Don’t let Seattle winters get you down—there are plenty of ways to stay busy and active in and around the city. Tromp  around the trails of Mt. Rainier, or bundle up and window shop in an historic, Bavarian-like village. Sometimes, in Seattle, you’ve got to create your own sunshine. These are the best winter day trips from Seattle.

Leavenworth, Washington

Leavenworth, Washington (pictured above), is a city built to replicate a quaint Bavarian village two-and-a-half hours from Pan Pacific Seattle. Home to a Nutcracker Museum, and a little shopping district, it’s a great place to pick up a souvenir, eat some schnitzel and drink a blonde beer in the chillier winter months.

Snowshoeing at Paradise, Mt. Rainier

Forget palm trees and white sand and margaritas, this is a different kind of paradise. Head to Paradise, Mt. Rainier on a crisp, clear winter day for a ranger-led snowshoe trek. Rent a pair for just $4, and spend two hours marveling at the majestic beauty of the mountain. It’s a three-hour drive, so you’ll want to get an early start!

Ride the Lightrail from End to End

In our opinion, there’s no better way to get acquainted with a new city than by experiencing its public transportation system. Take in the sights as you ride the lightrail all the way from the University District, to Angle Lake, just outside of Seattle-Tacoma Airport. The best part? No driving time.

Northwest Paintball Park

Live out that epic paintball match between Heath Ledger and Julia Stiles in 10 Things I Hate About You at the Northwest Paintball Park, a gorgeous car and ferry journey across Puget Sound.


Just 45 minutes from Seattle, Tacoma is a major destination in its own right. One highlight? America’s Car MuseumThis 165,000 square foot museum contains a 350-car gallery, highlighting cars revered for their speed, design, and innovative technology.