Whether you’re looking for a last-minute weekend excursion to the mountains or an extended day trip to a seaside town, there are many family destinations—within a few hours drive or less of the city—just waiting to be explored. So gas up the family roadster and read on for our favorite end of summer road trips. It’s time for one last hurrah!

Whidbey Island

If a little island adventure is what you need, you’ll love the variety that Whidbey has to offer, from scenic farms to quaint towns to the arts to endless beaches. The kids will have fun exploring fortsbeach combing and hiking. Everyone will enjoy walking the pier at historic Coupeville, exploring Greenbank Farm or riding the Coupville/Keystone ferry to downtown Port Townsend. 

Stay at: The Coachman Inn in Oak Harbor, the Boatyard Inn in Langley, or Captain Whidbey in Coupeville.

photo: Kenna Konoske

  • Whidbey Island
  • Mount Rainier
  • Hood Canal
  • Cle Elum
  • The San Juans
  • Semiahmoo & Birch Bay
  • Long Beach
  • Methow Valley
  • Lake Chelan

Editor’s note: Recent lightning storms have sparked a number of fires around the Northwest. Many are still being evaluated and conditions on the ground can change quickly. Please call ahead as road closures and traffic disruptions are always possible. The best source for Northwest wildfire information can be found at nwccweb.us.

What are your favorite end of summer road trips? Tell us in the Comments below. 

— Kristina Moy, Allison Ellis & Katie Kavulla

feature photo courtesy of Susan DeFant