Washington state is one of the most visually captivating and ecologically diverse states in the entire country. From the snow capped summit of Mount Rainier to the rugged Pacific coastline, Washington State travel will present you with a diverse array of scenic possibilities.
Travelers on a Washington state vacation will inevitably find themselves in Seattle, also known as the Emerald City. While this city has enough to keep a visitor occupied for days on end, just a short ferry ride will take you to the Olympic National Park. Here, you can hop on the interstate and be prepared for some of the most breathtaking vistas in the Pacific Northwest.
North of the Olympics is the Straight of San Juan de Fuca, which turns into Puget Sound further east. Drive on 112 west to Neah Bay. Here you can trek across wooden bridges and the lush wetlands of Cape Flattery and stand on the most northwesterly point in the lower 48. On a cedar platform, you can gaze out upon the same vistas that the Makah Indians did when they first spotted ships on the horizon beyond Tatoosh Island, which carried explorers that would change the nature of Washington State forever.
This tribe is the only Indian tribe that is allowed to hunt whales, and if you learn about their culture you will understand why it is so important for this historic tradition to be maintained. There are still Indian reservations, so if you are not a resident of Neah Bay or of the reservation you will need to get a permit to hike the .75 miles to this incredibly beautiful lookout point. Watch the waves crash into the rocky cliffs and feel a moment of calm as the water thunders around you, flowing back out to see from the dark caves in the cliff, and experience the most quintessential moment in Washington state travel.
Out here and back east in the cascades, a stay at a Washington State hotel is a totally different one than in the major cities. Bed and breakfasts, rustic lodges and miniature cabins on llama ranches are some interesting alternatives to the more sterile version of a Washington State hotel such as Travelodge. They are the best places to meet locals, get directions, or just extend the invigorating, outdoorsy feel of Washington state travel to your accommodations.
Washington State is also home to the Columbia River, upon which Lewis and Clark journeyed on their historic journey west. The Columbia River has its beginnings in the Canadian Rockies and meanders hundreds of miles through seven states, making it the largest river to flow into the Pacific Ocean. Views of the Columbia River gorge in Washington State are simply unforgettable.
Far from the bustle of Seattle and beyond the sleepy charm of Spokane, the greatest rewards of Washington state travel is in the crisp clean air, the icy visage of the snow capped summits, and the brilliant emerald majesty of the Hoh rainforest. Washington State, more than any other place in the US, is pure and brilliant, like an emerald, and it will take your breath away.