March 8, 2021 / Becky Ohlsen / The Lonely Planet

The 8 best day trips from Seattle

Seattle has so much going on at any given time, you might never want to leave. But some of the best scenery, cutest towns and most picturesque backroads in the state lie within an easy day’s drive of the city and are well worth taking the time to visit. Here are some of our favorite day trips from Seattle.

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4. Bellingham

Bellingham is underrated as a fun town for nightlife, especially if you’re into craft beer. Try the kölsch at Chuckanut Brewery, a Bellingham Blonde ale at Boundary Bay, and a Cosmic Dreams IPA at Aslan Depot, a historic bus and streetcar station that’s been renovated to look and feel like a cozy old English parlor. Not a beer person? Head instead to Temple Bar, known for craft cocktails and sophisticated bar food.

If you like your adult beverages with a side of culture, start with a visit to the Whatcom Museum, a three-building collection of local and regional art, culture and history. You can also wander the well-preserved Fairhaven neighborhood, with its shops, restaurants and excellent bookstore, Village Books. Alternatively, drive 15 miles north to the traditionally Dutch town of Lynden, with a history museum, bakery and hotel.

To stretch this day trip a little, opt for scenic Chuckanut Drive on the way there or back. This byway hugs the coastline between Bellingham and Mt Vernon, with opportunities to stop for hiking in Larrabee State Park and oyster-eating at the Oyster Bar along the way.

How to get to Bellingham: Head north on I-5 for about 90 miles (1 1/2 hours) to Bellingham. For the more scenic Chuckanut Drive (SR-11) option, take exit 231 off I-5 just north of Mt Vernon.

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