Often referred to as Washington State so as to distinguish it from the nation’s capital D.C., the phenomenal Pacific Northwest territory is home to lots of rugged coastline, rearing mountains and vast forests. Besides its ample natural riches and untouched wilderness, it has a number of vibrant cities such as Seattle and Spokane for visitors to check out while sleepy seaside towns, interesting historic sights, and glittering glaciers are tucked away here and there.
Named after George Washington, the first US president, it lies right in the northwestern corner of the country bordered by Oregon and Idaho with Canada and nearby Vancouver lying to the north. Defining the state is the craggy Cascade Range which bisects its landmass and runs from north to south. While the wetter western side is home to pristine forests and a long Pacific Ocean coastline, the drier eastern half encompasses agricultural areas, steppes, and small patches of arid desert.
For many visitors to the Evergreen State the first port of call is of course Seattle which is set in an absolutely stupendous spot on an isthmus with snowcapped mountains rising up behind its soaring skyline. Known for its lively yet laidback atmosphere, its alternative scene and delightfully diverse neighborhoods, the Emerald City boasts everything from excellent coffee shops and microbreweries to fantastic parks, museums, and the iconic Space Needle.
After having checked out the massive metropolis’ many sights, the main cities to visit are Spokane for its delightful Riverfront Park and Olympia, the capital, for its scenic setting, youthful vibe, and happening music scene. Many people also come to try Washington’s wonderful wineries or venture along the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.
While its cities certainly have a lot to offer, the state’s incredibly diverse landscapes, scenery and nature are not to be missed out on. Aside from hiking about the volcanoes of Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier, the most prominent peak of the lower 48 states, visitors can explore vast forests, see glinting glaciers in North Cascades National Park, or enjoy watersports and whale watching amidst the San Juan Islands. In addition, the wild and rugged Washington Coast is also well worth visiting with charming towns, windswept beaches, and untouched nature spots dotted the whole way along.