Best Drives With a View Around Seattle
Thanks to its famous rain, the Pacific Northwest is chock-full of natural beauty. Even the busiest cities in the region have ample access to nature. A simple drive across the floating I-90 bridge from Seattle to Mercer Island or Bellevue is a treat of stunning lake and mountain views. If you’re looking for scenic drives near Seattle that really show off our state’s gorgeous landscape, check out some of these routes.
1. Washington Park Arboretum to Seward Park
One of the most popular Seattle scenic drives, you don’t even have to leave the city for breathtaking views of lush greenery and ancient trees. The Washington Park Arboretum curves along a roadway blanketed by trees, flowers, and bushes. There are several places to park if you want to get out and enjoy the trails. Once past the park, you’ll drive along the shores of Lake Washington catching views of the lake, mountains, and even Mount Rainier in the distance before arriving at Seward Park. At Seward Park, there is a popular playground, trails, and an Audubon Center.
2. Wallace Falls and North Cascades
Take 520 to I-405 then hop onto US Highway 2 toward Gold Bar for a 50-mile trip to take in a 265-foot waterfall. Wallace Falls State Park has miles of hiking trails that lead to the upper, middle, and lower levels of the picture-perfect waterfall. If you don’t want to stop, stick to the road and continue to explore the North Cascades.
3. Ferry to Bainbridge Island
The ferry system around Puget Sound offers many different day or weekend destinations. For shorter scenic drives near Seattle, drive to the ferry that departs daily for Bainbridge Island. This trip is just a 10-mile drive with a ride on the ferry. Gliding through the sparkling waters of Puget Sound, step out of your car onto the deck to feel the wind in your hair. Watch the many boats and ferries that move through the waterway daily as seagulls soar overhead. Once you arrive in Bainbridge, take in the Bainbridge Island Museum of Art, go on a winery tour, or go for a stroll through six acres of lush vegetation at Bainbridge Gardens.
4. Snoqualmie Falls
Check out ancient trees and interesting rock formations on the short, 29-mile drive from Seattle to Snoqualmie Falls. The 270-foot waterfall has an observation deck where you can enjoy sweeping views. This location is a popular wedding destination and features miles of hiking. Best of all, this drive is only about 35 minutes when you hop onto I-90 and take WA 202 East.
5. Mount Rainier Loop
Less than two hours from Seattle sits majestic Mount Rainier. This active volcano (don’t worry – it hasn’t erupted since the 1800s) is the highest mountain in both the Cascades and the entire state of Washington. Hop onto the Mount Rainier loop for sweeping views of Mount Rainier National Park, Naches Pass, and Goat Rocks Wilderness. The area is also popular for hikers and rock climbers if you want to pull over for some outdoor fun. One of the most scenic drives near Seattle, you don’t want to miss Mount Rainier.
Hit the Road
If you need a respite from the fast pace of city life, there’s nothing like a serene drive out to see the breathtaking natural landscape in and around Seattle. Whether you’re just driving around town or you’re going on a longer expedition outside of the city, make sure that your vehicle is performing at its highest level. Come into Greg’s Japanese Auto for all your car maintenance needs. We’ve been serving the Seattle area since 1987 and look forward to caring for your vehicle.