8 Top Outdoor Adventures near Seattle

May 3, 2024

Step into a world of outdoor adventure in Seattle, where the possibilities are as vast as the Pacific Northwest landscape. From exhilarating hikes to serene boating excursions, these top 8 outdoor activities near Seattle offer a variety of adventure to satisfy every outdoor enthusiast. Nestled within this playground is Greenlake Guest House. We offer a top-rated retreat for travelers seeking to immerse themselves in the region's natural wonders while enjoying personalized hospitality.

#1 Pack a Bag and Go Hiking

Seattle's surroundings are a hiker's paradise, with trails ranging from easy strolls to challenging ascents. Lace up your boots and explore the lush forests of Mount Si or the breathtaking terrain of the Cascade Mountains. The best hikes near Seattle allow you to explore old-growth forests, picturesque views, and spring wildflowers while staying close to the city. There is a hike for every skill level.

  • If you want to track serious mileage, take on Blue Lake Trail for a highly rewarding lake-side destination (it’s a 3-hour one-way drive from the inn, but it is doable for a day trip).
  • If hiking isn’t your thing, Big Four Ice Caves Trail (1 hour 30 minutes drive one-way) and Granite Falls Trail (under an hour drive one-way) are great options for low-milage, out-and-back walks with jaw-dropping scenery.

#2 Visit National and State Parks

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest by visiting nearby state and national parks, like Olympic, Mount Rainier, and Whidbey Island parks. These landmarks boast diverse ecosystems, towering peaks, and pristine wilderness ready to be explored.

  • Mount Rainier is great for scenic drives and snapping many pics of the views.
  • And if you plan to visit Whidbey Island, stop in Fort Casey State Park to see the Admiralty Head Lighthouse—overseer of the ocean.

#3 Try Boating and Paddleboarding

Take advantage of Seattle's proximity to water by indulging in various aquatic adventures. Rent a kayak or paddleboard (or even an electric boat or a hot tub boat) on Lake Union or Green Lake and enjoy spectacular city skyline views. You can venture out to Puget Sound to sail, fish, and even scuba dive in the saltwater.Lessons and rentals are easily accessible to guests visiting Seattle. If you're new to the water, we recommend reserving with Ballard Kayak for paddleboard or kayak lessons. Taking in Seattle’s sea life and mountain views from the water is a unique experience we don’t want guests to miss!

alki beach at sunset with the space needle in the very distance

#4 Stroll Beaches and Gardens

Escape the hustle and bustle of the city by spending a day at one of Seattle's beautiful beaches or gardens. Relaxing on the sandy shores of Alki Beach can be made even more fun by looking for shells, soaking in the sun, and reading a good book. You’ll be taken aback by the views of Olympic National Park peaks towering over the sea on the horizon.

While in the city, explore some of the best Seattle gardens scattered throughout. The University of Washington boasts beautiful cherry blossoms that bloom every spring, while Bellevue Botanical Garden is home to a variety of Seattle’s best and brightest florals.

#5 Extreme Sightseeing

For adrenaline junkies, Seattle offers thrilling experiences like whale-watching tours and hot-air balloon rides. Take on the rolling ocean waves on the fastest whale-watching boat driven by the Puget Sound Express. Safely view spectacular animals like orcas, humpbacks, and grey whales while enjoying the thrill of being on open water.

You can also take to the skies and soar high above the city in a hot-air balloon. Experience breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape. Whether you prefer a sunrise cruise or a sunset sail, Seattle Ballooning will provide a once-in-a-lifetime ride you won’t forget!

#6 Shred while Skiing or Snowboarding

When winter arrives, head to the nearby mountains for world-class skiing and snowboarding. Crystal Mountain Ski Resort and The Summit at Snoqualmie offer a variety of slopes for all skill levels, as well as opportunities for snowshoeing, snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and sledding.

Renting gear is always great for guests hoping to try something new. We recommend Seattle Ski for all your needs. Explore one of the hiking trails mentioned above during the winter with a pair of snowshoes for a prime winter workout. Additionally, you can grab three of your closest friends or family and cruise up a high-speed quad lift. Winter in Seattle provides prime powder days!

rows of grape vines at a vineyard

#7 Sipping Through Wine Country

Indulge your senses with a wine-tasting tour through Woodinville Wine Country. Sample award-winning wines from over 100 local wineries. Learn about the winemaking process and savor the flavors of the Pacific Northwest.

On the list of favorites:

  • Chateau Ste Michelle impresses with majestic grounds and various tasting experiences, including seasonal pairings and outdoor concerts.
  • You can also enhance your visit with Bon Vivant Wine Tours, experiencing curated journeys to 4-6 wineries with transportation provided.

#8 Outdoor Dining

Seattle's vibrant culinary scene is best explored al fresco at one of the city's many outdoor eateries. From waterfront seafood restaurants to cozy cafés tucked away in charming neighborhoods, there's no shortage of delicious dining options to satisfy your appetite.

Favorites like waterfront Ray’s Boathouse & Café on Puget Sound and Terra Plata in the middle of the city, serve incredible food and fantastic views from their rooftop decks. For more recommendations, see our list of the best Seattle restaurants.

Where to Stay

At the heart of all the fun is Greenlake Guest House, providing the perfect home base for travelers near and far. Whether you're conquering mountain trails, gliding across the tranquil waters, savoring the flavors of Woodinville Wine Country, or everything else in between, our charming guest house provides perfect comfort after taking on such escapades.

With our convenient location and welcoming atmosphere, Greenlake Guest House invites you to make a reservation for a memorable journey filled with exploration and relaxation!


Photo Credit:
© WendyOlsenPhotography via canva.com
© gmc3101 via canva.com
© Mrkit99 via canva.com