Things To Do In Washington State

From the pristine tribal lands of the Native Americans who lived on the Washington coast to the alpine valleys of Mount Rainier, the wonders you can explore on a Washington state vacation are as varied as the geography. Here are the top ten things to do that should be done on a trip to Washington.

Mount Rainier

Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier National Park

On a clear day, this spectacular peak looms prominently on the horizon. Easily visible from most parts of Seattle, you can get closer, and the scenery only becomes more dramatic. Tree-covered valleys bisected by glacier-fed streams, colorful fields of wild flowers, and desolate snowfields typify the scenes at the Mount Rainier National Park. This landscape is the setting for some of the best Washington hiking.

Olympic National Park Washington

Olympic National Park Washington
Olympic National Park Washington

Pristine, rugged coastlines dotted with sea stacks and miles of beaches littered with fallen old growth, and evergreen forests that come right up to the water are what you can expect on the Pacific reaches of the Washington coast. The Olympic National Park Washington is also home to the lush Hoh Rainforest, with its signature giant slugs, which come in a number of vivid hues. Explore miles of trails in and around Mount Olympus, the highest peak in the park, or sit in one of the natural hot springs after a day experiencing some of the best Washington hiking. Everywhere you turn, you are beset with beauty and wonder, from the Puget Sound region and the Cascades to the east, the migrating whales of the Straight of San Juan de Fuca to the North, and the stone cliffs and water filled caves of the Washington Coast.


Things To Do In Seattle
Things To Do In Seattle

Every visitor on a Washington state vacation spends at least a day or more in the Emerald City. With views of the mountains to the east and west, and Mount Rainier to the south, Seattle has all the best Washington has to offer. Explore the waterfront and enjoy fresh seafood before taking a ferry ride across the Puget Sound. Also be sure to stop by the historic Pike Place Market and the Space Needle.

San Juan Islands

Four major islands sit protected far from the giant waves of the Washington coast in the north part of Puget Sound. Easily reached by the Washington State ferries, the San Juan Islands move at a slower pace and possess a distinctive charm. Give yourself enough time during your Washington State vacation to explore these peaceful islands and islets, where you might see a majestic orca whale surface from the glittering blue surface of the water.

Grand Coulee Dam

On par with the Hoover Dam, this monument, incredibly, was built during the depression. The hydroelectric power generated here makes this the third largest producer of this type of energy. In the summer, you can see the biggest laser show in the world projected onto the dam. Take a guided or self-guided tour for a view in the powerhouses or ride in the glass elevator for a thrilling experience.

Mount St Helens

Everyone across the country knows about or has seen pictures of the destruction caused when Mount St Helens erupted, blasting 1300 feet of its summit across the landscape, flattening trees for miles around. This is now a National Volcanic Monument, so there is a visitor center, where you can learn about this incredible event that occurred on May 18, 1980.

Lake Chelan

A popular vacation for folks on a summer Washington state vacation, Lake Chelan is the deepest gorge in North America. This 55 mile-long lake is filled with glacier waters. To the south, Chelan Valley has clean sandy beaches, apple orchards, and lakeside lodges. The upper lake can only be reached by boat or seaplanes, but is distinguished by its towering granite cliffs, emerald forests, and snow covered summits.

Columbia River Gorge

This river is part of the historic journey of Lewis and Clark. Both Washington and Oregon shares this dramatic setting. A simple road trip or a river cruise are both great ways to enjoy the incredible views of the Columbia River. Be sure to go to Beacon Rock for a birds" eye view of the Gorge.

Snoqualmie Falls

Snoqualmie Falls Washington
Snoqualmie Falls Washington

Winter runoff from the Cascade Mountain fills the three tributaries of the Snoqualmie River. Enormous boulders and dizzyingly deep canyons don't stop the flow of this body of water. Near the town of Snoqualmie the river makes a dramatic 268 dive to create the Snoqualmie Falls.

Puget Sound Ferry Ride

Puget Sound Ferry Ride
Puget Sound Ferry Ride

The best views can be seen from the water. Whether you're headed east or west, the clean air and blue waves invigorate you as you look out to the Olympic National Park, Washington and Mount Rainier. Visit the quiet towns across the Puget Sound for a unique experience on your Washington state vacation.

Ocean Shores, Washington is worth mentioning as well. On the Pacific coast near the Oregon border, Ocean Shores, Washington has an amusement park, and is where many visitors go to spend a fun-filled or relaxing day by the boardwalk.

Olympic Sculpture Park

Completed in January 2007, the Olympic Sculpture Park adds a stroke of beauty and wonder to the Seattle waterfront. Featuring striking and provocative sculpture work by both nationally-acclaimed and local artists, this nine-acre park (part of the Seattle Art Museum) is one of the largest public art spaces in the entire country. Better yet, the entire park is free to the public, allowing much appreciated mass access to beautiful art in a majestic setting.

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