When you are in Washington, Kurt Cobain would plead you to ‘Come as you are’ and be one with the intimate islands. Whether you try the best coffee in Seattle or drive down the floating bridges while listening to ‘local boy’ Jimi Hendrix, this Evergreen State has pleasures strewn all around you to explore. Enviable waterfalls, imposing volcanoes and summits of the Cascade Range, amicable marine climate, legion of native tribes, and nature reserves create a fine cocktail for travelers.
National Parks – Designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1981, Olympic National Park has a diverse ecosystem and wealth of geological formations such as glacier-clad peaks, alpine meadows, rugged shorelines, and temperate Quinault rainforests. North Cascades National Park and Mount Rainier National park, too, leave an indelible impression.
Lakes – Arguably the largest natural lake by any measure, Lake Chelan is a narrow but 50-mile-long stretch of sapphire-blue water in Chelan county. It is a gateway to the North Cascades National Park. Lake Crescent, the jewel of Olympic National Park, has many mysterious tales to share with tourists. Moreover, situated between Seattle and Bellevue, Lake Washington and Lake Union are freshwater lakes worth visiting.
Museum of Flight – Located south of Seattle, this is the largest private air and space museum. The several open galleries of this aviation museum display accumulation of Boeing 747 airliner, first presidential jet Air Force One, Concorde, and several other prototypes of commercial and military aircrafts.
Manito Park and Botanical Gardens – Scenic trails, charming picnic spots, and a picturesque stone bridge are the highlights of this cultivated landscape. Located in Spokane city, the area of this park includes Duncan Garden, Gaiser Conservatory, Rose Hill, and Lilac Garden. In summers, it is a main venue for recreation as you can spend your leisure by playing baseball and tennis.
Snoqualmie Falls – Internationally renowned due to its prominent appearance in the Twin Peaks television series, this waterfall on the Snoqualmie River overlooks the historic Salish Lodge & Spa. The observation deck, which is around 300 feet from the base of the waterfall, is the best place to watch the vertical drop. There’s also a gift shop nearby. The locals believe that the mists rising from this rapturous waterfall connect Heaven and Earth.
Ballard Locks, Mount St. Helens, Columbia River Gorge, Northwest Trek Wildlife Park, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Grand Coulee Dam, Bridge of Glass, Gorge Amphitheatre, Giiford Pinchot National Forest, and Riverfront Park are other remarkable places to visit in this state.
Shop in Pike Place Market, take a sampling tour in Woodinville wine country, ride a ferry to The San Juan Islands, or be rebellious at Seattle Hempfest – Washington has something to offer to everyone.
Embrace the Shorelines – Beaches are among the favorite vacationing spots in this coastal state. Alki Beach in west Seattle is Washington’s reply to warm Californian beaches. Deception Pass State Park (Whidbey Island) in Puget Sound, 5.5-mile-long Dungeness Spit, wild and untainted Shi Shi Beach, driftwood of Ruby Beach, welcoming Rialto Beach, and of course crescent-shaped First Beach (La Push) of ‘Twilight’ fame are some of the acclaimed beaches. Unlike other Pacific counterparts, not all beaches in Washington have sand by virtue of having precipitous shorelines. However, it doesn’t dampen the spirits of surfers.
Dust off Hiking Shoes – The state of Washington has an endless list of undulating mountain trails amidst blooming wildflowers that may just titillate your passion for hiking. 17-mile-long Chelan Lakeshore Trail, paved Spokane River Centennial Trail, steep climb of Skyscraper Pass, secluded Hurricane Ridge, and breathtaking alpine views dotted with rough terrain of Cascade Pass are the Shangri-la for hikers, campers, mountain-bikers, and skiers.
Try Your Hands at Fishing – Neah Bay, Puget Sound, Hood Canal, and state rivers and lakes are primary spots for catching Salmon, Lake Sturgeon, Lake Trout, and Blue-fin Tuna.
Escape to the San Juan Islands – This archipelago is perhaps the best kept secret of Pacific coastline. State ferries or charter planes take you to these sequestered islands where you find yourself amidst the beauty of Orcas Island Scenic Byway, South Beach, and Lopez Hill.
Spot the Wildlife – Numerous species such as Black Bears, Cougars, Moose, and Elks are found in the national parks of this state. During summer, you can also watch the Orcas in Lime Kiln State Park.
Out of the 16 airports in Washington, the following are considered the major ones:
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA)
Spokane International Airport (GEG)
Tri-Cities Airport (PSC)
William R. Fairchild International Airport (CLM)
Bellingham International Airport (BLI)
Located on the Pacific coast of the northwestern United States, the state is bordered by Oregon in the south, Idaho in the east, Canada in the north, and Pacific Ocean in the west.
By Air – You can fly into Seattle-Tacoma International Airport in Seattle or Spokane International Airport in Spokane to get access to nearby attractions in the state.
By Train – Passenger trains of Amtrak Cascades, Empire Builder, and Coast starlight travel through major cities like Vancouver, Seattle, and Tacoma. Sound Transit is the regional commuter train service that links Seattle with rest of the Puget Sound area.
By Road – I 90, I 5, and I 82 are some of the interstate highways connecting the state with the northwestern cities in the US. Furthermore, Washington State Routes have a dense network of roads spread through the state.
• Named after the first US president George Washington, this state entered the union on November 11, 1889.
• Olympia is the capital and Seattle is the largest city of Washington state.
• Official state motto is ‘Al-ki’ that is Chinook for “by and by”.
• The Boeing Everett Factory – a final assembly building – is the world’s largest building by volume.
• It is the biggest producer of apples, hops, and raspberries in the US.
• During low tide, up to 786 islands can be formed in Puget Sound.
• Grand Coulee Dam on the Columbia River is said to be the largest concrete structure in North America.
• Today, there are 29 officially recognized tribes in Washington State.
• Mount Rainier is the highest point (4,392 meters) in Cascade Range that holds more glacial ice than rest of the 47 contiguous states combined.