Who doesn’t love a family vacation? The Pacific Northwest offers an array of sites to see and places to explore, many close to home (three hours or less), from sandy beaches, mountains and marshlands to desert landscapes. Add these destinations to your bucket list and get out of town!
5 Northwest family getaways
Don’t just drive through to catch the ferry to the San Juans: Stick around and explore Anacortes. The town is steeped in history, and the walking tour is not to be missed. Hearty hikers will enjoy a trek up Mount Erie for sweeping views out to sea. For easier trails, explore Washington Park’s many nature paths. Farm-to-table dinners, boating and plenty of other pleasures await.
The perfect destination for the whole family, Lake Chelan offers a wonderland of vacation options. For the kids, there’s plenty of space for active fun: biking, hiking, swimming and lakeside play. Adults can indulge at wineries, spas and gourmet restaurants. It’s the ideal vacation to keep everyone happy.
The Olympic Peninsula
Known for its rugged ocean beaches, lush green rainforests, mountain peaks, hundreds of miles of trails and beautiful waterfalls, the peninsula offers much to see and do. Stay at one of the many lodges, cabins or resorts, ranging from rustic retreats to spa getaways. Walk the beach to the Tree of Life at Kalaloch, find the largest spruce tree in the world near Lake Quinault, sail a boat on Lake Crescent, or take a dip in the hot springs at Sol Duc.
[ Read also: Olympic National Park: Your guide to a family trip ]
Take the scenic route on North Cascades Highway to the town of Winthrop, where the wild, wild west lives on. Grab your cowboy hat and ride horses at a local stable, play by the water at Pearrygin Lake State Park, or treat yourself to a large scoop of ice cream and mini-golf at a local sweet shop. Winthrop delivers a quaint vacation with a healthy dose of old Americana.
[ Read also: Kids will love Winthrop for the Wild West — and the water ]
Skagit Valley isn’t just about the springtime tulip festival. The valley has so much more to offer families looking for a nearby getaway any time of year. Rent a tiny cabin in Mount Vernon, stop at the Padilla Bay Interpretive Center to view the touch tanks, hike to Craft Island at low tide to check out anemones and crabs. A short distance away is Larabee State Park, where you can explore rock formations and Teddy Bear Cove and drive the famous Chuckanut Drive. Eat farm-to-table foods, pick fresh berries and indulge in homemade treats from local retailers. You may find you walk away from this vacation with a new appreciation for rural life.