The Best Places to Visit in Washington State

Home to three national parks with majestic waterfalls and lush forests, Washington is a land of natural beauty. It’s the perfect place for travellers who want to explore nature, take up fun outdoor adventures, and soak up stunning landscape views.  Here are some of the best places to visit in Washington State.

Snoqualmie Falls

Washington State has many magnificent waterfalls, and Snoqualmie Falls is the most popular. It’s 268 feet tall and visited by more than 1.5 million visitors yearly. Aside from marvelling at the gorgeous waterfalls through its observation decks, there are many other fun activities to enjoy at Snoqualmie Falls.

One of the best things to do when visiting Snoqualmie Falls is to stop by the Salish Lodge and order a delicious brunch. They are famous for their pancakes and have a pancake mix that you can purchase online. When you’re ready to explore, start by taking a short hike at the base of the falls and then hike towards the observation deck, where you can enjoy the magnificent views of Snoqualmie Falls. There’s also a trail connecting the upper and lower observation points, which you can tackle if you don’t mind going for a bit of a climb. You will find a boardwalk at the lower observation point, surrounded by stunning views, and follows the river into the lush forests. 

The most popular area to admire the view of Snoqualmie Falls is from the upper observation deck. It’s only a short walk from Salish Lodge. From here, you will have an unobstructed view of the magnificent waterfalls. It’s also possible to view the falls without the need to hike.

Greenwater

Greenwater is the gateway to Mt. Rainier and the Crystal Mountain Ski Area, two of Washington’s most popular attractions. Some of the best cycling trails in Washington State are also in the area. In addition, Greenwater is home to the White River, which runs the length of Highway 410, and is a popular spot for fishing and kayaking. If you’re visiting Washington State to take up outdoor adventures, Greenwater is an ideal place.

Greenwater is a popular hiking spot, especially if you’re here to visit Mount Rainier National Park. The most popular trail is the one that takes you to the Lost Lakes. During the first part of the hike, the beautiful Greenwater River will be your companion, snaking through the lush forest on a quiet path. Watch out for the deer and elk that have called the area their home as you hike.

While most visitors would use Greenwater as a jumping-off point for exploring Mount Rainier, you will find many other sights worth exploring in the area. It’s also home to the Crystal Mountain Resort and Mowich Lake. On your way to the Crystal Mountain Ski Area, check out the stretch of shops and restaurants along the street.

Whidbey Island

Located north of Seattle, Whidbey is a gorgeous island with rugged terrains spanning beaches, hills, and farmlands. As Washington’s largest island, Whidbey offers plenty of fun things to enjoy. This is also a favoured spot in Washington for glamping and cabin holidays, a great place to go for the whole family. And although it’s near major metropolitan areas, the island maintains a laidback appeal.

Whidbey is home to one of the country’s biggest historic districts and the only National Historic Reserve. Established in 1978, Ebey’s Landing National Historical Reserve protects more than 17,500 acres of the island and has a significant cultural value. It’s a great place to enjoy scenic hikes and other fun activities like camping and fishing. The Deception Pass State Park is another place worth visiting in Whidbey. It’s one of the best state parks in Washington, occupying the island’s northern tip. Consider spending the night at the park by camping at any of the 300 campsites within the area.

Whidbey’s cultural scene is enough reason to visit. It has several picturesque villages, each offering a unique charm and style of island life. Visit Coupeville, Langley, and Greenbank to get a peek into the local island life. These villages also offer various opportunities for dining and shopping.

Lakebay 

Featuring wild and rugged scenery, Lakebay is a gorgeous small town on the south end of Washington’s Kitsap Peninsula. It is famous for Bay Lake, right across from The Lakebay Marina. Aside from Bay Lake, the town is home to a state park and many other beautiful sites. If you are spending the night, consider staying in a lakeside cabin. 

Visit the Eagle Island State Park, a 10-acre marine park with more than 2,000 feet of shoreline. It has two mooring buoys on the west and one on the east. There are also hiking trails by the lake and camping spots where you can spend the night if you feel like roughing it up instead of sleeping in a lakeside cabin. Keep your eyes peeled for the many seals sunbathing at the lake. 

The Penrose Point State Park is another park you should visit in Lakebay. It’s a marine park sitting on the shores of Mayo Cove and Carr Inlet and a popular spot for camping and enjoying a variety of water activities.

The Glaciers

Originally a logging and mining community, Glacier is a small hamlet and the gateway to the magnificent Mt. Baker. It’s a popular spot for hikers, river rafters, skiers, and snowboarders frequenting the Mount Baker Area. With a population of only 200, Glacier is the best place to experience nature in peace and serenity.

The Mount Baker Ski Area is the most visited site in Glacier. It’s nestled in Whatcom County and holds the record for having the greatest snowfall in the world. The resort boasts several challenging routes, and the backcountry is accessible through various chairlifts. Another popular site in Glacier is the Heliotrope Ridge, a well-travelled trail in the North Cascades that opens to the stunning views of Mount Baker. With breathtaking glacier views and scenic hikes, Heliotrope Ridge is popular for hikers and skiers.

Driving through Skyline Drive, a 105-mile road running through Shenandoah National Park, is a popular activity in Glacier. The road, established in 1931, was included in the National Register of Historic Places. At a speed limit of 35 mph, it will usually take 3-4 hours to complete the drive.

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