Travel & Outdoors
There are several ways to camp in the winter, from a state campground to backcountry in the mountains, and these are the best options.
Face it, no matter how much you love the family, you’re probably going to need an escape during the holidays. Seattle is located near the mountains for a quick ski day or weekend, and close enough to the Pacific Ocean to venture out to watch the winter storms. The Skagit River valley and flats offer many opportunities for birders to see migratory snow geese and bald eagles. The small artist town of La Conner offers art galleries, fine dining and lodging. For short jaunts, the Washington state ferry system has many great routes to ride the ferry, enjoy the scenery and feel the breeze. These are the best holiday escapes near Seattle.
For info on traffic and road closures, the best places to park, viewing locations and what eateries are nearby, check out this spectator’s guide to the marathon.
Whether you are a novice skater, a budding professional or a dedicated hockey player, the Seattle area offers a few of the best year-round rink locations to hit the ice.
For the best chance at a good scare, visit Seattle’s best haunted graveyards for a little tour with big potential.
A busy city surrounded by mountains, water and hundreds of parks, Vancouver has plenty to do both indoors and out.
The city of Woodinville is a mere 30 minutes northeast of downtown Seattle, a quick drive past 520 in the Sammamish River Valley. The city itself offers an array of activities for visiting patrons, but the area is best noted for wine country. The wine industry began back in 1976 when Cheateau Ste Michelle established its vineyards, and today there are more than 90 local wineries with tasting rooms just a stone’s throw away. A majority of the wineries grow their grapes in the warm climate of Eastern Washington’s Columbia Valley, where they are carefully harvested and passionately fermented to craft the Northwest’s best world class wines. With so many wineries in such close proximity, you’d imagine there would be alot of competition between winemakers, but you’ll find the folks running the wineries here come together as a community to share their passion for great wine. Take advantage on a one-tank trip filled with sweet, red-wine memories.
When Seattleites crave an escape from the city, Ocean Shores is the perfect retreat away from home. Pack up the car and fill up the tank; this relaxing day trip promises everything from flying kites with the kids on the beach to strolling down the shoreline on horseback to window shopping at the local antique stores.
The San Juan Islands sit in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains and receive less rain than Seattle 65 miles to the south. Explore 172 islands, which up the archipelago highlighted by Fidelgo, San Juan, Orcas, Shaw and Lopez. Expect ample outdoor activities, art galleries, museums, festivals and scenic drives on this exciting island adventure. The islands are home to the largest concentration of bald eagles in the lower 48 states, three pods of orca and harbor seals. Explore the tallest peak, Mount Constitution on Orca Island, or just bask in the sun on a weekend getaway to the sunny San Juan Islands.
Astoria is the gateway to the Oregon Coast, nestled against the hills at the mouth of the Columbia River. Founded in 1811, the town houses historical Victorian homes and an up-an-coming artist haven, featured as the set of such movies as “Kindergarden Cop,” “Free Willy,” “Goonies” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.” Other must-visit venues include the Columbia River Maritime Museum, Heritage Museum, Pier 39 Cannery Museum and the Astoria Column on Coxcomb Hill.