Sure, Seattle is a cool city. It’s home to some of the best coffee and beer on this planet along with iconic spots like Pike Place Market and The Space Needle.
With an endless charm and hip hotspots, Washington’s biggest city easily earned a stop on my Top Spots to Visit on a Pacific Northwest Road Trip list.
But the Evergreen State has so much more to offer than just a weekend in Seattle! There are countless must-visit destinations dotting the lush forests and dramatic mountainscapes.
Here is a rundown of the top 10 places to visit in Washington (that aren’t Seattle).
After a cozy winter weekend in Leavenworth, this quaint little town officially became one of my favorite spots. For a taste of European culture without the jetlag, this place is a must-visit.
Wander the Christmas market while you sip a glühwein or soak in the sun from a beer garden in Bavarian Town. Leavenworth is a top-notch year-round escape for the everyday.
North Cascades National Park
Three hours outside of Seattle, you can take a road trip down the North Cascades Highway to soak in the sweeping alpine vistas. Hike the Thunder Creek Trail and take a dip in Ross Lake.
With more than 200 bird species swooping around overhead of the gray wolves and grizzly bears, this place is a wild adventure for nature lovers.
Just 30 minutes east of the city, this is the perfect Seattle day trip. Popular with tourists and locals alike, it’s easy to see why Snoqualmie Falls is everyone’s favorite hiking destination.
While you can drive right up to Snoqualmie Falls, I’d highly recommend hiking up. Park your car at the bottom of the trail and plan for around two hours to get up and back. It’s an easy hike on a beautiful little path.
San Juan Islands
Whether you go for the world-class whale watching experience or to sample the impressive array of farm-to-table local eateries, you’ll love the San Juan Islands.
A favorite stop on the islands is Friday Harbor and it’s an easy starting point for your day out.
Right at the ferry landing, you’ll find an eclectic collection of little shops and restaurants on Spring Street. It’s also a mecca for local artists so you’ll always find a busy event calendar.
Known for an abundance of gorgeous Victorian-style homes, you can take a slight step back in time while exploring Port Townsend.
A quick and incredible scenic 30-minute ferry ride from Seattle, Bainbridge Island is one of the most beautiful destinations in Washington.
My friend Mischa, also known as FarmLuxe, invited me to explore her little slice of paradise and it stole my heart.
Just look at this gorgeous garden that she calls home. While her space isn’t open to the public, her garden show and IG give you a glimpse at what makes this island so special.
Olympic National Park
An hour from Port Angeles, you’ll find Washington’s best camping destination: Sol Duc. Snap selfies at Sol Duc Hot Springs. Bathe in the mineral pools. Treat yourself to a poolside massage. This national park has it all.
Whether you want to disconnect in a quiet spot where you can pitch a tent or go glamping on a spa break, Olympic National Park is worth the trip.
Sequim is famous for the heady aroma and vibrant glow of its countless lavender fields. In fact, this picture-perfect small town is North America’s lavender capital. Grab a few fragrant souvenirs and tour the local farms.
If you can, try to visit during July when the town hosts its annual Lavender Festival.
As a bonus, Sequim (pronounced skwim) is one of the sunniest towns in Washington so it’s a prime place to get a much-needed break from the rain clouds that tend to linger in the area.
Nestled between Seattle and Vancouver, this charming village of La Conner is another essential stop for any art lover. Wander the local galleries and museums to find your new favorite piece.
Sitting beside the Swinomish Channel, this is a dreamy springtime escape. As the flowers start to blossom, visit the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival and soak in the colorful landscape of this beautiful spot.
The gem of Whidbey Island, Coupeville best known for being the second oldest town in the state of Washington. More than just a random claim to fame, this small town offers a glimpse back in time.
Sleep like a queen in one of the chic 19th-century bed and breakfasts then explore the impressive array of museums, boutiques, and cafes that make this one of Washington’s best getaways.
And let’s keep going! Steal some inspiration from this Ultimate Oregon Adventure Road Trip Itinerary to create your next escape.