From temperate rainforests to quaint seaside towns to cult classic movie sets, Washington has it all. Whether you’re visiting for the first time or you were born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, this state will continue to amaze you. Don’t know where to start? Here’s a list of all our favorite spots all across the state.
- Rattlesnake Ledge: A state park a little east of Seattle. There is a great little lake, and a 3-mile hike (round trip) will take you up to an amazing overlook at the top of a 300-ft cliff.
- Golden Gardens Park: Up in Ballard. An amazing city park with views of the Sound and Olympic Mountains. Bonfires allowed on the beach.
- Discovery Park: A former military base converted into a city park with some nice views of the Sound.
- Woodinville: A town NE of Seattle with a lot of wine tasting rooms. Not incredibly picturesque, but it has a ton of places to grab wine.
- Snohomish Valley: A picturesque rural valley running from Monroe to North Bend in the foothills of the Cascades east of Seattle.
- Leavenworth: A little piece of Bavaria in the Cascades. A bunch of faux-German buildings surrounded by amazing mountain scenery.
Read our guide to the North Cascades
- Pretty much anywhere in the park.
- Grove of the Patriarchs: GIANT old trees.
- Paradise: An easy place to get good hiking in BUT it gets crowded.
- Crystal Mountain: A ski resort right at the foot of Rainier.
- Highway 20: Iconic drive through the North Cascades, connecting the Methow Valley to the Puget Sound. It’s only open 7 to 8 months per year.
- Bellingham: A coastal city west of Mt Baker. The craft breweries, museums, and easy access to outdoor adventure might make you want to move here.
- Westport: What passes for a surf spot in WA. It is weather dependent and always cold. Bring your wetsuit!
- Astoria (technically Oregon): The Goonies was filmed here. Need we say more? Even though it is in OR, we let it count as WA in film.
- Cape Flattery: Up in the NW corner of the state. There are cliffs, sea stacks, and an end of the world feel.
- Hurricane Ridge: The main attraction in Olympic National Park.
- Hoh Rain Forest: The wettest place in the lower 48. A temperate rainforest full of enormous trees and some easy hikes.
- Salt Creek: A great hidden gem with tide pools, a crescent shaped beach and a nice sea stack or two.
- Forks: Not much to see here. Unless you like Twilight, in which case it's your town. Seriously, not much to see, but it is on the way to the Hoh Rainforest.
- Crescent Lake: A beautiful mountain lake with a super-scenic drive along the south side.
Read our Guide to the Olympic Peninsula
San Juan Islands / Salish Sea
- Orcas Island: The biggest of the San Juan Islands. There are several small hamlets, a couple mountains, and lots of amazing landscape.
- Chuckanut Drive: An amazing drive heading into Bellingham. Views of the Salish Sea from cliffs overlooking the sound.
- Edison: A quaint little town with a few good eating establishments surrounded by preserved farmland.
- La Conner: A little fishing village with all the antiques and shoppes you would expect along with a very picturesque waterfront.
- Deception Pass: A beautiful state park with an arch bridge over a super narrow pass. (The currents are wicked.) There are some great beaches to explore as well.
Read our guide to the San Juan Islands
- Methow Valley: A beautiful unspoiled valley east of the Cascades with quaint little towns like Winthrop and Twisp. Highway 20 is one of the iconic drives in WA.
- Lake Chelan: Picture an inland fjord. Only half of it is accessible by car. It is one mile wide, 55 miles long, and surrounded by mountains.
- Walla Walla: Palouse and Wineries: Beautiful rolling hills and the heart of WA wine country. It is a bit of a hike from Seattle.