There are many great destinations for college students on spring break within five hours of Seattle. These destinations are great opportunities for outdoor activities, great food and various opportunities for nightlife. The area is known for its ski slopes, ocean beaches and islands. Drive to these destinations through beautiful mountain passes, coastal view points and open-air ferryboats. The adventure is just outside the city.

This is a refresh of “Best Spring Break Destinations For Students On A Budget.”

Leavenworth sits in the Cascade Mountain foothills. (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Leavenworth, WA 98826
(509) 548-5807

Leavenworth is two hours east of Seattle and a great place for Bavarian festivals. This small town is nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains on Highway 2 (Stevens Pass). It’s a great place to enjoy rafting the Wenatchee River, rock climb in Icicle Creek Canyon, explore Lake Wenatchee or hike the many trails in the area. The town is filled with great restaurants and pubs that serve many types of ales, beers and stouts.

Mount Baker is a great place for late season skiing. (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Mount Baker Skiing
1420 Iowa St.
Bellingham, WA 98229
(360) 734-6771

Mount Baker Ski area is 2.5 hours north of Seattle, and offers the best late season snow. The mountain is known for its powder, and is considered one of the best areas on the West Coast. The Mt. Baker highway leaves I-5 on the north end of Bellingham, and goes to the mountain along the Nooksak river. Nooksak Falls are a great place to stop and view along the way. The town of Glacier is a wonderful place to find lodging on a ski trip to the mountain.

Kalaloch Lodge sits above Kalaloch Beach in Olympic National Park. (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Kalaloch Lodge
157151 Highway 101
Forks, WA 98331
(360) 962-2271

Kalaloch Lodge is on the Washington coastline and in Olympic National Park. It is about five hours west of Seattle. This is the perfect escape from the phone, television and anything electronic. The cabins sit on the bluff overlooking Kalaloch Creek and the Pacific Ocean. The sandy beach is great for walking or kite flying. Other areas to visit are the Hoh Rainforest, Forks, Ruby Beach and Lake Quinault. Olympic National Park is filled with hiking trails and old growth trees.

Related: Best Camping Sites Near Seattle

The San Juan Islands are a great place for outdoor activities like kayaking. (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

San Juan Islands
(888) 468-3701

The San Juan Islands are a jewel of the Puget Sound area, with 172 named islands and a ferry traveling between them. Orcas is a great island for outdoor activities, Mount Constitution and Rosario Resort. San Juan Island is great for social activities, outdoor activities and relaxation. The area is known for its wildlife population, like orcas, bald eagles, harbor seals and porpoises. Whale watching tours leave out of Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. There are great opportunities for kayaking, biking and hiking throughout the islands.

The iconic Haystack Rock is a nesting area for seabirds. (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Cannon Beach
Cannon Beach, OR 97110
(503) 436-2623

Cannon Beach on the Oregon coast is a four-hour drive south from Seattle. The town is known for the Tufted Puffin which nests on Haystack Rock, beautiful sand beaches, art galleries and Ecola State Park. Ecola is known for its views of the Pacific Ocean and hiking trails. The beach offers opportunities to see tide pools, take long walks, horseback riding and surfing. The area is a good place for whale watching in the spring and fall. Grey whales migrate through the area on the way to and from their feeding grounds in Alaska to their birthing grounds near Mexico.

Related: Five Reasons To Visit Seattle For Spring Break

Karen Ulvestad is a mother and professional writer/photographer, who lives in the greater Seattle area. She graduated from the University of Washington with a BA in English Composition. Her background is in fitness, travel, photography and writing. She continually researches locations to visit, and/or entertainment opportunities for family outings and/or photo shoots. Her work can be found at