Dream Destinations – Washington State

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Whenever you hear the destination Washington, I would edge my bets that the majority of thoughts would lean to the capital of USA, Washington DC. But for our latest Dream Destination we want to investigate the other, much broader location – the state of Washington, located in the north west portion of USA.

Home to the beautiful city of Seattle and an abundance of natural beauty, Washington has a lot to offer visitors including the following which I have picked out to be imperative must-sees for anyone visiting this state. As we embark on our vision to achieve all 50 US states, this is one of the remaining states we have yet to explore and we are particularly excited about this one for the following reasons along with many more.

Seattle

Image courtesy of Daniel Schwen [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Image courtesy of Daniel Schwen [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Of course the pinnacle of the state of Washington is Seattle for a myriad of reasons. The Emerald City as it is frequently referred to, primarily because it is locked among an abundance of greenery (of course the weather in Seattle is similar to the UK with the amount of rainfall which helps keep everything looking fresh and green!), has so much to offer from the infamous downtown market area to the Space Needle tower for the skyscraper and tall building enthusiasts.

I actually did a feature specifically on Seattle so you can read more about this here.

Olympic National Park

Image courtesy of Michael Gäbler [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Image courtesy of Michael Gäbler [CC-BY-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
At the heart of Washington state is Olympic National Park which is stereotypical of the state as a whole with a variety of gorgeous yet very different ecosystems all within the confines of this national park.

One of the major difficulties for visitors is determining exactly which of these ecosystems they want to explore. Are you interested in subalpine and alpine forest where in winter you can hit the slopes to enhance your skiing skills? Or would you prefer to be more on the lowlands in close proximity to the cliffs of the Pacific shoreline? Whatever you preference, Olympic National Park is a place of iconic beauty that perfectly portrays the state of Washington.

Riverfront Park

Image courtesy of Mark Wagner (User:Carnildo) (Own work) [CC-BY-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
Image courtesy of Mark Wagner (User:Carnildo) (Own work) [CC-BY-2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
Seattle is not the only metropolis in Washington that has plenty to offer locals and tourists. Spokane, Washington is home to a Riverfront Park which is a gorgeous spot to head to if you are looking for a relaxing getaway.

This 100 acre park is located in downtown Spokane along the Spokane River which also allows this park to feature a beautiful set of waterfalls that are always attractive landmarks to encourage visitors to check out the park.

Scenic Byways

Image courtesy of Adam Jones, Ph.D. (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Image courtesy of Adam Jones, Ph.D. (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Rather than specifically highlighting one road or byway to head to in Washington, I would highly recommend renting a car and driving around the state of Washington so that you can see how gorgeous this state really is. In addition to the national park and scenic coastline, there is an abundance of other natural phenomena that make this one of the most attractive states throughout USA.

Cascade Loop for example is one of the most beautiful and spectacular drives according to the National Geographic Traveler. For more details on all of the scenic byways in Washington, check out the official Washington state website.

Mt. St. Helens

Image courtesy of Tequask (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Image courtesy of Tequask (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Washington State is home to the Cascade Mountain Range which hosts a series of dormant volcanoes. The most famous of these is undoubtedly Mt. St. Helens due to the dramatic volcanic explosion in 1980.

Today, there are a number of hiking trails along the foothills and sides of Mt. St. Helens along with a great visitor center that gives you the opportunity to learn in depth knowledge on both this volcano and volcanology in general.

***This post is part of the 2014 A to Z Blogging Challenge (#DreamDestinations #AtoZChallenge)***

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14 COMMENTS

  1. That’s on my list too. We stayed briefly in Seattle once – I love a place with ferries! We took one to Bainbridge Island which has a lovely winery. One year, we almost planned a holiday taking in Olympic NP and Mt St Helens but it didn’t work out – we couldn’t get flights on the dates we needed or something. Another time!
    Anabel recently posted…W is for WilliamsburgMy Profile

    • That just gives you a perfect excuse to go back again Anabel! It’s always nice when you go somewhere and actually miss a few attractions because you then have a reason to head there again. I also think it would be pretty cool to take a cruise out of Seattle and head north to Alaska.

    • Michele, it really is one of the states that we have yet to discover that I am really excited about exploring. There is such a wonderful mixture of natural beauty and great attractions in Spokane and of course Seattle. Everyone that I know that has visited Seattle has returned with rave reviews on this location so we are really excited about heading there hopefully by the end of 2014.

      Plus of course it is one of the gateways to Canada and I think it would be really cool to do a road trip across the border to Vancouver.

  2. This post makes me really happy. This is my home state now, and I can’t see myself leaving it. The variety of outdoor choices is incredible. Most people think because Washington is the evergreen state that it rains all the time, but half of Washington is a desert after you pass the crests of the mountain ranges. If you ever make it to Seattle, you will have to let me know 🙂
    Angela recently posted…Mountaineering School – Knots, Knots, and Spire RockMy Profile

  3. Great post but then it is my home state. I lived there for over 30 hears and visit a couple times every year to see friends and family. You’ve definitely captured some of my favorite things to see and do in the state! I’ve taken that exact same picture of Seattle via the secret stairs in Queen Anne and even wrote a post about it… beautiful area and on a sunny day the scenery is unbeatable. The Cascade Loop is my favorite drive, hands down, and Winthrop is one of my favorite towns to visit. Be sure to check it out when you take this drive. Such a fun post to read; now I’m missing home! 🙂
    Daidri | Thee Getaway Gal recently posted…Venice: Rialto Market Photo EssayMy Profile

  4. Like Daidri, it is my home state, too!

    I grew up on the eastern side with its 4 distinct seasons, but then moved to the west coast & spent 5 years on an island with a population of 7!

    You’ve done a great job showing the variety of Washington State in this post. You’ve also made me quite homesick, but that is not always a bad thing! 🙂

    ~Tui Snider~ Dropping by from the A to Z challenge! 😀
    @TuiSnider on Twitter
    My blog: Tui Snider’s Offbeat & Overlooked Travel
    I am also part of the #StoryDam team, a friendly writing community!
    TuiSnider recently posted…X is for Xanthic Sky & RainbowMy Profile

  5. I’m a Washington State transplant from New England. We came here 8 years ago to get away from the cold, harsh winters. LOVE IT! looking forward to retirement so we can actually get around and see all the things you mentioned. Gail
    Gail recently posted…Y is for YOU!My Profile

  6. I am/was exactly as your opening paragraph said, until I went to Washington and realised the state around it is Maryland! And then one of our best friends started work in Seattle with Boeing and it all became clearer! Would love to visit this part of the states, is somewhere that I have heard good things about – a long flight, but sounds like real options to see and visit when you get there.
    anna parker recently posted…Lunching in the south downsMy Profile

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