When people are talking about Washington, the stereotype will generally lead you to think about the White House or the National Mall, both of which are in the nation’s capital city, Washington DC. However, what about the other Washington…namely, the state of Washington? After reading this post, I am convinced you will want to visit Washington state as much as you want to explore the history and culture in DC!
It’s no secret that the state of Washington lives in the shadow of the popular city but certainly has a wealth of reasons which should entice you to head across the country and explore for yourselves. Sarah Hughes from Live, Dream, Discover has taken time out of her busy schedule to share her thoughts on why this state should be on your radar.
At Live Dream Discover, we believe that the key to a good life is balanced living. Luckily for us, we spend a few months a year in one of the best states in America for achieving that balance. With the combination of exceptional food and wine, stunning natural beauty, endless options for physical activities and a vibrant music and cultural scene, Washington really has it all.
Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why you should want to visit Washington.
Nature Lover’s Wonderland
Washington is known as the evergreen state for good reason. With the abundance of rain and evergreen forests, much of the state is indeed green all year round. But that is not where the natural beauty ends.
Washington also boasts the Cascade Mountain range, the Pacific Ocean, the Olympic Mountains and Peninsula, a multitude of rivers and lakes and even rain forests and deserts. This diversity of climate, terrain and waterways allow plenty of wildlife along with an abundance of unique flora and fauna to thrive in the state of Washington.
Eden for Foodies
The coastal waterways of Washington state supply a fresh bounty of seafood like salmon, crab, and oysters while the orchards and farmlands provide fresh produce and organic meat and dairy products.
Combine this with the states love of good cuisine and you can find delicious local and international delights everywhere you go.
Locally Crafted Beer and Wine
Although avid local wine lovers are in the know, Washington is still somewhat of a hidden gem. But the fact is this state is second only to California in wine production in the US. With over 31,000 acres of vineyards, 600 wineries and a wine export to more than 40 countries, it should be on everyone’s radar.
Then there’s the Craft Beer. Washingtonians love their beer and the local breweries have responded by producing award winning brews. The number of microbreweries has also doubled in the past 5 years.
Unlimited Outdoor Adventure Activities
Because of the diverse terrain and climate, Washington State offers year-round outdoor activities and adventures galore. You can choose from skiing, snowboarding, surfing, climbing, hiking, kiteboarding, mountain biking, cycling, fishing, boating…I could go on and on.
But what makes Washington really special is that you can do all of this within a few hours or less from pretty much anywhere in the state. Yes, you can indeed sail in the morning and ski in the afternoon!
Home to Seattle
Probably the best know reason to visit Washington state is the iconic city of Seattle (frequently mistaken for being the capital of the state which is actually Olympia). The picturesque setting on the Puget Sound surrounded by water, mountains and evergreens may be reason enough to visit the Emerald City.
But there are countless other epic reasons. Seattle is a haven for foodies and coffee lovers, it has a rich musical and a music scene that continues to thrive today, it is an epicenter for festivals and cultural events and of course an abundance of outdoor activities.
Visit Washington – Our Thoughts
The state of Washington is an attractive destination for many reasons. The city of Seattle was the main reason we visited for the first time and it’s no surprise that we experienced the stereotypical weather we all love to associate with this part of the country – rain! But that’s all part of the experience and we did get to explore many of the city’s iconic attractions regardless of the inclement weather.
The Space Needle is an awesome landmark but it was perhaps the Seattle Aquarium that we were most impressed by. We can highly recommend the Seattle CityPASS which allows visitors the opportunity to experience the following 5 attractions for a much cheaper rate than purchasing admission tickets to each one individually.
- Space Needle (Two visits)
- Pacific Science Center or The Museum of Flight
- Seattle Aquarium
- Argosy Cruises Harbor Tour
- EMP Museum or Woodland Park Zoo
The food and breweries that Sarah has eloquently highlighted are a true credit to Washington and definitely provide an attractive reason to visit for the foodies out there.
Visiting Seattle enabled us to road trip north across the border to Vancouver, Canada so if you are planning a trip to the state of Washington, perhaps you should consider visiting British Columbia at the same time.
As you drive north, be sure to check out the amazing Boeing factory which is an attraction you won’t want to miss. Take a tour of the factory and learn about the history and future of aviation from the world’s largest manufacturer of planes. It really is a spectacular experience. When you see the size and magnitude of the plant where these planes are created, it just puts into perspective how awesome these planes are.
We also took a trip to the eastern side of the state when we visited the city of Spokane. The gorgeous Spokane Falls that run through the heart of the city are the main landmark here but again we sampled some fine cuisine, this time at O’Doherty’s Irish Grille.
Thanks to Sarah for highlighting so many breathtaking reasons that we should all be revisiting the state of Washington. If you haven’t explored the north-western corner of the United States, now is the time to place this on your radar.
Whether you are intrigued to explore the beautiful city of Seattle or perhaps you want to explore the inherent beauty of the Cascade Mountains including Mount Rainier, Washington has an abundance of attractive urban and rural landscapes waiting to be discovered.
Have you visited the state of Washington? What are your favorite attractions and landmarks in Washington?
I’m from Washington so even though the rest of the country thinks of Washington, DC when someone is talking about Washington, I always think of the state. In my mind, DC is an afterthought. I agree with all of these, especially the food. I have never had any better seafood in the United States. I could go on and on about how much I love Washington.
That’s funny – I don’t think of it as a nature destination but how little I know!! Wow!
I’ve only visited 19 out of 50 US States and, unfortunately, Washington isn’t one of them! However, it seems to be a great destination!
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Okay – I’m convinced. I love all the outdoor activities.
Washington definitely looks more beautiful here than it did when I visited my mom when she lived in Washington for a few years. She lived out on the east side of Washington which was plain, flat and ugly. I did get to see Seattle a little before I caught my one way flight to Europe! Wish I had had more time! #WeekendWanderlust
Not only have we never been to Washington, I knew very a little about it! We recently spent three months in the US and only managed to visit DC, rather than the state. Having read both yours and Sarah’s descriptions I am really looking forward to going to Washington one day. Seattle is on our list (embarrassingly due to Grey’s Anatomy) but I never imagined there was so much nature to see and adventurous activities to be done, not to mention the food/drink and Boeing factory. Thanks for a great post, opening our eyes and adding another destination to our ‘To Visit’ List. Love C and D x
Washington is awesome, you have really proven it in this post! Alongside great wine and beer, they also have a lot of cider (alcoholic and not) as well. I live just 45 minutes the north of Washington so am so glad to have such good access to this beautiful state.
Loving this article! When thinking about travelling in the US, me like most people would go to New York or LA. I for sure havent even thought about Washington and that’s why I’m so eager to read about all these unlikely places to travel, where I wouldn’t maybe normally consider going. I love mountains and would definitely want to hear more about hiking and walking in the mountains over there. Anyway, thank you for this post!
There’s so much to see and so much variety in Washington State. I love Bellingham, Spokane and the roads going east as much as the coastline cities.
We had the good fortune to live in Auburn, near Seattle, for four months while my husband was on contract with Boeing. That gave us a wonderful chance to explore the area around the Puget Sound and the Olympic Peninsula. The state was so beautiful that we were very tempted to buy a house, but then the contract ended and we moved back home to California. I really miss Mt. Rainier.
I have always wanted to visit Washington State and specifically Seattle… I’ll get there one day, and your post has increased my desire even more.
These are all great reasons to visit Washington. I live here, on an island, so I’d have to add a 6th reason–the San Juan Islands, and a 7th–its great small towns!
This is all true. It’s Beautiful, food is great, vibe is relaxed (more so than the East coast). It’s breathtaking in good weather – and there’s little to no humidity in the summer – August is the best time to visit.
On a practical note – Seattle is NOT the capital of Washington as your post states (“captial city…”). The capital of Washington is Olympia., a town south of Seattle.
Thanks so much for spotting that mistake on Seattle – I have fixed that!! We loved our visit to the state and look forward to returning hopefully in hte near future to explore more, particularly outside of the urban areas.