5 All-Day Attractions Within Driving Distance

Especially during summer, we hit a lull. The sun is out for an undetermined amount of time and we feel like we should enjoy it as much as we can. And we should, but how?

How many times can we walk around the neighborhood, lose our day in yardwork, or visit the park three blocks from our house? Sometimes, we just need to get out and forget about the pile of laundry we left on the couch.

This quick list of 5 favorite all-day excursions are great for the entire family, a group of friends, or just you flying solo for the day.

Zoos and aquariums are excellent ways to learn about the world around us, and beyond the confines of our usual day. It opens ours eyes to the life in the ocean, or in the jungles of Africa or Asia. Plus, we get to spend the day observing graceful creatures as they go about their day, take pictures of them and our families, and walk miles and miles without even noticing.

Take your children, a sibling, niece, or nephew, or just a group of friends! Local zoos and aquariums include, the Seattle Aquarium, Woodland Park Zoo, Cougar Mountain Zoo, Northwest Trek, and Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium.

During the hottest days of Summer, you may want to cool off with friends at our local water park: Wild Waves Theme & Water Park. Located south of Seattle, in Federal Way, the park is just off the freeway and offers ample parking throughout the day. Whether you like easy rides, or scary rides, their collection has you covered; and their water park is just as varied. With areas specialized for children and other attractions for one or group riding, you’ll always be guaranteed fun!

Speaking of the water, travel north to Whidbey Island or west towards the ocean. Ocean Shores, Long Beach, or any of the dozen or more oceanside options offer fabulous recreation and beach-going opportunities.

Want to frolic in the sand with your dog? Ocean Shores has a designated “dog beach”, but don’t worry, your favorite friend if allowed on-leash on the rest of the surrounding beaches. Want to try out a moped, peddling surrey, or beach-bike? Or perhaps a horse-ride on the beach? Local rental places offer tons of options! Or, just pal-around the tiny shops for awesome finds and saltwater taffy!

Awesome day trips, with beautiful views all the way along the drive, makes this the ideal, family (and dog) friendly trip! Pack lunch before going to save money and discourage stops along the way.

Our local scape also offers days away from people or want to try something new? Climb a mountain! Between the Olympic National Park, the Olympic National Forest, Capitol State Forest, Mount Saint Helen’s National Volcanic Monument, and Mount Rainier National Park, our local mountaineering options are limitless.

Looking for something a little more local? Check out Cougar Mountain Regional Wildland Park, Squak Mountain State Park & Natural Area, or Tiger Mountain State Forest.

Whichever option you choose, there are trails and hikes for beginners to advanced hikers, so don’t think it’s all a 90-degree incline! Leave in the morning with your day pack, and you’ll be back after lunch with a full-days-worth of activity behind you!

Finally, check out the Seattle Waterfront. Seattle’s legendary “Great Wheel”, Waterfront Park, along with Pier 55 can keep you occupied all day. And it’s only a short walk away from the Pike Place Market and their recent major renovations. Food, shopping, recreation – they’ve got it. Or you can take an Argosy Cruise and check out life from the sea!

Regardless of what kind you’re searching for, the Pacific Northwest has a little bit of everything to offer.

What are your favorite day-trips and things to do in the area?