Seattle, Seattle – what’s not to love? The city is chock-full of art, music, fun, and flair; visitors to the city will be struck by its quirky character and endless entertainments. The Washington metropolis lies in the west-central region of the state, along the Puget Sound. Tourists and locals alike can find a wealth of attractions to suit all ages in the city. The city’s family-based offerings are particularly fun; as a father, I’ve had many great days exploring Seattle with my family. Read on for an overview of a few of our favorite attractions!


Bainbridge Island


The quaint little community is approximately one hour from Seattle, and can be found in the central Puget Sound region. While you’re there, make sure to check out the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum, which houses a collection of Native American exhibits, and make a stop at the Bainbridge Art Museum to check out its expansive galleries. Little ones enjoy spending time at the Kids Discovery Museum, and the island’s dozens of parks make great locations for picnics and barbecues. The coastal and inland also feature a number of hiking trails where guests can take in the views of the Cascade Mountain Range, Mount Rainier and the Olympic Peninsula.


Cle Elum Lake


The lake is situated northwest of the community known as Cle Elum and less than two hours from Seattle. The popular recreation area boasts spectacular scenery from the surrounding mountain ranges in addition to being a prime fishing location. Many different species of trout are found here, which include brown, cutthroat, and rainbow in addition to Kokanee/sockeye salmon. Some anglers have been lucky enough to snag trout weighing up to 20 pounds. Other popular activities include jet skiing, rafting, swimming and windsurfing.


Reptile Zoo


The Monroe reptile facility may have been founded by a science teacher, but animal lovers of all ages enjoy seeing the live exhibits house here! This zoom claims to have the most comprehensive collection of turtles found in the Pacific Northwest. Additional reptiles cared for on-site include alligators, lizards and various types of snake species. Popular attractions include the albino alligator, the two-headed turtle and the deadly black mamba.


Fort Nisqually Living History Museum


The historic location lies on what used to be the Hudson’s Bay Company trading post in Tacoma. By venturing a mere one hour from Seattle, visitors have the chance to learn what life was like on the frontier during the 1850s. Along with housing an array of historic artifacts, costumed re-enactors demonstrate the skills needed to survive. The facility also offers interactive activities.