15 Washington Vacation Spots With Breathtaking National Parks

Washington attracts many tourists throughout the year thanks to the many amazing destinations it has to offer. Plus, there are some amazing natural attractions which are worth visiting.

From the sleeping volcano of Mount Rainer to the lush green landscapes of the Hoh Rain Forest, there is lots to see.

If you are more of a city fella, then the bustling cities of Vancouver, Seattle and Spokane will keep you occupied.

Let us explore some of the best vacation spots in Washington which you can explore.

Seattle, Washington

Seattle

Seattle is a bustling city with an enormous variety of attractions. The city is surrounded by mountains, water, and evergreen forests which is why Seattle is also known as the Emerald City.

Start your tour by visiting the  Sky View Observatory or the Space Needle which offer spectacular views of the city and the surrounding islands and mountains. Located in Downtown Seattle, there are more attractions as well like Pike Place Market, and a giant Ferris wheel right on the waterfront.

If you like visiting museums, then the city has plenty of them as well. Visit the Living Computer Museum, the EMP Museum dedicated to modern culture, the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park, and the Museum of History and Industry.

Spokane, Washington

Spokane

Spokane offers a diverse set of activities for its visitors. Since the city is located in Eastern Washington, the weather is considerably sunnier and farmland dots much of the landscape.

Visit Riverfront Park which lies in the center of the city and covers over 100 acres. The main attraction of this park is the Spokane Falls.

Also, visit the John A. Finch Arboretum to enjoy a spectacular display of trees and shrubs. 

If you want to enjoy some adventure sports, you can also try zip-lining with Mica Moon Zip Tours.

Art lovers can visit The Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture (MAC) which is an impressive museum. It includes five underground galleries and an outdoor amphitheater.

Bellingham, Washington

bellingham

Located north of Seattle, Bellingham is surrounded by waterways of Puget Sound. History lovers can stroll through Fairhaven Historic District and duck into local art galleries or have a meal at one of the restaurants.

Bellingham is also a Mecca for paddlers. You can visit Whatcom Falls Park where you can swim, fish or picnic close to the Whatcom Creek Gorge and several beautiful waterfalls. 

If that has left you wanting for more, visit the Larrabee Park where you can hike by the rocky coastline.

When exhausted with all that outdoor activity, visit the Whatcom Museum of History & Art to see the impressive Light-catcher building.

Port Angeles, Washington

Port Angeles

Port Angeles is situated in the heart of Washington State’s beautiful Olympic Peninsula. This city is a great place for visitors who can enjoy a variety of active holiday pursuits such as ocean and lake kayaking, mountain biking, and paddleboarding.

Visitors can also go cycling along the Discovery Trail and fishing in near-by Olympic National Park or at Hurricane Ridge. You can also visit the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center which features Northwest exhibits.

In addition to this, you can also go on a Heritage Tour of the Downtown Historic District,  visit the Fiero Marine Life Center on the waterfront or go antique hunting and shopping in Downtown.

Friday Harbour, San Juan Island

Friday Harbor

If you are looking for a quiet getaway, then Friday Harbour is the place to be. Visitors can indulge in whale watching, island hopping, kayaking tours, and charter fishing.

The harbor is located between the Washington coast and Vancouver Island. You can head to land if you are a shopping or art enthusiast.

Attractions include the San Juan Islands Museum of Art, Waterworks Gallery, and Island Studios Art Gallery and the Arctic Raven Gallery. For shopping, you can head to Kings Market, Funk, and Junk Antiques and Dan Levin Originals.

Leavenworth, Washington

Leavenworth

Leavenworth is like vising Bavaria in the middle of the United States. This gorgeous alpine village right in the middle of the state is nestled in the heart of the Cascade Mountains. 

This unique character of the town is the result of Projekt Bayern which was put in place when a falling timber industry threatened the town’s industry. 

Leavenworth is a charming town to visit if you want to eat, shop, explore the beautiful surroundings, and participate in local events.

If you really want to see the town sparkle, then visit the town in winter. This is the time when Christmas lights are on, there is skiing, snowshoeing and also the Christmas Lighting Festival.

Vancouver, Washington

Vancouver

Vancouver is one of the oldest cities in Washington dating back to the early 1880s. The city has a lot of historic and cultural appeal which makes it a great vacation spot in Washington.

There are a lot of green spaces in Vancouver at places like the Waterfront Renaissance Trail. There are many outdoor attractions you can visit like  Vancouver Lake Park where you can canoe, kayak or windsurf. 

Also, visit the  Fort Vancouver National Historic Site which encompasses the reconstructed Fort Vancouver.

North Cascades National Park, Washington

North Cascades

If you are looking for an outdoor adventure then visit the North Cascades National Park in Washington. It is one of the most unspoiled tracts of country in the United States.

There is lots to do in this scenic and pristine wilderness that shares its borders with British Columbia, Canada. Some attractions in this park include Washington Pass Overlook and the aquamarine waters of Ross Lake.

You can also go on a guided tour with a ranger or attend an interpretive talk to learn more about the National Park. Water babies can head for a cruise to the historic town of Stehekin, which lies in the center of the Lake Chelan National Recreation Area.

Olympic National Park, Washington

Olympic National Park

Ocean National Park has uncomparable scenery which is not to be missed when you are in Washington. You can have the chance to explore and camp in nearly one million acres of lush and pristine wilderness.

Do visit an iconic area like  Ruby and Rialto Beach which define the rugged western edge of the park. Olympic National Park is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Hiking is the most popular way to explore the park and there are trails suitable for all fitness levels, including strenuous Back-Packing trails from one campsite to the next.

Visitors can also rent a mountain bike or kayak, canoe, or paddleboard to explore the lakes.

Sol Duc Hot Springs, Washington

Sol Doc Hot Springs

Located in the heart of Olympic National Park, Sol Duc Hot Springs is an hour away from Port Angeles. The Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort features rooms, cabins, and suites adjacent to the Sol Duc River and lush surroundings.

The resort allows visitors to have free access to the mineral springs.

Ellensburg, Washington

Ellensburg

The city is located in the heart of Washington state and is an ideal weekend getaway destination in the state. Ellensburg Rodeo is held each year on the Labor Day weekend which can be a great time to visit the city.

Other than that, outdoor activities such as water-skiing on the Columbia River, rafting, golf, fishing, and a variety of snow sports in winter.

Hikers and cyclists can head to The John Wayne Pioneer Trail for a great time.

Tacoma, Washington

Tacoma

Tacoma is located along the banks of Puget Sound and has a scenic backdrop to a modern city with an emphasis on the arts.

Museum-lovers can have a great time here as there are many museums which you can visit starting with the Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, where you can learn more about life in a British outpost in the 1850s.

Another interesting museum is the Foss Waterway Seaport which is popular with families. 

Bainbridge Island, Washington

Bainbridge Island

Situated just 35 minutes west of Seattle, Bainbridge Island is an ideal destination for a weekend trip. Outdoor lovers can have a great time walking or hiking at the Waterfront Trail which is a 1.5-mile loop along the beach or a 2-mile loop through parks and historic sites.

There are scenic gardens that you can explore as well like Bloedel Reserve, which features a beautiful Japanese Garden or he Fort Ward State Park and Battle Point Park.

Head to Back of Beyond if you want to try some water sports where you can rent a  canoe, kayak, and paddle-board. 

Sequim, Washington

Sequim

Sequim is one of the most beautiful small towns in the Olympic Peninsula. The climate here is sunny and dry despite its proximity to nearby temperate rainforest areas.

The gorgeous town is surrounded by Douglas fir, western red cedar, and Garry oak forest areas and lavender.

Annual special events include the Sequim Lavender Weekend, held each year during July.

Orcas Island, Washington

Orcas Island

This scenic island offers a charming bend of cute villages, picture-perfect seascapes, beaches, and water sports. Outdoor lovers can start their exploration at  Moran State Park, which offers great hiking, cycling, and horse-back riding through pristine scenery.

Don’t miss out on the whale-watching activity on Orcas Island where you can see these magnificent creatures up close. 

Conclusion

Washington is a beautiful state which is blessed with many outdoor gems that visitors can explore. From stunning islands to dormant volcanoes – the opportunities to explore are endless. 

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