Are you planning on traveling in Washington with your significant other any time soon?
If so, you’ll want to take a look at these romantic day trips in Washington.
Washington is a beautiful state, filled with exciting cities and unmatched natural beauty. However, in a state as big as Washington, it can be difficult to decide what you want to see and if you’ll be able to get there and back from where you’re staying in a single day.
What are some romantic day trips in Washington State?
At the end of the day, the most romantic days trips you can take in Washington are to Sol Duc Valley Hot Springs Resort, Terra Blanca Winery, Estate Vineyard, and Walla Walla. All of these places offer all of the comforts, sights, and activities that you and your partner will want on a romantic day trip.
All of the best romantic day trips have a few things in common.
Most importantly, for it to be a day trip you must reasonably be able to get there, enjoy the day, and come back before the day is over.
A romantic day trip needs to offer all of the comforts, sights, and activities that allow you and your partner to enjoy some quality time together.
I’ve lived in Tacoma, Washington for the past 10 years, and I’ve spent that time traveling all around the state, so I can assure you that these are all of the best and most romantic day trips that you can take in the beautiful state of Washington.
Where Can You Go In A Day?
Like I said before, the very nature of a day trip means that you must be able to reasonably go, spend the day, and come back before the day is over.
But Washington is a very big state so what can be a day trip in one part of the state may not be possible to do in a day from somewhere else.
Because of this, I’ve split this list of the most romantic day trips into three different parts.
The first section will be all about romantic day trips from Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia.
These three cities are all quite close to each other, Olympia being about an hour’s drive south of Seattle with Tacoma right in the middle of the two.
So it’s reasonable that you would be able to complete each of the day trips in this section from any of those three cities.
The following two sections will be all about romantic day trips that you can take from Yakima, in the south-central region of the state, and Spokane, in the western part of the state.
So there’s guaranteed to be a manageable romantic day trip for you here, no matter where you are coming from in the state.
Romantic Day Trips From Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia
There are plenty of options for romantic day trips from Seattle, Tacoma, and Olympia, so don’t worry about there being a lack of options when staying in some of the largest cities in Washington.
Snow-capped mountains, primeval old-growth forests, endless beaches, and quaint small towns are abundant in this region of the Pacific Northwest, ensuring that you can make the perfect choice when choosing where to go for your upcoming romantic road trip.
1. Sol Duc Valley and Hot Springs Resort
In general, Olympic National Park is a fantastic place to take a romantic day trip.
But by far the best place to go in the park is the Sol Duc Valley.
Though it is a bit of a far drive, especially from Seattle, Sol Duc Valley offers some of the most beautiful scenery in the entire park and is more than doable in a day if you’re willing to leave early in the morning.
If you and your significant other enjoy hiking, the valley offers plenty of hiking trails that can be completed in only a few hours, all of which show off Olympic’s ancient old-growth forests.
The trail to Sol Duc Falls, one of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders that the park has to offer, is only a mile away from the parking lot where the trailhead begins and can be completed very quickly.
Other hiking trails that offer manageable day hikes here are the appropriately named Lovers’ Lane, a 6-mile loop, and the trail to Mink Lake, a 5 miles roundtrip, which can also be completed in just a few hours and can give you and your partner some alone time to enjoy the incredible views together.
Another great spot to check out is the Salmon Cascades overlook.
Located about 5 miles down the Sol Duc road, the overlook offers beautiful views of the cascades year-round, however, if you go at the right time you may be in for a surprise.
If traveling in September or October, you may be lucky enough to see the Coho Salmon traveling up the waterfall to spawn, with the same happening with Steelhead Trout from late March through May.
The views of these fish traveling upriver will surely leave you and your partner in awe at the sight of these amazing fish and their incredible journey.
However, the most romantic place to go in Sol Duc Valley and a must-visit on any trip to the valley is the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort.
This resort offers everything you’ll want for your romantic day trip.
It has three mineral springs and one freshwater spring all of which are at different temperatures so you can pick and choose whichever one you prefer.
The resort also offers massages and has dining options perfect for a romantic day away.
2. Long Beach Peninsula
Though it is a popular tourist spot, it’s easy to get away from all the noise and drive up the beach for a bit more privacy.
For those in the mood for a romantic horse ride, a popular activity is a horseback riding along Long Beach’s 28 miles of the pristine pacific coast.
Not to mention, the beach’s position on the western coast of Washington makes it prone to having some of the most awe-inspiring sunsets you’ll ever see as the sun descends into the pacific ocean.
Some of the best views on the peninsula are at Cape Disappointment State Park, which features two lighthouses and views from high up that allow you to get to see all of your surroundings.
The Discovery Trail is also great for a romantic walk along the coast and offers 8 and a half miles of pure coastal beauty, suitable for any couple looking for a romantic walk along the coast.
And why not end the night with some fresh local seafood? Long Beach offers a plethora of different restaurants to choose from, all of which serve some of the best dishes these coastal waters have to offer.
3. Skagit Valley
If you are looking for a romantic day trip in the springtime, Skagit Valley is one the best places you can go.
During the whole month of April, the valley is home to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
The Festival features millions of brightly colored tulips that cover almost the entire valley.
The fields can be driven through in a car however, many require a small fee to enter.
There’s no doubt that, during the month of April, Skagit Valley is easily one of the most romantic places in the state, if not the world.
When you are done looking at all of the beautiful tulips, Skagit Valley also has some other activities to keep you both occupied for the remainder of the day.
For all of the wine lovers out there, Skagit Valley has multiple vineyards and wineries, my favorite of which is Tulip Valley Winery. However, whichever winery you choose to go to, they’ll all offer great wine tasting and gorgeous views of the surrounding vineyards and tulip fields.
If you are feeling a bit more adventurous and want to see some local wildlife, you can also take a Skagit River Eagle tour.
These tours take you down the Skagit River in comfortable and heated open-air boats and offer you the chance to see and take pictures of majestic bald eagles in their natural habitat.
These tours are great for anyone who has even the slightest desire to get a closer look at some of these incredible birds.
Any couple would love to take a romantic getaway in Europe, but traveling across the country and the whole Atlantic Ocean doesn’t make for much of a day trip.
But what if you didn’t have to travel so far to get that same European feeling? Leavenworth offers all of this and more and is only a few short hours in the car away.
Leavenworth, located on the southeastern side of the North Cascades, is a Bavarian-Alpine-style village with all of the sights, foods, and drinks that you’d expect to find in a Bavarian town.
You’ll be able to drink german beer in german style beer gardens, eat staple German foods like bratwurst, schnitzel, and giant pretzels and listen to alpenhorn performances like you’re in the real bavarian alps.
Leavenworth has festivals all year round.
Winter Karneval, Maifest, Oktoberfest, and the Christmas Lighting Festival are some of the biggest and most exciting festivals the town offers but there are even more throughout the year, ensuring that you have the chance to enjoy one of these festivals no matter what time of year you go.
Leavenworth is also the gateway to a lot of other fun activities.
With ski slopes and glacial lakes nearby, there’s plenty of hiking, skiing, rafting, and swimming to be done in Leavenworth.
Leavenworth also has a variety of spas to pamper yourselves in and is also home to the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, a quirky museum with a collection of over 7000 nutcrackers.
No matter what you are interested in, Leavenworth offers plenty to do for any couple looking for a romantic day trip away.
5. Mount Rainier National Park
Just a bit over an hour outside of Tacoma, Mount Rainier National Park, is another great choice for a romantic day trip.
Though Washington definitely isn’t a state lacking in mountains, Mount Rainier is a glacier-covered volcano and the tallest mountain in the state of Washington.
It’s surrounded by ancient old-growth forests and in the summer, the meadows on the lower slopes bloom with colorful wildflowers.
There is no doubt that Mount Rainier offers some of the most uniquely beautiful landscapes in the whole United States.
There are miles of hiking trails and notable sights to see all around the park, but many of my favorites are close by and accessible from Paradise, which is located on the southern side of Mount Rainier.
From here you can access plenty of hiking trails that can be completed in a few short hours, including the Alta Vista Trail and the Nisqually Vista Trail which are both under 2 miles.
You can also visit the gorgeous Myrtle Falls, which is just a mile walk round trip from Paradise.
And when you’re done hiking and taking in all of the beautiful scenery, you can stop in the historic Paradise Inn for brunch or dinner.
Romantic Day Trips From Yakima
Yakima is situated in the Yakima Valley in south-central Washington state. While not nearly as popular of a destination as the three aforementioned cities, the Valley offers drastically different landscapes than the western part of the state and there’s plenty to do for any couple looking for a romantic day away.
Known for its hop fields, vineyards, and apple orchards, Yakima Valley offers lots of options for any prospective romantic getaway.
One honorable mention is Mount Rainier National Park, but I won’t list that here as I already talked about it in the previous section.
However, it should be mentioned that Mount Rainier is actually even closer to Yakima than those aforementioned cities, so if you are around Yakima, it’s definitely a great idea to consider for a romantic day trip.
1. Yakima Area Arboretum And Botanical Gardens
This first romantic day trip idea is actually located in the city of Yakima, so you won’t have to go very far if you are staying in the city.
Despite this, the Yakima Area Arboretum is a great place to spend a romantic morning or afternoon with your partner.
Open from dawn till dusk, the arboretum features 30 acres of display gardens, which include countless local and exotic species of plants, as well as 15 additional acres of untouched natural scenery, this is by far one of the most beautiful places to visit in central Washington.
Besides walking through and enjoying the gorgeous scenery, the arboretum offers interesting classes for anyone who wants to learn something new.
From basic gardening skills to foraging for wild mushrooms, couples who want to learn something new together will find plenty of opportunities to do so here.
2. Cowiche Canyon Preserve
Cowiche Canyon is another incredible place to go for any romantic day trip. Only about 30 minutes from Yakima, the canyon offers gorgeous views of wildflowers, lichen-covered rocks, and Cowiche Creek which flows through the canyon.
The preserve has around 20 miles of trails that are open to hikers, bikers, and horse riders alike.
In the winter, you can even cross country ski or snowshoe on the trails if there’s enough snow.
The best trail for any romantic daytripper is the appropriately named Cowiche Canyon Trail.
At just under three miles long, the Cowiche Canyon Trail is the perfect length for a romantic day hike.
The trail, more or less, follows the Cowiche Creek which is surrounded by lush vegetation and wildflower-covered hills.
You’ll also be able to see all sorts of wildlife including vultures, hawks, songbirds, colorful butterflies and, if you’re lucky, maybe even a cute little marmot.
There’s no doubt that Cowiche Canyon is a fantastic spot for a romantic day trip from Yakima.
3. Terra Blanca Winery and Estate Vineyard
When it comes to wineries around Yakima, there is a wide variety to choose from, but my favorite is Terra Blanca Winery and Estate Vineyard.
Only an hour’s drive from Yakima, Terra Blanca makes for an incredible day trip for any wine-loving couple looking for a romantic day at the winery.
The winery is on the southwest side of Red Mountain and encompasses three hundred acres, so there are plenty of beautiful panoramic views of Yakima Valley to be enjoyed here.
Red Mountain Estate, a Tuscan-style villa, contains the Red Mountain Tasting Room where you can taste all of the different wines made available from the vineyard.
You can have one of Terra Blanca’s highly trained wine educators walk you through all of the different wines you taste, or you can simply pick a glass of your favorite wine to enjoy on the terrace while taking in all of the beautiful scenery.
When you’re done exploring the grounds and tasting the wines, you can stop at the Vineyard Grill for dinner before you leave.
The restaurant specializes in Italian cuisine, with most dishes being prepared in their brick oven, and, of course, each dish can be perfectly paired with one of Terra Blanca’s delicious wines.
The Vineyard Grill is the perfect place to end your day with a romantic dinner before heading back home.
4. Johnson Orchards
If you fancy going to an orchard to pick apples, Johnson Orchards is a great place to spend a romantic afternoon. Also located in the city of Yakima, you can wander through the orchards and pick fresh apples and cherries depending on the season.
They also sell fresh fruit and vegetables along with an assortment of other local products from their fruit packing warehouse.
Built in 1916, the warehouse turned farmers’ market will make you feel like you’ve gone back in time
Johnson Orchards also has a famous bakeshop where they make all sorts of different homemade baked goods, including cookies, muffins, pies, and many more.
Even if you don’t want to spend much time here, it is still worth stopping by the bakeshop to pick up one of their spectacularly delicious pies.
But be careful as they are only open 3 days a week, so check their hours beforehand.
5. Boulder Cave
Boulder Cave is another great idea for a romantic day trip from Yakima.
Located a little less than an hour away from Yakima in Naches, Washington, Boulder Cave is a marvel unlike any other.
Formed as water from Devil’s Creek carved its way through the volcanic basalt in the area, this cave is incredibly unique and is the largest of its kind.
You can get to the cave by following the Boulder Cave Trail, which is about a 2-mile round trip and should take approximately an hour to complete.
The trail follows the ravine along Devil’s Creek through coniferous forests.
It’s an absolute delight descending into the ravine and reaching the entrance of the cave, which, during the summer, will offer a nice cool reward for your efforts in hiking there.
This is a great way to spend a romantic summer day.
Romantic Day Trips From Spokane
Spokane is the second largest city in the state of Washington, with tons of opportunities for romantic day trips.
The city is close to all of the most beautiful natural wonders the region has to offer and is a great place to stay and explore in its own right.
Though there’s no pacific coastline like in the west, the region around Spokane has all the mountains, forests, and waterfalls you could ever want when planning a romantic day trip.
1. Mount Spokane State Park
One of the easiest choices for a romantic day trip from Spokane is Mount Spokane State Park.
It’s easy to get to as it’s only an hour’s drive from the city center and the park offers some of the best views in the whole state.
The park is one of the largest state parks in Washington and has 100 miles of hiking trails, many of which are able to be traversed by mountain bike or horse.
A great trail for a solid day hike is the Quartz Mountain Lookout Trail which can be completed in about 2 hours, however, it’s worth knowing that the awe-inspiring Mount Spokane can be seen from just about everywhere in the park, so you’ll never run out of romantic views no matter which trail you choose.
During the winter the park offers even more activities as most of the hiking trails remain open for snowshoeing.
There are also an additional 37 miles of ski trails and 16 miles of roads for snowmobiles ensuring that when winter comes, you’ll be able to explore the park all over again in any way you’d like.
2. Riverside State Park
A mere 25 minutes from Spokane is another great state park worth some consideration when planning your romantic day trip.
As the name suggests, Riverside State Park encompasses land along the Spokane and Little Spokane River.
As the state’s second largest state park, Riverside State Park is the perfect place to have a romantic picnic with your partner.
The park offers all of the standard recreations you’d expect like hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding, rock climbing, and, of course, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and snowmobiling in the winter.
However, the rivers are the real stars of this park.
The Little Spokane River offers the opportunity for paddlesports like kayaking and you can boat, fish and do an assortment of other watersports on Lake Spokane.
Whether you’re a couple who’s into hiking, watersports, or simply having a romantic picnic by the shore, Riverside State Park is a great choice.
3. Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park
Another great romantic day trip for nature lovers is Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park, which offers some of the most unique landscapes in the state.
Thousands of years ago the now Dry Falls was a giant waterfall nearly 10 times the size of Niagara Falls.
Though there’s no longer any water flowing off the massive 400-foot cliffs, the resulting rock formations allow you to picture just how massive these falls would have been.
Besides taking in the incredible views of Dry Falls, the park also features the beautiful Sun Lakes.
There are plenty of watersports to be done on the lake, whether you like fishing, boating or simply having a nice swim.
You can also enjoy a nice picnic along the lake if you’re looking for a more relaxing afternoon.
4. Walla Walla
About 2 and a half hours from Spokane, close to the border with Oregon, sits the charming Walla Walla, Washington.
The charming town, made increasingly famous for its world-renowned wineries, also features a historic downtown area and views of the Blue Mountains.
This quaint town offers lots of different things to do for any couple looking to have a romantic day there.
The valley in which the town resides is home to over 100 wineries making this the perfect place for any wine-loving couple.
Some of my favorite wineries and tasting rooms in the region are the Woodward Canyon Winery, Foundry Winery, and Kontos Cellars, but you really can’t go wrong with any of the wineries in the valley as they all have fantastic wines fit for the finest of wine connoisseurs.
It’s also a delight to simply roam the streets of downtown Walla Walla.
The streets are lined with buildings from the 1800s occupied by a variety of different stores, boutiques, cafes, and restaurants.
There are also trolley cars that travel up and down the streets adding to the old-fashioned charm of this quaint town.
One of the more unique activities offered in Walla Walla is hot air balloon tours.
Probably the most romantic way to watch the sunrise or sunset with your significant other, the hot air balloon tours offer unmatched views of the town of Walla Walla and all of the beautiful landscapes around it, including the Blue Mountains, Columbia River, and miles of sprawling fields.
There’s really no greater way to watch a romantic sunset as a couple, so make sure that you are sure to include a hot air balloon ride on your romantic day trip to Walla Walla.
5. The Tri-Cities
The Tri-Cities is a group of cities consisting of Kennewick, Pasco, and Richland, all of which sit on the banks of the Columbia River is another great place to take a romantic day trip.
The area is famous for all of the sun it receives, 300 days a year to be exact.
So, there’s no need to worry about having bad weather when visiting this region of the state.
Though it’s easy to see the three cities in one day, all of which are worth seeing, my favorite of the three is Kennewick.
This charming little town has all sorts of things to see including the Gesa Carousel of Dream, an ornate and historic merry-go-round from 1910 that is definitely worth a look in between sampling some of the town’s local food and wine.
Columbia Park is also a great area to take a romantic walk.
This park follows the banks of the Columbia River and stretches 4.5 miles from Kennewick to Richland.
Besides its lovely riverside trails, the park also has a private golf course and a fishing pond as well as connections to the 23-mile-long Sacagawea Heritage Trail, so there is plenty to do here for any traveling couple.