Why Washington state should be your next travel destination!
Washington is probably best known for being home to corporate tech giants (Amazon and Starbucks for example), the Space Needle, and that infamous unrelenting drizzle, but this Pacific Northwest state is characterized by so much more than just those stereotypes.
In recent years, the “The Evergreen State” has seen an unprecedented number of transplants and tourists as the state’s economy continues to boom. Ask any local, however, and they’ll be quick to reinforce the rainy day and “Seattle freeze” type stereotypes as they try to keep this hidden gem, well hidden, from any more influx of people.
But as a Seattle native (or as close as you can be anyways), I’m here to let you in on a little secret- Washington is truly the ultimate place for outdoor junkies, food lovers, music aficionados, and adrenaline seekers alike. With miles and miles of pristine coastline, endless amounts of emerald-hued lakes, rugged mountain ranges dotting its landscape, and an unparalleled passion by locals for all things outdoors, Washington is the ideal spot for Californians (or anybody really) looking for a getaway into the outdoors.
So without further ado, here are 5 of our favorite outdoor destinations in Washington state (and places to stay nearby):
Along with the Seattle Space Needle, Mount Rainier serves as another iconic backdrop to the Puget Sound region. While most people would recognize the mountain, few people probably know that this majestic peak is actually an active volcano and also the most glaciated peak in the country. Mount Rainier National park offers plenty of hiking trails, scenic viewpoints, and even a visitor center where guests can enjoy lunch and or learn more about the parks history and ecosystems with a range of interactive displays.
Mount Rainier is also a part of the larger Mount Rainier National Park, which is home to an abundance of trails, waterfalls, and wildlife for visitors to see. There are plenty of accommodations in the area for visitors to stay in to fully experience all that this national park has to offer.
Olympic National Park
Located in Washington’s peninsula, Olympic National Park encompasses several ecosystems, ranging from the soaring mountain peaks of the Olympic Mountains to alpine meadows and everything in between. It also happens to be home to one of the planet’s largest virgin temperate rainforests which is largely comprised of some of the largest coniferous tree species in the world- it’s truly a special corner of the world!
Port Angeles is one of the best connected cities to access the park and serves as a great place for visitors to spend the night. Whichever city travelers choose to stay, one thing is for sure- a trip to the Washington peninsula is sure to offer views of some of the most crystal-clear lakes, stunning beaches, and lush forested terrains!
Walla Walla Valley
There is no doubt that the Sonoma and Napa Valleys produce some of the best wines in the country, possibly even the world, but Washington has recently been giving California a run for its money in wine production. Turns out that along the southern border of Washington, in the Walla Walla Valley, lie some of the best vineyards and wineries in the country. Not only can visitors sit back and unwind with a rich regional wine, but they can do so while reveling in the backdrop of the area’s stunning natural beauty. With rolling verdant hills, peaceful rivers, and lush pastures, this area is worth a visit.
This charming city is a Bavarian-styled village that is tucked away in the Cascade Mountains of central Washington State. Its Alpine-style buildings and accommodations, many authentic German restaurants, and dramatic mountain setting will have visitors feeling like they’ve just stepped into Germany. There is no longer a need to board a plane when you can have your very own European adventure in the great state of Washington. We recommend going during its annual Oktoberfest celebration, which typically falls in September or October, to get the full German experience in America.
The San Juan Islands are a group of 172 islands off the coast of Seattle in the Puget Sound. One of the most well known and popular of the islands (also the largest of the archipelago) is Orcas Island. Its natural secluded location provided by Puget Sound makes Orcas Island the perfect escape for any city dweller looking to get away from the pressure of city life. With its natural beauty and wide variety of things to see and do, Orcas Island is not only perfectly suited for family getaways but for romantic retreats, special occasions, a friends getaway, or simply a relaxing escape away from the city.
So what are you waiting for? Don’t just take our word for it and experience it yourself with an escape to Washington state for your next adventure. There is not better time than now to discover the magic of the Pacific Northwest.
By: Giovanna Tapia