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Top Attractions in Washington State
The natural beauty of the evergreen state brings national parks, ecological monuments and wildlife refuges center stage when it comes to top attractions in Washington. Scenic wonders include diverse landscapes like the islands of Puget Sound, mountain ranges, gorges, valleys and scablands. Man-made monuments like the Seattle Space Needle, Pike-Place Market, and the Museum of Pop Culture highlight the intersection where art and technology come together summing up the progressive nature in Seattle, Redmond, and beyond.
Olympic National Park encompasses nearly a million acres of mountain peaks and old-growth forests on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula in the northwest. The sprawling park includes the temperate Hoh Rain Forest where visitors can stroll along a canopy of green and brown mosses stopping at ecological exhibits along the way. Scenic beaches and waterfalls highlight rivers and coastline along hiking and driving roads while mountain paths give way to vistas of breathtaking greenery below.
Get up close and personal with the scablands at Columbia National Wildlife Refuge south of Moses Lake in the central region of the state. Home to the National Natural Landmark the Drumheller Channels, the refuge offers multiple trails through basalt columns and coulees on the Columbia Plateau. One of the greatest remnants in Washington of the Lake Missoula Ice Age floods, the national wildlife refuge is a nesting spot for over 200 species of birds including migratory sandhill cranes.
Take the ferry from Seattle to one of the Puget Sound Islands to experience a favorite of both locals and tourists. Ferries can accommodate cars, bikes and passengers for a scenic day of exploration. Bainbridge Island is one of the larger islands full of parks and gardens along with the Bainbridge Island Historical Museum and multiple shopping and dining outlets. Stroll along beautiful streets which overlook the glistening Eagle Harbor.
Pike-Place Market in Seattle is on the list of must-see attractions for most tourists to the area. Get ready for colorful eye candy among flower filled stalls while the hustle and bustle of bringing sea to land goes on around you. Fishmongers playfully throw fish to counterparts to stack along the well-stocked counters. Visitors are encouraged to try and purchase sustainable fresh seafood like Wild Alaskan King Salmon and Live Kumamoto Oysters. Not able to cook? Don’t worry there are plenty of area restaurants featuring world-class seafood nearby.
Few would argue that the most well-known component of the Seattle skyline is the Space Needle. The 605-foot tall observation tower was originally designed for the 1962 World’s Fair. It now holds a public observation tower and a rotating restaurant that has been featured in multiple films making it a widely recognized American landmark.
Known to the locals as the Blob, the Museum of Pop Culture is located next to the Space Needle and combines the love of music with a Science Fiction Museum and Hall of Fame. Designed by the acclaimed architect Frank Gerry the MoPOP offers iconic artifacts from legendary musicians like Jimmy Hendrix and David Bowie. Featured exhibits range from comic book displays to tributes to sci-fi greats like Star Trek and Blade Runner.
The town of Leavenworth near the Wenatchee Valley celebrates its Bavarian heritage during multiple events throughout the year. Decorated in Alpine architecture this scenic town offers a variety of restaurants that serve German food and beer. The Upper Valley Museum exhibits local artifacts in an historical house while one of the largest displays of Christmas dolls can be seen at the Nutcracker Museum.
In Spokane, Riverfront Park and Spokane Falls are a hotbed of activities spanning the river in downtown. Spokane Falls gondola ride is a popular attraction in the summer while the park contains an amphitheater, floating stage, and Performing Arts Center for activities all year long.
Popular Attractions in Washington
Lattin's Country Cider Mill & Farm
As one of the top family destinations near the Washington coast, Lattin's Country Cider Mill & Farm features a variety of events, exhibits, festivals, and fun – all on a working cider mill and farm. At this Olympia farm, you can tour the grounds, stop by for a quick visit, or plan a party, as they have the facilities to host.
Every Easter at Lattin's Country Cider Mill & Farm they host their popular Easter Egg Hunt. In September, Lattin's Country Cider Mill & Farm hosts their Apple Festival – it's one of the most fun ways to celebrate Washington's apple harvest. Enjoy a home-made apple fritter, then let the kids play with and feed the baby animals – from goats, to chicks, and even bunnies.
Old Capitol Building
Opened in 1982, the Old Capitol Building is a landmark attraction near the Washington coast.
Found in Olympia, a short drive from Tumwater, the Old Capitol Building was designed by Willis A. Ritchie, and it opened in 1892. Washington's original state capitol building was the Thurston County Courthouse.
Today, the Old Capitol Building in Olympia serves as the office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction.
With generous views of the area – just to the west you'll spot Sylvester Park, while across the street north is the Washington Center for the performing Arts – the Old Capitol Building has gone through several renovations.
From a luxury bus, Kitsap Tours Limited provides scenic tours beyond the city of Seattle, including Bainbridge Island and the Kitsap and Olympic peninsulas.
Bring along your camera and comfortable shoes for an active full or half-day tour including the Photo Scenic Safari, the Garden Tour, Winery & Brewery, and special event tours.
Visitors start the tour on the luxury touring van, accompanied by an experienced guide, and will have the opportunity to view quaint communities and breath-taking views of the Puget Sound.