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Seattle itself is surrounded by a variety of gorgeous places, perfect for weekend trips away from the city. If you’re in the Seattle area and looking for a quieter place to escape, you don’t have to look far to find fantastic options. From quaint coastal cities to lush forests ⁠— there’s a wide range of different sights within a few hours of the city limits. Check out these five options below for an amazing weekend adventure!

  1. San Juan Islands
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    The San Juan Islands offer spectacular coastal views, and an island destination makes a perfect place to retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city. Washington State Ferries has several convenient routes from Anacortes, which is around an hour and a half from Seattle. San Juan Island and Orcas Island are the largest and most popular destinations, but Shaw and Lopez Islands are also wonderful places to visit. Spend your weekend going on whale-watching tours, relaxing on the beach and enjoying delicious local seafood.

  2. Port Townsend
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    If spending the weekend in a quaint coastal town is up your alley, Port Townsend makes a great choice. This Jefferson County town has a historic harbor that was a key shipping hub in the region in the late 19th century, and many downtown buildings are full of Victorian charm. Today, this town attracts artists and craftspeople in droves, so you’re bound to find lots of unique souvenirs to take home.

  3. Victoria, British Columbia
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    You don’t have to wait for hours at the Peace Arch to visit Canada; the Clipper ferry takes you to the beautiful coastal city of Victoria on Vancouver Island in just under three hours. This passenger ferry runs from downtown Seattle to downtown Victoria, so you won’t miss your car while you’re away. Spend the weekend exploring historic downtown streets, browsing independent stores and admiring the city’s many stunning gardens. Victoria is famous for its British flair, so be sure to try some fish and chips and tea while you’re in town.

  4. Leavenworth
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    Leavenworth looks like it was teleported straight from Bavaria, and it offers great German cuisine to match. Sample schnitzel, bratwurst, beer and mustard while browsing stores filled with cuckoo clocks and beer steins. The area around town also has a wealth of activities to offer, including hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, kayaking and sampling the goods at the region’s many wineries.

  5. Olympic National Park
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    Olympic National Park is a hiker’s paradise, with miles of trail that wind through temperate rainforests, mountains, beaches, alpine meadows and lakes. If you want to experience the wonders of the Pacific Northwest wilderness, this is one of the best weekend trips from Seattle you can do. You can drive from Seattle to its southeastern borders in just a couple of hours, so you can easily see the park as a day trip. However, if you want to escape in the wilderness for the entire weekend, Port Angeles has plenty of accommodations and offers great access to the park.

Transportation & Lodging

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Once you’ve decided on your weekend trip destination, it’s time to start planning the rest of your trip. There’s two modes of transportation that will make your trip worthwhile: taking a road trip in your own trusty vehicle or having a hassle-free experience on a train.

If you opt for a road trip excursion, you can even consider VacationRenter’s very own northwest road trip route, which hits four out of five of the beautiful locations listed above! If you prefer to travel by rail, you can escape town via Amtrak or Rocky Mountaineer.

Lastly, it’s time to find a place to stay. Book a cozy vacation rental at any of these five locations in no time using VacationRenter. Our easy-to-use website finds all the top rental properties from the travel industry’s leading website and puts them into one place, making your trip planning experience much easier.

So, who’s ready for an adventure?