If you’re planning a winter wonderland getaway, it needs to be to in Washington State! It’s a winter wonderland filled with endless adventures everywhere you look. Located on the West Coast, the state has some of the most amazing scenery. Out of all of the seasons, winter is probably one of my favorites. Here are a few reasons why Washington needs to be your next winter vacation getaway:
Nothing beats exploring Leavenworth in the winter. The whimsical Bavarian-style village is located in the Cascade Mountains in Central Washington. It’s as if you’re in Germany, with its alpine-style buildings and restaurants that serve gourmet German food and beer. The Nutcracker Museum is a must see, with all of its thousands of displays of nutcrackers that date back centuries. Plus, the village is a gateway to nearby wineries and ski areas, adding more adventure to your winter vacation. My favorite part of visiting Leavenworth in the Winter is visiting the famous Kris Kringle holiday store, full of beautiful and unique ornaments, and taking part in the winter festivities during the Christmas Tree lighting!
Winter Whale Watching in the Puget Sound
Watching whales is magical out in the ocean, but it’s even more spectacular when you see them in Puget Sound. It’s more intimate and pretty extraordinary to see them while on a local tour. The whales are there feeding on ghost shrimp off the Snohomish Delta that’s near Everett in very shallow water. If you’d like to see whales in the winter season, I recommend a family owned whale watching company Puget Sound Express out of Edmonds. Not only does Puget Sound Express run tours in their soundproof hydrofoil jet boats searching for Humpback whales, but also for resident and transient Orca whale sightings. The company is also known for its warm hospitality, like serving famous Blueberry Buckle onboard! Of course, it’s difficult to guarantee that visitors will see these whales on the tour, but Puget Sound Express offers guarantee whale watching tours.
Photo Credit: Puget Sound Express
Warm Up in a Cabin at Crystal Mountain
Get snug and cozy in a cabin at Crystal Mountain. Several cabin options are near Mount Rainer National and are located in the Cascade Range of Washington state in the Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. The Alta Crystal Resort cabins (10 minutes from Crystal Mountain) are an essential collection of cabins closest to the entrance of Sunrise entrance on Mt Rainier, and are my favorite! The Alta Crystal Resort is simple, cozy and exactly what you want for a Winter vacation. The property consists of a small number of 23 suites, including 1 bedroom cabins, and loft chalet suites. The resort also boasts a year-round heated pool, hot tub and evening activities. After you’re done being cozy, get in some fun in the snow with loads of winter sports available like skiing, snowboarding and more! Be sure to book your cabin early!
Photo Credit: Alta Crystal Resort
Photo Credit: Alta Crystal Resort
Take a Drive to Whistler
While in Washington, you might as well check out British Columbia up north by taking a drive to Whistler! The Canada-US border is about 100 miles from the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. It’s a beautiful, scenic drive that features loads of green trees, blue sea and amazing sights. All you’ll need is a soundtrack for your amazing trip! Whistler Village is simply the most magical place in the winter. I know Whistler sounds expensive (and yes, it pretty much is) but to save some money, I suggest renting a condo in order to take advantage of a kitchen! Doing so has saved our family a reasonable amount of money. Also, check out this website for money saving deals on lift tickets and accommodations.
Visit Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver is Seattle’s northern neighbor and is a fun winter getaway. You can easily take a train from Seattle to Vancouver and spend a day or two in the marvelous city. The wonderful city has lots to see and do, allowing you even more adventures during your Washington vacation. One of my favorite things to do in Vancouver in the Winter is to visit the Canyon Lights, Capilano Suspension Bridge! The park is transformed into a Winter Wonderland filled with festive lights and holiday cheer. My tips: be sure to dress for the outdoors, and leave the stroller at home!