The 27 Best Road Trips From Seattle: The Perfect Mix Of Cities And Outdoors For Your Vacation

Ahhh exploring the great pacific northwest and beyond but have no clue where to go for your road trip from Seattle? Lucky for you, Seattle aka the emerald city is situated on the west coast and can easily make routes to portland, Vancouver bc, California, las vegas, national parks across the midwest and west coast, and more! However, maybe you want to take it slow though, and start off with small day trips or weekend trips? Well if that’s the case we also got you covered because we usually take day trips or weekend trips ourselves when taking road trips from Seattle. So we know the best spots to visit when touring by car, while also on a time crunch. If going big is more your style then keep on reading because we covered the best long road trips to take from Seattle!

This post is all about the best road trips from Seattle to take! Whether day trips, weekend trips, or long trips are your style we made sure to have an assortment! Plus, you’ll be able t choose between a mixture of outdoorsy places such s national parks, beaches, lakes, and more cities such as LA or Vegas.

Hold Up! If you’re planning a road trip make sure to check out our Best Road Trip Planner Apps Guide!

antelope canyon
text says road trips from seattle

Quick Note: All routes listed are the fastest routes, if we listed another route then this is the route that we most recommended taking but it will take longer. You will be traveling through multiple states so please be aware of local laws. Something that is legal in one state may be illegal in another state so beware and be cautious. 

Road Trips From Seattle: National Parks And Other Beautiful Sites To See

prism springs of yellowstone national park a popular road trip from seattle

Best Road Trip From Seattle: Yellowstone National Park- Wyoming

Trip Duration: roughly 11-13 hours via the I-90 E.

Road Trip Overview: You’ll be starting this trip in Seattle, Washington, and traveling for around 11-13 hours to get to Yellowstone. This all depends upon the traffic of course and any stops you might be making. This is a multi-state road trip as you’ll be starting in Washington, traveling through Idaho and Montana before reaching your destination state of Wyoming.

Things to do in Yellowstone: Yellowstone is a national park so, of course, you’re visiting this famous park to do outdoorsy things. You can go hiking, watch wildlife and go biking. Explore the geysers, like the famous Old Faithful Geyser. You can also see the basins and hot springs and so much more!

crater lake in oregon

Crater Lake National Park- Oregon

Trip duration: roughly 7-8.5 hours via the I-5 S

Road Trip Overview: Crater lake is a gorgeous unique spot to visit as it was formed by a collapsed volcano. This road trip is roughly 7-8.5 hours depending on any traffic, road closure stops you make and the route you choose to take. For this trip, you’ll, of course, be starting in Seattle, Washington, and making your way south through Washington to eventually reach the Crater Lake National Park in Oregon.

Things to do in Crater Lake National Park: You can go hiking, camping, swimming, and biking. You can also go for a nice scenic drive around the entire lake, this drive is called Rim Drive. While on Rim Drive you can also stop at the various overlooks and viewpoints to take in the beautiful sites, snap photos, and stretch your legs. There are also boat tours available for you to get out on the water and explore the lake.

grand canyon

Grand Canyon National Park- Arizona

Trip duration: roughly 18-21 hours via the I-84 E

Road Trip Overview: Starting in beautiful western Washington you will make your way Southeast through Washington. You’ll travel through a few states like Oregon, Idaho, and Utah before reaching Arizona. You could even take a side route and pass through Nevada, stopping in Las Vegas before heading to the Canyon.

Things to do in the Grand Canyon National Park: You can go hiking, rafting, camping, backpacking, biking, and more. You can take a scenic drive through various routes available, ride a train into the canyon, take a helicopter tour over the canyon or take a desert jeep tour near the canyon. You can also visit the famous skywalk and see the 4000 feet deep abyss right below you.

antelope canyon cave view

Best Road Trips From Seattle: Horseshoe Bend, Antelope Canyon, Glen Canyon- Arizona

Trip duration: roughly 18-21 hours via the I-84 E

Road Trip Overview: Starting in Seattle, you’ll travel through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Utah and arrive at your destination in Arizona. The reason Horseshoe ben, Antelope Canyon, and Glen Canyon are paired together as a trip is because they are all very close to each other within the same area of the canyon. Getting to Antelope Canyon from the horseshoe bend takes about 10-15 minutes and to get to Glen Canyon from Antelope adds about 55 minutes to your trip. They are all very unique locations to see.

Things to do in Horseshoe Bend: Things to do in Horseshoe Bend: Horseshoe bend is a traveler’s dream, it offers stunning views, hikes, and gorgeous photography spots, and it’s relatively cheap to visit. Hot spots in this area are of course upper antelope canyon which is a beautiful and colorful canyon that is perfect for photo sessions. Along with Glen Canyon Dam, tourists love the views of the water from the dam, so dont miss this destination. There are also a ton more things to do in Horseshoe Bend such as hiking, relaxing at Lake Powel, learning about the history of the area, and more!

bryce canyon: a popular road trip from seattle

Bryce Canyon National Park- Utah

Trip duration: roughly 16-17 hours via the I-84 E.

Road Trip overview: This is roughly a 16-17 hour long road trip but may be longer or shorter depending on traffic, weather, and other related factors. For this trip, you’ll be traveling from Washington through Oregon and Idaho until you’ve reached your destination in Utah.

Things to do in Bryce Canyon: Things to do in Bryce Canyon: Bryce Canyon is beautiful and offers stunning views, that you won’t get anywhere else in the United States. For starters, you’ll want to stop and visit the Bryce amphitheater this large landmark is made up of rock spires that look like pointy long rocks, just like in the above photo. After visiting Bryce amphitheater make sure to finish the drive along the southern scenic route and you’ll see underrated views that most travelers don’t bother visiting because they think the main attraction Bryce amphitheater is the only thing to do. However, there are a ton of things to do in this part of Utah, such as outdoor hikes, star gazing, horseback riding, animal watching, and more!

redwood forests most people drive by this when on a seattle road trip to california

Redwoods- California

Trip duration: 9-13 hours

Fastest route: 9-11 hours via the I-5 S

Recommended route: roughly 12-13 hours via the U.S. Route 101 S

Road Trip Overview: The route we recommend taking is the famous U.S. Route 101 S. This route takes you directly along the coast and through coastal cities. You get amazing views of the pacific ocean for most of the drive. You’ll start in Seattle and make your way South West to get to the U.S. 101 S. Then you’ll follow the U.S. 101 S for the rest of the way driving through Oregon until you reach the Redwoods in California.

Things to do in the Redwoods National Park: Visit the beach and tide pools. Drive through one of the many drive-thru redwoods. You can go camping, hiking, walking, biking, watch for wildlife and enjoy scenic drives through the forest.

waterfalls in oreogn

Multnomah Falls- Oregon

Trip duration: roughly 3-4 hours via the I-5 S

Road Trip Overview: This famous waterfall is located along the Columbia River. You’ll travel on the I-5 south from Seattle until reaching Oregon and then you’ll follow the Columbia river East to reach this beautiful waterfall.

Things to do in Multnomah Falls: You can go hiking along the trails and visit several other waterfalls nearby as well. You can also visit Nearby Portland and the Columbia River.

mt. rainier

Mount Rainier- Washington

Trip duration: roughly 2-2.5 hours via the WA-169 S and the WA-410 E.

Road trip overview: Travel through evergreen forests in western Washington to reach this huge active volcano. Mount Rainier is one of the tallest active volcanoes in the contiguous United States. It is also the most glaciated peak in the contiguous United States. There are tons of hikes, lakes, rivers, and wildlife to watch out for and explore.

Things to do in Mount Rainier National Park: There are tons of hikes, lakes, waterfalls, rivers, and wildlife to watch out for and explore. There are also lots of campgrounds located throughout the park for anyone wanting to brave the wilderness and camp out. 

mount st helens

Mount St. Helens- Washington

Trip duration: roughly 3-4 hours via the I-5 S.

Road Trip Overview: Travel south through Washington until you reach the active stratovolcano Mount St. Helens. Mount St. Helens most recently erupted in 1980 and caused a ton of destruction and clouds of ash and fallout throughout most of Washington. 

Things to do in Mount St. Helens: Go hiking, biking, zip-lining, camping, and more! If interested in volcanic geology, visit the Ape Cave lava tubes, the Trail of Two Forest lava beds, and the Lava Canyon Trail. There’s also June lake which was formed by an old lava flow. 

olympic national forest coastline

Olympic National Park- Washington

Trip duration: roughly 2.5-3 hours via WA-305 and the US-101 N.

Road Trip Overview: The Olympic national park is a gorgeous park featuring mountains, rainforests, and old-growth forests. The park features vast amounts of wilderness and so many different ecosystems. This park receives roughly 150 inches of rainfall a year and is one of the wettest regions of the United States. 

Things to do in Olympic National Park: You can go boating, hiking, camping, fishing, and backpacking. There are also ranger-led trips and hikes available. This is a huge and beautiful national park with so much wildlife and so many different ecosystems to watch, explore and learn about. If you love the view of the stunning coastlines then make sure to visit the Olympic Peninsula for stunning views! 

North Cascades National Park – Washington

Trip Duration: Roughly 2 hours to 2.5 hours depending on the route taken

Fastest route: Via I-5 N and WA-530 E/ State Rte 530 NE takes roughly 2.1 hours

Seattle Road Trip Overview:

Things To Do in North Cascades National Park: Take a scenic drive across the north cascade highway which gives you stunning views of the forest. Hiking is one of the most popular things you can do so make sure to stop by at the hiking detours nearby such as ladder creek falls, thunder knob trail, Diablo lake, and blue lake. There are actually a ton of hikes in this part of Washington, but those three are especially popular during the summertime.

San Juan Islands – Washington

Trip Duration: 3.5 hours keep in mind this trip includes a ferry and has tolls

Road trip overview: This unique road trip from Seattle will take you across to the San Juan islands by driving to Anacortes and hopping on the Anacortes ferry to Friday harbor. The San Juan island is home to various activities and is most notably famous for its unique archipelago environment.

Things to do on San Juan Island: When visiting the San Juan islands, you can stop at the lighthouse and stroll along the beach. Then go whale watching to see orcas up close or far, really depends where they decide to swim. There’s a scenic byway that is roughly 236 miles that you can drive through to see stunning views of the island, terrain, and wildlife. if youre are outdoorsy and enjoy hikes then make sure to visit mount constitution. if you love water sports then kayaking and wakeboarding are both popular water activities to do.

Best Road Trips From Seattle: Down the West Coast

view of los angeles

Los Angeles- California

Trip duration: 18-27 hours depending on the route taken

Fastest route: roughly 18-19 hours via the I-5 S.

Recommended route: roughly 26-27 hours via U.S. Route 101 S.

Road Trip Overview: This is a multi-state trip and a favorite for Seattle road trips, where you’ll start in Washington and drive down the coast through Oregon and California to get to Los Angeles. The route we recommend is taking the U.S. 101 S. This route takes you directly along the coast where you see the beautiful pacific ocean for most of your trip down the coast. This route takes you through beautiful coastal cities, Redwood National Forest, and through San Francisco. Your pitstops turn into picnics and bathroom breaks by the ocean. If you would like the faster route you’ll drive straight down through Washington, Oregon, and California on the Interstate. 

Things to do in Los Angeles: LA is full of wonderful things to do and even better things to eat! LA is foodie-lover heaven! They have all types of cuisines, but the best part about LA is their commitment to vegan diets. Los Angeles will satisfy your vegan cravings, whether you love Asian cuisine, American style, or delicious vegan ice cream; you and your tummy will be happy. Visit the Hollywood Sign, hike up to the observatory, the walk of fame, and Santa Monica. Theme parks to visit nearby are Disneyland, Universal Studios umm hello Harry Potter World!, and Six Flags. Plus, it’s Hollywood so you can visit so many famous filming locations within LA itself! Might even run into a movie star while you’re there.

view of san francisco bridge

San Francisco- California

Trip duration: 

Fastest route: roughly 13-14 hours via the I-5 S.

Recommended route: roughly 17-18 hours via U.S. Route 101 S.

Road Trip Overview: For this 17-18 hour long drive you’ll travel along the beautiful West Coast. You’ll travel south through Washington, Oregon, and California coastal cities until you reach the big and beautiful Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco. 

Things to do in San Francisco: When you’ve arrived you can visit the famous Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Pier 39, The Painted Ladies, Baker Beach, Lands End Lookout, and the Ghirardelli Chocolate Experience. If you’re a Full House fan you can also visit the “Full House” house. You can also ride on one of the famous cable cars. There’s so much to do in San Francisco that we can’t possibly cover it all. 

las vegas sign at night

Best Seattle Road Trip: Las Vegas- Nevada

Trip duration: Roughly 17-18 hours via the I-84 E. 

Road Trip Overview: This is a 17-18 hour long journey depending on traffic, road conditions, weather, etc. You will be traveling through Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Nevada. 

Things to do in Las Vegas: Las Vegas is a fun place for all ages, doesn’t just have to be a city for adults. While most activities are geared toward adults there is a lot of fun kid-safe activities. If traveling with children you can visit the aquarium, the high roller, ride go-karts, visit Hershey’s chocolate world, do indoor skydiving, visit theme parks, top golf, and more! For adults, there’s everything for kids plus gambling and drinking. If you’re looking for things to do in vegas besides gambling then make sure to check this awesome guide for non-gambling activities in Las Vegas!

Best Road Trips From Seattle: Best Weekend Getaways

vancouver b.c. lake view

Vancouver- Canada

Trip duration: roughly 2.5-3.5 hours via the I-5 N.

Road Trip Overview: Travel north from Seattle until you reach the border. Here you will go through border patrol and then cross over into Canada once you are cleared. Now you’ll continue to head north until you reach bustling Vancouver, BC. This is a very diverse city with lots of good food and a lot of scenic things to see and do.

Things to do in Vancouver: Visit Queen Elizabeth Park, Stanley Park, Capilano Suspension bridge park, English Bay, and lighthouse park. There’s also a nice scenic drive on Sea to Sky highway to go on. 

portland oregon view from water at night

Portland- Oregon

Trip duration: roughly 3-4 hours via the I-5 S.

Road Trip overview: You’ll travel south through Washington until reaching Oregon. Portland is Oregon’s largest city and is filled with tons of outdoorsy sites. There are a bunch of parks, trails, and bike paths within the city. There’s also a big coffee and foodie scene. 

Things to do in Portland: Visit the Oregon Zoo, the beautiful Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden, and Washington Park. There is also the Portland Saturday market filled with food and drink stalls as well as arts, crafts, and jewelry stalls.  

seaside oregon

Seaside- Oregon

Trip duration: Roughly 3.5 hours via the I-5 S.

Road Trip overview: You’ll travel south through Washington and then head towards the ocean and keep traveling south again until you reach the coastal city of Seaside, Oregon. Seaside is a popular beach area to visit but keep in mind the waters are pretty cold.

Things to do in Seaside: Visit the famous carousel mall, have a picnic on the beach, go bike riding, hike, golfing, visit the aquarium, go kayaking, swim, and more! Seaside is definitely a small town beach location where you can relax, enjoy the outdoors and enjoy the beautiful sites of the Pacific Ocean. 

best weekend trip from seattle:   canon beach at sunset

Cannon Beach- Oregon

Trip duration: roughly 4 hours via the I-5 S. 

Road Trip Overview: Cannon beach is a popular destination on the coast of Oregon. A most notable feature of this beach is the giant rock, Haystack rock just off the shore in the water. A portion of this beach called Indian beach was most famously filmed in Twilight though in the movie the location was supposed to be La Push beach which is a beach located on the coast of Washington State. 

Things to do in Cannon Beach: Visit the beach and the tide pools surrounding the beach. Go hiking, biking, have a beach picnic, have a beach bonfire, and visit nearby beach cities. 

Best Day Trips From Seattle

Diablo Lake- Washington

Trip Duration: Roughly 2.5 hours via I-5 N and WA-530 E/State Rte 530 NE

Seattle Road Trip Overview: The popular Diablo Lake trail is immersed into the sourdough mountain, you’ll find beautiful waterfalls and be able to take pictures and witness views of the north cascades, and finally reach the turquoise blue Diablo Lake.

Things to do at Diablo Lake: This outdoorsy activity is essentially a day hike that is 7.6 miles roundtrip with various switchbacks and an elevation gain of 1400 ft. After reaching your destination you’ll be rewarded with a stunning view of Diablo Lake. Feel free to take a swim but be careful and swim at your own risk. Also, it’s a dangerous hike when done in the cold seasons because of the tendency of the snow to melt in spots and cause falls.

ocean shores

Ocean Shores- Washington

Trip duration: roughly 2.5 hours via I-5 S.

Road Trip Overview: Starting in Seattle, you’ll drive south on the I-5 and then head west to reach Ocean Shores. Ocean shores is a popular small-town beach area located along the coast of Washington. 

Things to do in Ocean Shores: Ocean shores is a drive on the beach so if you have a 4×4 or AWD car you can drive onto the beach which is perfect for sunset and sunrise on the beach. You can also go hiking, biking, kayaking, and rent mopeds. You can also visit the sand dunes, watch wildlife and have beach bonfires! Overall this small beach is perfect for a spontaneous day trip or even spending a few days and renting a vacation rental.

Long Beach – Washington

Trip Duration: Roughly 3.5 hours depending on the route you take.

The fastest and recommended route: Via I-5 S and US-101 S at 3.1 hours

Road Trip Overview: Long beach is a small town that features a beautiful long beach across the long beach peninsula. You can also drive along this beach, and we recommend driving an all-wheel drive car. Cool fact, long beach in Washington is the longest continuous beach that can be found in the United States. Also, if you love eating fresh seafood then this beach is your jam! They have a fresh harvest of clams, fish, and other sea critters.

Things To Do in Long Beach: There are a variety of things to do when visiting Long Beach, you can go wakeboarding, parasailing, canoeing, kite flying, and building sand castles. Afterward, stop and grab some delicious fresh seafood and brewed ciders and ales for a relaxing evening ☺️.

forks washington coast view

Forks- Washington

Trip duration: 3.5 hours via fastest route

Fastest and recommended route: roughly 3.5 hours via the U.S. Route 101 N and U.S. Route 101 W. 

Road Trip Overview: For this trip, you will board a ferry to Bainbridge Island. From there you will make your way to the U.S. Route 101 N which will eventually turn into the U.S Route 101 W which takes you the rest of the way to Forks. If this city sounds familiar that’s because it is indeed the city where Twilight famously took place which makes it a super cool location to visit for die-hard Twilight fans.

Things to do in Forks: There are a bunch of Twilight dedicated locations that you can visit and some that you can drive by like Bella’s house, Bella’s truck, the treaty line, Jacob Black’s house, Dr. Cullen’s parking spot, and more! You can even take a trip out to La Push beach and Ruby beach. 

leavenworth village

Best Day Trip From Seattle: Leavenworth- Washington

Trip duration: 2.5 hours via the I-90 E

Road Trip Overview: Leavenworth is one of the most famous places to visit in the U.S. It’s a very unique Bavarian-style village located in the Cascades. It’s one of those cities that you don’t see every day and it has the darling small-town charm that everyone loves.

Recommended visiting during Christmas time!!! The Christmas lights and the big Christmas tree are so nice! Also during Oktoberfest, if you’re a beer lover, there’s also food and root beer available for non-drinkers!

Things to do in Leavenworth: Visit the nutcracker museum, a reindeer farm, fish hatcheries, go kayaking, hiking, rafting, and more! During Wintertime it’s a great place to book a cabin, enjoy the snow, go skiing, and enjoy beautiful Christmas decor.

spokane washington

Spokane- Washington

Trip duration: roughly 4.5-5 hours via I-90 E.

Road trip overview: Beginning in beautiful evergreen western Washington you will travel east on the interstate. It’s an interstate drive but the drive is gorgeous nonetheless. Plus, you get to see the change from green hilly Western Washington to flat and dry eastern Washington. You’ll drive through Snoqualmie Pass and Wenatchee national forest making your way to Spokane. 

Things to do in Spokane: Visit the Riverfront Park, Riverside State Park, Cat Tales Wildlife Center, Wonderland Family Fun Center, Cathedral of St. John, Huntington Park, Latah Creek, Little Spokane River Natural Area, Audubon park, and more! There is also a theme park just roughly 40 minutes away in Idaho called Silverwood that’s worth a visit for some fun! If visiting in October there’s also a Scarywood Haunted Nights event available. 

Yakima – Washington

Trip Duration: 2.1 hours via I-90 E

Road Trip From Seattle Overview: Yakima may seem like a quiet and relatively boring city to visit. it does offer a variety of cider brewing businesses, ale makers, and wine vineyards to visit. We personally love wine tasting and trying different flights of ales and the various small business in this area.

Things To Do in Yakima: They don’t call Yakima the Palm Springs of Washington for nothing (lol Washington Joke). If you love Panaderia el Sollecito for delicious and aesthetic drinks! If you love adventure then you’ll also enjoy riding an inner tube across the Yakima River or the nearby Columbia River. Yakima is also home to authentic Mexican-style food so make sure to try some of the local taco trucks and restaurants ad the Mexican food is delicious!

Perfect Weekend Trip: Tri-Cities- Washington

Trip Duration: 3-4 hours depending on the route taken

Seattle Road Trip Overview: Seattle to Tri-cities is a wild trip as it goes through the wet and temperate west region of Washington to the dry and dusty part of eastern Washington. Tri-cities is home to three cities: Pasco, Kennewick, and Richland. Most people who visit usually spend their time between Richland and Kennewick.

Things To do In the Tri-Cities aka Kennewick, Richland Pasco: The Columbia River is a big attraction for this area, and tons of people visit just to swim in the river, boating, barbecue, take the kids to play on the large jungle gym, and other outdoor activities. If you love shopping tri-cities in the area to be for eastern Washington shopping as the Columbia mall holds a decent amount of shops for everyone. If you’re into music check out the Columbia River gorge for live music and shows!

Seattle Road Trips: The End!

That wraps up our post for the best road trip from Seattle! We hope you enjoyed this post and if you did please share this post via any of your favorite social media ☺️. If you’re looking for other cool things to do in the U.S.A then make sure to read our other post!

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