We at Mjaac are delighted to introduce you to the beautiful state of Washington, which is more than just Seattle. Washington is a place of scenic beauty, bustling cities, and rich history. The state is home to numerous destinations that cater to various interests, from outdoor recreation to wine tasting and more. Let’s take a closer look at the top ten places to visit in Washington State.
Number 10 – Lake Chelan
Nestled at the base of Washington’s North Cascades mountain range, Lake Chelan is a popular destination for outdoor recreation, wine tasting, and sightseeing in the Pacific Northwest. Visiting the vineyards is a major draw to the region, and you can spend a day sipping and sightseeing at places like Vin de Lac Winery or Karma Vineyards. For a closer look at the incredible natural terrain, ride on a seaplane that takes off and lands in the lake itself or try waterskiing during the summer months.
Number 9 – Palouse Falls State Park
Located about 50 miles north of Walla Walla, Palouse Falls State Park was named after the breathtaking waterfall that tumbles 200 feet down into a deep gorge. The waterfalls are the park’s foremost attraction, and for good reason. From the viewpoint on the other side of the gorge, you’ll see the thick white veil split the basalt rock and ancient lava flow. Stick around the high desert park and enjoy the amazing light show by staying at the Palouse Falls campgrounds.
Number 8 – Spokane
The second-largest city in the state, Spokane’s identity and history are closely tied to the river of the same name that runs through it. For thousands of years, the Spokane tribe gathered and fished here before European fur traders settled on the riverbanks in the early 1800s. As the city grew and industrialized, the river became covered by bridges and surrounded by warehouses until the center was thankfully refurbished for the 1974 World’s Fair. As such, the peaceful and picturesque Riverfront Park is now one of Spokane’s main attractions.
Number 7 – Snoqualmie Falls
Halfway between the towns of Snoqualmie and Fall City is Snoqualmie Falls, one of Washington’s most popular attractions. The rushing waters of the falls make it a stunning and unforgettable place to visit and a top spot for photographers in the Pacific Northwest. You might already recognize the falls for its appearance in the popular cult television show Twin Peaks. There are short hiking trails around Snoqualmie Falls where visitors can admire enormous trees and lush green plant life within the spray of the waterfalls.
Number 6 – North Cascades National Park
More than half of all of the glaciers found in the continental United States are located within the North Cascades National Park in Washington. It is also a place where gray wolves, grizzlies, and wolverines roam. Scenic Highway 20 takes you to and through the park, providing one of the most amazing road trips in the state. Within the national park, you’ll find opportunities for alpine climbing and backcountry camping. Plus, you can also set off on shorter day hikes and mountain biking trails during the summer.
Number 5 – San Juan Islands
In the north of the Puget Sound and close to British Columbia, you’ll find the San Juan Islands. The islands are an inviting retreat and an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, offering an abundance of outdoor activities in a stunning landscape. You can kayak in the water, take tours to spot orcas in their natural habitat, dine on fresh seafood, or hike through the San Juan Island National Historical Park. Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor are the two hubs for dining, shopping, and sightseeing, and they also offer some commercial flights and boat arrivals.
Number 4 – Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
In 1980, Mount St. Helens was 9,677 feet tall and the fifth highest peak in the state. The beautiful mountain stood out like a ship on a vast ocean and rose mightily above the countryside, but that same year, it shed over 1,300 feet as it erupted, killing 57 people in the deadliest volcanic eruption in the history of the United States. It has taken some time, but visitors can see the power of mother nature in the area’s rejuvenation. Today, you can explore the mountain and surrounding national monument to discover even greater biodiversity than what existed before the eruption.
Number 3 – Seattle
Home to global giants like Boeing, Starbucks, and Amazon, Seattle is the largest city in the USA’s Pacific Northwest region. Seattle is nicknamed the Emerald City due to its lush scenery resulting from a rainy climate. The skyline of Seattle is a thicket of towering skyscrapers. The crowning glory is the futuristic 600-foot-tall Space Needle built in 1962. The city is well-known for its seafood, which you can try at the historic Pike Place Market. What’s more, the surrounding pine forests make for perfect hiking.
Number 2 – Olympic National Park
The crown jewel of national parks in Washington, Olympic National Park has a mind-boggling diversity of nature, covering a vast patch of the spectacular Olympic Peninsula. The national park is a thorough wilderness that spans from massive glacial mountains to dense and soggy rainforests. The region receives more rainfall than any other part of mainland USA. Much of that is snow, which over time has created over 250 glaciers within the park. With your rain jacket handy, prepare for a series of unforgettable hikes, such as those through Hurricane Pass and the Enchanted Valley.
Number 1 – Mount Rainier
The fifth highest peak in the United States, Mount Rainier itself is an icon of a mountain that can be seen through much of Washington state. Rainier is actually an active volcano that last erupted as recently as 1854. Close to the urban areas of Puget Sound, Mount Rainier National Park and its 26 glaciers are a hiker’s paradise with fabulous hiking trails lacing the foothills and carpets of flowers blooming in spring and summer. Many people attempt to climb to the snowy peak of Rainier, but it’s tough going. Only half the adventurers who try go the whole way.
In conclusion, Washington State offers visitors an array of options that are worth exploring. From the serene lakeside of Lake Chelan to the jaw-dropping Mount Rainier, the state is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. Whether you’re interested in hiking, camping, fishing, wine tasting, or just want to take in the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, Washington State has something for everyone. So, pack your bags and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in one of the most beautiful states in the country.