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Palouse Falls From the Air
Palouse Falls From the Air
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Striking Landscapes Abound

Shaped by millions of years of volcanic activity, Washington’s incredible geography is something you have to see to believe. Visit Mount Saint Helens, located just outside the city of Vancouver, to experience the unique thrill of hiking and climbing a dormant volcano. While the state has a reputation for having moody weather, Washington’s Eastern regions are shielded from the rain by the towering Cascade Mountains, offering ample opportunities for fun in the sun. Communities like Lake Chelan experience 300 annual days of sunshine, making it easy to hop on a paddleboard – or Jet Ski in the winter – and traverse one of the USA’s most distinct and beautiful glacier-fed lakes. Seattle is the gateway to the Pacific Northwest region, where wondrous mountain ranges look over lush rainforests and dramatic coastlines. Three national parks – Mount Rainier, North Cascades and Olympic – offer stunning encounters with nature as do the San Juan Islands just off the coast.

 

Uncover Cultural Gems

Washington has one of the USA’s most robust ferry systems: Take advantage of it and discover the state’s rich maritime history in seafront communities like Kingston and Bainbridge Island, where idyllic streets and fascinating museums welcome you for off-the-beaten path exploration. The state’s history as a bustling trade hub has also made it a cultural melting pot. Admire Bavarian-style architecture in Leavenworth, jam out to alternative and grunge rock at the Experience Music Project in Seattle and connect with the living traditions of the Lummi Nation at the Whatcom Museum in Bellingham. Renowned explorers Meriwether Lewis and William Clark traveled through the area now known as the Lewis and Clark Valley, where museums such as the Lewis and Clark Discovery Center tell the story of the expedition and preserve the culture of the Nez Perce Tribe who offered guidance on the journey. Fans of the “Twilight” series will want to visit Forks, the town on which author Stephenie Meyer based the novels. Expand your horizons to the rest of the Olympic Peninsula with a hike through Hoh Rainforest and a cruise down the Strait of Juan de Fuca National Scenic Byway.

 

Fresh Flavors and Beyond

Visitors won’t go hungry or thirsty here. More than 1000 wineries cultivate 70 grape varieties across thousands of hectares of bountiful vineyards. Wine aficionados flock to the Tri-Cities area, where you’ll find nearly 200 vineyards and wineries within an 80-kilometer radius. Coffee drinkers are welcome here, too: The first Starbucks opened in Seattle in 1971. Today, independent shops contribute to the city’s 2.5 coffee shops per 1,000 people, the greatest concentration in the country. Rich coastal waterways and the state’s agricultural abundance provide for a booming food scene and the opportunity for visitors to interact with farmers, artisans and chefs specializing in locally grown and sourced fare.

Palouse Falls From the Air
Palouse Falls From the Air
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Must see places

Visitors to the 184-meter flying saucer-shaped tower get a 360-degree view of Seattle. Book a table at the revolving SkyCity Restaurant, and look afar at the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges.

The Space Needle

Washington’s biggest city is home to a few of the USA’s most iconic landmarks. Visit the Space Needle to take in 360-degree views of Seattle from the 184-meter-high observation deck of this instantly recognizable tower. While in Seattle, be sure to shop, eat and explore at the bustling Pike Place Market, then get a dose of culture at Chihuly Garden and Glass, where a garden and eight galleries pay homage to accomplished glass artist and Washington native Dale Chihuly.

The volcano’s icy top is 4,392 meters above sea level, but leading up to it, explore six rivers, abundant wildlife and wildflower meadows. The last eruption was 150 years ago.

Mount Rainier National Park

Stand in awe of the highest peak in the Cascade Range, located just outside Seattle. Volcano Mount Rainier’s icy top is 4,392 meters above sea level, but leading up to it, explore six rivers, abundant wildlife and wildflower meadows. The last eruption 150 years ago created the striking landscapes visitors see today.

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A scenic drive down the Olympic Peninsula's Pacific Coast Scenic Byway in Washington
Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau

Olympic Peninsula

Incredible vistas abound on the Olympic Peninsula, from the moody rainforests of Olympic National Park to the rocky beaches of Cape Flattery, the northernmost point of the continental USA. Luckily, it’s easy to see them all: Just hop on the Olympic Peninsula Loop drive, a stretch of the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway that connects nearly 500 kilometers of the area’s cozy towns and coastal wonders.

Exploring Lime Kiln Point State Park in Friday Harbor, Washington

Lime Kiln State Park

A short ferry ride from Seattle whisks you away to an enchantingly beautiful archipelago. Set on a rocky cliff on the west coast of San Juan Island, Lime Kiln State Park offers incredible views of the Olympic Mountains as well as some of the best whale watching in the USA. These majestic creatures hold deep significance to the Indigenous Coast Salish peoples who have historically called the area home: Celebrate their traditions at museums and cultural centers around the island.

Vineyard views at Freehand Cellars in Yakima, Washington

Washington Wine Country

The state’s first American Viticultural Area (or AVA) was established in Yakima Valley in 1983. Today, the combined Yakima Valley, Tri-Cities and Walla Walla Valley regions keep the tradition alive with over 240 wineries in 20 designated AVAs. Visit Washington’s vineyards and wineries to meet the artisans crafting award-winning blends and learn how the area’s distinctive terroir nurtures a bountiful grape crop.

Washington's official waterfall in Palouse Falls State Park

Palouse Falls

The highlight of a visit to Palouse Falls State Park is viewing the state’s official waterfall from several hiking trails. Go at sunset to watch the light and shadows change along the canyon walls.

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The Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park near Port Angeles, Washington
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Experience Washington

State of Washington Tourism
Jet Skiing on Lake Chelan near Chelan, Washington
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Experience