Attractions Nearby Seattle, Day Trips and Excursions
(Seattle, Washington - WA, USA)
While there are countless attractions within the Seattle city limits, many scenic and historic opportunities rest just beyond Seattle. Take a ferry to Canada, the San Juan Islands or nearby Bremerton and Bainbridge Island for a day of strolling through quaint boutiques, galleries and bleached clam shell beaches or hike through snowcapped active volcanoes.
Alternatively look for orca whales in the Puget Sound. If time allows or the beauty of the landscape beckons, there are activities for the whole family over the waters, through the forested mountains and ahead of the farms and gardens.
Tillicum Indian Village
Address: 2992 SW Avalon Way, Seattle, Washington WA, 98126, USA
Tel: +1 206 933 8600
Tillicum Village, located on Blake Island, is just over 7.5 miles / 12 km off the coast of Seattle's waterfront. Thought to be the birthplace of Chief Seattle, the Marine State Park provides a unique glimpse into Northwest Coast Native American culture, with dance performances and a gallery featuring hand carved masks, totem poles and beaded jewelry for sale. Clamshell bleached beaches, cedar longhouses, nature trails and fantastic salmon bakes make this a great way to spend the day.
Open hours: tours run daily - 11:30, 16:30 and 18:30
Admission: charge, discounts available for children and seniors, children under four free
Tacoma, just a 40-minute drive from Seattle, is fast becoming a frequent day trip destination for visitors to the area. Home to the world renowned artist, Dale Chihuly, Tacoma displays the artist's glass sculptures in various venues, such as the restored 1911 Union Station and the 152 meter long Bridge of Glass leading to the Museum of Glass. The Museum of Glass is dedicated to presenting fine arts through outdoor sculptures, rotating exhibitions and a Hot Shop Amphitheater where museum-goers can watch glass blowers in action. The Washington State History Museum and recently expanded Tacoma Art Museum are also popular destinations here.
Open hours: museums open Wednesday to Saturday - 10:00 to 17:00, Sunday - 12:00 to 17:00 (opening times subject to change for each venue)
Admission: charge, discounts available for children and seniors
San Juan Islands
Address: San Juan Islands, Washington WA, USA
The San Juan archipelago in the straits of Georgia and Juan de Fuca are comprised of more than 170 islands and an additional 300 rocky masses during low tide. Four islands are serviced by Washington State Ferries (Lopez, Orcas, San Juan and Shaw) and are popular weekend getaways that offer activities such as whale and bird watching, cruising, kayaking and cycling. The islands are also known for their scenic views, state parks, historic sites, farms and gardens, as well as town centers featuring art galleries, museums, performing arts venues, shopping plazas and quaint dining spots. Forty of the islands are inhabited and transportation can be arranged once in the archipelago.
Open hours: year round
Admission: charges apply for various sites and transportation
Mount Rainier National Park
Address: Ashford, Washington WA, 98304, USA
Gracing the Seattle skyline, Mount Rainier is an active snowcapped volcano. Less than a three-hour drive from downtown, Mount Rainier National Park offers a day of hiking, climbing or sightseeing, with the Paradise Visitors Center featuring dramatic views as well as dining and accommodation.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charge for individuals and vehicles
Mount St. Helens
Address: Castle Rock, Washington WA, 98611, USA
Recently active Mount St. .Helens is a striking natural Washington monument. Famed for its 1980 and 2005 eruptions, the volcanic crater is now open for viewing and historical, geological and anthropological displays of the blasts aftermath are featured at the Johnston Ridge Observatory. A three-hour drive from Seattle, the grounds feature well marked hiking and climbing paths, lava tubes, ice caves and bubble chambers.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charges may apply for individuals, climbers and vehicles
Address: 6501 Railroad Avenue Southeast, Snoqualmie, Washington WA, 98065, USA
Nestled in the foothills of the Cascades, the 82 meter / 268 foot Snoqualmie Falls is a powerful and majestic natural display which plunges 30 meters / 98 feet higher than Niagara Falls. Just 31 miles / 50 km east of Seattle, the journey takes you through scenic farmlands and forests. The Salish Lodge provides picturesque views of the falls, as well as tastings of Washington's award winning wines, beers and chocolate. Fans of the famed director David Lynch will recognize the falls and the lodge from the cult television series 'Twin Peaks'.
Open hours: daily
Victoria, British Columbia
Address: Victoria, British Columbia (BC), Canada
Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, Canada, boasts strong English influences, most notable in its culture and architecture. The 94-year old Fairmont Empress Hotel, Royal British Columbia Museum and Buschart Gardens are beautiful examples of Victoria's rich history, tradition and unrivaled beauty. The area is accessible by the Victoria Clipper, a water jet propelled ferry which departs on the two hour, 30-minute journey from Pier 69 on Seattle's waterfront.
Open hours: daily
Admission: charges apply for various attractions
Bainbridge and Bremerton Islands
Address: Bainbridge Island / Bremerton Island, Washington WA, USA
Washington State Ferries frequent the nearby islands of Bainbridge and Bremerton across the waters of Puget Sound. Bainbridge Island, a 35-minute scenic ferry ride from downtown Seattle, features quaint boutiques, art galleries and many family owned waterfront restaurants. The Navy town of Bremerton, a 40-minute ferry journey, offers a picturesque waterfront area lined with flower strewn shops and restaurants, and the nearby Bremerton Naval Museum is a popular historic destination. Ferries to both islands depart from the Colman Dock at Pier 52 on Seattle's waterfront.
Open hours: ferry hours vary
Admission: charges for ferries and museums
Whale watching is a popular activity in spring, summer and fall, and is typically concentrated around the San Juan Islands, located one hour, 30-minutes northwest of Seattle. The protected waters are visited by orca, minke and gray whales that follow the salmon into the Puget Sound. In addition to whales, bald eagles, great blue heron, dall's porpoises and sea lions make these waters their home. A number of charter boat companies operate whale watching cruises out of Seattle and various other ports around Puget Sound.
Open hours: spring, summer and fall (charter hours vary)