10 Best Places To Visit In Washington State This Winter

10 Best Places To Visit In Washington State This Winter

Has Washington been on your travel radar already for a while? Then winter is the perfect time to visit it. You will have plenty of opportunities to engage in all sorts of winter sports, while in urban areas, you will find an array of fantastic restaurants and coffee shops.

Winter also brings an interesting twist to Washington’s state parks. Each park provides various seasonal activities, from snowshoeing and fat biking to wildlife viewing or birding.

So pack some warm clothes, and let’s explore our list of the 7 best places to visit in Washington State in winter 2023-24.

Palouse Falls State Park

Palouse Falls State Park is a popular destination all year round. However, in winter, it’s especially magical. One of its main attractions – the Palouse Falls – is covered in icicles and snow. Also, there are fewer crowds than usual, which makes exploring the park much more enjoyable.

If you wish to stay in the area overnight, we recommend you find accommodation in the nearby towns of Walla Walla and Dayton. They are both about 45 minutes of drive away and offer many comfortable lodging options.

The Hoh Rainforest

Set in the marvelous Olympic National Forest, the Hoh Rainforest is one of the largest rainforests of its kind in the whole of the U.S. and is a fantastic choice for all outdoor enthusiasts.

The Hall of Mosses is the forest’s beloved loop trail providing views of the diverse local flora. It’s only about a mile long and suitable for all levels. On the other hand, the Hoh River Trail is the main in-and-out trail, and you will need at least two days to see all its points of interest.

Red Cabin Along Denny Creek

The Red Cabin along Denny Creek in winter is a hidden gem for those looking to immerse themselves in the quiet beauty of nature, away from the bustling city life.

Lake Chelan

Are you into winter sports? There is no better place to enjoy them all than at Lake Chelan. Set off to Mission Ridge Ski & Board Resort or Echo Valley for some skiing, snowboarding, tubing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and cross-country skiing.

After a long day out on the slopes, you can go wine tasting, shopping, or chill at a spa in downtown Chelan. If you’re around in January, don’t miss the famed Lake Chelan Winterfest. There will be plenty of fireworks, live music, snow slides, and more. 


If you’d like to soak in the festive atmosphere, Leavenworth shouldn’t miss on your bucket list. This Bavarian-themed town boasts many light displays, restaurants, snug bed and breakfasts, and shops. 

Nutcracker Museum and Shop is the best option to find unique Christmas gifts. And if you still feel like enjoying a bit of snow, you can ride a horse-drawn sleigh through the nearby forests.

Stevens Pass Ski Resort

There is also something for sports lovers when in or around Leavenworth. Stevens Pass Ski Resort is the perfect spot for winter pleasures, from skiing and snowboarding to cross-country skiing or epic night skiing under the stars.

Not a skier yet? No problem. This resort has coaches and equipment rentals available. To chill, there are many après-ski venues where you can grab a bite, a cup of hot cocoa, or a mug of craft beer.

Salish Lodge & Spa, Snoqualmie

Salish Lodge offers an unforgettable winter experience. Its location atop the majestic Snoqualmie Falls provides stunning views of the snow-covered waterfall, making it a popular winter destination. Guests can indulge in relaxing spa treatments, savor gourmet dining, and enjoy the warmth of the lodge’s fireplaces. The surrounding area, blanketed in snow, offers opportunities for winter activities like hiking and snowshoeing.

San Juan Islands

The San Juan Islands are a popular weekend getaway. There are three main islands – Lopez, Orcas, and San Juan. They all feature beautiful holiday lights and many different activities to engage in, such as hiking, biking, or orca whale watching.

Even though the islands are generally less busy during winter, we recommend you book your ferry tickets in advance. Another exciting way to get there is an airplane or a seaplane.

Franklin Falls

Visiting Franklin Falls in winter offers a magical and serene experience. Nestled in the heart of the Cascade Mountains, this natural wonder transforms into an icy spectacle as temperatures drop. The falls, partially frozen, create a stunning visual display of icicles and snow-clad surroundings. The hike to Franklin Falls is relatively accessible, making it a popular destination for winter enthusiasts.


Visiting Seattle is always a good idea. Buzzing art scene, liters of craft beer, great coffee, and even greater seafood. What’s not to like? Just don’t forget to pack a raincoat, as showers are pretty common instead of snow.

Seattle is well-known for its fireworks as one of the best places to celebrate NYE in the U.S., so if you don’t have plans, now you do!

If you get tired of the city, it will also make a fantastic home base to discover the area’s natural wonders, including the Olympic Natural Park, Mount Rainier, or Leavenworth.