Seattle is the perfect location for a spring break vacation. It is located about three hours from the Pacific Ocean, one to two hours from skiing in the Cascade Mountains, and within two to three hours from three different national parks. The iconic Mount Rainier sits above the city skyline on sunny days, the Olympic Mountains shimmer on the other side of Puget Sound, and the city bustles with Pacific Northwest culture. A rainy day is simply liquid sunshine, and keeps the area green. Get out and enjoy all that Seattle has to offer over spring break.

Washington Park Arboretum (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Washington Park Arboretum & Japanese Gardens

2300 Arboretum Drive E.

Seattle, WA 98112

(206) 543-8800

Washington Park Arboretum is located on the shores of Lake Washington and across the ship canal from the University of Washington. The park’s gardens display numerous species of plants—both indigenous to the area and exotics. Spring is the time the rhododendrons and azaleas bloom, and the deciduous trees begin to show their leaves. The Japanese Gardens are on the south end of the arboretum, and require a fee to enter. The gardens are well groomed and include a large koi pond with water lilies. Flowering trees bloom late March through April.

Seattle Art Museum

1300 1st Ave.

Seattle, WA 98101

(206) 654-3100

Located in the heart of downtown Seattle, the Seattle Art Museum offers world-class exhibits.

Island Adventures Whale Watching

1801 Commercial Ave.

Anacortes, WA 98221

(360) 293-2428

Island Adventures boats leave from Anacortes (about 1.5 hours north of Seattle via I-5) or Everett (about 40 minutes north of Seattle via I-5). The San Juan Islands are teaming with wildlife, marine life and birds. These waters are home to orca whales, minke, gray whales, and humpbacks. Tours run from three to six hours long, have a naturalist on-board, and guarantee whale sightings each trip.

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Skagit Valley Tulip Festival (Credit, Karen Ulvestad)

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival 

311 W. Kinkaid St.

Mount Vernon, WA 98273

(360) 428-5959

Every spring, the Skagit Valley bursts into a rainbow of colors. The Tulip Festival draws visitors from around the world. The local growers design and plant elaborate gardens of tulips and other bulbs and the gala includes an art show, the Mount Vernon Street Fair, a 5K run and other fun events. The two big growers in the valley are Roozengaarde Flowers & Bulbs and Tulip Town (Skagit Valley Bulb Farm Inc.). Both of these growers have extensive fields in bloom in the month of April, and their display gardens open on or around March 31 each year. Tulips and other bulbs can be purchased at their stores or at Snow Goose Produce on Fir Island west of Conway.

Related: Best Day Trips For Under $100 In The Seattle Area

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