Washington State's nickname is the Evergreen State for good reason. Over 50% of the state is covered in forests, which are perfect for hiking, biking, camping, and exploring. But there's more to Washington than its beautiful pine and Douglas-fir trees.The northwestern-most state of the United States has a diverse landscape that includes wine country, beaches, and even desert!
Favorite destinations include national parks like Mount Rainier National Park and Olympia National Park. Popular cities like Seattle and Tacoma provide plenty of sightseeing opportunities and nightlife. Unique destinations include the mineral rich healing waters of Soda Lake and the hidden gateway to the Cascades of Stehekin Valley. Easy day trips include Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Canada.
Best Places to Visit in Washington State
Of course, no trip to Washington is complete without a visit to one of its famous national parks for some of the best hiking trails and views. But this Pacific Northwest state has so much more to offer-- from world class eateries to whale watching to wine tasting, there's something for everyone in the Evergreen State.
Cities in Washington State
Seattle: Probably Washington's most famous city, Seattle is home to the former industrial-turned-artistic haven of Georgetown, the Space Needle observation tower, Pike Place Market, and the original Starbucks. Visit Seattle Center for arts, culture, and family fun.
Spokane: Located in Eastern Washington and bordering Idaho, Spokane is rich in Native American history and culture.
Tacoma: On the banks of Puget Sound, Tacoma is a vibrant town that boasts six premier museums. All are walking distance from each other in historic downtown.
Walla Walla: Bordering Oregon, this agricultural town has turned into a hot destination for wineries, breweries, and gourmet restaurants.
Leavenworth: This Bavarian-style village is located in the Cascade Mountains and serves as a gateway to nearby skiing and wine tasting.
Bellingham: This small town on the Canadian border is known for its easy access to outdoor adventures, family friendly activities, a lively music scene and craft beer.
Washington State and National Parks
Mt. Rainier National Park: At 14,410 feet, Mount Rainier is the highest mountain in the state and the central feature of this national park. In the spring, the Paradise area of Mount Rainier National Park is home to some of the most beautiful wildflowers.
North Cascades National Park: Just east of Bellingham, this wilderness preserve is home to more than half the glaciers left in the lower 48 states.
Olympic National Park: Located on Washington's Olympic Peninsula, Olympic National Park has hiking trails that cut through both rainforests and beaches.
Popular Tourist Attractions
Mt. Saint Helens: This active volcano is a popular year-round climbing destination.
The San Juan Islands: These islands are an archipelago located between Vancouver Island, BC and Washington State. Although there are a total of 172 named islands, there are only three ferry-served islands: San Juan Island, Orcas Island, and Lopez Island.
Whidbey Island: Located in Puget Sound, this island has diverse terrain including beaches, hills, and farmland.
Pacific Crest Trail: The famous 2,650-mile hiking trail crosses through California, Oregon, and culminates in Washington State.
Snoqualmie Falls: One of Washington's top attractions, this 268-foot waterfall is located just east of Seattle on the Snoqualmie river.
Puget Sound: A complex and intricate system of channels, inlets, estuaries and islands, Puget Sound makes an excellent destination for kayaking, boating, diving, and bird watching.