Updated: Apr 11, 2019
One of my favorite states is Washington. The air is so nice and crisp there to the point you can actually SMELL the nature that you're surrounded by. Everywhere you look there is greenery (probably why they call it The Evergreen State) and it's residents are some of the happiest. Matthew and I have contemplated many times moving to that side of the country and I have a feeling one day we will end up there! Firstly, the PNW or Pacific Northwest has some of the most beautiful coastlines on planet Earth. Secondly, Matthew really misses the mountains (being as he is from Vermont) and lately, I've been more attracted to the idea of living in a place that celebrates all seasons, not just summer.I've compiled a list of locations in Washington that are sure to peak your interest in visiting this beautiful little state - and perhaps even want to call it home someday?
Explore Olympic National Park:
The beautiful Olympic National Park encompasses almost a million acres of protected wilderness that includes several distinctly different ecosystems, including glacier mountains, tide pools and the largest US temperate rain forest. Olympic really has a little bit of everything and it is a nature lovers dream! There are a ton of hiking trails to explore from all ranges of distance and difficulty. You can also explore the Hoh Rain Forest which also holds “the quietest place on Earth.” Once in the park you can enjoy lodging, backpacking, boating, tide pooling. The park also has some night sky programs - sounds good right? You can spend an evening on a mountain peak, along the coast, or at your campsite leisurely viewing the night sky. You could easily spend a week inside the park without having seen everything there is to see and do. It really is one of the most enchanting places in the US. Click the links below to learn more about the park.
Check Out Seaside Seattle:
Ok, there is so much to see in this buzzing seaside city. Say hello to the Freemont Troll, a sculpture that lives under the bridge in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle. Visit the Pike Place Market where you can see the original Starbucks (which is always packed by the way) and explore the market with all its vendors. I always tell Matthew that when we do move to Seattle (see I fantasize about this sometimes!) that I expect flowers from the Pike Marketplace every weekend. The fresh cut flowers are so beautiful there! Check out the iconic space needle - an observation tower in Seattle for a perfect view of the city and the Olympic Mountain Range. If you love food - you're in the right city to experience a ton of different eateries, wineries and restaurants. Ride the Seattle Great Wheel, visit the museum of flight or check out the underground Seattle tour. Seriously, so much to do in the city - and I hear the city isn't as gloomy and rainy as people say.
Check a local site for upcoming events during your stay; click the link below. I also provided a link to a pretty good YouTube video showing you the space needle and the views from the top!
Say Hello To Mount Rainier:
Ascending to over 14,000 ft above sea level, Mount Rainier stands as an icon in the Washington landscape. It is an active volcano - kinda scary right? Mount Rainier is also the most glaciated peak in the U.S. and wildlife abounds in the park’s ecosystem. I just love protected lands don't you? It's Earth's truth and it makes me love and appreciate nature so much more. I would recommend finding out the road conditions in the park before you plan your trip especially if you are planning on adventuring in the early spring. Click the link to see a full page of experiences to be had at the park.
The single vehicle fee into the park is $30 - a small price to pay for a very big and beautiful adventure.
Visit Skagit Valley During the Tulip Festival:
Open from April 1 - April 30th is the annual Skagit valley tulip festival, which is in direct competition with Amsterdam's tulip festival (in my opinion) anyway! I'm hoping this year will be the year I finally get to experience the tulips in full bloom. For more information on the tulips and to check if they're currently in full bloom, visit their website below! This event has seriously been on my list of things to do for years.
Enjoy the San Juan Islands:
The San Juan Islands are an archipelago in the northwest corner of the contiguous United States between the U.S. mainland and Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Canada. The San Juan Islands are part of the U.S. state of Washington and they are gorgeous! I’ve only personally been to one of the islands, Orcas Island and it was honestly the highlight of my trip to Washington! The Washington ferry system will take you to any of the islands with your car for easy access. We loved Orcas - Moran state park was incredible and we hiked Mt. Constitution. The little and quaint town of Eastsound is so adorable you won’t ever want to leave - and I had the greatest salmon burger of my life at the Madrona Bar and Grill - this perfect waterfront restaurant. I’ve bought some of my favorite books at Darvill's Book store and honestly, I can just go on and on about how perfect the San Juan Islands are. Matthew and I got mistaken for locals by many people and it made us feel so good inside. They also do this super great farmers market on Saturdays that I would recommend. There are a multitude of resorts and awesome Airbnb's to choose from for a spectacular get away from all the craziness in this world. A real gem, definitely visit the San Juan Islands.
Seattle is nestled right next to Puget Sound, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean - which is the third largest estuary in the US. You can expect to see porpoises, sea lions, otters and it is also home to whales. Minnke, gray, humpback and blue whales can all be spotted from the coastlines of the Evergreen State. However the most notorious sightings are that of the killer whales. There are many different places to witness these giants in the water and they include:
Relax at Ross Lake:
Ok so I've always wanted to go here! I feel like this would be an awesome weekend getaway with some friends! Ross Lake is accessible only by hiking or ferry as it is a remote resort on the edge of Ross Lake - within the North Cascades National Recreation Area. The cabins are simply furnished and all include running water, electricity and either wood stoves or electric ranges. Some are directly on the water and have refrigerators and microwaves - yes please! The largest cabin can sleep 9 people and propane grills are shared between 2 cabins. Within the resort you can rent motorboats, canoes, kayaks and fishing rods. There's no restaurant or store, so guests must bring their own food - does that not sound perfect?