Editors' Picks: 20 of the Best Things to Do in the State of Washington!

The state of Washington is home to Starbucks, Amazon and Microsoft. It's the birthplace of Jimi Hendrix, Bing Crosby and '90s grunge music.

Washington is the only state named for a U.S. president, and officially entered the union in 1889 as the 42nd state. It's famous for its apples, its mountain ranges - and copious amounts of rainfall (the most it received in a single day was a bit over 14 inches in 1986).

A unique blend of natural beauty (52 percent of the state is forest) creativity and innovation, Washington is a fascinating place. There are so many things to do and see, but here's our list of the 20 coolest things to do in the Evergreen State.

1. Chihuly Garden and Glass

Artist Dale Chihuly has created an amazing variety of stunning glass works that are displayed in an eight-room exhibition hall. Whimsical, beautiful and colorful, they're worth seeing during the day - or at night, when they're illuminated. It's located right by the Space Needle.

2. Mount Rainier

It's one of the most distinctive features of the Washington landscape. There are numerous hiking trails, suitable for all levels. The wildflower hikes in spring are especially breathtaking.

3. Space Needle, Seattle, WA

Built for the 1962 World's Fair, this iconic observation tower provides some of the best views of Seattle, surrounding mountains and islands off the coast. Elevators whisk you to the top in just 41 seconds, and you can enjoy coffee as you take in the 360-degree view.

4. Lemay-America's Car Museum, Tacoma, WA

This fabulous museum honors America's love affair with the automobile. From some of the earliest cars, through muscle cars, sports cars and everything in between, it's a fun way to spend a rainy spring afternoon.

5. Olympic National Park, Port Angeles, WA

It's worth taking a drive around this gorgeous park, for the variety of scenery: from the Hoh Rain Forest, to the waterfalls of Sol Duc Hot Springs, to dozens of beaches. That's just for starters. There are plenty of places to hike, as well.

6. Future of Flight Aviation Center & Boeing Tour, Mukilteo, WA

The Boeing factory holds the distinction of being the world's largest building. You can take a gander at it-and planes in various states of assembly-with their popular Future of Flight tour.

7. San Juan Islands

These islands dotting Puget Sound are easily accessible via ferry. You can spend the day exploring art galleries, great restaurants and more - and even spot a whale or two from the shore.

8. Mount St. Helens, Cougar, WA

It's known for its epic 1980 explosion, which reduced the peak by 1,300 feet. You need a permit to hike the area, but can get a good look inside the crater via the Johnston Ridge Observatory.

9. Nishinomiya Japanese Garden, Spokane, WA

The lush flowerbeds of this popular small garden in Manito Park really pop during the summer. Relax by the waterfall and koi pond - you'll feel instantly more chill.

10. Sequim Lavender Festival, Sequim, WA

The area is considered the Lavender Capital of America, and this annual July event allows you to visit some heavenly gardens. Beautiful - and they smell pretty darn good, too.

11. Bainbridge Island

This Puget Sound island is a hot destination for wine tasting. Take a short ferry ride from Seattle and some great tasting rooms. There are also fantastic restaurants to offset the buzz.

12. Apple Country

Washington state is famous for its apples (in fact, the apple is the official state fruit) - and there are no shortage of orchards to visit. If you're not into picking your own, you can always enjoy fresh cider (hard and otherwise), or just enjoy some spectacular views.

13. Ye Old Curiosity Shop, Seattle, WA

For over a century, this quirky souvenir shop has been an attraction on Seattle's waterfront. It features things you'll find nowhere else, lots of fun things to look at (like the mummies) and do (like a penny press).

14. Have a "Twin Peaks" experience

Fans of the offbeat '90s TV show will want to stop into the Salish Lodge & Spa in Snoqualmie, which served as a filming location. Then toddle up the road a bit to Twede's Café in North Bend, which played the role of the "Double R Diner." Have a slice of cherry pie while you're there.

15. Washington State Autumn Leaf Festival, Leavenworth, WA

Since 1964, the Washington State Autumn Leaf Festival has celebrated the fall colors with a Bavarian theme, parade and more family-friendly activities.

16. Christmas with the Campbells

The Campbells were a prominent family in the Spokane of the early 20th century. Their home is now a museum that gives visitors a taste of life during that era. During the holiday season, things get turned up a notch with elaborate period decorations, actor portrayals - and activities, like baking Christmas cookies with the house chef.

17. Check out a frozen waterfall in La Crosse

Palouse Falls is Washington's official state waterfall (and they had a lot to choose from). The 198-foot cascade is breathtaking at any time of year, but when it freezes over, it's really something to see.

18. Take an offbeat Christmas cruise in Seattle

Since 1949, the Argosy Christmas Ship Cruise has been a holiday tradition. It sails to various waterfront communities on Puget Sound. Bonfires are lit on shore in anticipation of its arrival. On board, there's plenty of seasonal music and activities.

19. Meet some real snowbirds

About 100,000 snow geese travel thousands of miles to Port Susan Bay, ostensibly to avoid the bitter temperatures of the Arctic. This annual event is celebrated each February with the Port Susan Snow Goose and Birding Festival, where you can participate in various birdwatching events, seminars, tours and more.

20. Step inside a snow globe

The city of Leavenworth has modeled itself as a real-life Bavarian village. It becomes most popular in the winter, with its Ice Festival. There are live ice carvings with chainsaws, a snowmobile sled pull, ice fishing, snow sculpture contests and more.

Washington Search
Best Things To Do Near You
Best Things To Do Near You
Jan
21

Live Music with Paul Ward

4:00 PM
Patterson Cellars Leavenworth Tasting Room Leavenworth, WA
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Jan
21

Live Music: Paul Ward

4:00 PM
Gooseridge Tasting Room Leavenworth, WA
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Jan
28

Live Music with Nate Weakley

4:00 PM
Gooseridge Tasting Room Leavenworth, WA
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Jan
28

Live Music: Nate Weakley

4:00 PM
Gooseridge Tasting Room Leavenworth, WA
Learn More
Feb
04

Live Music with Eric Link

4:00 PM
Patterson Cellars Leavenworth Tasting Room Leavenworth, WA
Learn More
Feb
04

Live Music: Eric Link

4:00 PM
Gooseridge Tasting Room Leavenworth, WA
Learn More
Mar
04

Live Music: Chris Ward

4:00 PM
Patterson Cellars Leavenworth Tasting Room Leavenworth, WA
Learn More
Mar
11

Live Music: Hans Hessburg

4:00 PM
Patterson Cellars Leavenworth Tasting Room Leavenworth, WA
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Apr
08

Melissa Etheridge

7:00 PM
Snoqualmie Casino Snoqualmie, WA
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Apr
08

Melissa Etheridge

8:00 PM
Snoqualmie Casino - WA Snoqualmie, WA
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Best Places To Go Near You
Best Places To Go Near You
933 Market Street, Tacoma, WA
The #1 Comedy Club in the Northwest! Read More
Lakeway Drive and Puget Street, Bellingham, WA
2006 construction of a new skate park street course/beginner area adjacent to the existing skate park on Puget Street. Read More
Corner of King and 6th Avenue, Airway Heights, WA
Approximately 11 acres in size, this park is located in a residential neighborhood in the northwest area of the City adjacent to Sunset Elemen... Read More
14224 Bel Red Road, Bellevue, WA
Highland Outdoor Skate Plaza - this 13,000 square-foot skatepark replicates some of the world's favorite street skate spots.  Instead of ... Read More
750 East North Bend Way, North Bend, WA
200 Madison Avenue North, Bainbridge Island, WA
About Us: Bainbridge Performing Arts promotes appreciation of and participation in the performing arts to build, educate and inspire our vibrant,... Read More
515 Pacific Avenue, Bremerton, WA
History: In 1941, The Admiral Theatre, originally to be named the Rivoli, was constructed for an estimated cost of $250,000. In 1941, the Theatre... Read More
1611 Riverside Avenue, Hoquiam, WA
History: Founded in 1976 A National Historic Site A gift to Hoquiam and Grays Harbor by the Arnold Polson family Building and grounds owned ... Read More
1108 Main Street, Vancouver, WA
WHO WE ARE: Magenta Theater Company (MTC) is a family-friendly community theater in Vancouver, Washington. Vancouver is already home to a number o... Read More
121 Prospect Street, Bellingham, WA
Mission:The Whatcom Museum provides leadership in the fields of history and art in the Pacific Northwest. Through preservation, collections, exhibi... Read More
20722 67th Avenue Northeast, Arlington, WA
About Us: This museum was built by the Stillaguamish Valley Pioneer Association to preserve artifacts of the North and South Forks of the Stillagua... Read More
4121 Harborview Drive, Gig Harbor, WA
Mission and Vision: Our mission is to create opportunities to experience the history of the Gig Harbor Peninsula. We do this by collecting, preser... Read More
9404 East Marginal Way South, Seattle, WA
Museum of Flight Vision StatementTo be the foremost educational air and space museum in the world.Mission StatementThe Museum of Flight exists to a... Read More
940 Highway 2, Leavenworth, WA
About Us: The vast area surrounding Leavenworth, Lake Wenatchee and Plain, including the world-famous Alpine Lakes Wilderness, provides recreation... Read More
405 Allen Street, Kelso, WA
About The Museum : The Cowlitz County Historical Museum was founded in 1949 to discover, interpret and disseminate the history of Cowlitz County ... Read More
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