Spring will be here soon and here in Seattle, we are starting to dry out after a very long and snowy winter. I am pretty sure it’s been raining since Thanksgiving and I might be starting to grow moss from all of the dark days and wet weather.
But when the sun does start to come out, the thing all Pacific Northwesters know is that you make the most of it. I always have a growing list of day trips that I want to take as soon as I have time and a day that isn’t super soggy.
One of the best ways to see Washington and see both land and sea is to hop on one of Washington’s many ferry boats. You don’t need a reservation if you have the desire to wait a bit, maybe get to know your other car neighbors and hang out. But it is advised if you really want to make sure you get on the boat at the time you desire. So go on to the Washington State Ferry Reservation website and make a quick reservation and you won’t be stuck waiting as long if they don’t have room for you. During the summer and busier times, reservations are a good idea.
My husband and I love taking road trips, and it is great when we can load up the car, grab the dogs and explore new places.
From the ferries you get a chance to see the beautiful scenery. From some ships you can see Mt. Rainier, the Seattle Skyline, and keep your eye out for the marine wildlife. During the summer you might even spot Orcas playing out in the Sound. I love taking a summer ride out to Bainbridge Island and doing some shopping and checking out the islands restaurants.
I love Snoqualmie Falls; it is one of the places I love to visit several times a year. It is a great day trip and something that doesn’t take too much effort. Just 30 minutes from Seattle, this day trip takes you from the city into the heart of nature.
The falls are breathtaking. You can view the falls from the viewing platforms that are handicapped accessible and an easy walk from the parking lot. Or for the more adventurous, you can walk down the beautiful trail that takes you right down to the water’s edge.
The town of Snoqualmie has several great restaurants as well as parks, shopping, and a newly designed downtown area has a great walk to see the historic trains. During the warmer months on the weekends they have a train ride that takes you through the countryside.
If you are ready for more fun, you can hike Mt. Si or take a horseback tour. Looking for water sports? The Snoqualmie River is perfect for whitewater rafting, kayaking, or for the slower speed you can tube down the slower part of the river into Fall City.
Woodinville Wine Country
If you love wine tasting and tours and a fantastic drive, then head out to Woodinville. 30 minutes out of the city and you will find Washington’s wine country.
My husband and I have been to Chateau Ste. Michelle’s Winery and have done both the tour with tasting and the summer concerts. We had a great date watching Sheryl Crow and having a picnic on the grass. But be sure to sign up for their emails for the concerts ahead of time because tickets sell out fast.
Columbia Winery, has a great selection of syrah, cab franc, and pinot gris. You can get a class of your favorite and Columbia’s wood-fired flatbreads.
Don’t miss some of the small wineries while you are there. They might be small but their wines are just as fantastic as the bigger names. I really enjoy the boutique tasting rooms and finding small-batch wines made on-location.
All through the year there is always something to see in the Seattle area. From the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival held from April 1-30 to the San Juan Islands and Orca sighting tours. Day trips are the way to get out and see the best of the Pacific Northwest while still being close to Seattle. Just visiting? Rent a car for the day and drive to explore, or look into one of the many bus tours leaving from Seattle daily. Weekends are best to find the Farmer’s markets packed full of fresh fruits and vegetables as well as crafts and so much FOOD!