Vacation. We all need one every once and a while. And to be frank with you, I think the most underrated form of vacationing is road trippin'. Cue everyone's favorite 90's movie catchphrase: ROADTRIP!
Lucky for us, being in Seattle means that we are so close to some of the greatest places on the planet. Am I being biased? You bet.
So clear your schedule, because we've planned your next weekend getaway for you. All you need to do is bring the gals (or guys), the snacks, and the mixed tapes (because your iPod shuffle is so unpredictable sometimes).
Vashon Island, WA. Drive time: 58 minutes
So maybe this is a bit more than a road trip. In fact it's a trip in the car as well as a ferry ride. But who doesn't love a ferry ride?! Vashon is quickly becoming a sought after destination with restaurants for foodies, hiking trails, and nice and cozy lodging. The trip is not complete without a stroll around the Port Robinson Lighthouse.
Kitsap Peninsula, WA. Drive time: 1 hour, 22 minutes
A few small towns make up the Kitsap Peninsula and with summer right around the corner, pack up that camping gear and head off to Kitsap Memorial State Park. Not only is it a camp ground, but they have fantastic hiking trails around. Port Townsend and Port Gamble are some highlights as they are packed with Washington history and cute little shops and restaurants. Both towns are located about 40 minutes from the campground.
Bellingham, WA. Drive time: 1 hour, 34 minutes
Only a short drive up i-5 will get you to the most underrated city in the state of Washington. For the outdoorsy type, Bellingham is a dream. Talk about amazing hikes and fabulous bodies of water. If you aren't outside in Bellingham, you're doing it wrong. As a Bellingham native, I would reccommend staying at The Chrysalis Inn and Spa in Fairhaven. The Inn and Spa is right on the bay with spectacular views, and is within walking distance of many local attractions, sights, and great restaurants.
Leavenworth, WA. Drive time: 2 hours, 17 minutes
Go enjoy the Bavarian culture in our very own state! Leavenworth is the cutest little place. Not only does it have some of the best breweries (hello, Deutsche bier) and distilleries, they also have wine tours, parks, and museums. Although Leavenworth may usually be the destination for Oktoberfest, you best believe that the summer is just as popular (and just as Bavarian for that matter). Try Icicle Brewing Co. or Doghaus Brewery.
Vancouver, B.C. Drive time: 2 hours, 34 minutes
Ahhh, Vancouver, B.C. What a dream. Even though it is a short drive north (if you consider two and a half hours to be short), it truly does feel foreign. I know, I know, it is in Canada, but still - it has that international vibe! If you have the travel bug like me and want to experience something a bit different every once and while, Vancouver is the perfect spot. There are heaps and heaps of fantastic sushi places on every corner and biking or roller-blading around Stanley Park is an absolute must.
Portland, OR. Drive time: 3 hours, 6 minutes
Portlandia! What a place. If you are feeling especially cliche, hit up Voodoo doughnuts. Even though it's a very long wait, it is worth it because those doughnuts are UNREAL. With tons of microbreweries, parks, hiking trails, and Mt. Hood in the neighborhood, your dream weekend getaway awaits. Not to mention all the places to eat, which is definitely my favorite thing to explore in a new city.
Chelan, WA. Drive time: 3 hours, 13 minutes
Chelan, Washington is potentially one of my favorite places on the planet Earth. Especially in the summer. I mean first and foremost, Lake Chelan is the best place to sit on an inflatable tube with a cocktail while working hard on your sun tan. There are so many different campsites around the lake. Lets also talk about the wine vineyards around the area, which makes any weekend getaway a million times better.
Winthrop, WA. Drive time: 3 hours, 36 minutes
Winthrop is another destination to add to your radar because it has that small town Western feel. It is home to the oldest legal saloon in the state of Washington and is smack dab in the middle of the town. Three Fingered Jack's Saloon has become a Winthrop staple. After visiting the Saloon, stop at Sheri's Sweet Shop to satisfy your sweet tooth. Home made ice cream, fudge, and all the other sweets that you can imagine.
Whistler, B.C. Drive time: 4 hours, 6 minutes
Whistler, although the furthest drive on this list, is so great during all seasons. It is chalk-full of shops, restaurants, and bars. In the summer months the ski trails turn into biking and hiking trails. There's also ziplining, golfing, jet boating, and the list goes on and on. They have tons of options for lodging, and was home to the 2010 Olympics, so the torch is always lit and on fire.
So there you have it, friends. I hope this inspires you to get out there, get in the car, and have fun! You deserve it.