Washington State Travel Guide
Some of the most stunning of Washington State attractions are of the natural variety with magnificent mountains that seem to be painted onto the vast sky. Of course the state is about more than natural beauty, but there is a lot of it to take in on your Washington state vacation nonetheless.
Mount St. Helens is towering active volcano that allows visitors a scenic climb to the rim amid evergreen forests, an ancient lava field and a mile and a half of volcanic ash. Views from the top on a clear day can include Mt. Rainier, Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson and Mt. Adams.
Mount Rainier is part of the Cascade Mountain Range and a popular Washington State attraction because of the large diversity of wildlife and her snow-capped peaks. This second largest mountain in the lower 48, with the city of Tacoma at her feet is an active volcano that can be seen in all her glory from the White Pass Scenic Byway.
Tacoma is a city world renowned for its glass artists and while on a Washington vacation, tourists can learn about this fascinating art form at the Tacoma Glassblowing Studio. The Museum of Glass is also an interesting place to visit to learn more about the history and culture of glass, while the Washington State History Museum allows tourists to learn more about the history of the city and the state and how they fit into the country as a whole. Also located in Tacoma is Point Defiance Park Zoo and Aquarium, a 700 acre space of woodland, a zoo and an aquarium complete with gardens and peaceful trails.
North Cascades National Park contains over half of the glaciers located outside of Alaska to go along with the waterfalls, trails, mountains and breathtaking scenery that can all be found within its boundaries. Indian tribes lived in the mountains for 8,000 years and the western settlers used the area to pan for gold. Today it is a great place to explore, take in the mountain views or go backpacking in the backcountry. Visitors can also take the forested trial to the remains of a rock shelter that the Indians used 1300 years ago.
When you think of Seattle, what comes to mind? The rain? The Space Needle? The Pike Place Market? Ferries? If your Washington State vacation brings you to this fair city, you will want to see all of these attractions and more. The observation deck of the Space Needle stands 520 feet in the air and allows for lovely panoramic views over the city and beyond. For something more unique, you can choose to dine atop the needle in a restaurant that takes a full hour to rotate allowing you differing views right from your table.
Pike Place Market is perhaps one of Washington State’s best known attractions and is certainly a Seattle must-do. This open air market is great for shopping for fresh fish and produce or for just watching people go about their business. Keep a look out though for flying fish!
Olympic Sculpture Park, Waterfall Garden Park, the Museum of Flight, the Klondike Gold Rush National Historic Park and Alki Beach are all popular attractions in the city that offer a little bit of something for everyone as you take in the scenery of the region.
If you’re looking for a different perspective of the city, there is The Seattle Great Wheel, or Seattle Seaplanes that get you high above the action and offer stunning views of the city and mountains that surround it.
Microsoft is a major player in the computer age, and so it is only fitting for a Washington travel guide to mention Redmond, the city that is home to the Microsoft Headquarters where visitors can see the walk of fame (all of their inventions), play games and participate in interactive displays. Redmond is also known for its extensive park system, of which Maymoor Park is a part. Set in 550 acres of land, this park offers rock climbing, tennis, biking trails, walking trails and a dog park.
Ferry boats are a great way to get onto the water while on a Washington State vacation and are fantastic ways to see the sights of the San Juan Islands, located just off the coast. Eighty three of the islands make up the San Juan Wildlife Refuge that offers protection for many birds, seals, sea lions and orcas. The ferry can take you to Lopez, Orcas, San Juan or Shaw Island which are great locales to kayak, whale watch and camp.
Olympic National Park encompasses almost one million acres and combines the ocean, forest and mountain ecosystems in one package. As a notable Washington State attraction, this area is a mecca for backpackers, campers and hikers.
If your Washington State vacation takes you to the south of the state, Yakima and the Yakima Valley will envelop you in a rich agricultural area where 75% of America’s hops are grown. It is also one of the best apple producing areas and is known for its vineyards and wineries. Here visitors can take farm tours, wine tasting tours or go hiking or skiing in a great get away from the everyday.
Washington State is known for her natural beauty, and with so many attractions it is easy to see why she is a popular vacation destination.