Looking for a great day trip from Seattle? Deception Pass is absolutely gorgeous! It has everything that we love about Washington all packed into one place: gorgeous views, water, pine trees, hiking, beaches… we could keep going on and on!
Make sure to leave early from Seattle because it can make anywhere from a 30-60 minute difference depending on traffic (we’ve learned the hard way!). Leave early to avoid wasting precious time in the car.
On a nice weekend, this is a very popular destination and will only get increasingly busier later in the day, not to mention there is limited parking. It really does pay off to get here early!
Just an hour and half drive from Pike Place Market and you’re at Deception Pass! You can park in the pull-off areas right before the bridge for free, or you can park in Deception Pass State Park after you cross the bridge. Note that if you opt to grab a spot in the state park you will need to pay at an automated kiosk for a $10 day pass, although if you have a Discovery Pass parking is included.
Walk the Bridge
Once you park your car, we highly suggest walking along both sides of the bridge for the most gorgeous views! Take your time and enjoy watching the kayaks and boats floating through the water. Keep your eyes peeled for sea life. We happened to see seals the day we went! Also, make sure to climb down the stairs to get a beautiful view of the bridge with an island in the background!
Take a Hike
There are many options for hiking around Deception Pass State Park. Check out All Trails or Google Maps for an overview of the various hiking trails that are available. We took the Pacific NW Trail down to Mac’s Cove for a gorgeous view from the water! There are a few picnic tables, so this would be a great place to stop and have a snack down by the beach. If you are brave enough to swim in the cold water, enjoy a dip!
Grill Your Catch
Head just a little further South to Cornet Bay where you can fish and crab right off the dock. Make sure to buy your fishing and crabbing permits ahead of time so you will be ready to cast the moment you get there. You can also rent the covered picnic area and grills for a minimal fee and just sit back and relax. It’s a great way to spend an afternoon!
Head to Shrimp Shack for some quick bites on your way back to Seattle. They have a wide variety of fish and shrimp prepared numerous ways. You can also purchase local shrimp by the pound to eat or take home. We took a pound to go and made some seriously delicious shrimp fried rice!
Have a little more time? Head over to Anacortes! There are tons of restaurants off of Commercial Avenue so everyone should be able to find something they like. Our personal favorite is Secret Cove Restaurant. Get there early and grab a spot on the second story deck outside. You will have a beautiful view of Guemes Canal & Guemes Island! They also have an amazing happy hour. What could be better than a pretty view with a drink after a day of hiking and exploring?
Still have some energy? Hit up Angel of the Winds Casino and try your luck at the slot machines! It makes a great little pit stop on your way home!
Have even more time? We would highly suggest making this a weekend trip and including some time with the other surrounding islands! San Juan Islands are some of the prettiest places we have ever been and we can’t wait to go back. Just make sure to plan ahead as the ferry books up way in advance!