If you’re planning a day-trip, right now might be the best time to start.
Though summer trips might seem forever away, booking and planning now may relieve some future headaches. These towns are some of our favorites day or weekend trips within a short drive from the Greater Seattle area.
North Bend, Washington has its own sort of historic and small-town charm, plus it was the beautiful backdrop of the 2017 reboot of Twin Peaks! Nestled in the Cascade’s western foothills, the small town of North Bend is only a short and easy 30-minute drive east from Seattle.
North Bend is a quick drive into the neighboring town of Snoqualmie. They are connected by State Route 202, otherwise known as Railroad Avenue – along which they hold the annual Thomas the Tank Engine event.
These close-by areas are great for hiking, day-trips out of the city, and general sightseeing. Snoqualmie Falls is just north of Snoqualmie and North Bend and is an amazing activity for the entire family, attracting more than 1.5 million visitors annually.
Further into the mountains, you’ll pass Leavenworth, Washington – another small town made for cozy stories. Though you might know of Leavenworth for the annual Winter-time festival and legendary Oktoberfest celebrations, don’t think those are the only times one should visit this cozy mountain retreat.
Other activities include checking out the local breweries, spas and personal retreats, majestic parks and hiking, local wineries, stilling your body with yoga, and Leavenworth tours. If you’re more the outdoorsy type, check out their majestic parks for river rafting, kayaking, river tubing, golfing, hiking, horseback riding, camping, birding, and awesome (and quick!) ziplines! Explore. More.
Elbe, Washington is a small town off State Route 706, at the junction of State Route 7. Though there isn’t much in terms of formal lodging, there are opportunities for camping and RVing, or just a casual day trip.
Enjoy Alder Lake and the Nisqually River or explore the surrounding wilderness on horseback. There’s even a small museum to check out – and the local diners are pretty great too!
If you’re thinking about spending a few days, check out Mineral, Washington – which is only a short, 10-minute drive from Elbe down State Route 7. Not only do they offer a few resorts and lodging options along Mineral Lake and Mineral Hill Road, there are other fishing and boating opportunities.
Cle Elum, Washington is another pretty well-known town in the Eastern Cascades. Though relatively small, the area offers dozens of close-knit communities, including the neighboring towns of Roslyn, Ronald, and Lakedale, Washington. These places are all within about 30-minutes of each other, and all located off State Route 903.
Cle Elum is by far the largest in this string of small mountain towns, and has a decent amount of recreation including the Washington State Horse Park, the Prospector Golf Course, and nearby Suncadia Resort, which offers a wide array of exclusive recreation.
Whether you’re looking for a day away or an entire week, these are amazing options in the Cascades. Small mountain towns can be difficult to pin point but planning in advance helps alleviate some of the foreseeable inconveniences.
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