As temperatures warm and the COVID-19 pandemic curves continue to flatten, visitors are planning adventures to Washington State in order to shake-off their widespread cabin fever like never before. While many visitor destinations like Bellevue are reopening and attractions prepare to welcome visitors with added safety precautions, rest assured there is so much more beyond the constraints of six-feet-apart spacing to explore. The outdoors certainly haven’t limited their hours, and innovation has allowed for many small businesses to shift in order to safely serve you.
Protecting ourselves doesn’t have to mean staying in place — with Bellevue as your base, make some plans, hop in the car, and get out there! With these five socially-distanced epic road trips, you don’t need to put yourself and your loved ones at risk in order to explore Bellevue area’s natural beauty, hyperlocal dining, and distinctive charm.
But before packing up the car and kids for your next adventure, make sure to take the recommended precautions to avoid exposing yourself and others. Bring essentials like face coverings and hand sanitizer everywhere you go, check the hours and rules for any business you intend stopping at ahead of time, and remember that leave no trace protocols still hold in the middle of a pandemic. Physical distancing doesn’t need to put a damper on being a weekend warrior — so travel safely! To learn more about traveling and enjoying the outdoors during the COVID-19 pandemic, check out the Recreate Responsibly initiative.
Snoqualmie Falls Road Trip
Distance from Bellevue: 25 miles
Roundtrip distance and suggested time: 50 to 65 Miles, 4 to 8 Hours
Escape the downtown urban buzz to the Snoqualmie-North Bend area, the nostalgia-inducing mountain towns at the center of the cult classic TV show, Twin Peaks. Highlighting this adventure is the towering 270-foot Snoqualmie Falls, where you can hike down to feel the spray or stop by the Salish Lodge next door for a rainbow mimosa kit to upgrade your picnic. Don’t miss the Carnation Farms Farmstand to pick up produce to round out the meal, or if you visit on a Saturday, can grab some wine and lavender plants from nearby Misty Valley Farm. (Pro tip: drying out these aromatic plants in your home can brighten up and freshen your quarantine dwelling!) For an extended visit after checking out the waterfall, snag a tee time — foursomes are now allowed — at the Snoqualmie Falls Golf Course or head over to the Alpental Ski Resort for a hike up to Snow Lake. If you are feeling particularly adventurous, BYOT (Bring Your Own Tube) and float from the Plum Boat Launch down the Snoqualmie River to the Fall City Park. But whether you are an adrenaline-fiend or David Lynch follower, one thing is positive: You gotta stop by “where pies go when they die,” and gobble up a hunk of cherry-filled goodness from Twede’s Cafe.
Snoqualmie Falls: Snoqualmie Falls is one of Washington state’s most popular scenic attractions. More than 1.5 million people visit this shimmering waterfall each year. At the falls, you will find a two-acre park, gift shop, observation deck, the Salish Lodge, and the famous 270-foot waterfall — see what all the hype is about at snoqualmiefalls.com.
WHERE TO EAT
Twede’s Cafe: Pie, omelets, all the diner works. Order online at twedescafe.com.
Salish Lodge: Baked goods, pizzas, and booze to-go! Order online at salishlodge.com.
Carnation Farms Farmstand: Sustainably-caught fish, hyperlocal produce, small-batch brews, and more. Stay updated at carnationfarms.org.
Misty Valley Farm: Wine, goat milk goodies, and lavender-infused treats. Stop-in on Saturdays or order online at mistyvalley-farm.com.
Snoqualmie Falls Golf Course: Swing among Mt. Si by calling ahead to schedule a tee time! More information at snoqualmiefallsgolf.com.
Snow Lake Hike: Committed to the 7+ mile trek? Get ready for epic views and check trail conditions on the WTA’s website.
Snoqualmie River Float: This 3.3 mile-long float is quintessentially summer appropriate. Not quite sure how to plan? Check out this guide.
Directions to Snoqualmie Falls