Are you planning a trip to Washington State and wondering what to do there? Washington is a vibrant and diverse state with an abundance of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. From natural wonders to cultural experiences, there is something for everyone in the Evergreen State. In this article, we will explore some of the best things to do in Washington State that you should not miss.
Washington is a state known for its breathtaking landscapes, bustling cities, and rich cultural heritage. Whether you are an outdoor enthusiast, an art lover, or a foodie, this state has something to offer. Let’s dive into some of the best things to do in Washington State.
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Explore the Beauty of Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier National Park is a must-visit destination for nature lovers. The majestic Mount Rainier dominates the landscape and offers a range of activities such as hiking, camping, and wildlife spotting. You can:
- Explore the trails, marvel at the wildflowers, and witness the awe-inspiring glaciers.
- Visit the Paradise area, which is famous for its views of the mountain and its meadows.
- Enjoy a scenic drive along Sunrise Road, which leads to the highest point in the park which is accessible by car.
- Learn more about the history and ecology of the park at one of the visitor centers or ranger stations.
Visit the Iconic Space Needle in Seattle
No visit to Washington State would be complete without a trip to the Space Needle in Seattle. This iconic structure offers panoramic views of the city skyline and the surrounding mountains. You can:
- Enjoy a meal at the revolving restaurant or take a thrilling ride on the glass elevator to the observation deck.
- Experience The Loupe, which is the world’s first rotating glass floor that gives you a 360-degree view of Seattle from 500 feet above ground.
- Check out The Oculus Stairs, which connect the upper and lower levels of the observation deck with a stunning glass design.
- Learn more about the history and engineering of the Space Needle at one of the interactive exhibits or digital kiosks.
Discover the Charming City of Spokane
Spokane, located in eastern Washington, is a hidden gem worth exploring. This vibrant city is known for its beautiful parks, riverfront attractions, and rich history. You can:
- Visit Riverfront Park, which is home to the Spokane Falls, the Looff Carousel, and the SkyRide gondola.
- Explore the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, which features exhibits on the region’s art, history, and culture.
- Take a stroll along the Spokane River, which runs through the heart of the city and offers scenic views and trails.
- Enjoy the nightlife, dining, and shopping options in the downtown area or the historic Browne’s Addition neighborhood.
Take a Scenic Drive Along the Olympic Peninsula
The Olympic Peninsula is a breathtaking region filled with stunning coastal landscapes, ancient rainforests, and picturesque towns. You can:
- Take a scenic drive along Highway 101 and explore destinations like Olympic National Park, Ruby Beach, and the charming town of Port Townsend.
- Visit the Hoh Rain Forest, which is one of the largest temperate rainforests in the world and home to diverse plants and animals.
- Explore Hurricane Ridge, which offers spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.
- Enjoy the local culture and cuisine at one of the many festivals, farmers’ markets, or restaurants that the peninsula has to offer.
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Immerse Yourself in Art at the Seattle Art Museum
Art enthusiasts should not miss the opportunity to visit the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). This world-class museum features a diverse collection of artworks from around the globe. You can:
- Admire masterpieces ranging from ancient artifacts to contemporary installations and sculptures.
- Explore the special exhibitions that showcase different themes, cultures, and artists.
- Visit the Olympic Sculpture Park, which is an outdoor extension of the museum that displays large-scale sculptures along the waterfront.
- Participate in one of the many programs and events that the museum offers, such as lectures, tours, workshops, and performances.
Experience the Thriving Music Scene in Olympia
Olympia, the capital city of Washington, is known for its vibrant music scene. You can catch a live performance at one of the local venues, such as:
- The Capitol Theater is a historic theater that hosts indie rock, punk, and folk shows.
- Rhythm & Rye is a cozy bar that features live music from blues, jazz, and Americana artists.
- Le Voyeur is a quirky cafe and lounge that showcases local and touring bands of various genres.
You can also immerse yourself in the energy and creativity of the local musicians and bands by visiting record stores, music festivals, and open mic nights.
Go Wine Tasting in the Yakima Valley
The Yakima Valley is Washington’s premier wine region, offering picturesque vineyards and award-winning wineries. You can:
- Embark on a wine-tasting tour and sample a variety of wines, including the region’s famous Riesling and Cabernet Sauvignon.
- Learn about the history and production of wine from the friendly and knowledgeable staff at each winery.
- Savor the delicious local cuisine that pairs perfectly with the wines at one of the many restaurants or cafes in the valley.
- Enjoy the scenic views of the rolling hills, orchards, and farms that make up the valley.
Learn About Native American Culture at the Makah Cultural and Research Center
The Makah Cultural and Research Center is a museum and research facility that preserves and showcases the culture and history of the Makah group. You can:
- View over 300 artifacts that were recovered from an ancient Makah village that was buried by a mudslide 500 years ago.
- Learn about Makah’s traditions, beliefs, and way of life through exhibits, videos, and guided tours.
- Experience the Makah’s art and craftsmanship through their basketry, carving, weaving, and painting.
- Visit the replica longhouse and canoe that demonstrate how the Makah lived and traveled.
Enjoy Outdoor Adventures in the North Cascades National Park
The North Cascades National Park is a paradise for outdoor lovers. The park boasts some of the most rugged and spectacular mountain scenery in North America. You can:
- Hike on one of the many trails that offer stunning views of glaciers, lakes, waterfalls, and forests.
- Camp at one of the designated campgrounds or backcountry sites and enjoy the solitude and starry skies.
- Kayak or canoe on one of the serene lakes or rivers that flow through the park.
- Spot wildlife such as bears, deer, eagles, and mountain goats.
Stroll Through the Gorgeous Bellevue Botanical Garden
The Bellevue Botanical Garden is a 53-acre oasis of beauty and tranquility in the heart of Bellevue. You can:
- Stroll through the various gardens that showcase different plants, flowers, and landscapes from around the world.
- Admire the art installations that add color and whimsy to the garden.
- Relax on one of the benches or picnic areas and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere.
- Join one of the free guided tours or educational programs that are offered throughout the year.
Discover the Historic Pike Place Market in Seattle
Pike Place Market is one of the oldest and most famous public markets in the country, attracting millions of visitors every year. Located in downtown Seattle, the market is a bustling hub of vendors, shops, restaurants, and entertainment. You can:
- Find fresh produce, seafood, flowers, crafts, antiques, books, and more at the market stalls, or sample some of the local specialties like coffee, cheese, donuts, or clam chowder at the eateries.
- Watch the famous fishmongers toss their catch at the fish market, or visit some of the hidden gems like the gum wall, the first Starbucks store, or the giant piggy bank.
- Enjoy the street performers, musicians, and artists that add to the lively atmosphere of the market.
Explore the Museum of Glass in Tacoma things to do in Washington
The Museum of Glass is a unique and innovative museum that celebrates the art and science of glass. You can:
- Watch the glassblowers create stunning works of art at the Hot Shop, which is housed in a 90-foot cone-shaped building.
- Browse the galleries that display a variety of glass artworks from local and international artists.
- Walk across the Chihuly Bridge of Glass, which is a 500-foot pedestrian bridge that connects the museum to downtown Tacoma and features glass sculptures by Dale Chihuly.
- Participate in one of the hands-on activities or workshops that the museum offers for visitors of all ages and skill levels.
Relax at the Stunning San Juan Islands
The San Juan Islands are a group of islands that lie between Washington and British Columbia, Canada. They are known for their natural beauty, wildlife, and charm. You can:
- Take a ferry or a seaplane to reach one of the four main islands: San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, or Shaw.
- Enjoy the scenic views of the water, mountains, and forests that surround the islands.
- Spot whales, dolphins, seals, otters, and birds on a whale watching or wildlife tour.
- Explore the quaint towns, shops, galleries, and restaurants that each island has to offer.
Marvel at the Beauty of the Palouse Falls State Park
The Palouse Falls State Park is a state park that features one of the most impressive waterfalls in Washington. The Palouse Falls drops 198 feet into a deep canyon carved by ancient floods. You can:
- Hike on one of the trails that lead to different viewpoints of the falls and the canyon.
- Picnic at one of the tables or shelters that overlook the falls.
- Camp at one of the basic campsites that are available on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Learn about the geology and history of the park at one of the interpretive signs or displays.
FAQS About things to do in Washington
What are the best places to stay in Washington State?
The best places to stay in Washington State are Inn at the Market, Oxford Suites Spokane, Cedarbrook Lodge, Mountain Home Lodge, and Snug Harbor Resort & Marina.
What are the best day trips from Seattle?
One of the best day trips from Seattle is Leavenworth, Snoqualmie Falls, Bainbridge Island, Mount Rainier National Park, and Whidbey Island.
What are the best cultural attractions in Washington State?
Some of the best cultural attractions in Washington State are the Museum of Glass, the Makah Cultural and Research Center, the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, and the Experience Music Project.
What are the best places to visit with kids in Washington State?
Some of the best places to visit with kids in Washington State are the Woodland Park Zoo, the Pacific Science Center, the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, the Leavenworth Reindeer Farm, and the Great Wolf Lodge.
How do I get to Mount Rainier National Park?
To reach Mount Rainier National Park, you can drive from Seattle or take a guided tour that includes transportation. The park is approximately two hours away from Seattle by car.
Are pets allowed at Olympic National Park?
Pets are allowed in certain areas of Olympic National Park, but they must be on a leash at all times. Make sure to check the park’s guidelines regarding pets before your visit.
Can I visit Pike Place Market on weekends?
Yes, Pike Place Market is open seven days a week. However, it can