The Best Day Trip Outside of Seattle

Small towns, farm goods and recreation beckon just outside of the city

By Virginia Smyth October 10, 2019


This article originally appeared in the October 2019 issue of Seattle magazine.

This article appears in print in the October 2019 issue, as part of the Fall Road Trips cover story. Click here to subscribe.

Housing developments have encroached on some of the Snoqualmie Valley landscape, but luckily, this region just east of Seattle is still holding onto its rural roots. Once you exit busy Interstate 90, slow down and take your time cruising its two-lane highways and be prepared to make plenty of stops along the way.

Marquee attractions include spots like Twede’s Cafe in North Bend, a favorite of Twin Peaks fans since the restaurant stood in for the show’s Double R Diner; Snoqualmie Falls, frequently named one of the state’s top attractions, whose waters dramatically plummet 270 feet; the historic 1890 Snoqualmie Depot and Snoqualmie Valley Railroad at the Northwest Railway Museum, still in operation for tourists; and Remlinger Farms, whose large farm store, U-pick fields for everything from strawberries to pumpkins, and kids’ entertainment draw crowds, especially on weekends.

Twede’s Cafe, made famous by Twin Peaks, is a fan favorite.

But you can make a day of it (or just an afternoon) without visiting any of these spots. Go cycling on the packed gravel of the 32-mile-long Snoqualmie Valley Trail, have a picnic at Tolt-MacDonald Park and explore some of its 12 miles of trails, or stop in at one of the many brewpubs, distilleries and wineries dotting the valley. (If you’re feeling lucky, you can even roll some dice at Snoqualmie Casino.) Stop for coffee at Grateful Bread Bakery and Café in Duvall, and for a beer and burger at Snoqualmie Brewery and Taproom in the town of Snoqualmie. Because it’s October, you’ll want to include a visit to a pumpkin patch, and the valley has those, too. Make Carnation’s Jubilee Farm your final stop (where you can pick up farm goods along with your pumpkin) and you’ll return home ready for the week ahead.

Head east from Seattle about 30 minutes on I-90, taking exit 31 to Snoqualmie.
Why we like it: With its open fields and farms, dense forests and small two-lane highways, the valley feels a world away from urban Seattle, although it’s a quick 30-minute drive.
Main attraction: The rural landscapes and historic main streets of the small towns spread throughout the valley.
Don’t miss: Jubilee Farm opens its gates on weekends in October for a harvest festival, with a farm market, hayrides and a big pumpkin patch.

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