Cowlitz River. It has a bunk bed and multiple beds, so the entire group will have a place to rest their head after a long day of exploring.
San Juan Island
Distance from Seattle: 3.5 hours/ 107 miles
When to Go: July and August are the warmest and driest months as well as the best time to see whales, but this is also the busiest and most expensive time to visit. If you can make the trip in May/June or the latter half of September you’re likely to enjoy pleasant weather with fewer crowds (and maybe whales too).
Getting There: One of the best long weekend trips from Seattle, getting to San Juan Island is all part of the fun. The most populous of the San Juan archipelago, it’s accessed via a scenic ferry ride from Anacortes, about 80 miles north of Seattle. After winding its way through forested island gems in the Salish Sea, it cruises into the charming seaport town of Friday Harbor where you’ll feel as if you’re worlds away from the mainland.
What to Do in San Juan Island
- The main town of Friday Harbor is enjoyable to explore with lots of unique shops, including Serendipity, a fantastic used bookstore, art galleries, and museums like The Whale Museum, focused on the area’s famous whale residents. There are countless eateries that serve farm-to-table cuisine using local island ingredients, including fresh seafood, too.
- Head to Lime Kiln Point State Park on the island’s west side to watch for the orcas that frequently pass through the area. Sometimes referred to as Whale Watch Park, they tend to come close to the shore. The park also hosts nature trails, an over century-old lighthouse open for public tours, and an interpretive center with a gift shop.
- For the best opportunity to see orca whales, join a whale watching tour, with the Southern Resident pod frequently spotted between late May and early October. All sorts of other wildlife like seals, porpoises, minke whales, otters, and bald eagles are often seen as well.
- Open from May through October, the highlight at Pelindaba Lavender Farm is the sea of purple across the lavender fields which will be in bloom in July and August. But you can also enjoy a picnic here, browse over 200 lavender products, sip lavender lemonade, and indulge in gluten-free ice cream or cookies.
- Bring your bikes or rent them in Friday Harbor from either Discovery Adventure Tours or Meat Machine Bicycles. The island has a mix of gentle, relatively flat cycling routes along with more challenging roadways.
- Try the local wine at San Juan Vineyard, the island’s only commercial operating vineyard and winery.
Where to Stay on San Juan Island
Lakedale Resort. Located five miles from the Friday Harbor ferry, this resort offers everything from lodge rooms and suites with fireplaces and whirlpool tubs to campsite and glamping options, including tents and a vintage trailer.
False Bay House. A one-bedroom waterfront Airbnb for up to four guests, the False Bay House sits is located along False Bay and includes steps that lead right down to the beach. It’s just 15 minutes from Friday Harbor and includes complimentary use of four kayaks and four bikes.
Private Guesthouse w/Hot Tub & Breathtaking Views. This luxurious private guesthouse for up to four guests is located at the Inn at Saltwater Farm. Available on Airbnb, it’s pet-friendly and includes both an outdoor shower and a cedar hot tub that overlooks the Salish Sea.
North Cascades National Park
Distance from Seattle: 2 hours/107 miles
When to Go: Summer is the most pleasant time to visit this park but expect rain at any time and bring your rain gear. Keep in mind that snow closes the roads, including SR 20, starting around mid-October to mid-November, often lasting through the end of April. If you’re planning on hiking, you’ll find snow-covered trails well into July, most years, so late summer is the best time for hiking.
Getting There: Take I-5 North up to Sedro-Woolley, where you’ll turn onto Highway 20, which runs all the way through the park to the town of Winthrop on the other side of the Cascades.
Read More: A Perfect North Cascades National Park Itinerary (Weekend Guide)
What to Do in North Cascades National Park
One of the country’s least visited parks is also one of the most spectacular, protecting pristine wilderness areas and the largest concentration of glaciers other than Alaska, with over 300. It’s also home to abundant wildlife, including moose, bears, gray wolves, cougars, and bald eagles.
- Hike! This is a hiker’s paradise – the best way to see the sights is to get out on foot. don’t miss our guide to the 9 best hikes in the North Cascades. The Blue Lake trail is one of the most popular, a 4.6-mile hike out-and-back, your reward is a glistening, azure gem that’s surrounded by jagged peaks, colorful wildflowers, and forest. With only about a 1,050-foot elevation gain, it’s ideal for the whole family. The Maple Pass loop hike is a stunner during the park’s short peak season. Traversing 7.1 miles, it climbs high above alpine lakes, skirting the park’s boundaries for breathtaking views deep into the remote wilderness. The Cascade Pass/Sahale Arm hike is one of the top day hikes in the park, winding through evergreen forest, fields of wildflowers, wildlife sightings, and finally, views over Doubtful Lake and snow-capped peaks. Cascade Pass is reached at 3.7 miles in, or continue to the 5.9-mile mark to the Sahale Glacier along the Sahale Arm trail for a total of 11.8 miles round trip.
- Spend time at Diablo Lake, renowned for its stunning hue that ranges from translucent emerald to brilliant turquoise due to the minerals in the glaciers nearby. With snow-capped mountains providing the backdrop, it’s truly breathtaking. You can drive here and just capture a photo, but this is a great place to kayak, canoe or enjoy a walk on the 3.2-mile trail that runs along the north shoreline.
- Enjoy a drive on the North Cascades Scenic Highway which follows State Route 20 between Sedro Woolley in the west to Winthrop in the east, about a 127-mile journey. There are waterfalls, picnic areas, and vista points like Ross and Diablo lakes – the Washington Pass Overlook is a must-stop, located at the highest point along the roadway with magnificent mountain views.
- Stehekin is a special treat for those that appreciate being surrounded by unspoiled wilderness, providing the opportunity to hike, kayak or canoe, with rentals available through the Lodge at Stehekin. It’s located at the north end of Lake Chelan in the southeast area of the park, accessed by plane, the Lady of the Lake boat or the new Stehekin Ferry from Chelan.
Read More: 9 Jaw-Dropping Hikes in North Cascades National Park
Where to Stay in and Around North Cascades National Park
Camping is basically the only option for staying inside North Cascades National Park. The town of Winthrop, just outside the eastern edge of the park, is probably the best base for people who aren’t jazzed about camping.
Camping in the Park
Located in the park near the town of Nehalem, the Newhalem campground is just across from the Skagit River. There are sites for tents and RVs along with drinking water, flush toilets, campfire rings, grills, and picnic tables. Colonial Creek is a remote campground tucked into old growth forest on the south side of SR 20, it includes campsites on Diablo Lake. While RVs are welcome, with several back-in and pull-through spots, it may be best for tents as there are no RV hook-ups.
Winthrop (east side of the park)
Rolling Huts. A semi-glamping experience in the Methow Valley, Rolling Huts is an ideal option featuring huts with sleeping platforms for two plus a living area with modular furniture that can be reconfigured for two extra guests. They also include fireplaces, microwaves, mini-fridges and Wi-Fi, with an adjacent portable toilet, plus full bathrooms and showers can be accessed in a nearby barn.
Artemisia. This three-bedroom home available on Airbnb accommodates up to six guests and while it’s a little further from the park, it will put you within walking distance of shops and restaurants in charming Winthrop. It comes with all the essentials, including a full kitchen, Wi-Fi, and a huge TV with an Amazon FireStick for streaming movies and shows.
Marblemount/Rockport (west side of the park)
Skagit Steelhead House – Historic 2 Bedroom on River. Available on Airbnb, this historic two-bedroom home sits at the base of Sauk Mountain on the banks of the Skagit River in Rockport, providing easy access to the park and great fishing.
Vancouver, British Columbia
Distance from Seattle: 2.5 hours/143 miles
When to Go: Vancouver has a relatively mild climate – snow is infrequent, with winters mostly rainy and temperatures hovering around the mid-40s Fahrenheit. The best time to go is between April and October, with more sunshine and warmer temperatures – summer is the warmest and driest time to go, but it’s also the busiest; May or September can bring the best of both worlds.
How to Get There: Vancouver is essentially a straight shot up I-5 North from Seattle. It’ll take you about three hours, which could increase depending on the wait time at the Canadian border. You can also take the Amtrak Cascades, a beautiful journey up the coast of Washington, which is the car-free option.
What to Do in Vancouver
A beautiful city where dramatic mountains meet the sea, Vancouver is surrounded by spectacular landscapes that provide a natural playground for outdoor adventurers. It offers everything from world-class museums, upscale shopping venues, art galleries and outstanding restaurants to lush parks and beaches for summer swimming.
- Take in the view from the Vancouver Lookout which soars over 500 ft above Harbour Centre, providing the perfect place to get your bearings before exploring. A 40-second glass elevator will take you to the top where you’ll have an unobstructed view of the city, harbor, Stanley Park, and the mountains.
- Stanley Park is a 1,000-acre park that lies just north of the West End district, an easy walk from downtown. Walking or biking its 5.5-mile-long path that hugs the waterfront is an ideal way to experience highlights like views of Burrard Inlet, Lions Gate Bridge, the North Shore Mountains, and downtown Vancouver. There are also attractions in the park’s interior, including the Vancouver Aquarium.
- Take a heart-pounding walk across a suspension bridge. The Capilano Bridge is Vancouver’s oldest attraction, originally built in 1889. It dangles high above the Capilano River, stretching for 450 ft, and on the other side are more suspension bridges and activities like the Cliffwalk which winds along the edge of the canyon, crossing cantilever bridges. Admission is somewhat pricey, so if you’re budget-minded, consider the free Lynn Canyon Bridge in Lynn Canyon Park about six miles east instead. The park also includes walking trails, waterfalls, and an ecology center.
- Grouse Mountain soars over North Vancouver and hosts year-round outdoor adventures, including a hike called the “Grouse Grind,” a steep two-mile trail Vancouverites refer to as “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster.” There are many other attractions here like the Grouse Mountain Skyride, ziplines, and a wildlife refuge with grizzly bears.
- Catch a hockey game at Rogers Arena to cheer on the home team, the Vancouver Canucks, with the locals. The regular season typically runs from early October through early April.
- The Granville Island Public Market is fun to wander through, offering a diverse array of ingredients that can make for the perfect picnic along with tasty meals that can be enjoyed outside along the waterfront. One of the top spots to try is the Vancouver Fish Company, a “premier hook-to-plate” restaurant and bar.
- Located in the Richmond suburb, the Richmond Night Market is held throughout the summer on weekends, offering a diverse cultural experience that includes lots of authentic Asian street food, with over 200 retail vendors and more than 100 food stalls.
- Historic Gastown is worth a visit, considered the place where the city began, when “Gassy Jack” Deighton enlisted locals to help build his saloon in just a day. It’s now one of the National Historic Sites of Canada and includes cobblestone streets, vintage lamp posts, a steam clock, and an impressive collection of Victorian-era buildings that now house boutiques, galleries, and watering holes.
- Spend time on one or more of the popular beaches like Kits Beach which offers fabulous city, ocean, and mountain views, adjacent to Kitsilano Pool, a huge heated outdoor saltwater pool.
Read More: How to Spend a Perfect Weekend in Vancouver, B.C.
Where to Stay in Vancouver
Airbnbs in Gastown
Gastown is a great neighborhood in Vancouver to base your stay, with multiple Airbnb options.
Vintage Guest Loft in Converted Warehouse: Perfectly complimenting its surroundings, this one-bedroom loft for two has a cool industrial atmosphere with wood beam ceilings and repointed brick. It also includes a record player and gramophone with an excellent music selection.
Unique Loft in the Heart of Gastown: This studio space for two offers a convenient location in a 1906 converted warehouse with 16-foot-high timber beam ceilings, exposed brick, and a deep soaker tub. (Note from Matt & Alysha: We stayed here for New Years a couple of years ago, and it’s a perfect spot for exploring Vancouver, with some of the best food, drinks, and coffee right outside your front door!)
Hotels in Vancouver
The Burrard: One of the best deals you’ll find in Vancouver, this affordable boutique hotel is located right downtown near many attractions, shopping venues, restaurants, and Rogers Arena. All rooms include Nespresso machines and guests can take advantage of free loaner cruiser bikes.
Rosewood Hotel Georgia: For a luxury stay with lots of historic character in the heart of the downtown core, the Rosewood is ideal, providing a tranquil oasis and a fantastic rooftop patio and lounge. It’s one of the few Vancouver hotels that has played a significant role in the city’s history and heritage while still maintaining an exceptionally high quality of service.
Read Next: Where to Stay in Vancouver – A Complete Neighborhood Guide
Victoria, British Columbia
Distance from Seattle: 4.5 hours/107 miles
When to Go: Victoria experiences Canada’s mildest climate and can be visited year-round. The summer is the warmest and driest season, while spring and fall typically have fewer crowds and lower prices. Many feel that May and late September through mid-October are particularly ideal.
Getting There: The capital of British Columbia, Victoria lies on Vancouver Island just west of Vancouver, easily accessible from the city via ferry, but if you’re coming from Seattle you have multiple options. The least expensive would be to drive to Anacortes and hop on the Anacortes-Sidney ferry from there, or you can take the Victoria Clipper from Pier 69 (passenger only, no cars) in downtown Seattle, less than a three-hour ride. The fastest and most scenic option is a Kenmore seaplane flight which also provides phenomenal aerial views – while it’s a splurge, it’s worth it and you’ll have more time to enjoy one of Canada’s prettiest cities with a unique British feel.
What to Do in Victoria
- Butchart Gardens is why Victoria is often called the “City of Gardens.” One of the top display gardens in the world, there’s something to see here year-round, with over 700 varieties of plants, providing the most gorgeous blooms from March through October. The Rose Garden is a highlight at its peak in the summer, but if you arrive in early summer, you’ll also see a dramatic backdrop of delphiniums.
- Eagle Wing Tours offers guaranteed whale sightings during the peak whale season between mid-May and late October, including humpback and orca whales. Watch for seals, otters, herons, and bald eagles too.
- Tour the British Columbia Parliament Buildings on the Inner Harbour, a sight to see with domes, turrets and stained glass. Free 45-minute guided tours are a great way to peek behind the façade while learning about the province’s history and even enjoy breakfast or lunch in the “secret” politicians’ restaurant (Monday through Friday).
- Learn about the people and land of coastal British Columbia at the Royal BC Museum, the province’s only natural and human history museum, often named the best in all of Canada. It includes collections from the Vikings, RMS Titanic, Leonardo da Vinci, and Genghis Khan as well.
- Enjoy Afternoon Tea during the summer months at the Fairmont Express on the Inner Harbor, the epitome of modern luxury. Visitors come from across the globe to enjoy this time-honored tradition that began when the hotel opened in 1908.
- Shop, dine, and enjoy entertainment at Fisherman’s Wharf along the waterfront. Many tours depart from here, but it’s fun just to spend an afternoon watching the boats glide in and out of the harbor and the seaplanes take off, exploring unique shops, watching for seals, and feasting on fresh-off-the-boat seafood at spots like Barb’s Place, famous for its fish ‘n’ chips with open-air picnic tables.
Where to Stay in Victoria
Airbnb Options in Victoria
Cozy Boho-Chic Loft with Fireplace. Located in the cultural heart of downtown, this one-bedroom loft for four has a gorgeous aesthetic with original brick and huge arched windows, a fully stocked kitchen with lots of great freebies, plus a rooftop deck where you can cook out on the BBQ grill and watch spectacular sunsets.
Downtown waterfront oasis. Enjoy stunning water views near the Royal Museum and Inner Harbour from this one-bedroom condo for four. It includes James Bond-like décor, a floating staircase, and a fireplace.
Hotels in Victoria
The Magnolia Hotel & Spa. An independent hotel with lots of style and character, The Magnolia is within a 5-minute walk of the Royal BC Museum, Harbour Air Seaplanes dock, and at least 20 restaurants. It’s a great value, with spacious rooms (some that offer views of the parliament buildings and a gas fireplace), and a lavish spa.
Fairmont Empress. Offering old glamour and elegance, the Fairmont is ideal for romance-seeking couples and anyone looking for luxury along with an ideal location overlooking the Inner Harbor next to the Royal BC Museum. It includes a spa, indoor pool, hot tub, and fitness center. Join the free President’s Club and you’ll get free loaner cruiser bikes, workout gear, and a daily newspaper.
Even More Great Weekend Trips from Seattle
There are so many memorable weekend trips that can be enjoyed from Seattle, here are a few more options to consider.
More Weekend Getaways in Washington
The Mount Baker Scenic Byway which winds alongside the Nooksack River past old-growth forest and waterfalls will bring you to the base of 10,781-foot Mount Baker and one of the country’s most photographed scenes at Picture Lake. There are some outstanding hikes here, including the Chain Lakes Loop, Lake Ann, Yellow Aster Butte, and Picture Lake and Artist Point where you’ll take in one of the most breathtaking views around. In the winter, skiing and snowboarding can be enjoyed at the Mt. Baker Ski Area.
Read More: 9 Jaw-Dropping Hikes near Mt. Baker
There’s more than enough to do in Bellingham to fill a weekend, starting with the scenic 20-mile Chuckanut Drive which follows the cliff sides of Chuckanut Mountain above Puget Sound. Whatcom Falls Park features cascading falls and multiple hiking trails, some meandering through forest and open meadows, others that overlook Whatcom Creek Gorge. Explore historic downtown Bellingham, enjoying cafes along the waterfront, art galleries, and independent shops. At Bellewood Farms you pick your own apples and sample apple-based spirits in the tasting room.
Read More: The Best Things to Do in Bellingham – A Weekend Guide
The “Victorian Seaport,” Port Townsend is one of the most picturesque towns in the entire country, surrounded by water and mountains. Here you can stroll the main street lined with Victorian-era buildings that now house cafes, restaurants, pubs, wine bars, interesting shops, museums, galleries, and more. It’s an outdoor adventurer’s paradise with endless options for hiking and getting out on the water, sailing, kayaking, whale watching, and more.
Read More: What to Do in Port Townsend – A Weekend Guide
Washington’s own Bavarian village offers some fabulous events throughout the year, like Oktoberfest and holiday celebrations every weekend in December. It’s a bit cliché, but it’s also fun. You can drink German beer in those huge steins and dine on German fare too. The surrounding area offers wine tasting opportunities and lots of recreational activities like floating down the Wenatchee River and hiking.
Read More: What to Do in Leavenworth, Washington – A Weekend Guide
More Weekend Getaways in Oregon
Mt. Hood, Oregon
Close to the Washington border, Mt. Hood near the town of Government Camp offers multiple scenic hikes. You can capture a postcard-perfect photo of Mt. Hood’s reflection in Trillium Lake too. The best hikes at Mt. Hood include Ramona Falls, the Timberline Trail to Zigzag Canyon, McNeil Point, and Tom, Dick, and Harry Mountain. For an easy, family-friendly hike, stop at Mirror Lake, just over a mile in and enjoy magnificent Mt. Hood views. In the winter, Mt. Hood Meadows offers skiing and boarding as the mountain’s most popular ski resort.
Read More: The Best Hikes Near Mt. Hood (A Local Portlander’s Guide)
Located along one of the most beautiful stretches on the northern Oregon coast, Cannon Beach is home to iconic Haystack Rock, one of the most famous monoliths in the country. There are tide pools to explore, sand dollars to find, and plenty of hikes too, with the Clatsop Loop Trail in Ecola State Park a favorite. The town itself is great for shopping, with everything from casual beach shops to upscale boutiques.
Read More: The Best Things to Do in Cannon Beach, Oregon – Weekend Guide
By crossing the Astoria-Megler Bridge into Oregon you’ll reach its northernmost town, famous as a film setting for the cult hit “The Goonies.” The jail that appeared in the opening scene now serves as the Oregon Film Museum. It offers striking scenic beauty, historic architecture, and plenty of great eats, including plenty of organic and gluten-free options. Don’t miss the Astoria Column for an amazing 360-degree view of the Columbia River and surrounding mountains, or the sea lions, with hundreds lying on the docks at the east end of town.
Read More: Guide to Astoria: What to Do, Eat, and Drink
Hood River is a popular base for those who want to enjoy time on and around the Columbia River, like hiking in the Columbia Gorge, visiting the many waterfalls, including Latourell Falls and famous Multnomah Falls. Windsurfing, kiteboarding, paddle-boarding, and kayaking can all be enjoyed from here, with lessons and gear available for many water sports too. Hood River Lavender Farm and Draper Girls Country Farm are a must-visit, especially during cherry season.
Read More: The Best Things to Do in Hood River – A Complete Weekend Guide
McMinnville & the Willamette Valley
An ideal base for exploring Oregon wine country, McMinnville is in the heart of the pinot noir-producing Willamette Valley. The town itself is home to wine tasting rooms, kitschy antiquaries, farm-to-table restaurants, coffee shops, and unique boutiques. It even has a museum with a waterslide.
Another Weekend Getaway in British Columbia, Canada
The famous site of many of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games is ideal for skiing in the winter as well as hiking and mountain biking in the summer. Bear-viewing tours during the warmer months are possible too. The Peak 2 Peak Gondola is a glass-enclosed car offering stunning views year-round on the world’s longest unsupported lift span stretching for two miles, while Rainbow Park on Alta Lake is one of the area’s best swimming beaches.
MORE TO EXPLORE IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
If you’re planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest, we’ve got you covered with all sorts of super detailed travel guides to our favorite places in Washington and Oregon.
- Seattle: Find the perfect place to stay in Seattle, use our itinerary and complete Seattle city guide to plan your weekend in Seattle (we also have a guide to one day in Seattle for shorter trips), find a new hike near Seattle to tackle, and plan your next day trip or weekend getaway.
- Portland: Get a local’s take on what to do in Portland and where to stay in Portland, plan your weekend itinerary (we also have a guide to one day in Portland for shorter trips), find the best hikes in and around Portland, and discover the best day trip and weekend getaway destinations.
- Road Trips: Explore the best of the Pacific Northwest on a 14 day Pacific Northwest road trip. Plan an amazing Washington road trip or Oregon road trip with our detailed guides, including a couple of itineraries that you can copy/paste.
- The Oregon Coast: Explore the best of the Oregon Coast on a 7 day Oregon Coast road trip. Discover the best hikes on the Oregon Coast, and figure out what to do in Cannon Beach and Astoria.
- Hiking in Oregon: Get a local’s take on the best hikes in Oregon, the most spectacular Oregon waterfalls, and dive deeper into each region with our guides to the best hikes at Mt. Hood, in the Columbia River Gorge, and more.
- Hiking in Washington: Add to your Washington hiking bucket list with our guide to the best hikes in Washington. Then dive into our regional hiking guides to discover the best hikes near Seattle, hiking at Mount Rainier, in Olympic National Park, in the North Cascades, and at Mount Baker.
- Mount Rainier National Park: Plan the perfect trip to Mount Rainier with our guides to the best things to do, the best hikes, and how to plan a perfect day trip to Rainier.
- Olympic National Park: Explore the best that Olympic National Park has to offer – the best hikes, a complete itinerary, and exactly where to stay in Olympic National Park.
- North Cascades National Park: The least visited of the National Parks in Washington, learn how to plan a perfect itinerary, and figure out the best hikes to add to your list.
- Crater Lake National Park: Discover the best that Oregon’s only national park (isn’t that crazy?) has to offer with our guide to planning your Crater Lake itinerary, and our guide to the best hikes in Crater Lake. Plus, a guide to planning an amazing Seattle to Crater Lake road trip.