Every Washingtonian knows that no exotic vacation can compare to exploring our beautiful state. And when you’re lucky enough to find yourself with a free day or two and no plans, you may find yourself wondering what your options are. The good news is, you don’t need anything more than a full tank of gas to explore the spots on this list… and depending on which part of the state you call home, some of these places will be an easy day trip.
1. Seahurst Beach Park (Burien)
Burien may be just a few miles south of Seattle, but when you see this beautiful park, you'll feel like you're in a whole different world. Between the walking trails, picnic areas, and waterfront property, it's easy to spend an afternoon here just relaxing.
Address: 1600 SW Seahurst Park Road, Burien, WA, 98166
2. Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden (Spokane)
Nature and tranquility combine at this gorgeous, peaceful park in Spokane. The Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden celebrates the friendship of Spokane and its sister city, Nishinomiya, Japan -- and there are some locals that don't even know it exists.
Address: 2024 South Bernard Street, Spokane, WA, 99203
3. Discovery Park (Seattle)
It's tough to believe that this gem of a park is located within Seattle's city limits. Tucked away in the quiet neighborhood of Magnolia, it's full of hiking trails, old military quarters, and waterfront property.
3801 Discovery Park Boulevard, Seattle, WA 98199
4. Kachess Lake (Snoqualmie Pass)
Kachess Lake is surrounded by a short, scenic hiking trail perfect for families or anyone wanting to enjoy a lot of nature in a short amount of time. You'll love the rich surroundings of shimmering water, high mountains, and dense forest. And if you love it too much to leave, you can always stay at the Kachess Lake Campground.
If you live anywhere near the Kitsap Peninsula, Washington's Little Norway makes an amazing day trip. Between the shops, delicious eateries, award-winning bakeries, and the pristine waterfront, you'll leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.
6. Palouse Falls State Park
Palouse Falls just happens to be Washington's official waterfall. And if you live on the east side of the state, it's an easy (and beautiful) day trip destination.
Roslyn may be a tiny town, but it's definitely big on amenities. Enjoy a hearty meal at the beloved Roslyn Cafe, then go for a tasting at Heritage Distilling Company, which has a fantastic space in town. Heritage is the most awarded craft distillery in North America by the American Distilling Institute, so you'll definitely want to see what they've been creating, Top it off with a nightcap at the historic (and possibly haunted) Brick Saloon and a good night's rest at the new Hotel Roslyn and you've got yourself the ultimate getaway.
8. Golden Gardens Park (Seattle)
On a warm summer day, you'll swear you're on the shores of the Pacific Ocean when you visit Golden Gardens. In reality, you'e in Seattle's Ballard neighborhood enjoying one of the locals' favorite hidden gems.
Address: 8499 Seaview Place NW, Seattle, WA, 98117
9. La Conner
When was the last time you spent a day enjoying this charming little town? La Conner sits right on the Swinomish Channel, and it's a delightfully walkable place full of fantastic food and shops.
There are some places in Washington that truly can’t be seen in a single day. But since sometimes a single day is all you have, check out
this list of day trip ideas.