Seattle area destinations?
May 14, 2019 7:35 PM   Subscribe

Going to be in Seattle for a few days in late June. We're considering extending the trip and maybe going to close by rural area? Or should we just stay in Seattle?

We live in an urban area, so, even though we're going to Seattle, it feels like it might be an opportunity to get away to something more relaxing for a bit. I've heard about Bainbridge Island and vaguely other of the San Juans. Is there anyplace specific you all would recommend for a few days post-Seattle? Just to chill, maybe hike, maybe relax, and just enjoy low key. Or would it be more fun to just stay in Seattle?

Bonus points if a car is not required!
posted by jasper411 to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (14 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I feel like the Hoh Rainforest is really a unique and interesting place but it's a bit of a hike to get there from Seattle so you'd spend a while getting there. You could drive most of the way out and spend the night in a ratty motel in Forks and then be closer by. The San Juans are really terrific. I used to stay out on Lummi Island which is totally gorgeous. Doe Bay is also nice for a sort of hippie glamping experience. Bainbridge is really nice because you can take the ferry out there. Vashon Island likewise. I don't know public transpo options so much anymore but you used to be able to take a bus to Bainbridge pretty easily. There are a lot of airbnb type places in a lot of those places but not conventional places to stay. Seattle does have a good number of places you can take some extended hikes within it also: Discovery Park, Puget Park and Seward Park, though they're nice and near nature and accessible by bus.
posted by jessamyn at 7:49 PM on May 14 [2 favorites]

Whidbey Island is nice and has free bus service.
posted by Pastor of Muppets at 8:15 PM on May 14

Well, let's see:

You could take the train from Seattle up to Stanwood, and either stay in a hotel there or rent a car and kick around Snohomish county. There are a lot of options not too far from Stanwood itself, some probably include overnight camping or glamping options:

I will warn you, public transit is nearly nonexistent in Stanwood. Once you get off the passenger train, you'll need a rental car or a cab to get from Point A to Point B.
posted by Tailkinker to-Ennien at 8:31 PM on May 14

Whidbey Island is a huge hassle to get to without a car unless you can take the commuter hour Sounder trains and express busses. (Source: came back from there Monday afternoon by bus).

If you'll be here on a weekend, you should try taking the Trailhead Direct busses from downtown to various hiking trails.
posted by the agents of KAOS at 9:09 PM on May 14

Bainbridge Island is a beautiful 35 minute ferry trip and a short walk to their town center, a quality art museum (Bainbridge Island Art Museum) that's even free, lots of fine places to eat (Marche, Hitchcock and many more), the best ice cream maybe in the world (Mora), a nice park right near the ferry terminal, a few wine bars and a fantastic book store (Eagle Harbor Book Co.). Worth a trip for sure and you don't need a car!
posted by lois1950 at 10:07 PM on May 14 [4 favorites]

I would keep an eye on wildflower forecasts for Mount Rainier. If you happen to be fortunate in your timing that could be a great option. (Actually the National Park and the area around it are quite stunning even when it's not wildflower season but the wildflowers would be a great bonus if they happen to be in bloom when you visit.) There may be excursion buses from Seattle but otherwise a car would be needed.
posted by Nerd of the North at 11:50 PM on May 14 [1 favorite]

Here is a recent ish link: car free hiking trails Seattle
posted by PistachioRoux at 4:44 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]

If you're looking to see Olympic National Park (and I encourage you to), then look into Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort. My family (parents & adult children) shared a cabin there some years ago. The resort itself is rustic but nice, and its location makes for a pretty good jumping-off point for the rest of the park.

You would need a car for this, though.
posted by Johnny Assay at 6:28 AM on May 15

Golden Gardens Park is a really pretty Beach up in Ballard. So is Alki Beach in west Seattle. There’s also discovery park in Magnolia. All of those are in Seattle. If you wanna go down to Tacoma on the train you can bus it over to Point Defiance which is a really super awesome place.
posted by nikaspark at 7:37 AM on May 15

Also you can catch a ferry from down town Seattle to Friday Harbor in the San Juans. It’s called the Victoria Clipper.
posted by nikaspark at 7:38 AM on May 15

Might be a little farther than you were looking to go, but I've got a June Seattle trip booked as well, and my boyfriend and I are spending a couple of days on Vancouver Island so we can stay in these crazy treehouse spheres. The logistics of getting there were kind of a hassle to sort out, but the people who work there are really helpful and had a lot of great suggestions.
posted by helloimjennsco at 9:42 AM on May 15 [1 favorite]

I love Snohomish in June! It does require a car, but that's when the strawberries are in season and you can go picking or just buy a fresh pint from a farm (Bailey Farm is my personal favorite for strawberries.) Downtown Snohomish is cute to walk around and has nice views of the river, and if you drink there are a few breweries- I recommend Haywire.

This is for more of a day trip. For several days, definitely the San Juans, they're amazing that time of year. Leavenworth is a good option for hiking and if you go during the week it's not too packed. For an overnight trip, Whidbey is lovely- I would stay as close to Langley as possible, and go to Greenbank Farm and check out Molka Xete, Ultra House and Oystercatcher! And for a car-free day trip, I would take the ferry and rent bikes in Bainbridge.
posted by mollywas at 12:19 PM on May 15

When you're in town, you might consider a walk around the Seward Park loop, and a visit to Kubota Gardens in nearby Renton. Both just lovely.
posted by Sublimity at 2:02 PM on May 15

You didn't mention a budget, but if there's any flexibility, you should consider taking a float plane up to Friday Harbor in the San Juans. Solves your car-free option, plus you'll have a lifetime memory. (wear hearing protection, floatplanes are loudish.).
posted by jimmereeno at 9:37 AM on May 16

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