Fall will be here before you know it, so make the most of these last warm, sunny days by planning an end of summer road trip. Whether it’s 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 pack your bags and get ready to plan one last hurrah!

Hood Canal

If you’re looking for a road trip with options (like ferries vs. bridges), Hood Canal is the place to go. Located between the Olympic and Kitsap Peninsulas, this fantastic family destination will take you less than two-hours to get to (that is… if you don’t encounter road and ferry traffic). If you're planning a weekend visit, consider skipping town a day early and returning on Tuesday (cough, cough). Since you’ll be trading high-rise buildings and busy freeways for sea-creature filled tide flats and beautiful beaches, your kiddos will think they’re in a whole new world in Hood Canal.

Stay at: The totally kid-friendly Alderbrook Resort and Spa. Tucked away towards the south end of the Hood Canal, near a tiny little town called Union, Alderbrook is the true Hood Canal showstopper! Kids of all ages will think the hiking trails at Alderbrook are awesome and will love dining on the patio, roasting s'mores by the campfire, beach combing and playing lawn games near the cottages. Everyone will love the indoor pool with restaurant service (Margaritas poolside, anyone?), the complimentary daily activities, daily cruises aboard the Lady Alderbrookkayaks, boats, SUP boards, paddle boats and more at the marina and the Xbox Game Room. Psst! In addition to hotel rooms, the resort offers spacious cottages (pictured above), perfect for families who are looking to spread out a bit and take advantage of full kitchens.

photo: Kristina Moy

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

Does your family have a favorite end of summer road trip? Tell us about it in the Comments below! 

— Kristina Moy, Allison Ellis, Katie Kavulla & Allison Sutcliffe