With COVID-19 still being a big factor to take into consideration when planning much of anything, it’s understandable that many have cancelled any big vacations they’ve had for this summer. However, that doesn’t mean you need to stay cooped up all summer long (if you don’t want to be). There’s plenty of amazing destinations right here in Washington that are great for a day trip that are currently open and respecting social distancing and other coronavirus regulations.
If you’re looking for inspiration for a summer daycation, look no further! We’ve compiled a list of spots that are perfectly doable from the greater Seattle area, complete with recommended bites along the way.
Openings, COVID-19 regulations, and other details were confirmed on June 15th, 2020. Please be sure to visit any of the businesses’ websites before planning your trip.
Diablo Lake – North Cascades National Park
Photo by Yelper Christina F.
If you’re looking for a scenic drive, heading to the Diablo Lake overlook is a solid choice. It’s a two and a half hour trek, but it is worth it! Located in the North Cascades National Park, the Diablo Lake overlook features stunning mountain views and a turquoise-colored lake that is a must see. Social distancing measures are possible by maintaining six feet of distance and wearing a mask if desired. Visit the park’s website to see their statement on park openings.
If you’re looking for lunch on the way there, consider stopping at Mondo. Yelper Chris H. says, “Their beef bulgogi took me back to Korea! Very authentic; they served it on a bed of onions which was delicious. The rice was sticky, perfect consistency, and not too moist or dry.” As of June 10th, they are open for takeout – perfect for a quick car lunch!
Photo by Yelper Chris H.
Bellingham – Whatcom County
Photo by Yelper Shirley M.
Realistically, Bellingham is a city you could spend an entire weekend in. There’s many restaurants, breweries, and local shops that are worth visiting. In the age of COVID-19, Whatcom County (where Bellingham is located) is in phase 2 as of early June, meaning most spots are open if you desire to check them out.
If you’re aiming to keep your visit strictly outdoors, there’s plenty to see! There’s the highly revered Whatcom Falls Park that features trails and a beautiful waterfall. If you’re searching for more of a hike, consider reading into Oyster Dome – a 6.5 mile round trip hike featuring sweeping views of the Puget Sound and the Olympics.
If you’re on the hunt for a quick bite, check out Mount Bakery Cafe. If you’re more in the mood for a cold one, the Wander Brewing taproom is open and adhering to COVID-19 guidelines. Yelper Kathie S. says, “Hands down this is one of the BEST breweries in Bellingham and for that matter in Washington. Although we do not live in Bellingham, we go here each time we are in the area.”
Photo by Yelper Kathie S.
Lakewold Gardens – Lakewood, WA
Photo by Yelper Elizabeth C.
If you’re looking for a shorter trip, Lakewold Gardens is just a 45 minute drive from the Seattle area. Since the state has started to reopen, Lakewold Gardens is also open and ready for guests – with changes, of course. As of June 15th, Wednesdays are member-only days, Thursdays are free to all with donation, and Fridays – Sundays are open with pre-purchased online tickets. They currently are not allowing picnicking within the gardens and the gift shop is closed, but there’s still acres of beautiful gardens to be seen.
If you find yourself heading out to Lakewold Gardens earlier in the day, stop by the infamous Original House of Donuts (just 6 minutes away from the gardens). They’re open from 6 am – 6 pm and adhering to CDC regulations. Besides, who doesn’t want to try a red velvet cake donut drizzled with cream cheese?
Photo by Yelper Frank L.
Point Ruston – Tacoma, WA
Photo by Yelper Sam M.
Another short but sweet day trip is located right along the waterfront in Tacoma – Point Ruston! In the last few years it’s transformed right before the city’s eyes and has been drawing guests from all over to check out the new boardwalk. Aside from the amazing views of the Puget Sound, there is also a splash pad for kids (now open), plenty of beach to walk along, and a ton of restaurants and shops located at Point Ruston. Shops and restaurants are open dependent on the businesses’ choice – be sure to check out their website for openings during COVID-19.
Point Ruston is obviously a spot you want to save for nice, warm weather. Round out the full summer experience and stop by Ice Cream Social (open for takeout) for a cool treat – they feature flavors like roasted banana, almond poppyseed, salted caramel, and more. Yelper Adam C. says, “I sampled the Blackberry and Coconut Almond Poppyseed. Blackberry was fine but that Coconut Almond Poppyseed blew me away so I got the 4oz cup of that while mom got the 6oz cup of Blackberry.”
Photo by Yelper Sharon C.
Bloedel Reserve – Bainbridge Island, WA
Photo by Yelper Mimi N.
Another trip that requires a little bit more planning is to the ethereal beauty that is Bloedel Reserve. Located on Bainbridge Island, Bloedel Reserve is a trip that’s only an hour, but does require a ferry ride that tickets will need to be purchased for.
Due to COVID-19, the Bloedel Reserve is doing timed, ticketed reservations as of June 11. The tickets are released one week in advance at a time, hence the planning that goes into it. Visit their website for information and to reserve tickets.
If you’re feeling adventurous, nearby Sully’s Bistro & Bar is open for dine-in from 12 – 8 on their patio only. Another extremely hot spot on Bainbridge Island (that is open) is the Eleven Winery tasting room – ” I decided to do a flight tasting of their reserve wine. I’d have to say their wine is phenomenal and nothing like I’ve ever tasted. As I went through my flight, I was trying to figure out how many bottles of wine I’d like to take home,” said Yelper Nicole Y.
Photo by Yelper James V.
Cannon Beach – Cannon Beach, OR
Photo by Yelper Alicia H.
Quite possibly one of the more well-known but still gorgeous day trips, a trip to Cannon Beach from Seattle clocks in at over three hours of drive time. However, it is possible to drive down the coast part of the way which is highly recommended. If you’re not on a time constraint, there are plenty of beaches and viewpoints to stop off at on the way down!
Cannon Beach is known for Haystack Rock which is always fun to see, but it’s also a great town full of local shops. As of June 6th, Clatsop County (where Cannon Beach is located) is in phase 2, so some shops and restaurants are open at their own choosing and adherence of COVID-19 regulations.
If you’re looking for a true beach town bite to eat, Tom’s Fish N Chips is a no-frills spot featuring fish baskets, burgers, and more. And for the parents, there is beer and wine (woohoo!) They’re currently open for takeout and dine-in.
Photo by Yelper Bong J.
Deception Pass Bridge – Oak Harbor, WA
Photo by Yelper Pamela G.
Believe it or not, Deception Pass State Park is actually the most visited state park in Washington. There are tons of hiking trails, plenty of beach to be combed, and of course, the Deception Pass Bridge. Social distancing is encouraged and possible on both the bridge and beach.
Whether you are taking photos from down at the beach, or on the bridge itself, it’s hard not to marvel. The Deception Pass Bridge was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
After visiting the most visited state park in Washington, consider visiting another very infamous spot nearby – the Shrimp Shack in Anacortes (currently open for takeout). “The food is indeed extraordinary. My wife got the special halibut and chips. It was killer. The breading and the fry were perfect. The fries were tasty. I ordered the oyster sandwich and the shrimp sandwich. Both with coleslaw. That oyster sandwich was absolutely awesome. Wow. As good as a real oyster poor boy,” said Yelper Paul S.
Photo by Karlo G.
There are a TON of great day trips to take from the Seattle area, but in the COVID-19 age, options are little bit more limited than they normally would be – and that’s okay! If you’re looking for a daytrip to embark on this summer, we encourage you to use this guide for suggestions. Tag us @yelpseattle and @yelpseattleeastside on Instagram with any photos you take while on your daycation – we’d love to see your adventures!
*This information was confirmed on June 15th, 2020. Before embarking on any trips we highly suggest checking each individual spot’s website/social media to confirm COVID-19 regulations, limitations, and business hours.*