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4 Fantastic Day Trip Destinations for Seattle-Area Families

Sweet small-town family day trips (that are not too far away!)

Author Elisa Murray
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Published on: May 23, 2019

4 Fantastic Day Trip Destinations for Seattle-Area Families

Duvall-Washington-fun-family-day-trip-destination
Photo:
Duvall's Sandblast Festival of the Arts takes place every July.

East: Rustic eats, farm country and biking in Duvall

The friendly folks in this Snoqualmie Valley town, just east of Woodinville, won’t correct you, but just so you know: It’s pronounced DOO-vall, not Doo-VALL. Any way you say it, downtown Duvall has managed to cultivate a rural yet artsy vibe — look for murals, metal art and totem poles — without feeling too upscale. And it’s the starting point for a rail-trail bike adventure that’s perfect for families.

Coffee, candy and farm eats: Fuel up for that bike ride! Park on Duvall’s Main Street and everything is within reach. CC’s 2.0 Espresso & Ice Creamery is a fun caffeine, ice cream and penny candy stop, crammed with cheerful Formica tables, antique phones and toys, and funny signs. Nearby, The Grateful Bread Café (an outpost of the northeast Seattle institution) sells pastries and sandwiches made with farm-fresh ingredients. The beloved Grange Café has re-invented itself as a wood-fired-pizza eatery. If you’re in need of cowboy boots, a saddle, antique water skis or old-timey tools, stop in at one of the funky antique shops in town. Rocking “E” Feeds will stock you in chicken feed and other pet supplies for life.

A river runs through it: A mere block away and down from Main Street, McCormick Park is a sweet riverside spot; peer in at the antique train depot as you cross the Snoqualmie Valley Trail on the way to the park. At McCormick, there’s sand to dig in and, down a steep bank, swimming areas in the river (there’s no lifeguard on duty, so life jackets are recommended for kids, and keep a close eye on them). McCormick is also the site of Duvall’s biggest summer festival, SandBlast, a destination in its own right. Held every year in July (2022 dates are July 16–17), the festival showcases an international sand sculptor creating a work in real time, as well as live music and an art fair.

Bikes away: If you’re used to ducking super-fast cyclists on the Burke-Gilman Trail, Snoqualmie Valley Trail will be a welcome outing. The rail-trail runs south from Duvall along the river for 31 miles through the lush agricultural valley, on to Carnation, Fall City, North Bend, Snoqualmie and all the way to Rattlesnake Lake. For families with strong, school-age bikers, a turnaround point might be Carnation, 9 miles away, where you can also visit Tolt-MacDonald Park, Remlinger Farms or the Carnation farmers market, open Tuesdays from 3–7 p.m., June–August. Note: The trail is crushed rock, so choose your bike accordingly. The staff at Duvall’s Pacific Bike and Ski is a good source of info about the trail.

Other destinations east: Just off Interstate 90, the town of Snoqualmie is always a fun stop for its Northwest Railway Museum, great eats and antique shops; Snoqualmie Falls is just a 2-minute drive away. And Issaquah offers summer trolley rides as well as car shows at the memorable Triple XXX Rootbeer Drive-In.

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