Washington is one of the Pacific states of the USA. It is a land of contrasts, a region where natural wonders blend with beautiful cities. The landscape of the state is highly diverse. In its central part, majestic Cascade Mountains rise with numerous volcanoes. In the east, hilly plains transition into semi-deserts. Here flows one of the largest and most beautiful rivers in the USA, the Columbia River. The western counties of the state are famous for picturesque Olympic Mountains and unique rainforests. In this region, lovers of historical landmarks and art enthusiasts will never be bored, as the major cities are home to fascinating museums, entertainment centers, and Victorian-style mansions. There is so much to see and be amazed by here.
Geography Washington State is located in the northwest part of the USA. Its western territories border the Pacific Ocean. The region shares boundaries with Canada (British Columbia province) and the American states of Oregon and Idaho. In terms of territory, it ranks 18th in the USA (184,827 km²). The main natural resources of the state are dense forests and abundant rivers.
Cities of Washington State
The state capital, a small city located in a picturesque setting. Its main attraction is the majestic Capitol, situated on a hilltop, offering an incredibly beautiful panorama of Puget Sound. Don't miss one of the oldest timber-framed mansions in the state, the Daniel Bigelow House. Take a stroll in Olympic National Park, located near the capital, renowned for its rainforests, stunning lakes, glaciers, and rich flora and fauna.
The largest city in Washington State. It is famous for its beautiful bays and the mesmerizing backdrop of majestic mountain peaks. Seattle is home to many wonderful places and attractions. The most popular ones include the 184-meter Space Needle tower with an observation deck, the monumental St. James Cathedral, and the bustling Pike Place Market with its abundance of small restaurants. Curious tourists will enjoy the Museum of Flight, the Log House Museum, and the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle. Make sure to visit the Chihuly Garden and Glass, an intriguing museum of pop culture, and the aquarium.
A city located on the eponymous river. Its historic districts are particularly popular among travelers. Here, you can admire Victorian mansions, a courthouse building in the style of a French château, the charming Campbell House in Tudor Revival style, and the beautiful St. John's Cathedral. Take a ride on one of the oldest wooden carousels in the USA at Riverfront Park. Don't miss the opportunity to ride on a cable car over incredible waterfalls. The suburbs of Spokane offer many wonderful places for water activities and fishing.
One of the main attractions of the city is the LeMay America's Car Museum, showcasing around 350 cars from private collections. Visit the Museum of Glass and marvel at the unique exhibits of extraordinary artistry. Walk across the glass bridge located near the museum. Along the bridge's vast showcase wall, you'll find 109 glass vases of unusual shapes and sizes, unique works by D. Chihuly. Take a leisurely stroll in the locals' favorite spot, Point Defiance Park. Visitors here can enjoy picturesque forest trails, fragrant rose gardens, a zoo, and an aquarium.
A small town located near Mount Rainier National Park. Tourists often embark on hikes through the park, famous for its magnificent mountain landscapes, glaciers, and volcanoes. In the town itself, there is a beautiful arboretum with the Yakima Valley Museum. Among the attractions are the Central Washington Agricultural Museum and the Yakama Nation Cultural Center and Museum. Less than an hour's drive from Yakima is an Indian reservation where you can see the mid-19th-century Fort Simcoe, officers' quarters with authentic furniture and decor.
What Tourists Should Do in Washington State
- See the Washington State Capitol in Olympia. This beautiful building from the first half of the 20th century impresses with its grandeur and monumentality. Don't miss the rotunda of the legislature building with its magnificent dome, Doric and Corinthian columns.
- Visit the observation deck of the Space Needle in Seattle. The "Space Needle" is an incredibly elegant structure in the city center that resembles a fantastic alien spaceship. Here, you can not only admire the beautiful views but also dine in a restaurant with exquisite cuisine.
- Marvel at the incredible exhibits of the Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) in Seattle. This futuristic guitar-shaped building is a paradise for fans of modern music, literature, film, comics, and art. You can see exhibits representing the realms of science fiction, horror, fantasy, video games, music, and sports.
- Take a stroll in the Chihuly Garden and Glass in Seattle. The glass garden is one of the famous creations of the renowned glass artist. Walk along its paths and admire the glass flowerbeds and trees that shimmer in all the colors of the rainbow.
- Experience the lives of the local people at the Tillicum Village near Seattle. Located in a coastal area, this village offers fascinating excursions around the bay and traditional Native American dance shows. Here, you can taste incredibly delicious dishes, such as clam chowder or specially prepared pan-fried salmon.
- Spend a day at Mount Rainier National Park near Yakima. Within this magnificent reserve, you'll find old-growth forests, alpine meadows, glaciers, waterfalls, and volcanoes. Visit the enchanting Paradise area, situated on the southern slope of Mount Rainier.
- Canoe or kayak on the famous Devil's Lake. Throughout the year, the color of its water changes from turquoise to emerald. Along its shore, numerous campsites are available, from which hiking trails to the mountaintop begin.
- Go skiing or snowboarding down the slopes near Yakima. Just 50 miles from the city, you'll find the White Pass ski resort. It offers trails for both beginners and professional athletes.
- Taste the local wine. It is believed that the wines produced in Washington State are among the top five in the world. If you want to verify this, head to the town of Woodinville, where the famous Chateau Ste Michelle winery is located.
- Try local cuisine. You will surely enjoy smoked salmon, fried razor clams, and steamed crabs. For dessert, order a cherry or apple pie, for which the state is renowned.
Washington State Attractions
Marvelous mountain landscapes, pristine parks, crystal-clear lakes and rivers, fantastic city architecture, intriguing museums, and wonderful places for outdoor activities — all of these can be found in Washington State. To see all the attractions of this region and not miss anything, plan your tourist route in advance.
Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier National Park is a magnificent natural area with Mount Rainier at its center. It features lush forests, alpine meadows, glaciers, and crystal-clear lakes. Scaling the summit of the mountain offers breathtaking panoramic views of the surrounding landscape. This park offers unforgettable adventures for hiking, mountaineering, camping, and wildlife observation.
Pike Place Market
Pike Place Market is a renowned tourist attraction and picturesque market complex in Seattle. It showcases diverse stalls offering produce, flowers, handicrafts, and souvenirs. The market is also famous for its fish markets and the iconic "flying" fish toss. Don't miss out on exploring the restaurants, cafes, and shops to savor local delicacies and immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere.
Pioneer Square is a historic urban park in Seattle and one of the oldest public squares in the city. It boasts beautifully landscaped flower beds, green lawns, and architectural monuments reflecting its historical significance. The park serves as a venue for various events and celebrations, providing excellent opportunities for leisurely walks and outdoor relaxation.
Puget Sound is a stunning natural inlet located in the northwest part of Washington State. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking landscapes, expansive waterways, and diverse marine flora and fauna. The sound is an important ecological region and home to various marine species, including whales, seals, and eagles. Visit this place for sea excursions, fishing, and wildlife observation.
Snoqualmie Falls is a picturesque waterfall nestled in the Cascade Mountains near the town of Snoqualmie. With a height of approximately 82 meters, this majestic waterfall offers an awe-inspiring sight and a serene ambiance. Take a stroll along the trails, immerse yourself in the surrounding nature, and capture the beauty of this natural wonder through photography.
The Space Needle is an iconic symbol of Seattle and a renowned tourist attraction. This tall architectural tower with its panoramic observation deck provides breathtaking views of the city, Puget Sound, and the surrounding mountains. Visitors can enjoy stunning vistas, dine at a restaurant, or browse the gift shop. The Space Needle is a true city icon and a must-visit during your stay in Seattle.
Woodland Park Zoo
Woodland Park Zoo is a popular family-friendly destination and a haven for observing animals in Seattle. It houses a diverse range of animals from different parts of the world, including giraffes, elephants, tigers, monkeys, and penguins. The zoo offers unique educational and entertainment opportunities, including programs and events suitable for visitors of all ages.
The Boeing Factory is a significant industrial facility and an intriguing tourist attraction in Everett. Visitors can gain insights into the aircraft manufacturing process and witness the impressive scale of production. Guided tours allow exploration of the assembly lines and observation of various aircraft being built, including commercial airplanes and military aircraft.
Lake Washington is a breathtaking freshwater lake located in the Seattle metropolitan area. It offers stunning scenery, recreational activities, and opportunities for boating, fishing, and water sports. The lake is surrounded by parks and scenic viewpoints, making it a perfect destination for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers.
Mount St. Helens
Mount St. Helens is a volcano renowned for its catastrophic eruption in 1980. It is now part of the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument. Visit this iconic volcano to witness its dramatic landscape and learn about its geological history. Explore the visitor center, hike through volcanic trails, and marvel at the resilience of nature in the aftermath of the eruption.
The Best Time to Visit Washington State
The western part of the state has a marine moderate climate, while the southern part has a dry continental climate. In the western counties, it often rains in winter, with temperatures ranging from +3-8ºC. Summer is dry and warm, with an average temperature of +15-20ºC. In eastern Washington, the amount of precipitation throughout the year is low. However, there is a more significant difference in seasonal temperatures compared to the west. In winter, the average air temperature ranges from -6 to 0ºC, while in summer, it ranges from +18-25ºC.
At the end of May each year, the Seattle International Film Festival takes place in Seattle. Over the course of 25 days, several hundred films from different countries around the world are screened for the audience. An authoritative jury selects the festival winners.
The film festival is accompanied by conferences and various competitions, making it a celebration of cinema.
One of the beloved festivals in the state is the Harvest Festival in the town of Wenatchee, which takes place in mid-September. On this day, the streets of the small town turn into markets, stages, and open-air cafes. Festive music fills the air, and the aromas of local dishes permeate the atmosphere. Of course, the celebration wouldn't be complete without tasting exquisite wines and craft beers.
You can explore Washington State at any time of the year, as it offers excellent leisure opportunities and countless incredible discoveries.