Sunny Getaways: The Brightest Northwest Vacation Spots in the Desert, Small Towns, Mountains and on the Coast

Gray skies may rule over Seattle, but the sun is shining at these vacation destinations only a few hours from the city
| FROM THE PRINT EDITION |
 
 

This article appears in print in the May 2018 issue, as part of the "Sunny Getaways" cover story. Click here to subscribe.

It’s no secret—even to Seattle newcomers—that we have more than our share of gray days (226 days of “heavy cloud cover” by one estimate). No doubt that’s why Hawaii and Mexico are popular destinations for locals. 

But you don’t have to go that far afield to catch a few reliable rays. Next time you’re desperate for a sunny weekend or week, load up the car with a few essentials (i.e. sunscreen and shades) and head out to one of these bright spots in the Northwest.

Leavenworth
Yakima
Ancient Lakes Trail
Oregon’s Painted Hills
Sequim and Port Townsend
Oregon’s southernmost coastline

 

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I love the sound of my feet crunching barnacles against my soft-soled boots, providing harmony to the melodic whoosh of the tidewater going in and out.

In the islands of Western Washington, breaker waves fall among the calls of seagulls. Quiet trails lie within old-growth forests, in wildflower meadows and on driftwoodcovered shores.

The rhythmic kick glide of skis on fresh early morning snow provides a beat against my pounding heart. Dawn breaks as I climb up the slope, the sound of semitrucks and commuter traffic roaring below me.

Convenient trips are becoming increasingly popular