As the dreary winter months seem to drag on, you may find yourself dreaming of taking a break, even if only for a few days. Sure, you could take some time off work or go away for the weekend, but how can you swing it with so many commitments waiting for you at home?

With a trusty personal assistant, you won’t need to fret over tasks going unfinished. A PA is so much more than a housesitter. They’re your right hand. When you can’t be home to run errands, do the laundry, schedule appointments, work with contractors or repair people, take your car in for service, or prep the week’s meals, we’re there to tackle everything so you’re free to recharge without falling behind on the daily grind.

Hand off your home responsibilities and relish your freedom by heading for the hills — or a nearby city, mountain, or island. Allow Pepper’s Personal Assistants to hold down the fort while you take a personal, romantic, or family retreat. Here are five local destinations whose proximity to the Seattle area makes for the perfect weekend getaway.

1. Port Townsend

This charming Victorian community, located on the coast along the Olympic Peninsula, is quite the change of scenery from nearby metropolitan hubs. It’s just over two hours of travel time from Seattle, including a quick and scenic ferry ride. Maritime enthusiasts will feel right at home in the boating scene, and many flock to Port Townsend each year for the long-running Wooden Boat Festival. The town is also home to numerous parks and hiking and walking destinations, so there’s something for visitors looking to relax as well as those looking to get active.

2. Leavenworth

Just over two hours east of Seattle by car, this Bavarian-style town is known for throwing a killer party each year at Oktoberfest. It is also the place to be during the holidays, with many winter activities in town or nearby, including a popular Christmas tree lighting ceremony. No matter the time of year, you can enjoy any of several town tours, authentic German cuisine, wine tastings, or even the quirky Nutcracker Museum! Get your fill of hiking, biking, skiing, and many more outdoor activities within the surrounding Wenatchee National Forest and Alpine Lakes Wilderness. Leavenworth is truly a slice of Europe… without the expensive plane ticket.

3. Whistler, BC

Here in the Pacific Northwest, we’re fortunate to have easy access to international travel. All you need is a passport, a full tank of gas, a train or plane ticket, and time (which won’t be an issue!) and you’re across the border to Canada in no time. Expect a 4-hour trip to Whistler if you’re driving from Seattle. Hike among patches of leftover snow in the summertime or see what makes Whistler a legendary destination for skiers, snowboarders, and other winter athletes (after all, the town hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics for a reason!). Year-round activities include a gondola tour with must-see views, numerous luxury spas, and shopping or dining at Whistler Village.

4. San Juan Islands

There are many island destinations surrounding Seattle, and hopping a ferry to reach them can be half the fun. Orcas, Lopez, Shaw, and San Juan Island are some of the most-loved local travel spots. Perhaps this is because island life tends to move at a relaxed pace compared to city life. Adventurous spirits can enjoy hiking, kayaking, zip lining, paddle boating, horseback riding, and so much more. If you would rather sit back and take in the majestic surroundings, go for a ride on a whale watching boat, read your favorite book at the beach, indulge at a winery or spa, or mosey through museums where local history is on display.

5. Portland

We’re only a three- to four-hour trip to Portland’s flourishing food scene. Try Voodoo Doughnuts and sip on Stumptown Coffee, then marvel at the Rose Garden or Japanese Garden before getting lost inside multi-level Powell’s Books. There really is a little bit of everything to do in Portland, especially for arts and culture enthusiasts.