The Pacific Northwest is a beautiful place to be stationed. With mountains, oceans, beaches, and forests all within a close drive, why vacation anywhere else? Enter the “staycation.” It’s a vacation right in your back yard! Whether you’re stationed at JBLM, NB Kitsap or further North in NS Everett or NAS Whidbey Island, all these places need to be on your duty station bucket-list. 

Looking for a specific place to stay in one of these areas? Check out Airbnbs, and don’t forget to ask your ITT office if they have any discounts at local hotels! 

1. Pacific Beach State Park

While there may be beautiful beaches and coastal towns with hotels and more luxurious accommodations, Pacific Beach State Park is one of the best waterfront campgrounds on the Washington coast. You can camp literally on the edge of the beach! It also has covered picnic tables for day use and RV hookups if “glamping” is more your style. Plus, there is WiFi in most areas of the park which could be a fun change of scenery if you work from home. With more temperate climates year-round, Pacific Beach State Park is not only a good respite from the summer heat in the city, but also a winter retreat. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better campsite where you can unzip your tent and step right into the sand!

2. San Juan Island

Did you know there are 172 named islands and reefs in San Juan County? But only three are serviced by ferry with visitor amenities: San Juan Island, Orcas Island, and Lopez Island. Each island has their own unique experiences, but if you only have time to visit one, San Juan Island has the most appeal to a wide audience. From the hub of Friday Harbor, you can circumnavigate the entire island to see all the best sights including Pelindaba Lavender Farm, Krystal Acres Alpaca Farm, the San Juan Vineyards, driftwood beaches, lighthouses, hiking, and more. There are also a wide array of accommodations to fit every need from camping, to bed & breakfasts, and small resorts. 

3. Leavenworth

Leavenworth is known as a quaint Bavarian town nestled in the Cascade Mountains. Originally constructed to breathe life into an old logging town, Leavenworth boasts to be one of the top tourist destinations in the PNW, and for good reason. There are countless activities to suit every season from hiking, skiing, whitewater rafting, wine tasting, shopping, festivals, and more. However if you are planning your stay around Christmas or Oktoberfest, be sure to plan your accommodations well in advance! 

4. Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier is one of the iconic peaks in the Greater Seattle and Tacoma Area, and is visible from many locations if you drive around the Puget Sound. As an active volcano and the most glaciated peak in the continental US, it’s snow-capped peak can be seen from a great distance. But only when close-up can you experience the real beauty of Mount Rainier. There are seven gateway communities to stay in or just drive through on your way to the National Park. Activities range from hiking, camping, fishing, mountain biking, shopping, skiing, wildlife viewing, and more. Mount Rainier is the perfect staycation destination year-round. 

5. Edgewater Hotel, Seattle

Originally constructed for the 1962 World’s Fair, The Edgewater Hotel sits directly on the pier in Seattle and has hosted some of the world’s most famous names in music. It sits just a few blocks away from Pike Place Market, and with it’s rustic-chic décor and stunning water views, The Edgewater is perfect for a romantic getaway or girls’ weekend downtown. 

Where are your favorite staycation destinations around the Puget Sound?


Amie Glazier is the proud spouse of a Naval pilot and mom of four little kids. She is the co-owner and Director of Partnerships for The Military Mom Collective, a collaborative community for military families worldwide. When Amie is not writing or herding her adorable brood, you can find her working out at the local crossfit gym, binge-watching cheesy Hallmark movies, and actually enjoying chemistry while homebrewing with her husband. Amie and her family are currently stationed outside Seattle, and plan to make Washington their “forever” home.