Looking for a few awesome Pacific Northwest weekend getaways for fall? Keep scrolling to find out some really beautiful PNW travel spots for September, October, and November!
This post about Pacific Northwest Weekend Getaways for Fall post was originally published October 10, 2018 and was updated August 20, 2021 and may contain affiliate links, which means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past year and a half it’s that taking a drive can do wonders for our mental health.
I was hesitant to go anywhere this Spring, but then we started getting out a bit more during summer and it was so nice to see something other than our backyard!
Now that most families have a better idea of what school and work are looking like, I thought I’d share some cool Pacific Northwest weekend getaways for Fall.
A lot of these can actually be day trips if you are uncomfortable spending the night anywhere. Or you can find a vacation rental near these areas.
There are also a few destinations in British Columbia on this list for families who live in Canada or for U.S. families who are vaccinated.
Ok, let’s dive in!
Pacific Northwest Vacations FAQs
That’s a tough question! The main cities are Portland, Oregon; Seattle, Washington; and Vancouver, B.C. But there’s also the incredible Oregon Coast, the beautiful San Juan Islands, Mount Rainier, and so many other awesome places to go in the Northwest.
The PNW is pretty spectacular any time of year, as long as you don’t mind a little rain. Summer is by far the most popular time for tourists to visit. However, the actual best time to visit the Northwest is in early fall (September-October).
The Pacific Northwest has some of the prettiest scenery in the US. That’s because there are amazing mountains (like Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier), beautiful coastlines, tree-filled islands, National Parks, and more. A few famous PNW attractions include the Space Needle, Multnomah Falls, Crater Lake, Pike Place Market, and the Butchart Gardens.
Incredible Pacific Northwest Weekend Getaways for Fall: Washington
I’m kicking off the list with one of the best Washington state getaways: Mount Rainier.
If you are looking for an easy PNW day trip from Seattle, Mount Rainier is less than 2 hours away. There are so many fun things to do on Mount Rainier!
It’s easy to take a drive around Mount Rainier National Park and see lots of things from your car (including gorgeous waterfalls.) There are lots of great hiking trails for all ages and abilities if you want to stretch your legs.
One of our favorite places to go near Mount Rainier is Northwest Trek in Eatonville. This year, they have timed tickets to walk around the park and it’s a great way to see the animals.
Pioneer Farm is also a fun stop in Eatonville. You’ll feel like you are back in pioneer days as you learn more about life in the PNW more than a hundred years ago.
Mount Rainier is one of our top weekend trips from Portland, too!
Family Hotels Near Mount Rainier
Semiahmoo Resort & Spa
Our family loves spending time at the beach year-round. Here in the Pacific Northwest, beaches are less about sun tanning and swimming and more about looking for cool rocks or walking on the beach.
Semiahmoo Resort & Spa is located in Blaine and you can actually see the Peace Arch border crossing into Canada from the resort.
We’ve stayed at Semiahmoo Resort & Spa a few times and we always recommend it to people because it’s just so peaceful and lovely. There are lots of places to avoid people.
There are fire pits, which are great for roasting marshmallows and making s’mores. And they have really tasty restaurants with in-room dining.
I recommend getting a room on the ground floor that faces the water. That way, you can go in and out easily. The beach is perfect for getting fresh air and skipping rocks in the water.
If you love relaxing weekend trips in Washington, Semiahmoo is the place to be! Plus, you can do a half-day trip down to Gordon Skagit Farms!
Check rates and availability for Semiahmoo Resort & Spa this fall.
While locals might initially scoff at the idea of Tacoma being one of the best weekend getaways near Seattle, it seriously is pretty awesome these days!
There are lots of outdoor spaces perfect for getting some fresh air. Point Ruston has a great walking path and they even rent surries to ride up and down by the water, perfect for warm fall days.
Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium is another great place to visit. They just opened up their newest aquarium that is great to explore on rainy days.
And there are so many cool vintage shops and boutiques in downtown Tacoma. Plus, all the great places to eat and grab a coffee.
Tacoma is now a super cool mix of Seattle and Portland and should definitely be on your radar!
Family Hotels in Tacoma
And the newest place to stay for families is the Silver Cloud Inn Point Ruston Waterfront. It’s right next to amazing restaurants, shops, and it’s super close to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium.
Olympic National Park
A gorgeous getaway in the Pacific Northwest is Olympic National park.
The fall colors in Olympic National Park start to change in mid to late October, coming to a peak in early November.
The contrast of red, orange, yellow, and green make for overwhelmingly colorful sites, and with a temperate climate, this establishes Olympic National Park as one of the best fall getaways from either Seattle or Portland.
Hiking is good in the Hoh Rainforest year-round and enjoying the fall colors is something we are sure to never miss.
But if you’re a PNW person at heart, you might actually prefer to enjoy the quiet beaches of Olympic National Park. It’s almost a secret getaway near Seattle.
Kalaloch and Ruby Beach are both very near the rain forests and in the fall and winter months are all but deserted, making it perfect for fall getaways in Washington state.
They’re just as gorgeous as summertime, but just a bit more moody. Kids don’t care about that though, so if it’s a Pacific Northwest weekend getaway for Fall you’re looking for, might as well make it to the beach!
Rob Taylor from 2TravelDads.
Family Hotels Near Olympic National Park
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One of the most popular Washington state weekend getaways for locals is Lake Chelan.
Many people head to Lake Chelan and the surrounding areas in the summer, but I prefer visiting in fall and winter.
Fall is grape harvest and barrel-tasting season, so it’s a great time to visit one (or five!) of the best Lake Chelan wineries.
The trees are starting to turn colors, the crowds are thinning out, and most of the wineries allow kids. Some even have lawn games or playgrounds.
Besides wine, there is a ton of fun to be had for the whole family. Get outdoors by exploring more than 250 miles of hiking trails.
It’s one of the most popular weekend getaways in the Pacific Northwest for Seattle families.
You can also explore some of the surrounding areas, such as the Methow Valley about 45 minutes away.
Adria from Emerald Palate.
Family Hotels in Lake Chelan
Washington is so beautiful during the fall, it can be difficult to decide which town or city to visit. There is a charming town about 3-hour drive from either Seattle, WA or Portland, OR called Prosser and it makes lovely Washington weekend getaways.
In Prosser, you’ll find that small town vibe but they are very welcoming to visitors, and amazing photo opportunities with beautiful fall colors.
This small town is home to over 30 wineries and breweries so it’s the perfect getaway for adults only. With annual wine tasting events and year round wine tours and excursions.
Prosser is also very family/pet-friendly; visit Benton County Historical Museum, more than 5 parks, farmer’s markets, shopping, Chukar Cherries, Princess Theater, skating rink, Brewminatti a coffee shop with live music, and more.
If you’re traveling with your children and don’t want to miss out on the wine experience, be sure to check out Gamache Tasting Room which is family and pet friendly, you’re welcome to bring your own picnic.
Prosser hosts many annual events throughout the year including Great Prosser Balloon Rally. Visit year around, bring the whole family or have
an adult-only getaway!
Tabitha from Love Tabitha.
Where to Stay in Prosser, WA
Incredible Pacific Northwest Weekend Getaways for Fall: Oregon
Like Rob suggests, the beach can be a really fun Pacific Northwest weekend getaway for Fall. Kids really don’t care that it’s a bit chillier than summer.
In fact, my 4-year-old asked if he could go swimming in the Pacific Ocean on a 60-degree day and he was completely serious!
My family recently spent the weekend at the Inn at Cape Kiwanda and the kids had a blast! It’s one of the best weekend getaways in Oregon, hands down.
We stayed in the O’Neill Surf Suite and the kids got to sleep in bunk beds that looked like a vintage VW surf van! Plus, our room had kids’ books, toys, games, and an incredible view of Haystack Rock.
It’s also less than an hour’s drive from the Tillamook Creamery, the Oregon Coast Scenic Railroad, and the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum.
Pacific City is one of the most under-rated weekend getaways in Oregon.
Where to Stay in Pacific City
Fall is a magical time in Ashland, Oregon.
Best known for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Ashland is a small town tucked into the mountains of southern Oregon and it’s awesome for Oregon weekend getaways.
Just three hours from the Oregon Coast and two hours from Crater Lake National Park, Ashland can be a stop on a PNW road trip or a destination for Pacific Northwest getaways by itself.
Because of its southern location, Ashland is a little less rainy in the fall than many other PNW destinations. And the fall colors are lovely.
In addition to world-class Shakespeare (check the OSF website for age-appropriate play recommendations and study guides), the Ashland Children’s Theatre has performances and workshops geared toward kids and teens.
Even if you’re not at the theater there’s a lot to explore and keep you busy in Ashland!
Historic Lithia Park in the center of town has a mile-long trail, a duck pond, a rose garden, and a great playground.
You’ll find plenty of small-town shopping and restaurants for all ages along Ashland’s Main Street — if you have little ones along don’t skip a visit to Unicorn Gifts and Toys.
Elizabeth from Road Trips and Skymiles.
Where to Stay in Ashland, OR
One of our favorite places to go for Pacific Northwest weekend getaways for Fall is Portland, Oregon.
It’s just a 3-hour drive from Seattle (depending on traffic) and it’s just such a cool city filled with kid-friendly activities and cool places to stay.
On our Portland weekend getaways, we always hit up Powell’s Used Books (it’s incredible!), the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI), and the trolley that goes all over Downtown.
A few years ago, we went to the Oregon Zoo and I really liked the layout. Plus you can see rhinos, elephants, and ride a little train. Really easy to do with little kids and the trolley can take you there from Downtown Portland.
And there are so many kid-friendly places to grab food. Our top picks are Pine Street Biscuit, Blue Star Donut or Voodoo Donut, Elephant’s Delicatessen, Wailua Shave Ice and the list goes on and on.
Where to Stay in Portland, OR with Kids
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Incredible Pacific Northwest Weekend Getaways for Fall: British Columbia
Parksville, BC on the east coast of Vancouver Island is a great place for families to visit in the fall.
The weather in the area is still not too cold to get out and explore. And the ferries to Vancouver Island won’t be as busy as they typically are in the summertime.
Parksville is about a 30-minute drive from the Nanaimo ferry terminal and a great place to stay with kids is the Tigh-Na-Mara resort that has a pool, playground, basketball hoop, and easy beach access.
A famous market, the Coombs Old Country Market, is a short drive away and is known for having goats that live on the roof of this fun place to shop, eat a meal, and enjoy tasty ice cream.
Don’t forget to bring your rain boots and sand pails!
Terumi Pong from An Emerald City Life.
Where to Stay in Parksville, BC
One of the prettiest places in British Columbia is Victoria on Vancouver Island. The city feels like it belongs in Europe but it’s easy to do on a weekend.
Summertime is definitely the busy season in Victoria, so the fall is practically tourist-free and you’ll have lots of space to enjoy this British Columbia travel spot without all the crowds.
And with the Clipper Ferry, Victoria is one of the easiest Seattle weekend getaways to do without a car.
There are so many awesome things to do in Victoria like exploring The Butchart Gardens, walking through the oldest Chinatown in Canada, and doing a hop-on-hop-off double decker bus tour.
Victoria also makes an awesome Pacific Northwest romantic getaway.
Where to Stay in Victoria, BC
Out of all the PNW weekend trips we do, we probably head up to Vancouver the most. The main reason we go is to eat as much Chinese food as possible. There are incredible Chinese restaurants in Vancouver as well as Richmond.
One of our favorite places to go in Vancouver is the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park in North Vancouver. There are all kinds of walking trails on the ground, in the trees, and even along a cliff! Plus, lots of places to learn about First Nations people and culture.
We’ve got a great 4 day Vancouver itinerary that is perfect for long weekends and includes a day trip to Squamish along the Sea to Sky Highway. These are some of the places to visit in the Pacific Northwest.
Where to Stay in Vancouver, BC
If you’re looking to get away from the crowds in other parts of the country this fall, look no further than Pacific Northwest.
The region is known for its breathtaking landscapes and an amazing variety of activities that can be found all year long.
September and October are especially great months to visit because there are fewer people visiting these beautiful places which mean more space for you!
There are so many incredible places to visit in Pacific Northwest that it will take more than one trip.
Check out some of our favorite spots above if you need inspiration or just want a weekend break full of fun memories with your loved ones.
I hope this post helps you plan your ultimate vacation in Pacific Northwest.
Loving these weekend getaways from Portland and Seattle? Check out our posts about kid-friendly weekend getaways, best fall camping tips, romantic getaways from Seattle, guide to Winthrop WA, and more!
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Semiahmoo Resort & Spa Pacific Northwest Weekend Getaway