In Washington State, life is lived outdoors. And it is no surprise, with its rugged coastline, pine forests, mountains, desert plains, coastal islands, and rain forests. Located in the resplendent Pacific Northwest, your holiday to Washington is sure to include outdoor activities like mountain climbing, white water rafting, skiing, kayaking, and sailing. Pound the Lewis and Clark Trail, scale volcanic Mount Rainier, ski Mount Baker’s shimmering runs, or watch killer whales off the coast of the San Juan Islands. Washington offers a holiday without limits.
The modern, cosmopolitan cities of Washington State are not to be missed. The largest city is Seattle, where you will not want to miss the spectacular Pike Place Market, the Space Needle, or historic Pioneer Square. Take a trip to charming, Bavarian-themed Leavenworth or see the state capital at Olympia. If shopping is more your scene, head to Bellevue for the spectacular upmarket shops.
See the awesome power of the cascading waterfalls at Snoqualmie Falls. Feel the spray of water from the observation deck whileoverlooking a sheer cliff. Hike the river trail through temperate rain forest to the bottom of the waterfall for the full effect, or enjoy a cup of tea at the stunning Salish Lodge, which overlooks the lip of the thundering falls. Don’t miss out on the beauty of the Columbia River Gorge, where you will find waterfalls, splendid maple trees, and fields of wildflowers interspersed with numerous vineyards, splendid dams (Grand Coulee Dam), and the scenery of the Columbia River.
Jutting out of Washington State’s northwest corner, the Olympic Peninsula is a stunning natural area filled with forests, jagged coastline, and mountains, interspersed with small towns like Port Angeles, Forks (made famous in the movie Twilight), and La Push. The native tribes have lived in this region for more than 3,000 years, so the cultural history here is rich. Visit Mount Olympis, the tallest mountain in the area; check out the Hoh Rain Forest, with its temperate, jungle-like atmosphere; or see the views from Hurricane Ridge, Meadow Loop, and Hurricane Hill.
Deep green forests, sparkling coastline, fresh air; the San Juan Islands are an adventurer’s paradise. Located a short ferry ride from Port Angeles on Washington’s west coast, be sure to pack your camera and some comfortable hiking shoes so you can explore. Go whale watching, kayaking, hiking, bird watching, or just about any other outdoor activity you can imagine. Or head to Friday Harbor and stroll the charming art galleries and shops with a bag of fish and chips or a chilly ice cream cone.
Washington State, particularly around the west coast, is dotted with rugged mountains. Mount Rainier, the icon of the Pacific Northwest, towering over Seattle, is the highest peak in Washington. The protected land around the mountain has more than 300 miles of trails, old-growth forests dating back 200 years, and numerous waterfalls. Volcanic Mount St. Helens, which famously erupted in 1980, is surrounded by serene forests that have started to regenerate since the eruption. The wild, forested Cascade Mountains bisect the state between east and west while the Olympic Mountains on the west coast offer spectacular alpine scenery.