8 Best Day Trips in Washington State (2023)
There are days when it feels like pulling out the car from your garage and driving away into unknown roads. Though not all have such worthy driving location around if you are a Washingtonian, you have plenty of options around. The State of Washington is blessed with the loveliest natural areas around the Pacific Coast. The perfect Pacific North landscapes, charming small towns, and quaint villages call people to explore it all within a short excursion. No matter which part of Washington you live in, there are day trip-worthy location close to you.
A day trip in Washington is possible via a scenic car drive or a fun-filled ferry ride. You can choose from major Washington Islands, its grand wildernesses, cultural centers, or mountain towns. Depending upon which section of the state you live in, you will be able to choose some best day trip towns around you.
8 Best Day Trips in Washington State
Here we have some finest considerations for your ease. Have a look at our list of popular day trip options in Washington State.
1. Spend A Day In The Lovely La Conner Town
La Conner is one of the coolest Washington towns, ideal for a day trip. It is half a square mile and has no more than 1000 residents. Plan your visit here during April and attend the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival. Or, during summers, you will find several water-based adventure opportunities here. The town is so tiny that you can literally explore all its attractions in a day or two. Some of the highlights amongst them include,
- Pacific Northwest Quilt and Fiber Arts Museum, Museum of Northwest Art & Skagit County Historical Museum.
- La Conner Rainbow Bridge (It looks mesmerizing during the night).
- Hellam’s Vineyard & Skagit Crest Vineyard and Winery
- Skagit Cellars
- Kukutali Preserve
- Bearfoot Art Glass Studio
2. Drive Towards The Coastal City Of Bellingham
Bellingham is a Washington city close to Canada Border. Though, its extensive size and unending outdoor can’t be explored in a day, but can’t stop you from making a good day trip. Bellingham has a Pacific Northwest culture. It is home to Western Washington University, and thus local storefronts, cafes’ and restaurants here are in high numbers. It is also the major port city deporting ferries and cruises towards Alaska. Besides that, the city is also known for its national and international award-winning breweries. Some of the tourist attraction highlights here include,
- Whatcom Falls Park
- Fairhaven Historic District
- Bellingham Farmers Market
- SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention & Whatcom Museum
- Wander Brewing, Aslan Brewing Company & Chuckanut Brewery and Kitchen.
- Boulevard Park (Known for mesmerizing sunset views)
- Lake Padden Park
3. Discover the Town of Metaline Falls
The town of Metaline Falls is a tiny town in Washington with a population of no more than 250. Though despite its less population, it is known amongst the neighborhood for day trips and outdoor exploration. It is noted as one of the 100 best small arts towns of America. It was initially settled in the year 1900 as a logging town. Some of the tourist attraction highlights here include,
- Mill Pond Historic Interpretive Site
- Colville National Forest
- Crawford State Park (It is famous for housing the second-largest limestone cavern of Washington. Guided tours are organized for exploring them).
- The historic 1912 Cutter Theatre
- Mount Linton RV Park or the Sullivan Lake Ranger District for camping.
4. Take Out a Day to Explore the Green Lake Trail
The Green Lake Trail is located in Ashford, a census-designated place in Washington. If your ideas of a day trip include hiking and exploring nature, then there isn’t a better place than this. The Green Lake Trail surrounds the namesake lake and is itself surrounded by lush forestland. The trailhead begins from the picturesque Carbon River and goes all the way 3.6 miles to Ranger Creek. It is marked moderately easy and thus is ideal for both novice and family hikers both. Throughout the way, you will come across the oldest and largest sky-touching trees, a stunning waterfall ‘Rangers Fall,’ and unexploited wilderness. Wandering on this route feels like entering a different world on its own. Though exploring the Green Lake trail won’t take a day, you can take your sweet time in the forestland and around the lake, observing the scenic beauty.
5. Go Deep Into the Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park is a million acres wilderness and Washington’s best natural region. It is a national monument and a UNESCO World Heritage Site as well. The National Park has so much to do that even a week is less, though you can begin knowing it with your day trips. The park protects the temperate rainforest, the unique habitat on the planet. Here you will see giant trees covered in moss, 70 miles of rugged and picturesque coastline, alpine regions, dry forests, and other excellent ecology. Hike the mountains, float the lakes, soak in natural hot pools, walk towards a waterfall, or go on adventures in the snow-capped peaks. Olympic National Park is also known for its clear star-studded skies and camping affairs. Depending upon which section you are entering from, you can choose a diverse range of things to explore.
6. Learn About the Charm of Carnation
Carnation is a city in King County named after the world-famous Carnation Milk Products Company that operated here in 1910. It is 35 minutes drive from Seattle and is ideal for planning a fun day trip. The city though doesn’t top on tourism, but for exploring in a day, there is a lot here. Individuals from nearby communities often visit here for recreational opportunities in the Tolt and Snoqualmie Rivers nearby. Some of the tourist attraction highlights here include,
- The recreated Camlann Medieval Village (It replicates the 14th-century English countryside life)
- Remlinger Farms (Popular for corn mazes, amusement rides, entertainment, u-pick fields, and more).
- Tolt-MacDonald Park & Campground
- Carnation Farms
- Valley Vignettes Bike Tours
- Cascade Rose Alpacas (One of the largest alpaca farms in Washington State)
7. Soak in the Hot Springs At Carson
Carson is a small census-designated place located in the southwestern part of Washington. It is 4.6 miles from Stevenson, 19.1 miles from Bingen, and 20.4 miles from White Salmon. This proximity to several Washington towns makes Carson a hot spot for day trips. Though there isn’t much to explore in the town, St. Martin’s hot spring and resort here draws considerable tourism. The resort is home to natural mineral hot springs and an authentic bathtub from the 1900s. The hot springs are full of therapeutic mineral water that adds to relaxing the entire body. Besides that, the resort also has a par-71 Elk Ridge Golf Course and rustic rooms for an overnight stay. The resort also offers activities like rafting, fishing, hiking, and biking right at its front door. On a day trip to the town, you can also go for Carson National Fish Hatchery tours and learn about its history and operations.
8. Spend a Day at the Castle Rock
Castle Rock is a historic city and a doorway to the breathtaking Mount St Helens. The town is within proximity to the Mount St Helens National Monument and the Spirit Lake Memorial Highway. On a day visit here, you can either choose to observe the landscapes in a hurry or stop and keenly watch one of them from close. Some of the tourist attraction highlights here include,
- Mount St Helens Visitor Center
- Johnston Ridge Observatory
- Vault Books and Brew
- Forest Learning Center
- Hummocks Trail
- Loowit Trail