Thanks to excellent schools, an inclusive community, and an abundance of outdoor recreational activities, Seattle is a great place to raise a family. While there’s plenty to do right here, it’s also fun to get out of the city and explore a new place with your loved ones.
We put together nine amazing kid-friendly getaways from Seattle that are just a short distance outside of the city, offering a perfect blend of adventure, relaxation, and unforgettable experiences for all ages. From scenic coastal towns to charming mountain getaways, each destination on our list promises unique highlights and activities that will keep both kids and adults entertained.
Quick Answer: Family & Kid-Friendly Getaways From Seattle
Best Kid-Friendly Day Trips From Seattle
- Best for fans of Europe - Leavenworth
- Best for families who want to chill - Whidbey Island
- Best for families who love getting outside - Mount Rainier National Park
Best Family Weekend Getaways From Seattle
- Best for families with teens - San Juan Islands
- Best for beach-loving families - Ocean Shores
- Best for people who love hiking - Olympic National Park
Best Getaways From Seattle for Families
- Best for people who love the sun - San Diego
- Best for adventure seekers - Juneau
- Best for new passport holders - Calgary, Canada
Kid-Friendly Day Trips From Seattle
You may not always have time for multi-day getaways. All of these destinations are within a two-hour drive of Seattle, making them perfect for a fun-filled day adventure with the family.
- Perfect for: Fans of Europe
- Highlights of Leavenworth:
- Unique Bavarian architecture
- Family-friendly activities
- A variety of great restaurants
How to Get to Leavenworth
Travel east on I-90 for approximately two hours from Seattle. Take exit 85 and follow US-2 W to reach Leavenworth, Washington.
Things to Do in Leavenworth
Leavenworth is a charming Bavarian-style village nestled in the Cascade Mountains, offering a unique and picturesque destination for families to explore. It is particularly beautiful during the Christmas season, when every building glows with lights and snow. Whenever you visit, one of the top highlights is the Nutcracker Museum, a whimsical and enchanting place where kids can immerse themselves in the world of nutcrackers.
Leavenworth is also known for its outdoor adventures that are perfect for families. If you’re visiting in the spring or summer, take a scenic river float along the Wenatchee River, where you can enjoy the stunning natural beauty while gently cruising on the water.
Another must-visit attraction is the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm, where kids can get up close and personal with these gentle creatures. Note that the farm is not open in the afternoon during the summer months in order to keep the reindeer comfortable. Tours can still be booked during the morning and some evenings.
Where to Stay in Leavenworth
If you’re driving to Leavenworth from Seattle, you will have the advantage of having a car. However, considering how small and walkable Leavenworth is, we recommend staying close to downtown and avoiding parking, especially if you’re visiting during the busy holiday season.
This Bavarian-style condo on Airbnb is a great choice for families. It has two bedrooms and three beds, and sleeps up to six guests. It’s also located in the heart of downtown Leavenworth, so you can walk to most attractions.
If you prefer a hotel, we recommend the Icicle Village Resort. This resort is situated just a short 14-minute walk from the Front Street Urban Park and features a swimming pool where your kids can play. It also offers accommodations of various sizes, ranging from standard rooms to three-bedroom condos, so you can find something that will best suite your family.
2. Whidbey Island
- Perfect for: Families who want to chill
- Highlights of Whidbey Island:
- Quaint coastal towns
- Beautiful beaches
- Whale watching opportunities
How to Get to Whidbey Island
To reach Whidbey Island from Seattle, drive north on I-5 and take the Mukilteo-Clinton ferry. The ferry ride takes about 30 minutes.
Things to Do in Whidbey Island
Whidbey Island is a picturesque Washington destination that offers a perfect blend of coastal beauty and small-town charm. Take your family for a stroll through the quaint streets of Coupeville, one of the island's historic towns. Enjoy browsing local shops, sampling delicious seafood, and exploring the scenic waterfront.
For a day of fun in the sun, head to Double Bluff Beach, a beautiful sandy shoreline with panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains. Let your kids build sandcastles, fly kites, and splash in the refreshing waters of Puget Sound.
Whidbey Island is also known for its whale-watching opportunities. Join a guided tour and embark on a thrilling adventure to spot majestic whales swimming in the surrounding waters. Keep your camera ready to capture breathtaking moments as your kids witness these magnificent creatures breach the surface.
Where to Stay in Whidbey Island
If you're looking for a memorable and unique place to stay after your road trip to Whidbey Island, you’ll have plenty of options.
For families traveling with several children (or at least one teenager), we recommend this cabin in Langley. With three bedrooms and 2 bathrooms, everyone will have plenty of space during their downtime. The woodsy cabin features are also extra cozy in chilly weather.
For a true seaside experience, Captain Whidbey Inn is one of our personal favorites. Nestled amidst scenic surroundings, this lovely inn offers comfortable accommodations with a touch of maritime history.
3. Mount Rainier National Park
- Perfect for: Families who love getting outside
- Highlights of Mount Rainier National Park:
- Iconic volcanic peak
- Glacier-carved valleys
- Family-friendly hikes
How to Get to Mount Rainier National Park
From Seattle, take I-5 South and merge onto WA-167 S toward Puyallup. Continue onto WA-410 E and follow the signs to Mount Rainier National Park. It should take just under two hours to get there.
Things to Do in Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier National Park is a haven for nature lovers in Washington State, offering a range of activities that cater to all ages. Don't miss the opportunity to witness the awe-inspiring glaciers and cascading waterfalls within the park.
Visit the famous Paradise area, where you'll be greeted by stunning wildflower meadows and breathtaking views of the mountain. Take a leisurely stroll along the Skyline Trail, which offers panoramic vistas of the surrounding valleys and an up-close look at the park's vibrant flora and fauna.
For a more leisurely activity, drive along the scenic Stevens Canyon Road and make stops at picturesque viewpoints such as Reflection Lakes and Box Canyon. These spots offer incredible photo opportunities and a chance to appreciate the natural beauty of the park. Note that the road closes every winter.
Where to Stay in Mount Rainier National Park
While camping is a popular option within Mount Rainier National Park, there are also nearby lodging options that provide comfort and convenience for families.
For a rustic (but not so rustic that you’re stuck in a tent with a toddler), check out this Airbnb cabin. It sleeps up to seven guests so there’s room for everyone, and features a hot tub for evening relaxation.
The historic National Park Inn, located within the park, offers cozy accommodations and is the perfect base camp for exploring the wonders of Mount Rainier. This hotel is also a short drive from the Paradise area if you’re planning on visiting there.
Family Weekend Getaways From Seattle
For those looking to venture a bit further, we've curated a list of weekend getaways from Seattle for families, featuring destinations within a five-hour drive, allowing for extended adventures and more immersive experiences. These family weekend getaways from Seattle are sure to be a hit with you and your loved ones.
4. San Juan Islands
- Perfect for: Families with teens
- Highlights of the San Juan Islands:
- Idyllic island scenery
- Abundance of marine wildlife
- Whale watching opportunities
How to Get to the San Juan Islands
To reach the San Juan Islands from Seattle, head north on I-5 and take exit 230 to Anacortes. From Anacortes, catch a ferry to Friday Harbor. The ferry ride typically takes about an hour and offers scenic views of the surrounding waters.
Things to Do in the San Juan Islands
The San Juan Islands in Washington provide a captivating setting for Seattle families seeking a blend of natural beauty and outdoor adventures close to British Columbia. Because there’s so much to do and see, it’s a great place for older kids who might not be thrilled about the idea of a family vacation. Embark on a thrilling whale-watching tour to witness majestic orcas in their natural habitat. These incredible marine creatures often make appearances around the islands and live there year-round, so you might be able to catch a glimpse no matter what time of year you visit.
Explore the charming town of Friday Harbor, where you can stroll along the waterfront, visit local shops and galleries, and savor delicious seafood at waterfront restaurants. Don't miss the opportunity to observe the adorable harbor seals and sea lions lounging on the docks in this beautiful Pacific Northwest location.
For nature enthusiasts, a visit to Lime Kiln Point State Park is a must. Known as the Whale Watching Park, it offers a unique vantage point to spot whales and other marine wildlife. Enjoy a picnic amidst the picturesque surroundings or take a scenic hike along the park's trails.
Where to Stay in the San Juan Islands
The San Juan Islands offer a variety of accommodations to suit different preferences. For a nature-based retreat, book this Airbnb cabin close to Roche Harbor. Nestled in a forest of cedars and firs, it will let everyone escape the city for the weekend.
If a hotel is more your style, stay in Friday Harbor for easy access to everything. Just steps away from the Friday Harbor ferry dock, the Bird Rock Hotel offers accommodations that range from cozy rooms with shared bathrooms to spacious suites featuring private patios, whirlpool tubs, gas fireplaces, and luxurious amenities.
5. Ocean Shores
- Perfect for: Beach-loving families
- Highlights of Ocean Shores:
- Miles of sandy beaches
- Outdoor recreational activities
- Family-friendly attractions
How to Get to Ocean Shores
From Seattle, head west on US-101 N and continue onto WA-8 W. Take the exit toward Montesano/Ocean Beaches, and follow signs to Ocean Shores, Washington. The drive should take about two and a half hours.
Things to Do in Ocean Shores
Coming from someone who visited Ocean Shores many times as a kid, this is a great place for people of all ages. Spend your days strolling along the miles of sandy beaches, building sandcastles, flying kites, or simply enjoying the ocean breeze.
For outdoor enthusiasts, there are various activities to choose from, including beachcombing, clamming, fishing, and kayaking. Take a scenic nature walk at Damon Point State Park, where you can explore dunes, marshes, and tidal flats teeming with wildlife.
Families can also enjoy the local attractions, such as the Pacific Paradise Family Fun Center, which features go-karts, mini-golf, and an arcade. Don't miss the chance to visit the Coastal Interpretive Center, where kids can learn about the unique marine ecosystem and wildlife of the region.
Where to Stay in Ocean Shores
For a beachfront getaway, consider renting this newly renovated chalet. Walk to the beach on sunny days and enjoy watching the deer graze in the grass outside the front window.
Ocean Shores is small, but there are plenty of hotel options to choose from. We recommend Lighthouse Suites Inn, which is just a short from the beach. This laid-back hotel is also two miles from Ocean City State Park.
6. Olympic National Park
- Perfect for: People who love hiking
- Highlights of Olympic National Park:
- Diverse ecosystems including rainforests and mountains
- Majestic waterfalls and pristine lakes
- Abundant wildlife and scenic hiking trails
How to Get to Olympic National Park
From Seattle, drive west on US-101 N for approximately two and a half hours to reach Olympic National Park. The park has multiple entrances, including the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center near Port Angeles, the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center, and the Quinault Rain Forest.
Things to Do in Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park is a true paradise for families seeking outdoor adventures and breathtaking natural beauty in Washington State. Start your journey by exploring the various ecosystems within the park. Take a hike through the enchanting Hoh Rain Forest, where moss-draped trees and lush ferns create a magical atmosphere. Marvel at the towering old-growth trees and listen to the sounds of nature surrounding you during your family getaway.
For stunning mountain views, head to Hurricane Ridge. Take a scenic drive up the mountain and enjoy panoramic vistas of snow-capped peaks. You can also embark on a family-friendly hike along one of the many trails, keeping an eye out for wildlife like deer and marmots.
Don't miss the opportunity to visit the park's magnificent coastline. Rialto Beach and Ruby Beach are two popular destinations known for their rugged beauty and tidal pools teeming with marine life. Explore tide pools, search for seashells, and feel the refreshing ocean breeze on your face during a fun weekend trip.
Where to Stay in Olympic National Park
While camping is a fantastic option within Olympic National Park, there are also lodging options available nearby to ensure a comfortable stay for families. Stay in the middle of the action at this Airbnb home. Located in Port Angeles, this large space gives you a great home base while exploring the park.
The Lake Crescent Lodge, located on the shores of picturesque Lake Crescent, offers cozy rooms with stunning lake views and is perfect for families looking for a hotel stay. Enjoy nature walks, kayaking, and fishing in the tranquil surroundings.
Best Getaways From Seattle for Families
If you’re looking to spend a week or so in a destination, this list is a great place to start. Each of these family-friendly locations can be easily reached by a short flight from Seattle.
7. San Diego
- Perfect for: People who love the sun
- Highlights of San Diego:
- Beautiful beaches and ideal weather
- World-class attractions and theme parks
- Family-friendly museums and outdoor activities
How to Get to San Diego
Nonstop flights between Seattle and San Diego, California frequently run out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA). Flights are about three hours long.
Things to Do in San Diego
San Diego is a vibrant city that offers a wide array of family-friendly activities for all ages. Whether you’re looking for family friendly getaways from New York, Houston, or Seattle, San Diego is worth a visit. Start by visiting the world-famous San Diego Zoo, home to a diverse collection of animals from around the globe. Kids will love seeing their favorite animals up close, and the zoo offers interactive exhibits and shows that provide an educational and entertaining experience.
Another must-visit destination is Balboa Park, a 1,200-acre urban oasis filled with gardens, museums, and cultural institutions. Of course, you can't miss the beautiful beaches of San Diego. Coronado Beach, with its sparkling sands and iconic Hotel del Coronado, is perfect for building sandcastles and enjoying a family picnic. Mission Beach is another popular spot, known for its lively boardwalk, thrilling roller coaster, and beachside activities such as biking and beach volleyball.
Getting the San Diego CityPass is a great choice for visitors as it provides discounted access to the city's top attractions, including the San Diego Zoo, SeaWorld, and Legoland, allowing you to save money and make the most of your trip.
Where to Stay in San Diego
The best place to stay in San Diego will depend on everything you plan on doing, but staying near the beach or at least one of your major attractions is always a safe choice. This beautiful Airbnb home is right next to Balboa Park and allows you to walk to the San Diego Zoo if you want.
The Hilton San Diego Bayfront is an excellent hotel choice in San Diego. It offers spacious rooms, stunning views of the city and bay, and easy access to popular attractions such as the USS Midway Museum and the Seaport Village. The hotel also boasts a rooftop pool and multiple dining options.
8. Juneau, Alaska
- Perfect for: Adventure seekers
- Highlights of Juneau:
- Stunning glaciers and fjords
- Abundant wildlife
- Rich Native American heritage
How to Get to Juneau
Alaska's capital city, Juneau, is accessible by air and sea. The Juneau International Airport serves as the primary gateway, with flights connecting to major cities in Alaska and beyond. A flight from Seattle to Juneau is less than two hours. If you prefer a scenic journey, you can also reach Juneau via cruise ship or ferry.
Things to Do in Juneau
Juneau offers an unparalleled natural playground for outdoor enthusiasts and families seeking unique experiences outside of the Seattle area. Embark on a glacier adventure and witness the awe-inspiring Mendenhall Glacier, located just outside the city. Take a guided tour or hike to explore its ice caves, waterfalls, and captivating blue hues.
For wildlife enthusiasts, Juneau is a prime destination for spotting marine life. Join a whale-watching tour and encounter humpback whales, orcas, sea lions, and seals in their natural habitat. You may also encounter bald eagles soaring through the skies, adding to the mesmerizing wildlife encounters.
You and your family can also immerse yourselves in the Native American heritage of the region by visiting the Alaska State Museum, which showcases artifacts and exhibits that highlight the cultural history and traditions of Alaska's indigenous peoples. Afterward, explore Totem Bight State Historical Park, where you can admire intricately carved totem poles and learn about their significance.
Where to Stay in Juneau
We recommend staying close to downtown Juneau for the easiest access to nearby attractions. This Airbnb apartment is in the heart of downtown, making it easy to get to everything in the city and several hiking trails on foot.
If you’re looking for a great hotel, we like Silverbow Inn Hotel & Suites. Set two blocks from the Alaska State Capitol Building and the Juneau-Douglas City Museum, this hotel offers standard and family rooms.
9. Calgary, Canada
- Perfect for: New passport holders
- Highlights of Calgary:
- Vibrant cityscape
- Cultural festivals and events
- Close proximity to Banff National Park
How to Get to Calgary
Calgary, Canada is easily accessible by air, with Calgary International Airport serving as a major hub. From the airport, you can take a taxi, shuttle, or public transportation to reach the city center. If you're driving, Calgary is well-connected to major highways, making it convenient to reach from various locations.
Things to Do in Calgary
Calgary offers a blend of urban attractions and breathtaking natural beauty, making it an ideal destination for family travel. Explore the city's vibrant downtown core, where you'll find an array of shops, restaurants, and entertainment venues. Don't miss the chance to visit the Calgary Tower, providing panoramic views of the city and surrounding landscapes.
A must-visit attraction near Calgary is Banff National Park, located just a short drive away. This iconic national park is renowned for its stunning mountain landscapes, turquoise lakes, and abundant wildlife. Take a scenic drive along the Icefields Parkway, hike to stunning viewpoints, or simply immerse yourself in the tranquility of nature.
Where to Stay in Calgary
When visiting Calgary, there are numerous accommodation options to suit every preference and budget. If you want to stay downtown, this Airbnb condo offers three bedrooms, a full kitchen, a spacious living area, and all modern conveniences.
Hilton Garden Inn Calgary Downtown is a solid hotel option for families wanting easy access to all Calgary has to offer. Many cultural events and the scenic RiverWalk are within walking distance, and St. Patrick’s Island Park is just five minutes away.
Whether it's the unique Bavarian charm of Leavenworth or the sunny attractions of San Diego, there are plenty of kid-friendly getaways from Seattle. We hope this list of destinations near San Diego helped you come up with some ideas!