Get to know the REAL Washington
Pike Place Market, the Seattle Space Needle, and Chihuly Gardens: It seems like all of the fun things to in Washington State are all located in Seattle, but that couldn’t be further than the truth!
In fact, Washington State is a paradox that’s waiting to be opened: on one side, there are the bustling streets of big cities, while on the other are gorgeous turquoise lakes sprinkled with green firs… and everything in between. If you’re planning a trip to Washington state (or even looking for things to do in Seattle before an Alaska cruise), don’t miss seeing the real Washington – and we’re here to show you how!
1 - Visit the Wine Country of Washington
Sure, everyone has heard of the famous wines of Napa Valley, but did you know of its northern neighbor up in Washington? We could even venture to say that it’s one of the best-kept secrets in Washington state!
Located in the south-eastern part of the state, Washington Wine Country is comprised of three areas: the Tri-Cities, Walla Walla Valley, and Yakima Valley. It’s the perfect two- or three-day pitstop if you’re traveling from Portland to Spokane or Seattle. You can even make it an entire trip by booking a guided tour such as our 7-day Wine Explorer, where you’ll explore the treasures of Washington state – where the fresh and organic food from local farms, innovative restaurants, and the scenic beauty of the vineyards come together.
2 - Go Island Hopping on the San Juan Islands
Did you know Washington state has over 400 islands? Located between Seattle and Vancouver, the San Juan Islands are the perfect place to escape the busy hubbub of the city. Travelers can take a 4-hour ferry from Seattle to one of the three main islands: San Juan Island, Lopez Island, or Orcas Island. There, you can go whale watching at Lime Kiln Point State Park, frolic through Pelindaba Lavender Farm, or chat with local cidermakers at their distillery.
3 - Be Enchanted by the Enchantments
If you’re in search of adventure and are ready to be rewarded with gorgeous views, look no further than the Enchantments!
Located about 130 miles from Seattle, the Enchantments are a group of azure-blue pools, alpine mountain ranges, and hiking trails that span hundreds of miles. For those who love to camp, travelers can try their chance at applying for an overnight permit and go camping during the summer months.
4 - De-stress in a Hot Spring
Remember how we mentioned that Washington is full of hidden gems? There are dozens of hot springs scattered all across the state!
One of our favorites is the Goldmyer Hot Springs. Although you’ll need to put in a little effort by hiking the 4.5-mile trail up to the hot springs, you’ll be awarded with one of the best-kept geothermal springs in the state.
Other fabulous options include the hot springs at the Olympic National Park, Carson Hot Springs Resort, and Gamma Hot Springs.
5 - Explore the Hidden Towns of the Pacific Northwest
If you only have one week in Washington state and want to see as much as possible, it’s a good idea to consider booking a package tour like our 7 day Northwest Explorer. You’ll get to explore charming, German fairytale-like towns such as Leavenworth, uncork and unwind on a Walla Walla tour (a town so nice they named it twice!), and even cross the border into the neighboring state of Oregon for a trip through Portland.
Whether you’re visiting Washington state for a week or for a month, there are hundreds of things to do. What will you pick?