Daytrips ifly1753 englarge q281gy

iFly Seattle

Defy Gravity

iFly Seattle

Indoor skydiving is just like the real thing, only minus the “sky” and “diving” parts. Clad in a jumpsuit and helmet in a brand-new Tukwila facility, you’re suspended midair by massive fans that roar like a jet engine. First timers are carefully assisted by pros, but almost better than the weightlessness is watching those experts show off after each session—they bound and flip to the top of the 45-foot tunnel like CGI superheroes. They claim the skill just takes a little practice. 206-244-4359;

Getting There 20 minutes: south on I-5 and east on I-405

Shoot to Thrill

Adventure Paintball Park

Anyone can be splattered with paintball ammo during the Saturday walk-on sessions on the Longbranch field filled with trenches, sandbags, and an empty camper trailer. But book the Kitsap spot for a private party and you can devise your own “Most Dangerous Game” scenario, hunting an instructor—clad in a camo suit, naturally—armed only with a crossbow and paint mines. 253-793-7000;

Getting There 90 minutes: south on I-5, west on WA 16 and WA 302, and south on Key Peninsula Hwy

Herd the Birds

Skagit Wildlife Area

When a cloud of thousands of migrating snow geese takes off from the mudflats on Skagit Bay, it’s like a trippy nature flick brought to life. The bird-watching at the Fir Island Farms Unit is world class, especially when bald eagles share the sky during the winter. Sandpipers tiptoe through the estuary, and even swans can be seen from the dike overlook. Bring binoculars—sights like these are why you own them in the first place.

Getting There 70 minutes: north on I-5, east on Fir Island Rd

Geese by bob jensen mfluz1

Skagit Wildlife Area

Image: Bob Jensen 

Fall for Foliage

Lake Cle Elum

Not every tree’s an evergreen on the Cascades’ east slope, which blooms in fall color along Highway 903 from Cle Elum. Head 20 miles northwest toward Salmon La Sac campground; the quaint towns of Roslyn and Ronald soon give way to the shores of Lake Cle Elum, where the maples and larch produce swaths of burnt orange and deep red. Sprawling resort Suncadia (509-649-6400; is nearby if you can’t stand leaving the autumn wonderland. 509-674-5958;

Getting There 85 minutes: east on I-90

Look to the Sky

Flaming Geyser State Park

As pyrotechnics go, it’s no Hollywood spectacle, but there is a flaming geyser in this modest Auburn park—a burble of lit methane the size of a Bic lighter. No matter, since the real draw is excellent Green River tubing and aerial feats by model airplane enthusiasts who have made the park into a mini airport. 360-902-8844;

Getting There 50 minutes: south on WA 167 and east on WA 18 and Green Valley Rd