A Weekend Getaway in Washington: The Best Places to Visit and Things to Do

Nestled in the Pacific Northwest, Washington State is a blend of natural wonders, hip urban areas, and historical gems.

Washington tends to go a bit unnoticed as a state to visit, mostly due to the fact that states like Texas, New York, and California get a lot more fanfare.

But honestly—Washington boasts enough natural beauty to make it more than worth the trip!

If you’re planning a weekend getaway, Washington offers a range of experiences from the rugged coastline to snow-capped peaks.

Whether you’re a nature lover, a foodie, or someone who just wants to explore a new place, here’s a guide on how to make the most of your short trip.

1. Seattle – The Emerald City

Starting with the state’s iconic city, Seattle is a must-visit.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what you can do:

  • Space Needle & Seattle Center: Originally built for the 1962 World’s Fair, the Space Needle offers panoramic views of the city. Nearby, you’ll find attractions like the Chihuly Garden and Glass exhibit and the Museum of Pop Culture.
  • Pike Place Market: Discover local artisans, fresh seafood, and the original Starbucks store. Don’t forget to watch the fishmongers throw fish!
  • Fremont Troll: A quirky piece of public art that’s become a city landmark.

2. Olympic National Park

A few hours’ drive from Seattle, the Olympic National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

It showcases the state’s diverse ecosystem, from temperate rainforests to glacial mountains.

  • Hoh Rainforest: Walk among moss-draped trees and listen to the calming sounds of nature.
  • Rialto Beach: A rugged coastline, it’s perfect for a sunset stroll or watching the waves crash against offshore rock formations.

3. Mount Rainier National Park

The towering presence of Mount Rainier is visible from many parts of the state, but nothing beats the experience of being there.

  • Paradise: Aptly named, it’s the most popular spot in the park with meadows blanketed in wildflowers and trails leading to panoramic viewpoints.
  • Sunrise: The highest point in the park accessible by car, Sunrise offers a different perspective of Rainier and its surroundings.

4. San Juan Islands

Accessible by ferry from Anacortes, the San Juan Islands are a paradise for kayakers, bikers, and nature enthusiasts.

  • Friday Harbor: A picturesque town with boutique shops, restaurants, and art galleries.
  • Whale Watching: The waters around the islands are one of the best places to spot orcas.

5. Leavenworth

Experience a slice of Bavaria in Washington. Leavenworth is a German-themed town surrounded by the Cascade Mountains.

  • Downtown: Wander through charming streets, tasting German delicacies, and perhaps catching a local festival.
  • Outdoor Activities: Depending on the season, you can indulge in hiking, river rafting, or skiing.

6. Walla Walla

For wine enthusiasts, Walla Walla is a treat.

With over 120 wineries, the region is known for its world-class Cabernet Sauvignons and Merlots.

  • Wine Tours: Spend an afternoon vineyard hopping and sampling local vintages.
  • Downtown: Explore boutique shops, dine in gourmet restaurants, and perhaps catch a show at the Power House Theatre.

7. Spokane

Located on the eastern edge of the state, Spokane offers a mix of outdoor activities and cultural experiences.

  • Riverfront Park: A legacy of the 1974 World’s Fair, it has a giant Radio Flyer wagon, a carousel, and beautiful views of Spokane Falls.
  • Manito Park: Explore themed gardens, including the beautiful Japanese Garden.

Tips for Traveling in Washington:

  • Weather: Washington’s weather can be unpredictable. Always pack layers and waterproof gear, even in summer.
  • Transportation: While major cities are well-connected, some of the best spots in Washington are in more remote areas. Consider renting a car for flexibility.
  • Get Your Cannabis Medical Card: If you plan to partake of some of ‘everyone’s favorite green herb’ while on vacation, make sure to get your medical card ahead of time. Thankfully, sites like this one are available to make that process super-easy and hassle-free.


From the bustling streets of Seattle to the serene landscapes of the Olympic Peninsula, a weekend in Washington State promises a blend of adventure, relaxation, and unforgettable memories.

Whether you’re scaling the heights of Mount Rainier or sipping wine in Walla Walla, there’s a slice of the Pacific Northwest that’s perfect for every traveler.

Safe travels!