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The United States of America has 50 different states to explore, and whether you’re a citizen of the US who wants to get to know your country, or an international traveler visiting for the first time, it can be tough to choose which places to travel to.

Popular spots like Yellowstone National Park, New York City, or the Grand Canyon might be at the top of most people’s lists, but this country is so big that there are tons of opportunities for exploration and discovery. 

One state that may not get as much attention as others is Washington. The northernmost state on the West Coast, (not including Alaska of course), is a unique area with everything from sprawling cities to vast landscapes that capture the imagination.

If you’re planning a trip within the United States soon and want to get the most out of your travel experiences but aren’t sure where you want to go yet, take a moment to discover why Washington is an underrated state for traveling. 

Washington: An Underrated State For Traveling

Olympic National Park

Your complete guide to an unplugged vacation in Olympic National Park.

Over 1400 square miles in the state of Washington are occupied by Olympic National Park. The area contains multiple unique ecosystems, including subalpine forests, wildflower meadows, and the rugged Pacific Coast.

A temperate rainforest is one of the highlights of the park, as well as the massive Mount Olympus, which features a glacier-clad summit that hikers and climbers will love.

Plenty of trails for light hiking or intense backpacking are available to explore in Olympic National Park, so adventurers of all kinds can find something to enjoy.

This park is the largest wilderness area in the state of Washington, so if you want to experience the natural world during your vacation, then this area is a must-see.

Mount Rainier National Park

Mount Rainier National Park RF

We will stick with more natural wonders for now during our journey through the state. Mount Rainier National Park is based around a 14,000-foot stratovolcano that rises above the land abruptly.

Surrounded by old-growth forests, waterfalls, meadows, and valleys, this feature also has 25+ glaciers descending its sides. The largest glacier by volume in the contiguous United States, known as the Carbon Glacier, can be found there.

Washington is full of incredible landscape features, and Mount Rainier National Park is just one of them.  


Seattle's bubblegum wall.

Even if you know nothing about Washington, you’ve still probably heard of Seattle. Most known for being the Rainy City and as the home of the iconic building called the Space Needle, Seattle has much to offer visitors to the state of Washington.

The Seattle Great Wheel will take you on a relaxing ride with awesome views of the waterfront. And local professional sports teams like the Seattle Seahawks and the Seattle Mariners have deeply passionate fanbases if you love sports. 

The Museum of Pop Culture is dedicated to contemporary popular culture and was formerly known as the Experience Music Project. And there’s a great mix of views, food, and arts/culture.

Keep some money set aside for Pike Place Market. This public farmer’s market opened in 1907, making it one of the longest-running public markets in the country.

It overlooks the Elliot Bay waterfront on Puget Sound, and antique dealers, collectible shops, and small family-owned restaurants make up the core of the lower levels while produce and craft stands are popular in the upper levels. Check out a Pike Place Market guide from a local resident.

Riverfront Park

Head to Spokane, a city in the eastern portion of the state, to find this public park in the downtown area. Notable activities at Riverfront Park include the Numerica Skyride gondola, the Numerica Skate Ribbon, the carousel, the Ice Age Floods Playground, and the Providence Playscape.

It is a truly family-friendly park in the middle of the city that offers views of the Spokane River. Also, make sure to check out the second-largest urban waterfall in the country, the Upper Spokane Falls

With a world-famous public market, multiple volcanos with glaciers, and plenty of activities to engage in, Washington is full of opportunities. Whether you are a sports fan, history buff, art lover, nature fanatic, or thrill-seeker, you can find something to love about this state.

Megan is an Australian Journalist and award-winning travel writer who has been blogging since 2007. Her husband Mike is the American naturalist and wildlife photographer behind Waking Up Wild; an online magazine dedicated to opening your eyes to the wonders of the wild & natural world.

Having visited 100+ countries across all seven continents, Megan’s travels focus on cultural immersion, authentic discovery and incredible journeys. She has a strong passion for ecotourism, and aims to promote responsible travel experiences.


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