11 Best Winter Destinations in Washington State

Winter Destinations In Washington State

If you plan an exciting adventure, winter getaways in Washington State are a great way to beat back winter blues! In winter, Washington State has an array of diverse experiences and attractions you can choose from!

Many of the winter destinations in Washington State appeal to the outdoorsy types who love mountain biking, snow tubing, skiing, ice skating, enjoying a gondola ride, and other winter activities. The state has a lot to offer.

Aside from enjoying winter to the fullest, the state is also brimming with unique wonders and wildlife where you may enjoy bird watching.

We can help you in planning your winter getaway in Washington State! In this article, we have listed some of the best destinations we have thoroughly researched to guide you through where to go in Washington State during winter.

Best Skiing And Snowboarding Spots In Washington State

Skiing and snowboarding complete any winter getaway in Washington State! Enjoy sliding and speeding adventurously in the excellent winter weather on these awesome mountain ridges with your friends and family.

1. Stevens Pass Ski Resort

This place is only 78 miles from Seattle! Located at Leavenworth, Washington State, Stevens Pass Ski Resort offers skiing activities because of its 1100-acre good terrains and exciting tourist events, as posted in On The Snow

The resort is among the best winter vacation destinations to visit. If you are a beginner in skiing, this resort has coaches who can help you kickstart your skiing adventure. They can provide sessions that make you and your family get hooked on skiing, and you’ll definitely come back here!

Now expertly coached and forever better at skiing and snowboarding, you and your family can spend much time exploring everything this resort offers. The resort is also a kid-friendly destination. You can also find the largest terrain park in the Pacific Northwest here!

If you want a more challenging skiing experience, you can try night skiing, which is available on Wednesdays until Sundays. All proper safety measures are followed before you can go outside and ski under the stars.

If you need any of the right kits for day or night skiing, there is also quality skiing equipment from the top brands in their shops for sale! Buying includes a demonstration of the equipment, assuring you of its quality and durability as you ski.

You can also watch and join skiing races held by the Stevens Pass Alpine Club, a winter sports club dedicated to helping people develop their alpine sports skills, and a Pacific Northwest Ski Association member.

All your skiing and skateboarding activities in Stevens Pass Ski Resort require a matching appetite. This resort offers everything from coffee and buffet to full bars to satisfy your food and drink cravings during your stay.

Stevens Pass Ski Resort is one of the best Washington State winter vacations for hanging out with your family and friends to experience a full-packaged winter adventure.

See Related: Best Places to Ski in the United States

2. Mission Ridge Ski Resort

Mission Ridge Ski Resort
“Mission Ridge” by Mini D is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0

This ski resort is built in a 2,000-acre basin, only twelve miles from Wenatchee. The ski trails in this resort are still part of the Cascade mountain range, making it ideal for experiencing thrilling skiing and snowboarding adventures.

According to On The Snow, Mission Ridge Ski Resort ranked top in beginner terrains in Washington, making it friendly for children and those starting to learn skiing and snowboarding.

It also ranked fourth in the small ski areas in North America and the entire United States. The 300 days of sunshine also make this resort more comfortable than other mountain ridges, ideal for safely skiing and snowboarding during the daytime.

Night skiing is also available every Saturday, just in case you want to experience an even more thrilling form of skiing. The hotel’s management practices safety measures before you can ski in the dark with your family.

If you want to stay longer, you can stay at the Hampton Lodge, which serves the best poutine on the Ridge. The Hampton Lodge also has a full bar, convenience store, childcare centers, and first aid facilities to ensure safety and comfort while staying at Mission Ridge Ski Resort.

TripAdvisor reports that Mission Ridge Ski Resort got an overall rating of 4.5 stars, and the highlighted comments from their visitors are about the drier snow because of the location and the experts who coach the ski training.

See Related: Things to Do in West Seattle, Washington

4. The Echo Valley Ski Area

Winter in Mount Berge, Chelan County, Washington
Af Hansen/Wirestock Creators / Adobe Stock

This iconic spot in Lake Chelan is a wonderland with various winter activities you can enjoy in this professionally designed environment, perfect for skiing enthusiasts of all levels, designed by skiers. If your pooch is a fan of the powder, you can also bring your dog along!

If you want to experience cross-country skiing, you can do this best at Echo Ridge Nordic Ski Area. It has a variety of trails which you can ski on. It also has consistent sunshine and beautiful vistas, making this ridge a complete package!

Aside from enjoying cross-country skiing, you can also try snowboarding in the Echo Valley. The Echo Valley Ski & Tubing Area has uncrowded slopes and is located at 2,500 feet in elevation, where you will enjoy a thrilling snowboarding experience!

It also has comfortable amenities, such as fireplace lodges and an eatery if you want to take breaks from snowboarding. You can also keep yourself and your family and friends safe, snuggly, and warm here. Shops are also accessible in case you need to buy supplies or gifts.

The Echo Valley was rated four stars for its scenery, experiences, and family-friendly amenities. If you’re looking to cram in a lot in a short amount of time, I’d recommend Echo Valley as one of the best Washington State winter weekend getaways for its bumper load of activities and family-friendly amenities!

See Related: Best Winter Travel Clothes for Cold Weather

Best Sceneries In Washington State

If you wish to bask in Washington State’s natural beauty and see national parks, there are some Washington State winter vacation destinations that you can visit on a weekend trip.

4. The Palouse State Park

Palouse Falls at Palouse Falls State Park

This famous park is located on the Eastern side of Washington State. It is among the most impressive state parks in Washington State. They have amenities you and your family can use, including the 105-acre camping sites and sheltered or unsheltered picnic areas. 

Both amenities are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which makes it perfect for all. You can also find comfortable rooms that are easily accessible as you enjoy your stay in Palouse State Park.

You can also find the Palouse Falls, Washington State’s official waterfall. This enormous waterfall of almost 200 feet is one of the remnants left by the glacial flood during the Ice Age, and you can learn more about its history as you roam around the state park.

The Spokesman-Review dubbed the Palouse Falls a thousand-year-old “site of wonder” because of its majestic aesthetic. Alongside these beautiful falls, you can find huge cliffs and canyons where you can stand as you enjoy the enchanting view.

For anyone looking to rough it, you can also hike and camp in these canyons, but it is best to do this with an experienced guide from Palouse to ensure your safety during winter. We discovered that you’ll also need a permit if you wish to fly a drone over the spot – worth it, though!

The Palouse State Park got an overall rating of 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor, and most customers find the place fascinating and worth exploring. A top recommendation for winter getaways in Washington State for any fan of jaw-dropping natural spectacles!

5. The Hoh Rainforest

Flowing Water at The Hoh Rainforest

The Hoh Rainforest is a must-try if you are looking for perfect trails to breathe fresh air and on a unique winter walk! Located in Port Angeles, Washington State, you can see fascinating rainforest creatures nesting in this majestic rainforest.

If you are into hiking, you should try two trails: The Hall of Mosses, where you can explore a grove of maple trees with club mosses, and The Spruce Nature Trail, a diverse loop alongside Taft Creek and Hoh River.

Speaking of the Hoh River, you can also try its river trail! You can find turn-around points you can explore, such as the First River Access, Mineral Creek Falls, Cedar Grove, and the 5-mile Island, as you walk through the river trail.

You can also stay in their campgrounds to explore the entire rainforest. Head to recreation.gov to secure your reservation six months in advance, as they only have limited slots!

The U.S. Travel reported that most of this rainforest’s visitors are in awe that they couldn’t find the right adjective to describe this enchanted place. Some even get reminded of fairy tales as they walk on the trails. Jeez, even I’m having trouble!

Ah, this means many enchanting things await you in the Hoh Rainforest! You should include this place in your Washington State winter destination choices!

6. Olympic National Park

Green Trees and River at Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is characterized by its extraordinary range of weather and elevation and its remarkable diversity, a beauty in the West Coast region.

A little bit of everything can be found in this national park, which has towering mountain peaks, extensive sandy beaches, and lush rainforests, among other things.

Boating is one of the most enjoyable things in Olympic  National Park, as the region’s rivers, lakes, and coastlines provide many opportunities for fishing, storm watchers, and motorboat enthusiasts alike. There are even opportunities for sleigh rides!

Other activities such as tide pooling, trekking, and camping are also popular in the area, as is bird watching. Regarding wildlife viewing, Olympic National Park is a great place to visit if you enjoy the outdoors.

While at the park, you can visit any location you like. You can marvel at the crystal clear waters of Lake Ozette, hike the Hall of Mosses and Spruce Nature Trail in Hoh Rain Forest, or climb Hurricane Ridge, a mountain conveniently accessible from the park. In the Hurricane Ridge cross-country skiing, The park is great for seeing spectacular scenery in the Evergreen State. 

Best Winter Accommodations In Washington State

Your winter getaway in the Evergreen State won’t be complete without finding the perfect accommodation or vacation home rentals with great guest rooms that can be perfect warm winter destinations in Washington State!

Here are some hotels you should try with your family and friends.

7. Suncadia Resort

Trail and Mountain Sceneries at Suncadia Resort

Located in Cle Elum, Washington State, Suncadia Resort is an all-inclusive accommodation with everything you need to enjoy your winter getaway in Washington State. They have three accommodations: luxury condos, intimate inns, and trailhead condos.

These accommodations are all elegant, spacious, and warm, making them warm winter destinations in Washington State for you and your family. They have a great range of amenities on-site.

Instagram-worthy trails in Suncadia Resort are perfect for biking, hiking, and jogging. You can also try their golf courses, which are challenging because they are set on championship levels!

If you want to relax and be pampered, the resort also has the Glade Spring Spa, LEED Silver certified. Their services include massages, body works, spa treatments, mineral, outdoor hot tubs, sauna baths that simulate hot springs, and many more features.

Integrating warm pools, beautiful gardens, meadows, and trained masseuses make the Glade Spring Spa a perfect escape for rejuvenation, renewal, and recharging yourself during the winter months before returning to the hustle and bustle of your everyday life.

According to the U.S. News, Suncadia Resort ranked fourth in the list of best resorts in Washington State and seventh in destination hotels. If you want a pampered package experience, Suncadia Hotel is one of the best winter weekend getaways in Washington State.

8. Salish Lodge and Spa

Salish Lodge And Spa Building and Parking Space
“Salish Lodge and Spa” by Arbron is licensed under CC BY 2.0

The Salish Lodge & Spa is one of the best warm winter destinations in Washington State that you should visit. It’s located in Snoqualmie, Washington, and is perched at the top of the Snoqualmie Falls, which is very far away from the urban area.

This accommodation features Native American styling, decoration, and spa treatments because the Snoqualmie Indian Tribe manages it. Such uniqueness is then enhanced by the falls’ soothing sound of rushing water, making this place comfortable and relaxing.

Its amenities include its warm and cozy fireplaces, chaise lounge, patio, and picturesque view of the nature surrounding the accommodation. You can also try the famous country breakfast here, which includes their local honey and homemade biscuits!

Hot tubs are also a must-try in this lodge during your winter getaway in Washington State. You can also avail of their spa services, hike in their trails with beautiful scenery, or use their fitness center to stay healthy during your vacation.

To sum it up, this place is perfect for rejuvenation and renewal, which are essential for you to stay healthy. TripAdvisor reported that this is one of the most preferred hotels in Snoqualmie and that it has an overall ranking of 4.5 stars.

9. Kalaloch Lodge

This is one of the best accommodations you can try if you are touring in the Hoh Rainforest. The cabins and lodge rooms they are offering make this another perfect warm winter destination in Washington State.

There are spots perfect for hiking with your pets and building a bonfire to make smores at night. You can also play board games from the lodge game closet with your family and friends.

Kalaloch Lodge is the home of the famous Creekside Restaurant which serves fresh local delicious food while providing a unique dining experience thanks to the ocean views. You can also visit their shop for souvenirs and your other needs for your convenience.

The location is strategic, providing easy access to Pacific beaches, relaxing hiking trails, and a marine sanctuary. It received an overall review of 4.5 stars on TripAdvisor. It’s the perfect place for a family weekend getaway.

Other Unique Winter Experiences To Try In Washington

You can also have other memorable winter escape experiences in some winter destinations in Washington State besides skiing and relaxing on your weekend trips. These places can add spice to your winter weekend getaway in Washington State and will make you eager to return next winter!

10. Seattle Underground

If you want to have a chilly and spooky experience in winter, you should try navigating the Seattle Underground. According to History, these are the remains of the old city of Seattle, which was burned down in the fire of 1889. The Seattle we see today sits on the top of the Old Seattle.

See what I mean about spooky? The tour usually lasts 75 minutes, and you can experience both the historical and the haunted moments as you go on the tour. TripAdvisor reported an overall rating of 4.5 stars for this unique and fascinating experience.

A short disclaimer: this place is not for the faint of heart! You must be brave enough to face the darkness and alleged paranormal occurrences in the Seattle Underground. Make sure that you are not alone when exploring Seattle Underground! You can book a ticket for its public tour here.

See Related: Haunted Hotels in Minnesota

11. Leavenworth

Leavenworth Downtown and Mountain Scenery

Ever wanted to visit the Alps? Looking for a place to experience the Christmas spirit in full festive force? Leavenworth’s Bavarian-themed town is the perfect place! With its array of Christmas lights displayed in every building, timbered buildings, and mountain backdrop, Leavenworth is perfect for adults and children alike!

Leavenworth has festivities and events that you should try, including the sleigh rides adventure, which you can ride while touring the city and Leavenworth’s nearby forests. You can also try the town’s famous German beer and theater performances.

Fireworks displays are also held here from time to time. There are spots where you can have snowball fights and make snowmen with your family and friends. You can find perfect Christmas souvenirs in their Nutcracker Museum And Shop!

The full-packaged Christmas experience makes Leavenworth’s winter wonderland one of the best winter destinations in Washington State. This unique small town got a rating of 4 stars on Gold Star and Yelp.

Ready For Your Winter Getaway In Washington State?

Winter is a perfect time to travel with your family and friends. You can see many things you can only find in winter, from the natural, snowy scenery to the fun activities you can only do during the winter holidays. 

Generally, the temperature in Washington State falls to 40 degrees Fahrenheit during winter due to intense snowfall and rain, ideal for weekend getaways and creating snow angels with the whole family without being completely frigid.

As you plan for your trip, bring your essentials, such as warm waterproof coats, umbrellas, and other waterproof clothing you can bring.

You do not have to worry about these, just in case you forgot to bring them. The aforementioned places have shops where you can buy essentials to ensure a safe and healthy winter getaway in Washington State. The place is also brimming with friendly locals who can help you on your way.

Hopefully, with this article’s travel tips, you, your family, and your friends can finally decide where to go in Washington State during winter. Remember each place’s amenities and other features to match your vacation preferences, and you’re good to go!

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Kyle Kroeger
WRITTEN BY

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.