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Best Things To Do In Washington State

by Pankaj Upreti
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Things To Do In Washington State

Washington is a state in the Pacific northwest named after George Washington, the first president of the United States. This place is known to be one of the best places to live in the country. The state ranks high on employment and social liberty.

This state, also known as the Evergreen State, is especially well known for outdoor adventures. There are a lot of things to do in Washington state and many of them are outdoor activities such as hiking etc. The scenic areas of the state are gorgeous and offer some of the best views you will find in the entire country.

The cities here such as Port Angeles, Seattle and Olympia are great places to visit and to be at. Attractions such as the pike place market and the space needle in Seattle will give you some great photographs. You will also be able to find many park areas in the cities. Keep reading below to find out about the best things to do. Washington State is not going to disappoint you.

Olympic National Park

Outdoors in Washington State are known to be breathtaking, scenic and absolutely gorgeous.
Washington State | Photo Credit – Doug Kerr

Outdoors in Washington State are known to be breathtaking, scenic and absolutely gorgeous. This place has three national parks in the state of Washington one of which is the Olympic National Park. There are not many temperate rainforests in the United States and what makes Olympic National Park special is that it is home to the Hoh Rain Forest.

Other attractions here such as the Olympic Mountains and the Olympic Hot Springs. While you are here at the Olympic National Park, you can take the opportunity to hike, and walk on trails that lead to some of the most beautiful landscapes you can find.

There are lakes, ponds, rivers, mountains and waterfalls that remain camera ready for all time. Find the Hurricane Ridge while you are here, it is certainly going to be a worthwhile visit.

San Juan Islands

Sunset At San Juan Islands | Photo Credit – docentjoyce

The San Juan Islands are made up of four main islands and many small islands some of which are not accessible at all. There are a number of towns on the San Juan archipelago that you can make a day trip out of exploring. Some of the most visited attractions on the San Juan Islands are the Moran State Park on Orcas Island and Friday Harbor on San Juan Island.

Another attraction that the locals will recommend you while you are here is to sign up for one of the many whale watching tours. Here in the Pacific Northwest, whales can be found more than other areas and as such it is a great opportunity to enjoy while you are here.


Tacoma is a city that is the third largest in the state and is known for its museums and other stuff such as the Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium and the Tacoma Dome. The museums that you must visit on your trip to Tacoma are the Museum of Glass, the Tacoma Art Museum and the Washington State History Museum.

Another great attraction you should not miss out on is the Chihuly Bridge of Glass. In your travels around the evergreen state, you will find that visiting Tacoma is certainly going to be a great addition.

Mount Rainier National Park

Built around Mount Rainier, the tallest mountain in the pacific northwest, the Mount Rainier National Park is a great way to explore the natural wonders and beauty of Washington State.
Mount Rainier National Park | Photo Credit – Jonathan Miske

Built around Mount Rainier, the tallest mountain in the pacific northwest, the Mount Rainier National Park is a great way to explore the natural wonders and beauty of Washington State. The main attractions that you will find here are hiking and biking.

If you are here at the Mount Rainier National Park in winter, you can enjoy one of the best attractions in Washington that is snowboarding and skiing. The mountain is an attraction on its own, and it is possible for you to visit Mount Rainier without visiting the Mount Rainier National Park.

However, we highly recommend that you spend some time at the park as you will find it to be one of the most beautiful and serene places to be at.

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

Mount St. Helens | Photo Credit – Dennis Sylvester Hurd

Mount St. Helens erupted in the 1980s and following which a monument was established in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest. Mount St Helens National Volcanic Monument has since been created to serve as an educational experience, and offers travelers the opportunity to explore and learn more about the area.

There are a number of trails in the mount St Helens area that you can use for hiking and mountain biking, and if you are here in the winter, then you can enjoy cross country skiing and snowmobiling.

The center or monument provides information about how the surrounding ecosystem as adapted to the changes made by the volcanic eruption and as such is a great place to learn about the natural wonders of the world.

Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest

The Cascade Mountains are home to this forest that is extremely well known for its natural beauty. One of the best attractions in Washington, this place is one of the most visited national forests in the country. The Mount Baker Snoqualmie National Forest is quite huge, running around 140 miles from the state’s border with Canada at the north Cascades to the Mount Rainier National Park.

You will be able to find a lot of landforms here from glaciers to meadows to absolutely stunning forests. Mount Baker is a really great place to be at and is certainly one that should be on your list of places to visit while you are in the state of Washington.

Lake Chelan

Lake Chelan | Photo Credit – paweesit

One of the best things to see in the state of Washington, Lake Chelan can be found in the North Cascades National Park. In 1968, the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area was created. Lake Chelan is a very popular destination among tourists. The lake is the third deepest lake in the US and offers a number of outdoor activities as part of its recreation activities.

From swimming, boating, canoeing and more, visitors can even visit a nearby water park that is known as Slidewaters. The North Cascades National Park, where Lake Chelan is located is another attraction that offers stunning sights to see and great things to do. More about the North Cascades in the next item of our list.

The North Cascades National Park

For the best in camping, hiking and rock climbing, you should certainly come to the North Cascades National Park when you are touring the state of Washington. Few of the top attractions in the park are Ross Lake, Lake Chelan and Thunder Creek Trail.

You can not only camp out on your own and enjoy the great sights to see and more here, but you can also visit Stehekin, which is a getaway community that allows you to completely dive into nature with no cell reception and limited supplies. Visiting the North Cascades can be a really great experience in your travels.

Snoqualie Falls

Waterfall | Photo Credit – Sean O’Neill

This is a very famous and one of the most visited locations in the country. The Snoqualie Falls receive over one and a half million visitors each year and are known to be over a hundred feet taller than Niagara Falls. The area surrounding the falls has been adapted to suit touring people by creating observation points and hiking trails.

The waterfall is a well known hotspot for adrenaline junkies, many of whom come here to parachute down the canyon and to engage in tightrope walking. However, if you are a normal tourist you is just here to see some pretty sights, you are certainly not going to be disappointed.

Diablo Lake

Diablo Lake can be found near the North Cascades National park and is known to be one of the greatest places for hikers and adventure seekers in Washington State.
Diablo Lake | Photo Credit – Sean O’Neill

Diablo Lake can be found near the North Cascades National park and is known to be one of the greatest places for hikers and adventure seekers. Even with Washington being something of a haven for outdoor sports and hiking enthusiasts, Diablo Lake is certainly the creme de la creme.

The Diablo Lake features a host of activities for its visitors, from kayaking, hiking trails, sights to see and more. One of the top noted attraction about Diablo Lake is the color of its waters, that is a milky hue which is the result of the sun rays interacting with suspended glacial particles.

The most surprising part about Diablo Lake is that is it not a natural wonder but in fact, man made. You should certainly make it a point to come and see the awesome attraction that is Diablo Lake and also take in the breathtaking beauty of the surrounding forests, mountains and fishes in the lake.


The largest city here, Seattle is one of the most well known and most visited cities here. It hosted the World Fair in 1962. Things to do in Seattle include visiting the Seattle Center which houses the space needle, the Pike Place Market and the Chihuly Garden and Glass.

Visiting the Space needle and the pike place market can be really fun filled activities. There is a lot more to do while in Seattle, so much so that the next few items on this list will deal exclusively with stuff to do in Seattle.

Fremont Troll

Fremont Troll | Photo Credit – David Herrera

Find the Fremont Troll under the Aurora Bridge in Seattle. This sculpture was created by an artist named Steve Badanes in order to transform a barren area into an attraction.

Make of it what you will, it will certainly catch your eye as it is the sculpture of a troll clutching a Volkswagen Beetle. This attraction has been featured in many films and shows, most notable being Sleepless in Seattle.

Elliott Bay Book Company

For all you bibliophiles out there, the Elliott Bay Book Company is a store featuring 150000 books founded in 1973 by Walter Carr. The Website exclaims that you would “come for the books, stay for the experience”.

How To Cook A Wolf

This is a really great restaurant featuring the simplest ingredients they can find and transforming them into the most awesome dishes you will eat.

Find this restaurant in Seattle and enjoy their delectable prawns with the most awesome sounding side ingredients such as tomatoes, basil, ricotta cheese, and fig tarts.

Vashon Island

Vashon Island | Photo Credit – Joe Wolf

If you find yourself in Seattle, then you will be able to truly grasp the plethora of things to do here. Many of these things would include taking day trips outside the city. One of the top day trips from Seattle is a ferry to Vashon Island.

This island is a top attraction and offers many things to do while you remain close by to Seattle. The island offers a relaxed life far away from the bustle of the city. You can enjoy and relax at the beach as the island has a huge shoreline.

Columbia River Gorge

The Columbia River Gorge is a canyon dividing the states of Oregon and Washington. The canyon is a major tourist attraction. You can take some time to visit the Colombia River and take a look at the Canyon rising and falling through huge heights.

Coulee Corridor

The desert region of Washington State is home to the scenic Coulee Corridor National Scenic Byway.
Coulee Corridor | Photo Credit – Governor Jay & First Lady Trudi Inslee

The desert region of Washington State is home to the scenic Coulee Corridor National Scenic Byway. The Grand Coulee Dam provides hydroelectric power to much of the state’s cities and towns. There are many areas nearby that are really worth visiting such as the Columbia National Wildlife Refuge.

The sights to see at the Coulee Corridor are really breathtaking and you should certainly make it a point to come here during your travels.

Washington State Capitol Building

One of the top attractions in Olympia, the Capitol Building is not only beautiful but also has a rich history. Having the tallest masonry dome in North America, the building was built with an investment of over 7 million dollars.

Once you find yourself here, you can sign up for tours and see up close the many attractions that are featured inside the building such as the Tiffany chandelier and the sculptures.


The city is quite well planned and features a number of attractions such as park areas in Washington State.
Olympia | Photo Credit – Stephen Colebourne

The capital is certainly a worthwhile visit even though it is usually not on most traveler’s itinerary. The city is quite well planned and features a number of attractions such as park areas, the harbor and most of all, a very welcoming local population.

The most significant thing about Olympia is that it features a hell of a lot of park areas compared to its population. Our recommendation while you are here is to visit the Percival Landing waterfront park and the harbor.


Bellingham is a city that is quite close to the Canadian border. Featuring beautiful and rather scenic sights, the city of Bellingham is a great place to spend a few days in solitude.

Find Mount Baker nearby as well as the entire city is covered in beautiful evergreen trees. Things to do while you are here are visiting the SPARK Museum of Electrical Invention and the Whatcom Museum.


Being a tourist town, Leavenworth is home to welcoming locals that will make your stay here something to remember in Washington State.
Leavenworth | Photo Credit – Daniel Arauz

Earlier being a town central to the lumber industry, Leavenworth has since become a tourist town after the decline of the mills and industries in the area. Known for its beautiful hotspots and the famous Nutcracker Museum and the Christmas Lighting Festival.

As it would seem, Leavenworth is particularly great for a winter vacation. The town features beautiful sights and offers many attractions for you to do while you visit. Being a tourist town, Leavenworth is home to welcoming locals that will make your stay here something to remember.

Washington State Ferries

The best part about the ferry rides is not only the ferries themselves but also the scenic views that you will be treated to once you opt for this attraction. Puget Sound is the place where the ferries will take you and you can catch some of the most awesome views of land and sea.

Puget Sound will offer you views that are just not possible from anywhere else. Check out the great Cascades and the gorgeous Olympic Mountain range, and the awesome Seattle Skyline. You can even get to see Orca Whales while you are in the middle of Puget Sound upon the ferry. Keep your camera ready.

Boeing Tour

This place in Washington State is a really great attraction and especially the place to be for flight enthusiasts.
Boeing Tour | Photo Credit – Dan Nevill

The worlds largest building by volume is the Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour. This place is a really great attraction and especially the place to be for flight enthusiasts.

You can watch the assembly of 747, 777, and 787 Dreamliner airplanes. More attractions here are the Aerospace Gallery and Strato Deck. Book early and online as the tickets tend to run out quickly.

Port Angeles

The city of Port Angeles lies right outside the Olympic National Park and features gorgeous views and is also the starting point of the Olympic Discovery Trail.

Find the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Canadian city of Victoria that is just on the other side. Visiting Port Angeles can be the top attraction of your trip. Make it worth.


Spokane | Photo Credit – Bureau of Land Manageme

If you are lucky, then you might arrive in Spokane in time for the World’s Fair. Spokane is also the second largest city in the state. Check out the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture while you are here amid other attractions such as the Spokane falls and more.

The Riverfront Park is another great attraction filled not only with great scenery but also a cable car and a very famous sculpture walk.

What Is In Washington State?

There are a number of cities to visit while you are here. Apart from the things to do while in towns, many of the locations are outdoors such as national parks, rivers, waterfalls, islands and more. The state is known to be a cultural hotspot and as such there are many landmarks here along with museums and more.

Cities such as Seattle and Vancouver are known as the crowing jewels of the eastern seaboard and are a must visit when you embark on your tour to Washington.

What Is Washington State Known For?

Washington is known for being the number one producer of apples, pears, and red raspberries in the country. It has over 1000 dams and features many rivers and natural wonders. There are over 40000 miles of rivers and more than 8000 lakes in the state.

The cities of Washington are known to be very people friendly and is one of the locations with the most social liberty in the United States.

Why Visit Washington?

There are many reasons that you can pick to justify your vacation to Washington state. You might ask what is there to do near me? Visiting places include the state’s many natural wonders such as waterfalls and mountains and visiting it can be a great experience for a traveler who enjoys the outdoors. The coastline of Washington is quite large and consequently has a lot of beaches.

There are many outdoor activities that you can find to do in Washington as well. Another well known fact about Washington is that marijuana is legal here. From alcohol to desserts, there is a lot for you waiting in Washington. National parks, Islands, and whale watching are some of the more reasons you can find to visit Washington.

This was our article about the best things to do in Washington State. If you liked it then please let us know your thoughts in the comments below. If you have been to Washington and would like to share your experiences in the state then please use the comment section of this article to share.

In light of COVID 19 Pandemic, you should be sure to maintain proper social distancing and have a standard of personal hygiene. Given that most of the attractions and things to do in the State of Washington are outdoors, you can place a safe bet on the state to be one of the top destinations during this time.

Even while in the cities, if you take proper precautions, there is no reason that your trip sh0uld be any less fun. Be safe and enjoy your travels.

Please also read about things to do in Indianapolis.

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