With the epic Cascade Mountain range, cold weather rainforests and one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, Washington state is a gem in the Pacific Northwest. This is a perfect place for travel clinicians to get away and enjoy pure nature! Here are some awesome things to do the next time you travel to Washington!
1. Olympic Peninsula
Across the Puget Sound from Seattle, the Olympic Peninsula sits with its wild beaches, towering mountains, dense rainforests, fairytale waterfalls, port towns and Native American reservations.
2. Lake Diablo
The spectacular turquoise waters of Lake Diablo will make you squint, rub your eyes and make you wonder if you are in fact dreaming. That milky turquoise water you find in many Washington lakes comes from the sun reflecting onto tiny particles of glacial “rock flour”. The turquoise color becomes more vibrant later in the summer months. There are plenty of camping spots near Lake Diablo. Some of the more popular camping sites are Thunder Point Campground and Colonial Creek Campground.
3. Mount Baker
This epic mountain is beautiful year round. Whether you come for the skiing during the winter months, or you prefer to hike when the snow has melted, Mount Baker is a sight to behold.
If you want to get a little taste of the Wild West without venturing too far, Winthrop is sure to put a little swagger in your step and a twang in your voice. The facades shops in this western-themed look as if they belong on a set in Hollywood, and there is of course a General Store Emporium and sweets shop.
5. The Gorge Amphitheater
This epic outdoor venue located in Grant County and has incredible acoustics and is a stunning backdrop for live performances, making it arguably one of the best natural amphitheaters in the world. From reggae to country to pop to electronic, you’ll find shows from just about every genre. And there’s a ton of BIG names that perform in this epic venue year after year.
6. North Cascades National Park
National Parks like Glacier, Yosemite, Great Smoky Mountains, and Yellowstone seem to get all the love. But if you prefer nature without the crowds, you’re in for a treat because Washington state’s North Cascades is one of the least visited National Parks in the U.S.
Fun Fact: North Cascades National Park has more than 300 glaciers, which is more than any other U.S. national park outside of Alaska! Cool, huh?
7. North Cascades Highway
One of the most beautiful drives in the USA is the 127 miles from Sedro-Woolley to Winthrop across Highway 20, otherwise known as the North Casacades Highway. You’ll pass by Lake Diablo, mountain passes and countless hiking trails to adventure.
8. Lake Chelan
With a length of 50.5 miles long, you might be fooled into thinking this is a river when you first see it on a map. But make no mistake, this is Washington’s biggest lake. And it’s actually the 3rd deepest lake in the United States (28th deepest in the world!). Spending a weekend in on the lake is a popular summer getaway for many Washington families. Chelan, with its opportunities to go boating and winery hopping (did we mention there’s vineyards nearby?!), is a hotspot for bachelorette parties and girls trips!
9. Mount Rainier
At 14,410 feet (4,392 m), Mount Rainer is the tallest mountain in Washington. This iconic peak can be seen from Seattle on a clear day, but the best way to experience its grandeur is to get up close and personal. Mount Rainier National Park is open year-round and boasts plenty of hiking trails in the summer and snowshoeing, skiing and even winter camping.
10. San Juan Islands
Although the islands are not actually located in Washington, it is still so close and SO worth the travel! This cluster of islands sit near the Canadian border and are known for their laid-back small towns and epic natural beauty. Oh, and did we mention there are WHALES!? Don’t pass up the opportunity to go on a whale watching tour and see these beauties up close.