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Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Washington State

Best Places to Visit in Washington State

The natural world in Washington State is larger than life. The state is full of extinct volcanoes, lush rainforests, and islands full of attractions. Surrounding these lush landscapes are cities large and small, brimming with cultural appeal.

Washington State attracts millions of tourists each year. These visitors and potential transfers land in the state for a variety of reasons. For those who haven’t yet discovered the Evergreen State’s immense appeal, from world-class adventures to one-of-a-kind music and arts scene, there’s never been a better time to learn what makes Washington so special.

Fun activities and exciting attractions can be found all over Washington, including in cities like the state’s drier eastern city of Spokane. A trip to Washington is never enough, and even years of living cannot explore the state’s full glory. Have a look at our list of the Best Places to Visit in Washington State and make your trip enjoyable.

10 Best Places to Visit in Washington State

Let’s explore the top 10 Most Beautiful and Best Places to Visit in Washington State:

1. San Juan Islands

The San Juan Islands are located north of Puget Sound, near the northwest of the mainland. These are a collection of 174 islands, the four of which are easily accessible by ferry. The four islands are San Juan Island, Orca Island, Lopez Island, and Shaw Island. The county seat and most populous city, Friday Harbor, is located on San Juan Island and is often the starting point for larger adventures.

Each main island has galleries, seafood restaurants, and parks, including the San Juan Island National Historical Park. The historic park contains an English and American campground dating back to the mid-1800s. Here, the park details life in the camp and the conflict known as the Clash of Pigs.

Popular destinations within the San Juan Islands include Friday Harbor, East Sound, and Moran State Park, where visitors will find one of the best campgrounds in Washington. Popular activities on the San Juan Islands include sea kayaking, whale watching and local food.

2. Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier is an iconic Washington landmark that can be seen for miles in all directions. It is the state’s highest peak (14,410 feet) and is within sight of Seattle, and the mountain itself is at the heart of the national park of the same name.

Two areas that are particularly striking include the park’s Sunrise and Paradise areas. The road to paradise is open year-round, weather permitting, and visitors can reach high altitudes for hiking in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter. The Sunrise area on the west side of the park lives up to its name and is well worth going to before dawn.

In addition to the Wonderland Trail around the mountains, other hiking trails in Mount Rainier National Park explore alpine meadows, giant waterfalls, and ancient forests. The Cross Country Pacific Crest Trail also crosses the park’s boundaries.

The four-car campground is Rainier’s best campground. Visitors can also find other places to pitch a tent or park their caravan in the national forests surrounding the park.

Other attractions are close to the park, including the Northwest Trek Safari Park in Eatonville and the Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad in the town of Elbe.

3. Leavenworth

After the town of Leavenworth experienced a post-registration boom, city leaders gathered and decided to change the town’s image. Today, the town of Leavenworth proudly acknowledges that it is a Bavarian village, and its residents often wear leather pants or play alba in alphorns.

In addition to the Bavarian theme of this tourist city, there are also various annual festivals. The annual Festival of Christmas Lights is perhaps the busiest, with streets turning into a surreal snowball scene at night.
Outdoor recreation is also Leavenworth’s main attraction. The rugged Cascade Mountains turn the city to the west, with iconic destinations nearby such as Icicle Canyon and Alpine Lake Wilderness. These mountain playgrounds include some of Leavenworth’s best hiking trails, including the world-famous Enchantments Thru-Hike.

4. North Cascades National Park

North Falls is one of the most pristine areas in the United States. The national parks surrounding these mountains appeal to anglers, hikers and nature lovers. To the north, the park borders the Canadian province of British Columbia.

A drive through the park on the North Cascades Scenic Byway offers some spectacular views. Highlights of the tour include the Washington Pass views, the aquamarine waters of Ross Lake, and the western-style town of Winthrop in the Messo Valley.

Lake Chelan National Recreation Area is adjacent to the southern edge of the national park and is one of the deepest lakes in the country. It also provides a stunning backdrop for the mountain town of Stehekin (accessible only by foot, boat or seaplane).

Most hiking opportunities in North Falls are steep, but some of the best hikes in the area also include family-friendly hikes and stunning mountain views. For other family-friendly adventures in North Falls, head to the North Falls Institute in the park. This not-for-profit institution offers educational opportunities and overnight visits.

5. Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is full of unique landscapes, from beaches to glacial peaks. The park covers most of the Olympic Peninsula, and the path simply circles the park and never passes through the mountainous center of the park. While car tours are fun, the best way to experience the Olympics is on foot.

Iconic coastal areas such as Ruby and Rialto Beach define the park’s rugged western edge. This stunning stretch of Washington’s coastline is just a short drive from the enormous trees and abundant vegetation of the Cocoa Rainforest. Other popular attractions in the park include the snow-capped peaks of Hurricane Ridge and the pleasant waters of Sol Duc Hot Springs.

Hiking trails in Olympic National Park pass through many different landscapes, including Moss Hall and the family-friendly Marymere Falls. The Cocoa River Trail is an absolute must for all ages. This lush hiking trail explores the rainforest and river corridors with 13 miles of straight trails before ascending to the flank glaciers of the blue glacier on Mount Olympus.

As a great place to spend the night, the campgrounds in Olympic National Park bring visitors closer to the breathtaking scenery this Wild West region of Washington has to offer.

Official website:

6. Seattle Center and Space Needle

Among Seattle’s top tourist attractions, the Space Needle inside Seattle Center is probably the most iconic. It was built for the 1962 World’s Fair and is now the centerpiece of the sprawling Seattle Center. The revolving observation deck is surrounded by some of the city’s most iconic attractions, including some of Seattle’s best museums.

In addition to the Space Needle, Seattle Center’s 74-acre campus is home to a monorail, parks, museums and restaurants. Indoor sightseeing options include the stained glass artwork at Chihuly Garden and Glass and the Pop Culture Museum designed by Frank O. Gehry.

Other interesting things to check out at Seattle Center include numerous art installations, a variety of theater and stage accommodations, and multiple gardens and fountain settings, and the campus is a great place to take a stroll outside on any sunny day in Seattle.

Official website:

7. Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

On May 18, 1980, St. Helens erupted, it lowered the summit 1300 feet and flattened most of the surrounding area. An ash cloud rose 13 miles. Nearly 150 square miles of forest were destroyed, houses filled with water and mud, and 57 people died.

The view of Mount St Helens still bounces back from the big event today. Today, visitors to St. We encourage you to learn more about the geological processes going on at Mount Helens National Volcanic Monument.

One of the most popular places to observe and learn about the mountain is the Johnston Ridge Observatory at the end of Spirit Lake Highway (SR 504). This unique visitor center provides more information on the history of the eruption and St. Helens is the starting point for many of the best hiking trails.
st. The adventure checklist for Mount Helens is to walk/climb the remaining crater. This hard work is usually accomplished from the start of the climber’s camping trail on the south side of the mountain. Mount St. Permission is required for any attempt to summit Helens.

Official website:

8. Port Angeles

The town of Port Angeles is located on the northern shore of the Olympic Peninsula, across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The area is known for numerous outdoor activities such as hiking, biking, golf, boating, canoeing, fishing, bird watching, and more.

Port Angeles is also the gateway to Olympic National Park, including nearby areas like Hurricane Ridge. In this mountain retreat, hiking trails run from the visitor center to spring wildflower meadows.

At sea level in Port Angeles, the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center presents its ever-changing Northwest exhibits at the Semicircle Hilltop Gallery. On the expansive grounds, visitors will find an unwalled museum with over 100 sculptures on display along country roads.

Port Angeles is also home to many world-class hotels, restaurants, and a waterfront downtown. It is also the departure point for ferries to Victoria, Canada.

9. Riverfront Park, Spokane

Eastern Washington is significantly different from the western part of the state. The weather is quite sunny; Farmland covers most of the landscape, and most of the area is less densely populated, except for the main cultural hub of Spokane, Washington State’s second largest city.

The crown jewel of Spokane’s attractions is the famous Riverfront Park. To coincide with the 1974 World’s Fair, the sprawling park received a major revival. Today, it is filled with community attractions, including a hand-carved carousel from 1909. The Spokane River also runs through the area, and there are several spots overlooking the waterfall.

Other Spokane attractions include gardens, parks, and museums. For the more adventurous, the city offers a variety of outdoor playgrounds, including a large riverside park. Nearby Mount Spokane also offers skiing and year-round adventure activities.

10. Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest

The Baker-Snoqualmie Mountain National Forest stretches along the slopes of the Cascade Mountains and is surrounded by North Cascade National Park to the south and the Canadian border to the north. Extensive recreational opportunities include numerous hiking trails, jungle cabin rentals, mountain climbing, and one of the best ski resorts in Washington state.

On Mount Baker Highway (SR 542), Glacier Township is the closest base camp to the summit. This very small town offers limited tourist facilities such as restaurants and accommodation. At the end of the highway, the stunning Hilltop Artist Point area offers breathtaking views of Mount Baker and Mount Shuksan. Here, several hiking trails offer beautiful views of the two mountain peaks.


Hope you like our choice of the best places to visit in Washington State. If you think there are some more beautiful places to visit in Washington State, we should cover them. Write us below in the comment box.

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