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Cruise & Stay

Seattle cruise & stay vacations: 2 fabulous Washington State day trips

Seattle may be a major port for exploring Alaska, Canada and beyond but there’s also plenty to see in Washington State during a cruise and stay holiday. Here are two day trips ideas.

Plan for extra time before or after your Seattle cruise and take a day trip to one of Washington’s charming small towns.

It’s easy to walk on the ferry [main image] to Bainbridge Island and you can easily rent a car for the day to see more of the island and/or drive 90 minutes north to La Conner.

Winslow, Bainbridge Island

Charming village

The little town of Winslow is located on Bainbridge Island (gateway to the Olympic Peninsula) and a 35-minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle (just over an hour from Seattle cruise port).

Winslow [above] is filled with treasures just waiting to be discovered so give yourself plenty of time as there’s lots to do! Time the return trip at sunset and you’ll see the city’s skyline lit up and all aglow.

This charming village is the heart and soul of Bainbridge Island. Its main street invites you to follow folks into town and explore further, to saunter down one side of the street and back up the other, stopping for coffee, a bite to eat, a wine-tasting session, a browse around Winslow’s eclectic boutiques and galleries or just a spell checking out the yachts in the Eagle Harbor Marina.

Across Eagle Harbor, explore the Japanese Exclusion Memorial — an outdoor exhibit commemorating the internment of Japanese Americans from the island who were ordered to leave on March 30, 1942.

If you’re driving, be sure to stop at the 150-acre Bloedel Reserve with its spectacular walking trails, streams, ponds, gardens galore and the Bloedel family’s former home, now a museum.


 – Learn more about Winslow and Bainbridge Island here


Top tip: Seattle was named after the Duwamish chief, famous for a speech he gave about being responsible to the environment and having respect for the land rights of his people.

From the Bloedel Reserve, it’s seven minutes to Chief Seattle’s Gravesite near the Suquamish Museum.

La Conner

Romantic getaway

La Conner is located in the Skagit Valley, 90 minutes north of Seattle.

Take time on the drive to La Conner [above] to explore the country roads, lush with fields of daffodils and tulips in the spring or berries, wheat, and corn in the summer.

Classic barns and farmhouses here boast spectacular flowers brimming from hanging baskets while pots and planters with gardens of bright colors frame buildings. Farmstands dot the countryside where you can buy fresh jams, flowers, ice cream and myriad home-grown treats.

As you head into town, you’ll discover why La Conner is often named one of the most romantic getaways in Washington. This delightful village boasts galleries showcasing local artists, boutique shopping for every taste, and eateries with seafood purchased directly from fishermen right off their boats.

A boardwalk runs along the Swinomish Channel offering a lovely way to wind down at the end of the day, take in the beautiful views and stop for a sip of wine – our kind of evening.


Learn more about La Conner here


Top tip: Visit in April and you’ll time your trip with the beautiful Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, held annually!

Published 10.10.23