Washington is a diverse, beautiful and scenically stunning state. From the beaches and mountains to the verdant hillsides and bright cities, there is much to see and do here. You can explore the majestic old-growth rain forests, take an island ferry ride, hike the snow-capped peaks or visit the lush agricultural plains.
Known as the ‘Emerald City’, Seattle is a sophisticated metropolis nestled on the waterfront and surrounded by snow-capped mountains. The most famous attraction, the Space Needle can be seen from everywhere in the city and offers unparalleled views from the top or from its famous rotating restaurant. Seattle is also a leading cultural center that falls on the West Coast. Also of interest are the Pike Place Market and the International District. Pioneer Square is the city’s historic district and home to quirky shops, music clubs and galleries. A scenic ferry ride across the waters of the Puget Sound is a must.
Spokane is the second largest city in Washington and offers good access to Lake Coeur d’Alene and several Idaho ski areas. Its location is also ideal for those who want to explore the northern Idaho Rocky Mountains. There are numerous parks and a paved hiking/biking trail along the Spokane River.
The San Juan Islands are cradled between the protected waters of America’s northwest corner and Canada’s Vancouver Island. The four major islands are named San Juan, Orcas, Lopez and Shaw. Each of the islands is unique and charming; however, they are all notable for their unspoiled beauty and peaceful lifestyle and offer whale-watching and window-shopping opportunities.
Visitors can fly to Seattle or Olympia among other destinations. Transportation is available from the airport to the cities. By rail, Amtrak runs from Vancouver, BC to Seattle and takes about four hours. There is also Amtrak service to Seattle from San Diego, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland on the Coast Starlight. There is ferry service between Victoria (British Columbia) and Seattle; additionally, Bellingham, north of Seattle is a port for Alaska ferries and cruise ships.