Sneak in on a Northern state unselfconsciously going about its beautiful business, and what do you see? Snow-capped volcanoes tumbling into dense evergreen forests. Coastal islands home to more orca whales and bald eagles than people. Rural farms and rugged coastlines and, what the hey, a temperate rain forest. Toss in some cosmopolitan cities and an emergent wine region, and set it all under the soft haze of rain—and you’ve got Washington State. Start by sipping famed coffee in the cool cafes of Seattle, home to hip art galleries, a still-booming rock scene and the “flying fish” of the Pike Place Market. Stroll around leafy, laid-back Olympia and wine taste in down-to-earth Walla Walla. Then dive into Washington’s natural splendors. Hike the steep trails of Mount Rainier National Park, and bird- and wildlife-watch in the San Juan Islands. Walk in the footsteps of great explorers along the Lewis & Clark National Historical Trail, and sift through the legends of goldminers in Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park. Or sample it all in the glacier, rainforests and coastal expanses of vast Olympic National Park. Soon you won’t even notice the rain—we promise.
Regions in Washington