Washington holds the unique distinction of being the only US state named after a president and was the 42nd state to join the Union. In 1805, Lewis and Clark embarked on an expedition across the state, and Tumwater, formerly known as New Market, became its first settlement in 1846. The state’s west coast location has blessed it with stunning natural landscapes, earning it the nickname “The Evergreen State.” Washington boasts more glaciers than any other contiguous state, and its terrain features an array of mountains and volcanoes. The highest peak, Mount Rainier, was named after a British soldier who fought against the Americans during the Revolutionary War. The state insect, the Green Darner Dragonfly, thrives in its numerous state parks and natural environments.
In addition to its natural beauty, Washington has deep connections to history, manufacturing, and music. The world’s largest building, the Boeing final assembly plant, is located in Everett, where massive aircraft are constructed and shipped worldwide. The state is also the birthplace of renowned musicians Jimi Hendrix and Bing Crosby, whose legacies continue to be celebrated in local bars and clubs. To immerse yourself in the city’s music scene, visit one of Seattle’s many clubs and music bars.
Washington is a powerhouse in the technology sector, hosting the headquarters of both Amazon and Microsoft in its second-largest city, Seattle. The state is brimming with historical sites, spectacular landscapes, and an abundance of coffee, as the first Starbucks opened here in the 1970s.
Here are 10 of our top picks.
Grand Coulee River Bed
The Grand Coulee River Bed, located in Washington State, is an awe-inspiring geological feature that showcases the immense power of nature. Formed during the last Ice Age, this ancient riverbed was carved out by the massive floods known as the Missoula Floods. These cataclysmic events, which occurred between 15,000 and 13,000 years ago, were responsible for shaping the region’s unique landscape.
Visitors to the Grand Coulee River Bed can marvel at the sheer scale of the basalt cliffs and deep channels, which reveal the erosive force of the water that once flowed through this area. Hiking trails and viewpoints offer panoramic vistas of the surrounding terrain, making it a popular destination for nature enthusiasts and photographers alike. The Grand Coulee River Bed is a testament to the dramatic geological history of Washington State and a must-visit site for those seeking a glimpse into the region’s fascinating past.
Point of Arches
Point of Arches is a breathtaking natural landmark located in the Olympic National Park in Washington. This unique natural feature is located on the Olympic Peninsula and offers some of the most stunning views in the Pacific Northwest. Visitors can explore the beach and surrounding area, taking in the unique rock formations and arches that have been carved out by the ocean over time. Point of Arches is a popular spot for hiking and camping, with a variety of trails that wind through the lush forests and along the rugged coastline.
It is located near the historic Ozette Indian Village, and visitors can learn more about the region’s rich history and cultural heritage at the nearby Makah Cultural and Research Center. The center features exhibits on Makah history, including traditional whaling practices and artifacts from the region’s early inhabitants. Whether you’re interested in history, nature, or simply soaking up the stunning views, Point of Arches is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Washington State.
Mount Rainier, the highest peak in Washington state, stands tall at 14,411 feet and is an active stratovolcano. It’s located in Mount Rainier National Park and is a popular destination for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts, offering stunning views of its glacier-capped summit and alpine landscapes. The mountain was named after British Rear Admiral Peter Rainier, who had fought against the Americans during the Revolutionary War. Mount Rainier is also home to several hiking trails, including the Wonderland Trail, which encircles the entire mountain and spans over 90 miles. With its natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities, Mount Rainier is a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to Washington state.
The mountain is a prominent feature in the state’s culture and history, with many myths and legends surrounding it. In the 19th century, Native American tribes believed that the mountain was the home of the Great Spirit, and its eruption would signal the end of the world. Mount Rainier has erupted several times in the past, with the most recent eruption occurring around 1,000 years ago. Today, the mountain is closely monitored by geologists to predict and prepare for any potential volcanic activity. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking for a breathtaking view, Mount Rainier is a must-see attraction in the state of Washington.
Fort Nisqually Granary