Sunday, June 1, 2014

Washington State: "Must Sees"

This upcoming Summer and Fall, we are so happy to be welcoming several friends and family coming to visit!  A majority of the folks making the trip out west, have never travelled to Washington before.  Their visit  has prompted me to start thinking of sites that are the "must sees" locally in Washington so that when our visitors come, they can get a full taste of Washington.  I will admit, I haven't done these all myself yet, but with all of our visitors, I am hoping to cross a few more off of my list!

1. The Space Needle, of course!  Seattle's most recognizable landmark and the site of the 1962 World Fair.  Columbus Center also affords a great view of the city, standing as the tallest building in Seattle & from here you can actually see the Space Needle in the skyline.

2. Hurricane Ridge - A beautiful overlook of the Olympic Mountains.  One can either go to admire the views or hit the trails, but here is a fair warning, if you do decide to hike, the air is super thin due to the altitude.

3. Mount Rainier - One of the tallest mountains in the continental USA.  If you're feeling extra adventurous, attempt the Wonderland Trail, which is 94 miles of hiking around the mountain.

4. Visit the first-ever Starbucks located in Pikes Place Market.  In fact, visit the whole market and watch the fish fly!

5. Hike Deception Pass - Some FANTASTIC views and great hiking.

6.  Skagit Valley Tulip Festival - If you happen to be around in April, head to Mount Vernon.  There you will see acres upon acres of tulip and some lovely gardens.  In fact, I was convinced that my husband was going to propose to me (he didn't) in one of the tulip gardens, but that is a story for another time.

7. Check out some of the museums.  Seattle is home to some very unique tributes.  There is the EMP, Seattle Art Museum & Seattle Museum of Flight, just to name a few.

8. Visit Snoqualmie Falls.  Enough said.

9. Plan a trip to Leavenworth.  A quaint Bavarian village located in the mountains of Washington.

10. The Seattle Aquarium - home to an octopus!

11. Along with the museums, Seattle has a diverse selection of tours that one can take to dive a little deeper into Seattle's history and/or culture.  I happen to enjoy Seattle's Underground Tour, as well as, Seattle Duck Tours myself.  For the underground tour, make sure to bring a comfy pair of shoes because this tour has a little bit of walking while you are learning the early history of the city in a comedic way.  For the duck tour, they use humor to give a general overview of the entire city.  There are several companies that offer tours, but these are the ones that I have done and enjoyed.

12. Do something on Lake Union - from kaiaking to canoeing to boating, Lake Union is a hip place to do something on or near the water.

13. Boulder Cave Trail - a hiking trail on the eastern side of the state that leads you right through a cave.  Just remember to bring your flashlight! :P

14. Grand Coulee Dam - They call themselves the 8th Wonder of the World.

15. Park, Park, Parks - Within Seattle, there are several different parks. Sculpture Park, Gasworks Park, Japanese Gardens, etc. Each offer a different atmosphere, a different experience and a different beauty.

16. Seafair - Throughout the summer months, Seafair provides a variety of boating inspired events.

17. Fremont Fair - For the first days of Summer, the free-spirited district of Fremont has a huge fair with concerts, various events and craft vendors.

Clearly this is just a short list of all that Washington has to offer, but I think it is a good start for my visitors.  Now I have to think about the different places that I want to take them to eat... Being that I am a foodie, that list is quite diverse too! :)

Let me know if you can think of any more "must sees" in Washington so that my guests can have an awesome time! :)

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