When you're looking for a little bit of everything, Washington State is your place to go. It has everything from snow to sun, with activities for both people who love the great outdoors, and those who prefer to stay inside. This post will contain the top 15 places to visit in Washington State.
Olympic Game Farm
If you love animals, but would rather just stay in your car, then The Olympic Game Farm was made just for you. It is a drive-through wildlife exhibit, where animals come right up to your vehicle. The most exciting part is that you can feed the animals, they eat right out of your hand! It is fun for the entire family.
Located on the Olympic Peninsula in western Washington, the Hoh Rainforest is one of the largest temperate rainforests in the United States. It contains abundant wildlife and has beautiful trails for hikers. It is considered the ‘most well-preserved temperate rainforest’ and is home to some of Earth’s largest trees. And to add to the scenery, everything is elegantly draped with moss, giving it an enchanting look.
Museum of Flight
The Museum of Flight is an air and space museum, located in the Seattle area. The museum attracts over 500,000 visitors every year, and also serves more than 140,000 students annually through its many programs. It provides great resources for students as well. The museum is considered the ’largest independent air and space museum in the world’ and surrounds the original Boeing barn, where some of the world's first airplanes were made.
Seattle Great Wheel
Found on Pier 57, Elliot Bay, The Seattle Great Wheel is an intimidating yet fascinating sight. At 53 meters tall, it has the most irresistible view of the Great Pacific Ocean. It is a great experience, especially at night, when they turn on all of the lights, creating an amazing sight.
Lake Chelan is a narrow, 50.5-mile-long lake in Chelan County. It has a population of 5000, and you get to experience ‘the land of sunshine’. Swimming, fishing, and boating are all popular activities here. It has things for people of all ages. And it apparently is a favorite spot for wine enthusiasts.
Palouse Falls is a 200 feet high waterfall on the Palouse River. It has a breathtaking landscape, with beautiful, yet relatively hard, trails. The falls are accessible all year long, so you can see fresh spring rainwater, or the winter wonderland scenery. It has magnificent panoramic views as well.
Mount St. Helens
Mount St. Helens is an active stratovolcano located in Skamania County. It hosted some of the deadliest eruptions in the United States. Volcano watching and photographing is one of the most popular pastimes here. You could also tour the ape caves. But my favorite thing to do is to look up at the night sky and see the spectacular Milky Way galaxy.
Leavenworth is a small city based of a Bavarian village. With its adorable, small-town type design, delicious food, and cute little trinkets, it’s definitely a must see. It’s well known for its arts and culture, but Christmas there is really the best part.
Considered one of the most beautiful and exhilarating places in Washington, Ruby Beach is a beautiful place to go, especially during sunset. It’s a popular spot for ocean kayakers and tide pool explorers. Located on Highway 101, its nearby to other stunning beaches and beautiful scenery.
Pacific Science Center
Found in Seattle, the Pacific Science Center is an independent science center with a lot of fun activities. This includes the Butterfly Exhibit with over 400 butterflies to photograph. It has over 200 indoor and outdoor exhibits and two IMAX theaters. It also has a special laser show. It is a fun place for the whole family to go to, with a little bit for everyone.
Regarded as a prominent symbol of the Evergreen State, Mount Rainier is the 5th tallest mountain in the continental 48 states. It is located in the Cascade Range of the Pacific Northwest in Mount Rainier National Park. It has beautiful hikes, lakes, and waterfalls. People also enjoy camping, skiing, snowshoeing, and taking photos of the wildlife that can be found there.
Olympic National Park
Known for its mild rainforests and its hot springs, Olympic National Park has a diverse ecosystem. It’s family friendly, and there is always something for everybody, Pristine lakes, winding rivers, giant waterfalls, the majestic ocean, serene rainforests, snow-capped mountains, you name it. It is an attractive place due to its beaches, wildlife, nature, and is full of adventure.
Note: Some of the places I listed are in Olympic National Park, e.g., Ruby Beach. You could tour the National Park as a whole, or just visit specific destinations.
Pike Place Market
Located in central Seattle, Pike’s Place is a must go. Being one of the few authentic farmer’s markets in the US, it compels more than 85 farmers from the surrounding area, who bring their produce to the market every single day. With its delicious food, and amazing views, it attracts nine million tourists a year.
Chihuly Museum of Glass
Found in the heart of Seattle, the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum shows us inspirations that form the career of artist Dale Chihuly. Through the many rooms and outdoor gardens, you can have a full experience of Chihuly’s most important works. Open from 10:00 AM – 6:00 PM, visitors can have a full day or night experience, whether there’s sun or rain.
The Space Needle is an icon of Washington, and it's not hard to guess why. Starting from the bottom, where you can enjoy the gift shops full of colorful trinkets and working our way up to the 10-star rated view, there is no doubt, this is a must see. To top off the view, we have tilting glass walls on the open-air deck along with angled glass benches. But the most recent renovation is the multi-million dollar 'Loupe', the world’s one and only rotating glass floor.
As you can see, Washington has a variety of destinations. There are rainforests, oceans, rivers, lakes, museums, science centers, art galleries, beautiful architecture and more. There is an unimaginable list of places to go to, and I clearly didn't cover them all. These are just some of the most visited places in the Evergreen State.