5 Best Seattle Outdoor Activities You’ll Be Happy You Booked For
Despite its rainy reputation, Seattle is actually a great place to have outdoor vacation adventures. As long as you pack the right (warm and waterproof) clothing, you’ll be able to enjoy all the best of this “Emerald City,” as it is often called. Remember, all that gorgeous greenery can’t grow without the rain! Get out and explore nature near Seattle with these five awesome adventure activities.
Hike Mount Rainier
Don’t let this iconic Northwest mountain be just a part of the scenery in the backdrop of your Seattle vacation! Make sure you head out of the city at least once to experience majestic Mount Rainier up close and personal. Though you could make the drive yourself, you’ll get so much more out of your experience in the company of a local guide. There are many companies offering Mount Rainier day trips; for the best experience, choose a locally-owned and -operated guide company.
At Mount Rainier, you can expect to stroll through old-growth forests of fir, hemlock, and cedar, where you’ll marvel at the massive size of the ancient trees. Waterfalls and natural springs refresh the forest air, while shimmering lakes and majestic mountains round out the scenery. The best tours will also include hiking on trails that are suitable for the stamina of the group, as well as a delicious local lunch, coffee, and plenty of snacks. And of course, when you’re guided by locals, you’ll get to learn so much from them about the history and natural environment of this beautiful place. The best part is, you can do a tour like this any time of year: in summer, you’ll pick wild berries; in winter, you’ll snowshoe!
Take a Cycle Tour
Seattle is considered one of the most bike-friendly cities in the United States, so you’d be missing out if you didn’t spend at least one day experiencing the city from the seat of a bike. A downtown cycling tour can be a great way to orient yourself to the geography of a new city, so consider booking one for your very first day! If you’re already familiar with the terrain of downtown, check out some of the other awesome cycling tours available, like a tour of Ballard Locks and the Fremont neighborhood.
To journey even further afield, you can take a bike tour of Bainbridge Island. Tours include a half-hour ride on the ferry, and a nice long ride around the incredible beauty of Bainbridge. This “emerald beauty” boasts gorgeous marine vistas, seashores, wild creatures, and the invigorating aroma of evergreen forests in every direction. It’s a cycling paradise!
Ride in a Hot Air Balloon
Now that you’ve seen Mount Rainier from up close on its slopes, how about from the air in a luxury hot air balloon? Though many cities have hot air balloon rides available, the experience you can have just outside Seattle is unparalleled in its majesty and beauty. Balloon trips typically go up at either sunrise or just before sunset, as that’s when the conditions are best for flight. For the best trip, splurge on a smaller company that provides personal service, and perhaps a classy toast at the end with champagne and fresh pastries. Riding in a hot air balloon is a unique experience that you might only do once in your life; be sure you do it right!
Hop Aboard a Boat
There’s no shortage of boating opportunities available in this city on the water. Perhaps you’d like to explore the nearby islands of Bainbridge or Bremerton, which can easily be done as a day trip, utilizing the municipal ferry system, which is the largest in the United States. For a less pedestrian experience, go for a sailing cruise on Puget Sound. Enjoy a leisurely sail in the daytime, or perhaps a longer one for a sunset cruise. There’s nothing like seeing the shoreline from the water; it’s a whole new view of the city!
Paddle Past the City Limits
If you’re headed to the Seattle area in the summertime, you’re in for a real treat. The summer months offer an incredible opportunity here in the Cascades: the chance to get up close and personal with the region’s many beautiful rivers! Book a river rafting trip, and paddle or float your way to a perfect Washington travel experience.
New to river rafting? Don’t worry, there are options available for all different types of trips, from total novice to experienced rapids-shooter. The abundance of river choices is one of the many great things about a visit to the Cascades region! For the price of your trip, you’ll not only get all the gear you need, but also an experienced river guide who will cover all the basics and get you back to land safely at the end of your journey. A river trip will give you a whole new perspective on these beautiful mountains!
Happy travels to Seattle!
About the Author
Chezlani Casar is a librarian and outdoor enthusiast who can often be found running, cycling, or playing in the ocean. She works alongside Seattle Oasis Vacation Rentals to showcase fantastic Seattle experiences and adventures.