Spring is here and after spending so much time indoors throughout the winter, it’s only natural that everyone starts dreaming of their next adventure. In fact, a lot of Richard Chan Orthodontics’ Bothell, Monroe and Mill Creek, WA Invisalign and braces patients already have trips in the works. However, it’s often hard for families to take extended vacations or travel to distant lands with little ones in tow. Thankfully, sometimes all you need is a long weekend to hit the reset button. Plus, living near Seattle means there are tons of amazing places close by to explore. Here are some of the best weekend getaways idea for Seattle families
10 Weekend Getaway Ideas for Seattle Families
1. Hood Canal
The Hood Canal, which is technically a glacier-carved fjord, stretches 60 miles long and lies between the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains. Dotted with picturesque little towns and home to a ton of outdoor activities and breathtaking scenery, the Hood Canal makes for the ideal family-friendly weekend getaway from Seattle.
The best part? You can get there in less than two hours on the Bremerton Ferry or by driving and taking the Tacoma Narrows Bridge. As far as where to stay, we love the Alderbrook Resort and Spa, located on the southern shore by Union, Washington. If you have really little kids, you’re probably laughing at the thought of staying anywhere with the word “spa” in it but children are welcome.
The resort has an indoor pool, free daily activities, a game room with Xboxes, walking and hiking trails, campfires, kayak and SUP rentals and much more. They also have larger cottages available for rent complete with full kitchens, which are nice for big families. When you venture out for the day, be sure to check out Olympic National Park and frolic on the beaches of Twanoh State Park.
Cle Elum is definitely among the perfect weekend getaways near Seattle for families (it’s about 80 miles away) since it has endless year-round outdoor activities including hiking, horseback riding, picnic areas and camping, as well as fishing and boat rentals on Lake Cle Elum. Explore neighboring Roslyn, a small town that was the filming location for The Runner Stumbles, Northern Exposure and The Man in the High Castle.
We’d recommend staying at Suncadia Resort, which is a destination in itself. The kid-friendly mountain resort sits on 6,400 acres of forest and boasts over 40 miles of biking and hiking trails, activities just for little ones, snow tubing and ice skating in winter, golf, pools, restaurants and a spa.
One of the coolest things about living in the Pacific Northwest is that a three day trip out of Seattle can actually involve leaving the country. Vancouver is vibrant, diverse and, of course, gorgeous with the perfect blend of bustling city and nature.
Take the family to Granville Island and swing by the Public Market for a bite before heading to the Kids Market, a fun destination with toy stores, a huge indoor jungle gym, an old-fashioned arcade, crafts, candy and books. In the summer months, stop at the Granville Island Water Park (it’s free!) too. You’ll also want to visit Stanley Park, a sprawling park with awesome playgrounds, trails, beaches, the always-popular Stanley Park Train and the Vancouver Aquarium.
This small, coastal city is a fabulous place for a family-friendly beach vacation in Washington. Soak up the sunshine, dig for razor clams, fly kites, collect seashells, hike and travel around to the neighboring North Beach towns like Ocean Shores for one of the many festivals.
The stretch of coast that encompasses Copalis Beach has something to suit every beachgoer’s taste, whether you prefer hanging out in nature or you’d rather lounge with your toes in the sand. Stay in one of the gorgeous cabins at the famed Iron Springs Resort. You’ll get a stunning view, all sorts of amenities, private beach access and you can wrap up your evenings getting cozy by the fire pit.
The San Juan Islands, with San Juan, Orcas and Lopez Islands being where most of the activity is, are an experience and worth the extra bit of effort it takes to get there. You’ll find the freshest shellfish, fantastic produce and food, whale watching, tiny towns and villages, incredible parks and shorelines, iconic lighthouses and a laidback atmosphere.
The Lakedale Resort on San Juan Island offers seriously family-friendly ways to camp. It has a variety of options for lodging including a hotel, log cabins, “glamping” (camping in a canvas tent with bedding and other amenities), as well as regular old camping. You can sleep out under the sky but you’ll have a shower facility with toilets, sinks and showers, a fully-stocked general store and fun things to do, so it will still feel like you’re on vacation. The resort offers fishing, swimming, canoeing on one of the lakes and an activity tent with crafts for kids.
Kids (and parents) will adore this Bavarian-style village in the Cascade Mountains. The main street of the theme town looks like it was plucked from the Alps. In addition to German food and festivities, the downtown also houses the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum. The Icicle Junction Activity Center at the Icicle Village Resort is open to families, even those staying at other hotels, and has miniature golf, arcade and video games, bike rentals, board games and a café. There are also a host of outdoor activities like hiking, water fun, horseback riding, golfing, sledding and tubing. Family-friendly lodging isn’t hard to come by, whether you’re in the market for a spa retreat, a rustic cabin or a Bavarian-style downtown hotel.
Whidbey Island is only about 30 miles north of Seattle in Puget Sound and it’s the place to go for an all-around relaxing weekend getaway. It has secluded beaches, nature, adorable seaside towns and the most-visited state park in Washington, Deception Pass (you may spot some whales depending on when you go). Langley is a must-stop for the quaint shops, art galleries and restaurants. Be sure to get an ice cream cone at Sprinklz Ice Cream. Coupeville is another small town with lots of charm and a popular Lavender Wind Farm. If you have history buffs in the family, add Fort Casey State Park to your itinerary.
It might seem like an obvious one but there are so many things to do with kids in Portland and it’s just a really one-of-a-kind city. Stroll through Forest Park, visit the top-notch Portland Children’s Museum, which is full of hands-on learning, and get a lesson in sustainability at the World Forestry Center Discovery Museum. Stay at the Kimpton Hotel Monaco Portland to give the kids a treat. The Hotel Monaco has a “kids hour” with snacks and juice instead of a happy hour and the Kimptom Kids program includes a welcome gift.
The beauty of a trip to Bainbridge Island is that it’s a short ferry ride from Seattle but it feels like a whole another world. If it will truly be a weekend getaway and you want to have the kids back for school on Monday, this is a good choice. The small city has parks, trailheads, views of the Puget Sound and the mountains, culture, art and nature. Visit the Kids Discovery Museum and the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, as well as Bloedel Reserve for classic woodlands and tranquil gardens. Heyday Farm is also a really unique experience. The family-owned, 25-acre, historic farm is sustainable and aims to give people an authentic farm experience with events, classes and retreats. You can even stay in the four-bedroom farmhouse inn to really immerse kids in the life of a working farm.
The Lake Chelan Valley is sunny almost the entire year and has more than 50 miles of pristine lake surrounded by mountains and vineyards. There are an abundance of outdoor activities, little shopping districts, events and golf courses. Of course, in spring and summer, the water is the place to be and Lake Chelan has no shortage of water fun, including canoeing, kayaking, scuba diving, snorkeling, stand up paddle board, swimming and boating (BYO or rent).
Kids will have a blast beach combing and playing miniature golf at one of several area courses. There are a lot of family-friendly places to stay in the Lake Chelan Valley including Wapato Point Resort in Manson (they have nine pools, beaches and activities, so you know the kids will approve) and the Lakeside Lodge and Suites in Chelan.