In the northwest of the United States, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean lies the beautiful state of Washington. It is one of the only three states, which have access to the Pacific coastline.
Oregon borders the state to the south and Idaho borders to the east. In addition, the Canadian province of British Columbia neighbors to the north and the Pacific Ocean commands the western border.
The State is named after the first president of the United States, George Washington.
Note to foreign tourists: Due to similar sounding names, Washington state is often confused with the capital of the United States, Washington D.C. Thus, the state is usually referred to as Washington State or the State of Washington, to be clear.
Things To Do In Washington
Washington State is one of the most scenic places in the world and offers a variety of amazing discoveries for those who love to observe the beauty of nature. Plenty of Ski trails, purple mountains, endless hiking and camping opportunities, sparkling seas, and a vibrant city life — they all await you here.
Top Cities in Washington
The state is mainly an agricultural region with plenty of wilderness. Still, there are quite a few cities. Some of the bigger and popular ones are:
- Seattle — largest city in the Pacific Northwest. Home of the University of Washington and Seattle University
- Bellevue — Seattle’s suburban city across Lake Washington, a commercial center with a growing downtown area
- Olympia — State capital in the fast-growing South Sound area
- Spokane — the heart of Eastern Washington, the unofficial capital of the Inland Empire
- Tacoma — a Port city with several good museums. Home to Joint Base Lewis-McChord, an important army and air force base
- Bellingham — home of Western Washington University. Near the Canadian border and Vancouver, B.C.
- Vancouver — just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon. Not to be confused with the larger Canadian city of Vancouver, B.C.
- Walla Walla — a Small eastern city in the heart of Washington’s blooming wine country
- Yakima — in the Yakima Valley, the major agricultural and wine region of the state
Seattle with the largest metropolitan area is a center of business and transportation. Along with its suburbs, Seattle is home to around 60% of the total Washington state population.
For a complete guide on things to do in Seattle, please read Seattle Travel Guide.
Three national parks, 120 state parks, and a number of wilderness areas, recreation areas, and preserves protect the abundant wildlife. Washington is a true haven for watching wildlife while in the great outdoors. Hiking, camping, biking, winter sports, and water sports – you will find them all in Washington!
The state is full of thick rainforests, mountain ranges, and semi-arid basin lands. The highest point of the state is Mount Rainier, which is almost 14,5oo feet tall.
- Mount Rainier National Park – a 14,410 feet active volcano, and tallest mountain peak in the lower 48 US States
- North Cascades National Park – home to 50% of all glaciers in the lower 48 US States
- Olympic National Park — a temperate rain forest, rugged Olympic Mountains, wild coastline, and a UNESCO site
Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve
Preserves and protects an unbroken historical record of Puget Sound exploration and settlement from the 19th century to the present. Historic farms, still under cultivation in the prairies of Whidbey Island, reveal land use patterns unchanged since settlers claimed the land in the 1850s.
Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail
Between May 1804 and September 1806, 32 men, one woman, and a baby traveled from the plains of the Midwest to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. They called themselves the Corps of Discovery.
Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
At 8:32 Sunday morning, May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted and life in the area was altered for better and for worse.
San Juan Islands
In the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains in Puget Sound, these islands are famous for abundant eagles and Orca whales and include the newly formed San Juan Islands National Monument as well as the San Juan Island National Historical Park.
Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park
An overlook where you can see the remains of the end of the last ice age where a flow of up to 10 times of all the present-day rivers of the world merged into a huge waterfall. While not as deep as the Grand Canyon, you can get dizzyingly close to the edge.
A scenic, wild and interspersed with quaint towns along the coast includes 100 km of wilderness coastline, the longest undeveloped coast in the contiguous United States.
North Cascade Loop Scenic Drive
The North Cascade Loop is a very scenic drive that loops around this area through pristine mountains, grand rivers, crystalline lakes and scenic islands.
Okanogan National Forest
Note the most spectacular parts of the North Cascade Loop drive is not where the highway is sandwiched between the two halves of the national park, but further east in the Okanogan National Forest.
As the park has virtually no roads, non-hikers should stay on the main highway unless clearly marked signs are visible (such as the visitor center which is about a mile to the south). Washington Pass is the highest point at 5,477 ft (1,669 m). The view is great from here.
Crawford State Park
A day-use park which is mostly about seeing Gardner Cave, the third-largest limestone cave in Washington.
A very unusual-looking cave, sacred to the Kalispel people. Perhaps formed by a long-ago inland sea.
Lions Excursion Train
A sightseeing train ride in classic passenger carriages and open cars, hugging cliffs and crossing trestles along the Pend Oreille river. Spectacular sights. Takes about 1.5 hours.
This state is a prominent agricultural region. Moreover, it is a leading producer of apples, pears, apricots, spearmint oil, cherries, asparagus, peas, grapes, peppermint oil, and potatoes.
In addition, it is also a major producer of lumber. The region is rich in forests full of Douglas fir, various types of pines, hemlock, spruce, cedar, and larch.
November 29, 2016 12:23 pm
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