The best places to visit in Washington State

By Stef Zisovska
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The best places to visit in Washington State

Stef Zisovska
 
The Thornton Lakes fill glacier-carved basins near Mount Triumph - Author: Walter Siegmund - CC BY 2.5
The Thornton Lakes fill glacier-carved basins near Mount Triumph - Author: Walter Siegmund - CC BY 2.5
 
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Washington State has many of the unique natural wonders found in the whole country. Many of the things that you can find here, you can’t see in any other place. Anything from giant conifers and green moss of the Hoh Beach, to volcanoes and magnificent national parks can be found here. If you are an outdoorsy person who likes to explore the beauty of the country, then Washington State is where you need to point your car at on your next road trip. You will be surprised by the number of incredible places that this area has to offer.

Here are some suggestions on where to go if you decide to visit Washington this fall.

Olympic National Park and the Hoh Rain Forest

A nurse log providing nutrients for other growing trees – Author: Anastacia12182 -CC BY-SA 3.0
A nurse log providing nutrients for other growing trees – Author: Anastacia12182 -CC BY-SA 3.0

The incomparable scenery of Olympic National Park overwhelms every single visitor that comes to admire the coastal beaches and the mountains of the region. Almost all the whole of the Olympic Peninsula belongs to the park, and the good thing about it is that there is no road cutting through the protected area, except for the US 101 scenic drive that circles the park. The gigantic trees in Hoh Rainforest, the beaches, the Sol Duc hot springs, waterfalls, and wildflowers are more than enough to repay your efforts if you visit one of the country’s most magical parks.

The San Juan Islands

Lopez Island, one of the San Juan Islands, Washington – Cdc~commonswiki – CC BY-SA 3.0
Lopez Island, one of the San Juan Islands, Washington – Cdc~commonswiki – CC BY-SA 3.0

The San Juan Islands are an archipelago that contains numerous small rural getaways and artistic communities that get lots of visitors each year. You can access the islands via ferry and enjoy the seafood restaurants, art galleries, and nature parks. The Puget Sound is famous as a home to Orcas, which makes the trip to the islands even more exciting. These beautiful mammals of the waters can be spotted often while on a boat or even from the shore. Orca whales will make your trip an unforgettable adventure.

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

Mount St. Helens
Mount St. Helens

Climbing Mount St. Helens is possible but it requires special permits. The area is famous for the massive eruption on May 18th, 1980 that reduced the Mount’s peak by 1300 feet. Johnston Ridge Observatory is a place you should visit if you want to see the crater from inside, but only on a clear day.  The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument has been set aside for both research and recreational purposes since the epic eruption. If you are a passionate hiker, you will want to spend more than one day in the area.

Port Angeles

Port Angeles harbor and the Olympic Mountains – CC BY-SA 3.0
Port Angeles harbor and the Olympic Mountains – CC BY-SA 3.0

The Port Angeles town is on the north side of Olympic Peninsula. The whole region is known for plenty of outdoor activities that attract people from all over the state. Hiking, biking, golfing, boating, kayaking, fishing, and birding are some of the things you that will keep you occupied while visiting Port Angeles. The town is also an access point to Olympic National Park. In the town, you can visit the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center and the local Clallam County Museum.

North Cascades National Park

Pelton Peak, Yawning Glacier and Magic Mountain (left to right) from Sahale Arm north of Cascade Pass, North Cascades National Park, Washington, United States – Author: Daniel Hershman – CC BY 2.0
Pelton Peak, Yawning Glacier and Magic Mountain (left to right) from Sahale Arm north of Cascade Pass, North Cascades National Park, Washington, United States – Author: Daniel Hershman – CC BY 2.0

The North Cascades National Park is one of the best-preserved and unspoiled parts of the United States. You can drive through the park on WA 20 and be rewarded with some fantastic views. If you want to have a closer look at the many picturesque lakes, you’ll need to go for a hike and spend some quality time in this magnificent outdoor environment. High peaks, slopes, valleys, alpine lakes are some of the features that you can visit in the park. Don’t forget to bring the best hiking gear you have and prepare for the most inspiring experience of your life.

Make a plan on visiting all of these stunning places, one each weekend. There’s nothing better in this world than spending few days in an unspoiled corner of this majestic country.

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