Why Washington state should be your next travel destination!
Washington is probably most associated with 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 surface stereotypes. In recent years, the “The Evergreen State” has seen an unprecedented number of transplants and tourists as the economy in the state continues to boom. Ask any local however, and they’ll be quick to reinforce the rainy day and “seattle freeze” stereotypes alive 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, culinary aficionados, music lovers, 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 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 is 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 rugged 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 comprise of some of the largest coniferous tree species in the world.
This is truly a special corner of the world that is sure to leave even the most discerning traveler impressed. Port Angeles is probably one of the best connected cities to access the park and serves as a great place for visitors to spend the night. Whichever city you choose to base yourself from, one thing is for sure- a trip to the Washington peninsula is sure to offer views of some of the most crystal-clear lakes, pristine coastline, and lush forested terrains you have ever seen!
Walla Walla Valley
There is no doubt Sonoma and Napa Valley produce some of the best wine in the country, possibly even the world, but Washington has been giving California a run for its money. Few people know 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 regional wine, but they can do so while reveling in the backdrop of the area’s stunning natural beauty. With rolling verdant hills, crystal clear rivers, and lush pastures, this area is truly unparalleled.
This charming city is a Bavarian-styled village tucked away in the Cascade Mountains, in central Washington State. Its Alpine-style buildings and accommodations, many restaurants serving authentic German beer and food, and dramatic mountain setting will leave any visitor feeling like they’ve just stepped into Germany. There is no need to board a plane when you can have your very own European adventure in the great state of Washington. What’s even better is that Leavenworth puts on an annual Oktoberfest celebration that attracts visitors from all over to celebrate this tradition.
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 these islands is Orcas Island, which is also the largest of the archipelago. The 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 it all and escape into the pristine natural beauty of the island. It is great for not only perfect 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? Escape to Washington state for your next adventure. There is not better time than now to discover the magic of the Pacific Northwest.