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[[Image:Mount-rainier-over-tacoma.jpg|200px|right]]Often called '''Washington State''' to distinguish it from [[Washington (D.C.)]], '''Washington''' [http://www.tourism.wa.gov/] offers rugged coastline, mountains, volcanoes, and hundreds of coastal islands to explore.  The Cascade Mountains bisect the state, with the damp forested coastal areas to the west, and pineforests, deserts and irrigated farmland of the [[Columbia Plateau]] to the east.
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{{pagebanner|Washington State Banner.jpg}}
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{{quickbar
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|image=Mount-rainier-over-tacoma.jpg
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|location=Washington in United States.svg
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|flag=Flag of Washington.svg
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|capital=[[Olympia (Washington)|Olympia]]
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|government=U.S. State
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|currency=US dollar (USD)
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|area=71,362 km<sup>2</sup>
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|population=6,971,406 (2013 est.)
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|language= English, Spanish(No official language)
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|religion=Protestant 49%, Unaffiliated 25%, Catholic 16%, Other 8%
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|electricity=120V/60Hz (North American plug)
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|timezone=UTC -8/-7
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}}
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Often referred to by its full title, '''Washington State''', to distinguish it from [[Washington, D.C.]], '''Washington''' [http://www.experiencewa.com/] offers rugged coastline, deserts, forests, mountains, volcanoes, and hundreds of coastal islands to explore.  The Cascade Mountains bisect the state, with the damp forested coastal areas to the west, and pineforests, deserts and irrigated farmland of the [[Columbia River Plateau]] to the east.
  
 
==Regions==
 
==Regions==
*[[Cascade Mountains]]:  High volcanic mountan rage bisecting the state.  Contains North Cascades National Park and Mt. Rainier National Park.  Features many glaciated peaks and dense temperate forests.  Major volcanos include Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, Mt. Baker, Mt. St. Hellens, and Glacier Peak.
 
*[[Columbia Plateau]]  Semi-desert and desert region, is now widely irrigated.  Grand Coulie Dam is located here on the Columbia River.  The famous Gorge Ampatheatre is also located in this region. 
 
*[[Okanogan Highlands]]
 
*[[Olympic Peninsula]]  Features the Olympic Mountains and Olympic National Park, one of the wildest parts of the lower 48.  Olypmic National Park holds some of the worlds largest trees as well as temperate rain forests containing Sitka Spruce, Westen Hemlock (the state tree), Western Redcedar, Douglas Fir and Big Leaf Maple. 
 
*[[Puget Sound]]  Major polulation center.  Home of Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma, Everett and Olympia.
 
*[[San Juan Islands]]
 
  
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{{Regionlist|
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regionmap=Washington regions map.png |
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regionmaptext=Washington regions |
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regionmapsize=370px |
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region1name=[[Columbia River Plateau]] |
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region1color=#d1be90 |
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region1items= |
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region1description=located on the southeastern side of the Cascades; this region features canyons, deserts and steppes set in hillside valleys. Cities included within this region are [[Kennewick]], [[Walla Walla]], and [[Yakima]].||
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region2name=[[North Cascades]] |
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region2color=#76b0d9  |
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region2items= |
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region2description= beautiful mountains and fresh water lakes, outdoor activities galore, national parks ([[North Cascades National Park]]) and secluded getaways await travelers to the North Cascades region. Cities included within this region are [[Bellingham (Washington)|Bellingham]], [[Leavenworth (Washington)|Leavenworth]], and [[Wenatchee]].|
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region3name=[[Olympic Peninsula]]  |
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region3color=#d19097  |
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region3items=  |
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region3description=on the west coast, with rain forests against a spine of dramatic mountains |
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region4name=[[Palouse (Washington)|Palouse]]  |
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region4color=#90d197  |
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region4items=  |
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region4description=[[Spokane]], [[Cheney]], [[Pullman]] |
  
===Counties===
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region5name=[[Puget Sound]]   |
====Western Washington====
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region5color=#bfcf97  |
Clallam County | Clark County | Cowlitz County | [[Grays Harbor County]] | Island County | Jefferson County | [[Kitsap County]] | [[King County]] | Lewis County | Mason County | Pacific County | Pierce County | [[San Juan County]] | Skagit County | Skamania County | Snohomish County | Thurston County [[Whatcom County]] | Wahkiakum County
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region5items=  |
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region5description=with [[Seattle]], the state's largest city; [[King County]], filled with the Seattle metropolitan area, [[Tacoma]], [[Olympia (Washington)|Olympia]] (capital), and the islands and waters between Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula  |
  
====Eastern Washington====
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region6name=[[Northeast Washington]]  |
Adams County | Asotin County | Benton County | Chelan County | Columbia County | Douglas County | Ferry County | Franklin County | Garfield County | Grant County | Kittitas County | Klickitat County | Lincoln County | [[Okanogan County]] | Skagit County | Spokane County | [Stevens County | Walla Walla County | Whitman County | Yakima County
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region6color=#6da58f |
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region6items= |
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region6description= |
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region7name=[[San Juan Islands]]  |
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region7color=#cb5dc8  |
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region7items=  |
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region7description=a scattering of forested islands in the serene waters adjacent to [[British Columbia]]. Ferries, private boats, kayaks, and orca (whales) criss-cross the waters, while float planes and bald eagles soar overhead  |
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region8name=[[Southwest Washington]]   |
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region8color=#7685a4  |
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region8items=  |
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region8description=  |
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}}
  
 
==Cities==
 
==Cities==
===West of the Cascades===
 
*[[Allyn (Washington)|Allyn]] -- Allyn overlooks the shoreline of North Bay-Case Inlet on Puget Sound.
 
*[[Bainbridge Island]] -- a 35 minute ferry ride from Seattle
 
*[[Bangor (Kitsap)|Bangor]] -- Submarine Base for Naval Base Kitsap
 
*[[Belfair]] -- Home of Theler Wetlands
 
*[[Bellevue]] - Fifth largest city in state.  Major commercial center on Eastside of Lake Washington with a quickly growing downtown. 
 
*[[Bellingham (Washington)|Bellingham]]  Home of Western Washington University.  Near Canadian border.
 
*[[Bremerton]] -- The Kitsap Peninsula's largest town
 
*[[Burley (Washington)|Burley]]
 
*[[Brownsville (Washington)|Brownsville]]
 
*[[Chico (Washington)|Chico]]
 
*[[Everett]] - Home of widebody Boeing plant including 747 and 777.
 
*[[Fox Island]]
 
*[[Friday Harbor]]
 
*[[Gig Harbor]] -- Southern gateway to the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas
 
*[[Hansville]] -- Beautiful beaches and a wonderful lighthouse
 
*[[Indianola (Washington) | Indianola]] -- Quaint waterfront community, mostly residential
 
*[[Keyport]] -- Home to the Naval Undersea Warfare Center.
 
*[[Kingston (Washington)|Kingston]] -- 30 minute ferry ride from Edmonds
 
*[[Kirkland]] -- Lakefront town across from Seattle with cute downtown
 
*[[Manchester (Washington)|Manchester]]
 
*[[Olympia (Washington)|Olympia]] -- State capital and home of the liberal Evergreen State College
 
*[[Ocean Shores]] -- Popular resort area separating Greys Harbor from the Pacific Ocean
 
*[[Port Gamble]] -- Historic lumber mill town established in 1853 and still company owned
 
*[[Port Orchard]] -- County seat for Kitsap County
 
*[[Port Townsend]] -- Washington's Victorian seaport
 
*[[Poulsbo]] - Known as "Little Norway
 
*[[Puyallup]] - Home of the Puyallup Fair. In shadow of Mt. Rainier.
 
*[[Renton]] - On the south end of lake Washington, home of Boeing 737 plant.
 
*[[Seattle]] -- the largest city in the [[Pacific Northwest (United  States of America)|Pacific Northwest]].  Home of the University of Washington.
 
*[[Seabeck]]
 
*[[Silverdale (Washington)|Silverdale]] -- Shopping center for the Kitsap Peninsula
 
*[[Southworth]]
 
*[[Suquamish]] -- Home of the Suquamish Tribe
 
*[[Tacoma]] -- Third largest city in state.  Major port and several good museums downtown.
 
*[[Tahuya]]
 
*[[Tracyton ]]
 
*[[Vancouver (Washington)|Vancouver, Washington]]  Fourth largest city in Washington.  Across Columbia River from Portland, Oregon.
 
*[[Union (Washington)]] -- At the bend of Hood Canal, spectacular views
 
  
===East of the Cascades===
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There are many cities in Washington; these are some of the more popular.
*[[College Place]] -- primarily Seventh-Day Adventist town adjoining [[Walla Walla]], home of the private SDA Walla Walla College
 
*[[Dayton, WA]] -- home of the Jolly Green Giant
 
*[[Ellensburg]] -- at the juncture of I-90 and I-82, a convenient stop with a quaint downtown area.
 
*[[George, WA]] -- home of the scenic [[Gorge amphitheater]]
 
*[[Kennewick]]
 
*[[Moses Lake]]
 
*[[Pasco]]
 
*[[Pomeroy]]
 
*[[Pullman]] -- home of WSU, Washington State University
 
*[[Richland]]
 
*[[Roslyn]] -- just on the eastern side of the Cascades, beautiful small town where "Northern Exposure" was filmed.
 
*[[Spokane]] -- Second largest city in Washington, unoffical capital of the Inland Empire.
 
*[[Tri-Cities]] -- comprised of [[Richland]], [[Pasco]], and [[Kennewick]] -- a pleasantly suburban area at the juncture of the Columbia and Snake rivers.  Major wine-prodicing region.  
 
*[[Yakima]] -- the self billed 'Palm Springs of Washington'
 
*[[Walla Walla]] -- at the heart of southeast Washington's blooming wine country
 
  
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*[[Olympia (Washington)|Olympia]] — State capital located within the fast growing South Sound area.
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*[[Bellevue]] — Seattle's suburban cousin across Lake Washington, a commercial center with a growing downtown area.
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*[[Bellingham (Washington)|Bellingham]] — Home of Western Washington University.  Near the Canadian border and [[Vancouver|Vancouver, B.C.]]
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*[[Seattle]] — Largest city in the [[Pacific Northwest]].  Home of the world famous coffee chain, Starbucks.
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*[[Spokane]] — The heart of Eastern Washington, unofficial capital of the Inland Empire.
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*[[Tacoma]] — Port city with several good museums downtown.
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*[[Vancouver (Washington)|Vancouver]] — Just across the Columbia River from [[Portland (Oregon)|Portland]], Oregon.  Not to be confused with the Canadian city.
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*[[Walla Walla]] — Small eastern city in the heart of Washington's blooming wine country.
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*[[Yakima]] — Located in the Yakima Valley, the major agricultural and wine region of the state.
  
 
==Other destinations==
 
==Other destinations==
*[[Anacortes]], [[Fidalgo Island]], and the [[San Juan Islands]].
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*[[Seattle/Pioneer Square-International District#Do|Klondike Gold Rush - Seattle Unit National Historical Park]][http://www.nps.gov/klse/index.htm] - Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park preserves the story of the 1897-98 stampede to the Yukon gold fields and Seattle's role in this event
*[[Camano Island]]
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*[[Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail]] - Between May 1804 and September 1806, 32 men, one woman, and a baby traveled from the plains of the Midwest to the shores of the Pacific Ocean. They called themselves the Corps of Discovery.
*[[Mount Rainier National Park]] 14,410 feet volcano.  Contains more snow and ice than all other Cascade range volcanos combined.
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*[[Mount Rainier National Park]] - 14,410 feet volcano.  Contains more snow and ice than all other Cascade range volcanos combined
*[[Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument]]
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*[[Mount St. Helens|Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument]] - At 8:32 Sunday morning, May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted and life in the area was altered for better and for worse
*[[North Cascades National Park]] Home to 50% of all glaciers in the lower 48 states
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*[[Nez Perce National Historical Park]][http://www.nps.gov/nepe/] - consists of 38 sites to the east of [[Lewiston (Washington)|Lewiston]]; most in [[Idaho]], but some in Washington.
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*[[North Cascades National Park]] - Home to 50% of all glaciers in the lower 48 states
 
*[[Olympic National Park]] - Temperate rain forest, rugged Olympic Mountains and wild coastline
 
*[[Olympic National Park]] - Temperate rain forest, rugged Olympic Mountains and wild coastline
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*[[San Juan Island#See|San Juan Island National Historical Park]] - here in 1859 the United States and Great Britain nearly went to war over a dead pig
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'''Itineraries'''
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*[[The North Cascade Loop]]
  
 
==Understand==
 
==Understand==
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*The legal driving age in Washington is '''15''' on a learners permit, if enrolled in "Behind the wheel driver training" otherwise it's '''15 and 6 months'''. '''16''' on a restricted license, and '''17''' with perfect driving record for the first year, otherwise it's '''18'''. For the first year, no driving between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. unless with a licensed driver age 25 or older. '''Traffic violations in the state are severe'''.
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*Drive on the '''right side''' of the road!  Oncoming traffic comes from the left and you must cross oncoming traffic when turning left.  An international drivers license will usually allow you to drive legally for a few months.
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*The drinking and purchasing age of alcoholic beverages in Washington is '''21''' years old.
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*In November 2012, Washington state became one of just two states to pass by initiative the legal sale and possession of marijuana for both medical and non-medical use with Initiative 502. Although marijuana is still illegal under U.S. Federal law, persons 21 and older in Washington state will be able to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, 16 ounces of marijuana-infused product in solid form, 72 ounces of marijuana-infused product in liquid form, or any combination of all three, and to legally consume marijuana and marijuana-infused products.  It should be noted that the law specifically designates that use of marijuana must take place '''in a private setting'''.  Public marijuana use is not allowed. '''Do not''' bring cannabis into any Indian reservation that has deemed it illegal, and Federal enclaves as Federal law will be heavilly enforced'''
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*You must be '''18''' years of age to legally smoke. Understand that it is ILLEGAL in Washington state to smoke in a workplace, restaurant, bar, bowling alley, non-tribal casino, and (technically, though everyone does it) bus stop.  Smoking is also banned within 25 feet (8 meters) of a door or window that can open or a ventilation intake.
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*While Washington is often portrayed (as well as [[Seattle]]) as an extremely rainy place, the climate of Washington is actually very diverse. The part of the state east of the Cascades is quite dry and arid. In the Puget Sound area, it rains some, but not as much as many other major cities. Here especially, the weather can change very fast. The west coast of the Olympic peninsula is the rainiest part of the state.
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* As of July 1, 2011, a Discover Pass is required for all private vehicles entering a state park. (There are some exceptions for camping, fishing, and hunting, which have their own fees, plus a few annual "State Parks free days.") A daily pass is available for those staying only a day or two; otherwise it's valid for one year (no upgrades) for two vehicles. (If needed, you can fill in the second license plate number later.) Dealers, such as sporting goods stores, and online sales add a surcharge. As most state parks have no manned entry booth, there's been confusion over whether it's allowed to enter without a pass, then purchase one at the ranger station or visitors center. Only do so during daily business hours, going promptly from the main entrance without any recreational stops in between. Calling the park ahead of time, and inquiring about the pass is a good idea if you don't already have one. Some smaller state parks, and even larger ones at off-peak times are completely unattended, requiring the pass be purchased elsewhere in advance. [http://discoverpass.wa.gov/faq]
  
 
==Talk==
 
==Talk==
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Most people in Washington speak English with a Pacific Northwest accent.  This accent is considered very similar to general American. Washingtonians generally have little to no problem understanding different accents of the English language.
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Washington is the thirteenth most populated state, but by comparison has the fourth highest Asian population. You may be able to find a Japanese or Chinese speaker, especially in the Seattle area. There is also a large Hispanic population.  In some small towns east of the Cascades more than 50% of households speak Spanish at home.
  
 
==Get in==
 
==Get in==
===By plane===
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===By Plane===
'''Seattle-Tacoma International Airport''', (Airport code: SEA), called "SeaTac" by locals, connects Seattle to all regions of the world, with especially frequent transpacific routes. Alaska Airlines provides something approximating discount air fare to and from the [[Bay Area (California)|San Francisco Bay Area]] and [[Southern California]].
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'''[[Seattle#By_plane|Seattle-Tacoma International Airport]]''', (IATA: SEA), called "SeaTac" by locals, connects Seattle to all regions of the world, with especially frequent transpacific routes. Competition is heavy on busy [[Bay Area (California)|San Francisco Bay Area]] and [[Southern California]] routes. Non-stops to the following countries: [[Canada]], [[China]], [[United Arab Emirates]], [[France]], [[Germany]], [[Iceland]], [[Japan]], [[South Korea]], [[Mexico]], [[Netherlands]], [[Taiwan]], and the [[UK]]. Transfers are required from the [[Caribbean]] and [[Central America|Central]] and [[South America]].
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'''[[Spokane#By_plane|Spokane International Airport]]''', (IATA: GEG). Most flights go to [[Seattle]], [[Portland (Oregon)]], [[Boise]], [[Oakland]] (across from [[San Francisco]]), [[Salt Lake City]], [[Los Angeles]], [[Denver]], [[Phoenix]] and [[Minneapolis]]. Seasonal flights to [[Chicago]].
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'''[[Portland#By_plane|Portland International Airport]]''', (IATA: PDX) is just one mile across the state line in Oregon from [[Vancouver_(Washington)|Vancouver]]. For Southwest Washington (i.e. anything south of [[Chehalis]] along I-5 exit 77) this is the (next) nearest major airport. One daily non-stop from [[Tokyo]], [[Amsterdam]], [[Calgary]] and [[Guadalajara]].  Plans are underway to include additional flights to Los Cabos, [[Germany]] and [[Iceland]] with additional airlines.
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'''[[Vancouver#By_plane|Vancouver International Airport]]''' (IATA: YVR) is in Canada 27 miles (44 km) from the border in [[Blaine]]/Surrey which is the border crossing to the USA from Canada. You will need the proper travel documents to (re)enter Canada and the U.S. to cross the border. For U.S. residents, going through customs twice probably isn't worth it unless you also want to visit [[Vancouver]] so the next nearest American airport is in Bellingham (see below). For Canadians wanting to go to the [[San Juan Islands]] it may be the best choice. There are also direct international flights to/from [[Europe]], [[Mexico]], [[Cuba]], [[Australia]], and [[Asia]].  For travel across Canada the total airfare may come out cheaper for one to cross into the United States by Greyhound or by another bus line, fly across the North American continent and go back up into Canada on another bus, then fly across Canada as Air Canada has a near monopoly on domestic travel. For, example to get from Toronto to Vancouver one may take a bus from Toronto to [[Buffalo#By_plane|Buffalo]], fly across the United States to Seattle and continue on another bus to Vancouver.
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'''[[Bellingham_(Washington)#By_plane|Bellingham International Airport]]''' (IATA: BLI) is a regional airport about 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, Canada. Allegiant and Alaska Airlines have jet service to [[Las Vegas]], [[Los Angeles]], [[Oakland]], [[Mesa]] (near Phoenix), [[San Diego]], [[Honolulu]] and [[Palm Springs]] (seasonal). There are many shorter flights (mostly to Seattle) with turboprop aircraft.
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'''[[Pasco#By_plane|Tri-Cities Airport]]''' (IATA: PSC) is a commercial airport located 2 miles northwest of the city of [[Pasco]] and is the third largest commercial air terminal in the State of Washington. Flights go to [[Seattle]], [[San Francisco]], [[Los Angeles]], [[Las Vegas]], [[Mesa]] (near Phoenix), [[Salt Lake City]], [[Denver]], and [[Minneapolis]] (seasonal).
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====Commuter Airports====
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Horizon Air (which links to Alaska Air) has flights to five small cites in or near Washington State with infrequent daily service to Seattle-Tacoma.
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'''[[Lewiston]]''', Idaho (next to '''[[Clarkston]]''', Washington) (IATA: LWS) Seattle-Tacoma
  
'''Spokane International Airport''', (Airport code: GEG).  Most flights go to [[Seattle]], [[Portland (Oregon)]], [[Boise]], [[Oakland]] (across from [[San Francisco]]), [[Salt Lake City]], [[Denver]], [[Phoenix]] and [[Minneapolis]]. One flight to [[Chicago]].
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'''[[Pullman#By_plane|Pullman]]''' (IATA: PUW) Seattle-Tacoma
  
'''Portland International Airport''', (Airport code: PDX) is just one mile across the state line in Oregon.  For SW Washington this is the nearest major airport. One non-stop from [[Tokyo]].
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'''[[Walla Walla]]''' (IATA: ALW) Seattle-Tacoma, or Portland via Eastern Oregon Regional Airport (IATA:PDT) in nearby [[Pendleton]]
  
'''Vancouver International Airport''' (Airport code: YVR) is in [[Canada]] 27 miles (44 km) from the border.  You will have to go through US customs at Blaine, Washington.  For US residents, going through customs twice probably isn't worth it, unless you want to see the [[Vancouver]] area also. For Canadians wanting to go to the [[San Juan Islands]], it's the best choice.  Also has lots of international flights.
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'''[[Wenatchee]]''' (IATA: EAT) Seattle-Tacoma, Portland (1 stop)
  
'''Yakima Air Terminal''' (Airport code: YKM) is a commuter airport with turboprop aircraft, but the largest in the center of the state.  Connections are via Seattle-Tacoma.
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'''[[Yakima#By_plane|Yakima]]''' (IATA: YKM) Seattle-Tacoma, Portland
  
 
===By train===
 
===By train===
'''Amtrak''' has 3 routes into [[Seattle]]'s King Street Station. These routed are ''Amtrak Cascades'', ''Coast Starlight'' and ''Empire Builder''
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Amtrak [http://www.amtrak.com] offers several ways to enter and travel throughout Washington by train:
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* '''The [[Empire Builder]]''' [http://www.amtrak.com/empire-builder-train] runs between Chicago and Spokane, Washington, where it then splits, with half of the train continuing to Seattle, and the other half to Portland.
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* '''The Coast Starlight''' [http://www.amtrak.com/coast-starlight-train]. Regarded by many as America's most scenic train ride, the Coast Starlight runs between Los Angeles, California, and Seattle, Washington, stopping at many Washington towns including Seattle, Tacoma, Lacey/Olympia, Centralia, Kelso/Longview & Vancouver, WA.
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* '''Amtrak Cascades''' [http://www.amtrakcascades.com]. The Cascades is a special service that operates between Seattle and Portland 4 times (6 times beginning in fall 2017) round trip daily.  Twice daily from Seattle to Vancouver, BC and from Portland to Eugene using special high-speed Talgo rolling stock. Washington stops include Bellingham, Mt Vernon, Everett, Edmonds, '''Seattle''', Tukwila, Tacoma, Lacey/Olympia, Centralia, Kelso/Longview & Vancouver, WA.  Additional service to Eugene & Vancouver are on the ''Thruway Motorcoach'' buses.
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For more information, see Amtrak's website, Wikitravel's article [[Rail travel in the United States]], or the Wikipedia pages on each of this train services.
  
 
===By car===
 
===By car===
 
====From [[British Columbia]]====
 
====From [[British Columbia]]====
Interstate 5 and the '''Peace Arch''' [http://www.borderlineups.com/peace.htm ] crossing is the main port-of-entry to Washington from Canada, though expect to be in queue for awhile when crossing here. An alternative to crossing at the Peace Arch, is to take the '''Pacific Crossing''' [http://www.borderlineups.com/pachwy.htm ] via British Columbia Provencial Route 15, which typicaly has much shorter queues, and is the commercial truck crossing. It continues on as Washington State Route 543, and runs right onto Interstate 5. Both crossings are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  
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Interstate 5 and the '''Peace Arch''' [http://www.borderlineups.com/peace.htm ] crossing is the main land port-of-entry to Washington from Canada. However this is only one of five land crossing points between the [[Lower Mainland]] region of BC and the [[Northwest Cascades]] region of Washington. See the [[Northwest Cascades#By car|''Get in — by car'' section of '''Northwest Cascades''']] region article for details.
  
 
====From [[Oregon]]====
 
====From [[Oregon]]====
Line 114: Line 162:
  
 
===By bus===
 
===By bus===
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'''Greyhound''' [http://www.greyhound.com/en/locations/locations.aspx?state=wa] has a number of bus stations throughout the state in metropolitan areas as well as the smaller micropolitan areas by way of the main interstate highways (5, 82 & 90). Passengers transfer buses in Missoula, MT; Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City or Sacramento to get to where they're going.
  
 
==Get around==
 
==Get around==
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To explore most of Washington (outside of main cities), you will generally need a car because there is very little public transportation, especially to more remote locations.
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===By plane===
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Most people get around the state by private automobile or buses but flying is still available if you're in a hurry to get there. Intrastate service is only offered by [http://www.alaskaair.com  '''Alaska Airlines'''] (Seattle, Portland and various destinations in the state) and '''[http://www.delta.com Delta]''' (Seattle, Portland & Spokane).
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===By car===
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Washington's road network is well-maintained and cars are the quickest way to travel around the state. The main freeways are I-5, running along the west side of Washington through many of Western Washington's population centers. I-90, running east of  [[Seattle]] to [[Ellensburg]] and [[Spokane]], and I-82, which starts at I-90 near [[Ellensburg]] and heads southeast through [[Yakima]] and [[Kennewick]]. Other US highways and WA state routes access all parts of the state. Rental-car agencies can be found in the larger cities.
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All of the state's major east-west highways cross over the [[Cascade Mountains]], which are subject to closure, delays, and studded tire or chain requirements in wintertime. In severe weather, it may be better to use I-84 just across the border in Oregon. This route goes through the relatively low elevation of the Columbia River Basin. On rare occasion, I-84 may also have weather-related problems where it passes north of [[Mount Hood]]. A 20-mile detour on Washington State Hwy 14 is available between I-84 Exit #44 Bridge of the Gods, and Exit #64 Hood River Bridge. Both have a small toll.
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In urban areas (especially in Seattle) getting around by bus is fine but for most places, especially in small towns and in rural areas having driving is a must as (local) bus services are limited.
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===By bus===
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*'''Greyhound''', [http://www.greyhound.com], travels primirarly along Interstate 5, 82 & 90 and along US Hwy 395 between Pasco & Ritzville.  Along I-5 buses go between Seattle & Portland via Tacoma, Olympia, Centralia, and Kelso and between Seattle & Vancouver via Everett, Mt Vernon & Bellingham.  Along I-90 buses go from Seattle to Missoula, MT (via Ellensburg, Moses Lake, Spokane, etc) and southeast to Stanfield, OR (via Ellensburg, Yakima, Sunnyside & Pasco along I-82.  Along US 395 buses go from Pasco up to Ritzville & over to Spokane along I-90.  Passengers typically transfer buses in Seattle, Portland, Spokane, Sacramento, Missoula, Pasco , Stanfield and Vancouver to continue to other cities.
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*'''Bellair Airporter''', [http://www.airporter.com] goes from SeaTac Airport up to Lynden and Blaine via Stanwood, Marysville, Mt Vernon,Burlington and Bellingham on one route and over to Yakima via North Bend, Cle Elum and Ellensburg on another route.  From Burlington they have a third route going across to Anacortes and the San Juan ferry terminal.
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*'''BoltBus''', [http://www.boltbus.com]. Direct service from [[Portland (Oregon)|Portland]], Seattle, Bellingham and [[Vancouver]], BC. Buses stop at 5th Ave S and S King St next to the International District/Chinatown transit station. Fares $1-20.
 +
 +
*'''Northwestern Trailways''', [http://www.northwesterntrailways.com] goes from Spokane to Seattle, Leavenworth, Wenatchee, Coeur d'Alene, Boise, Pullman & Lewiston on multiple routes as well as operating the ''''Travel Washington - Apple Line'''' bus between Ellensburg and Omak along US 97 [http://www.appleline.us/].
 +
 +
* <listing name="Travel Washington Intercity Bus Program" alt="" directions="" lat="" long="" address="" phone="" tollfree="" email="" fax="" url="" hours="" price=""> ... offers options for statewide travel, connecting towns and rural communities with major transportation hubs and urban centers in areas not served by Greyhound Lines.  They are the '''Dungeness Line''' (operated by Olympic Bus Lines)[http://www.olympicbuslines.com] between Seattle, Port Townsend, Sequim, and Port Angeles; the '''Apple Line''' [http://www.appleline.us/] (operated by NW Trailways) between Ellensburg, Wenatchee, and Omak along US Hwy 97; the '''Grape Line''' between Pasco and Walla Walla [http://www.grapeline.us/]; and the '''Gold Line''' [http://www.gold-line.us/] between Spokane, Chewelah, Colville, & Kettle Falls along US Hwy 395 in the northeastern part.  Latter two are operated by Bellair Charters</listing>
 +
 +
* <listing name="People for People" alt="" directions="" lat="" long="" address="" phone="" tollfree="" email="" fax="" url="http://www.pfp.org/pfp/pfp/home.aspx" hours="" price="">People For People is a non-profit group that provides limited rural transit service in Yakima, Lincoln, Adams, and Grant counties. </listing>
 +
 +
*'''Quick Shuttle''', [http://www.quickcoach.com]. Runs between the airport in Seatac Airport to Vancouver via downtown Seattle, Tulalip & Bellingham.
 +
 +
*'''Washington Dept. of Transportation Transit List'''' [http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Choices/bus.htm] provides a list of urban and rural public transportation providers throughout the state. In some parts of the state such as the Olympic Peninsula, the Northwest, and South Sound using these public buses are the only thing available to get around without a car.
 +
 +
===By ferry===
 +
'''Washington State Ferries''' [http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries] is the largest in the country. It has routes across Puget Sound and to Bainbridge, Vashon, Whidbey and the San Juan Islands. Inland, the state also offers some free ferries across the Columbia River. There are also some county-run ferries to smaller destinations such as to Anderson Island and Guemes Island.
 +
 +
Many ferry destinations are not islands without a bridge, but peninsulas where going by land would involve a very long detour. The most extreme example of this is the [[Port Townsend]] -- [[Coupeville|Keystone]] route on State Hwy 20. Only five and a half miles via the ferry, becomes a whopping 217 miles (354 km) traveling by car!
 +
 +
===By train===
 +
Getting around by train on Amtrak [http://www.amtrak.com] is likely to be quite a hassle, especially with infrequent departures, slow travel times, inconvenient schedules and limited routes. For those who still wish to take trains to get around Washington, these are the main routes:
 +
 +
* '''The [[Empire Builder]]''' [http://www.amtrak.com/empire-builder-train] runs between Chicago and Spokane, Washington, where it then splits, with half of the train continuing to Seattle, and the other half to Portland.
 +
* '''The Coast Starlight''' [http://www.amtrak.com/coast-starlight-train]. Regarded by many as America's most scenic train ride, the Coast Starlight runs between Los Angeles, California, and Seattle, Washington, stopping at many Washington towns including Seattle, Tacoma, Lacey/Olympia, Centralia, Kelso/Longview & Vancouver, WA.
 +
* '''Amtrak Cascades''' [http://www.amtrakcascades.com]. The Cascades is a special service that operates between Seattle and Portland 4x daily.  Twice daily from Seattle to Vancouver, BC and from Portland to Eugene using special high-speed Talgo rolling stock. Washington stops include Bellingham, Mt Vernon, Everett, Edmonds, '''Seattle''', Tukwila, Tacoma, Lacey/Olympia, Centralia, Kelso/Longview & Vancouver, WA.  Additional service to Eugene & Vancouver are on the ''Thruway Motorcoach'' buses.
 +
*'''Sound Transit Sounder''' [http://www.soundtransit.org/Rider-Guide/Sounder-train] runs commuter trains between Everett-Seattle and Seattle-Tacoma-Lakewood on two separate routes.
 +
 +
For more information, see Amtrak's website, Wikitravel's article [[Rail travel in the United States]], or the Wikipedia pages on each of this train services.
  
 
==See==
 
==See==
Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens
+
[[Mount_Rainier_National_Park|Mt. Rainier]] and [[Mount_St._Helens_National_Volcanic_Monument|Mt. St. Helens]]
  
 
==Do==
 
==Do==
*Go hiking in the [[Ape Caves]]
+
* Visit the [[San Juan Islands]], famous for sailing, fishing, sea kayaking, scuba diving, hiking, bicycling and fine vistas and sunsets.
*Visit the San Juan Islands ( southeast of Vancouver Island, Canada)
+
* Go killer whale watching in Bellingham Bay, Haro Strait, and Lime Kiln State Park
*Go skiing at [[Mount Baker]]
+
* Go bird-watching and see some of the 400+ species of birds with a local birding guide who knows all the best locations.
*Go rock climbing at [[Frenchman Coulee]]
+
* Go fishing for Salmon,Trout, Albacore Tuna, or Bottomfish while visiting Washington both fresh water and Saltwater opportunities available. Washington State offers some of the best fishing in the United States. There are several types of fishing opportunities available in both Saltwater and Freshwater. Salmon and Steelhead are among the most popular fish to pursue and there are several guides to help travelers enjoy the thrill of catching trophy size fish."
 +
* Go hiking in the [[Ape Caves]]
 +
* Go skiing at [[Mount Baker]]
 +
* Go rock climbing at [[Frenchman Coulee]]
 +
* Tour wineries in Washington's wine country
 +
* Pick farm-fresh produce at Yakima Valley farms and in Whatcom and Skagit Counties
  
 
==Eat==
 
==Eat==
  
Locally grown produce and seafood.  
+
Washington state is a great place for seafood, with salmon in particular being a specialty.
  
 
==Drink==
 
==Drink==
  
Local wines and micro beers. Coffee and espresso are also popular.  
+
As with almost everywhere else in the U.S., the legal drinking and purchasing age of alcoholic beverages is '''21'''. And as with most states, Washington uses loopholes in the federal law to allow underage drinking. Underage drinking of alcohol is allowed on private non-alcohol selling premises with parental consent. Underage drinking is allowed for religious purposes. Anyone under the age of 21 shall not be prosecuted for underage drinking if the underage drinker is succumbed to alcohol poisoning and is in need of medical assistance, but for obvious safety reasons this method is not recommended.[http://drinkingage.procon.org/files/WashingtonRCW6644270.pdf ]
+
===Specialty Coffee===
 +
High quality Arabica coffee beans roasted with greater emphasis on taste and freshness, brewed with dripped water or "espresso" steam) arguably has its birthplace here. '''Starbucks''' and '''Tully's''' are apparent brands that most associate specialty coffee with Seattle. However, many small local companies are the ones that have paved the way (and continue to do so) in pioneering the specialty coffee industry. When you visit Seattle, be sure to check out these renowned coffee roasters (in no particular order):
 +
 
 +
: Cafe Allegro (Seattle's original espresso bar, tucked away in an alley in the U-District), Espresso Vivace, Caffe Vita, Zoka Coffee, Victrola Coffee, Stumptown Coffee, Caffe Appassionato, Caffe Umbria, Caffe Fiore, Fonte Coffee, Pura Vida, Vashon Island Coffee, Lighthouse Coffee, Caffe D'Arte, Tony's Coffee/Caffe Ladro, Top Pot Donuts & Coffee, Batdorf & Bronson, Mukilteo Coffee, Moka Joe Coffee, Pioneer Coffee
 +
 
 +
===Wine and Microbrew Beers===
 +
Washington is also the home to well-crafted local wines [http://www.washingtonwine.org/] and "microbrewery" beers.
 +
 
 +
==Respect==
 +
 
 +
The western part of the state tend to be more tolerant to the LGBT group than the eastern part which is more conservative.
 +
 
 +
Washington has a large Asian population that is concentrated mostly in the western part of the state. Some understanding of the corresponding customs and culture may serve you well in these areas. Also, do not assume that no one around you speaks English (chances are they do, so watch what you say).
 +
 
 +
Do not litter along the freeways or highways. The fines for littering can range from several hundred to several '''thousand''' dollars depending on the scenario. It is an offense that the state takes '''VERY''' seriously. If you are caught in the act you will know what the state means by the '''"Litter and It Will Hurt"''' signs which frequently decorate its roadways.
 +
 
 +
==Stay healthy==
 +
 
 +
===Disease===
 +
Like many western states, Washington State has had cases of '''hantaviral pulmonary syndrome''', 41 confirmed cases in the state since 1993. Realistically, however, hantavirus is of very little concern to the traveler; but sensible precautions should be applied. Do '''NOT''' venture in a wild animal's den or handle any dead animals; particularly rodents, as rodents seem to be the primary vector of the illness. There is no cure for the disease, treatment mainly consists of supportive therapies. The main defense against the virus is prevention.
 +
 
 +
 
 +
For more information on prevention and transmission, visit the '''Centers for Disease Control and Prevention''' [http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hanta/hps/noframes/phys/technicalinfoindex.htm] website on hantaviruses.
 +
 
 
==Stay safe==
 
==Stay safe==
 +
===Law Enforcement===
 +
 +
Law enforcement in the state is under control of the Washington State Patrol.
 +
 +
===Avalanches===
 +
In the Cascade Mountains (which divide the state into halves) there can be '''significant''' snow accumulations during the late fall and winter months. This poses a danger for avalanches whenever these areas experience warm up periods, regardless of how brief they may be. Mountain passes are sometimes closed for avalanche control and may affect travel plans, especially along I-90 from '''Yakima''' to '''Seattle'''. Check the '''Washington State Department of Transportation''' website [http://www.wsdot.wa.gov/Traffic/] for information regarding Avalanche control.
 +
 +
If going into the mountains during winter and early spring months, refer to the '''Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center''' website [http://www.nwac.us] for information regarding the current avalanche dangers throughout the Cascade region of the state.
 +
 +
===Crime===
 +
 +
Much like any state in the United States, Washington is generally safe provided that you use common sense and keep your wits about you. Certain areas of '''Seattle''', '''Spokane''', '''Tacoma''', and '''Yakima''' can become seedy after dark and it is therefore advised that one avoid being out alone very late at night; this is especially true in unlit places where you are an easy target for any crime or other illegal activity. Parks in the urban areas of western Washington are not places to be at night unless you are seeking trouble.
 +
 +
Stay to the main tourist areas of the state during the day and you will have a great visit.
 +
 +
If you find yourself in an emergency situation (of any kind), dial '''911''' on your phone.
 +
 +
===Deserts===
 +
East of the Cascade Mountains, the state's terrain begins to turn into desert and temperatures often exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit in regions such as the '''Yakima Valley''' and the '''Columbia River Plateau'''. If are planning on hiking into these locations, follow '''desert survival guidelines'''. Be sure to take plenty of water (at least one gallon per person, per day), sunscreen and wear light clothing. Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to get return.
 +
 +
Also, it is best to hike during the earlier part of the day, as thunderstorms tend to develop suddenly during the afternoon. In the event you encounter inclement weather conditions, seek high ground immediately! Thunderstorms can cause flash flooding in canyons and other low laying areas.
 +
 +
 +
===Landslides===
 +
During the winter months, the western side of the state often receives significant rainfall which soften the grounds to such a point that landslides sometimes occur. Be especially alert when driving. Embankments along roadsides are particularly susceptible to landslides. Watch the road for collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks, and other indications of possible landslides or debris flows.
 +
 +
If you encounter a landslide, '''LEAVE the area immediately''' if it is safe to do so and call the local '''fire''', '''police''' or '''public works''' department
 +
 +
===Volcanoes===
 +
Volcano safety is, to put it mildly, a controversial subject; see the article on [[Volcanoes]] (and, particularly, its discussion page) for some of the issues. Washington state is home to '''five major, ACTIVE volcanoes''', plus one just across the border in Oregon: [[Mount St. Helens]] (1980), [[Mount Rainier]] (1894) (''which is considered to be one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world''), [[Mount Baker]] (1880), [[Mount Hood]], Oregon (1866), [[Central Cascades|Glacier Peak]] (c. 1700), and [[Columbia River Plateau|Mount Adams]] (c. 550 B.C.). The majority of these are considered to be tourist destinations, particularly Rainier and St. Helens.
 +
 +
If planning to visit one of these locations, '''FOLLOW''' the policy regarding any road and/or trail closures that at first glance may appear unnecessarily conservative -- but it is not. Believe it. The closures aren't there simply to inconvenience and irritate you. If a trail is closed due to eruptive hazard, '''stay off the trail'''.
 +
 +
===Marijuana===
 +
'''Warning to anyone who is a non-U.S. citizen traveling from Canada.''' Even though Cannabis is now legal in the State, U.S. Border guards still obey federal law, where Marijuana is still illegal, so anyone trying to cross the border to the U.S. who discloses plans to try cannabis in the state could be denied entry into the U.S. or barred entry indefinitely. Guards will still be allowed to ask travelers whether they plan to buy legal marijuana. The U.S. department of justice allows Indian Reservations to regulate cannabis on their land. Because of this, Some Indian Reservations in the state may ''not'' allow cannabis on their land, such as the [[Yakama Nation]], located in southern Washington. '''Bringing cannabis into any reservation that doesn't allow it will have indian reservation and federal law applied.'''
  
 
==Get out==
 
==Get out==
  
 +
* '''[[Oregon]]''' - The state's southern neighbor is known for lush forests and craggy mountains.
 +
* '''[[Idaho]]''' - Washington's eastern neighbor is a rugged state, with snow-capped mountains, whitewater rivers, forests, high desert, and plenty of wilderness.
 +
* '''[[British Columbia]]''' - Crossing the state's northern border into Canada leads into the mountainous terrain of British Columbia and the seaside city of [[Vancouver]]. There's also a ferry from [[Port Angeles]] to [[Victoria (British Columbia)|Victoria]] on [[Vancouver Island]].
 +
* '''[[Montana]]''' - While Washington does not share a border with Montana, due to the narrow panhandle you can pass through Idaho in just over an hour on I-90, US 2, and Route 200. However, allow more time on US 12 in the southern part of the state, as Idaho is significantly wider here.
 +
* '''[[Alaska]]''' - Though quite far, Washington State has been the gateway to Alaska for well over a century, with ferries and cruise ships connecting the two today. In addition, there are dozens of flights to Alaska's four main cities from Sea-Tac Airport, mostly on Alaska Airlines.
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[[wts:Category:Washington (state)]]
  
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Latest revision as of 17:46, 7 July 2018

Washington (state)
Location
Washington in United States.svg
Flag
Flag of Washington.svg
Quick Facts
Capital Olympia
Government U.S. State
Currency US dollar (USD)
Area 71,362 km2
Population 6,971,406 (2013 est.)
Language English, Spanish(No official language)
Religion Protestant 49%, Unaffiliated 25%, Catholic 16%, Other 8%
Electricity 120V/60Hz (North American plug)
Time Zone UTC -8/-7

Often referred to by its full title, Washington State, to distinguish it from Washington, D.C., Washington [6] offers rugged coastline, deserts, forests, mountains, volcanoes, and hundreds of coastal islands to explore. The Cascade Mountains bisect the state, with the damp forested coastal areas to the west, and pineforests, deserts and irrigated farmland of the Columbia River Plateau to the east.

Regions[edit]

Washington regions
Columbia River Plateau
located on the southeastern side of the Cascades; this region features canyons, deserts and steppes set in hillside valleys. Cities included within this region are Kennewick, Walla Walla, and Yakima.
North Cascades
beautiful mountains and fresh water lakes, outdoor activities galore, national parks (North Cascades National Park) and secluded getaways await travelers to the North Cascades region. Cities included within this region are Bellingham, Leavenworth, and Wenatchee.
Olympic Peninsula
on the west coast, with rain forests against a spine of dramatic mountains
Palouse
Spokane, Cheney, Pullman
Puget Sound
with Seattle, the state's largest city; King County, filled with the Seattle metropolitan area, Tacoma, Olympia (capital), and the islands and waters between Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula
Northeast Washington
San Juan Islands
a scattering of forested islands in the serene waters adjacent to British Columbia. Ferries, private boats, kayaks, and orca (whales) criss-cross the waters, while float planes and bald eagles soar overhead
Southwest Washington

Cities[edit]

There are many cities in Washington; these are some of the more popular.

  • Olympia — State capital located within the fast growing South Sound area.
  • Bellevue — Seattle's suburban cousin across Lake Washington, a commercial center with a growing downtown area.
  • Bellingham — Home of Western Washington University. Near the Canadian border and Vancouver, B.C.
  • Seattle — Largest city in the Pacific Northwest. Home of the world famous coffee chain, Starbucks.
  • Spokane — The heart of Eastern Washington, unofficial capital of the Inland Empire.
  • Tacoma — Port city with several good museums downtown.
  • Vancouver — Just across the Columbia River from Portland, Oregon. Not to be confused with the Canadian city.
  • Walla Walla — Small eastern city in the heart of Washington's blooming wine country.
  • Yakima — Located in the Yakima Valley, the major agricultural and wine region of the state.

Other destinations[edit]

Itineraries

Understand[edit]

  • The legal driving age in Washington is 15 on a learners permit, if enrolled in "Behind the wheel driver training" otherwise it's 15 and 6 months. 16 on a restricted license, and 17 with perfect driving record for the first year, otherwise it's 18. For the first year, no driving between 1 a.m. and 5 a.m. unless with a licensed driver age 25 or older. Traffic violations in the state are severe.
  • Drive on the right side of the road! Oncoming traffic comes from the left and you must cross oncoming traffic when turning left. An international drivers license will usually allow you to drive legally for a few months.
  • The drinking and purchasing age of alcoholic beverages in Washington is 21 years old.
  • In November 2012, Washington state became one of just two states to pass by initiative the legal sale and possession of marijuana for both medical and non-medical use with Initiative 502. Although marijuana is still illegal under U.S. Federal law, persons 21 and older in Washington state will be able to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, 16 ounces of marijuana-infused product in solid form, 72 ounces of marijuana-infused product in liquid form, or any combination of all three, and to legally consume marijuana and marijuana-infused products. It should be noted that the law specifically designates that use of marijuana must take place in a private setting. Public marijuana use is not allowed. Do not bring cannabis into any Indian reservation that has deemed it illegal, and Federal enclaves as Federal law will be heavilly enforced
  • You must be 18 years of age to legally smoke. Understand that it is ILLEGAL in Washington state to smoke in a workplace, restaurant, bar, bowling alley, non-tribal casino, and (technically, though everyone does it) bus stop. Smoking is also banned within 25 feet (8 meters) of a door or window that can open or a ventilation intake.
  • While Washington is often portrayed (as well as Seattle) as an extremely rainy place, the climate of Washington is actually very diverse. The part of the state east of the Cascades is quite dry and arid. In the Puget Sound area, it rains some, but not as much as many other major cities. Here especially, the weather can change very fast. The west coast of the Olympic peninsula is the rainiest part of the state.
  • As of July 1, 2011, a Discover Pass is required for all private vehicles entering a state park. (There are some exceptions for camping, fishing, and hunting, which have their own fees, plus a few annual "State Parks free days.") A daily pass is available for those staying only a day or two; otherwise it's valid for one year (no upgrades) for two vehicles. (If needed, you can fill in the second license plate number later.) Dealers, such as sporting goods stores, and online sales add a surcharge. As most state parks have no manned entry booth, there's been confusion over whether it's allowed to enter without a pass, then purchase one at the ranger station or visitors center. Only do so during daily business hours, going promptly from the main entrance without any recreational stops in between. Calling the park ahead of time, and inquiring about the pass is a good idea if you don't already have one. Some smaller state parks, and even larger ones at off-peak times are completely unattended, requiring the pass be purchased elsewhere in advance. [9]

Talk[edit]

Most people in Washington speak English with a Pacific Northwest accent. This accent is considered very similar to general American. Washingtonians generally have little to no problem understanding different accents of the English language.

Washington is the thirteenth most populated state, but by comparison has the fourth highest Asian population. You may be able to find a Japanese or Chinese speaker, especially in the Seattle area. There is also a large Hispanic population. In some small towns east of the Cascades more than 50% of households speak Spanish at home.

Get in[edit]

By Plane[edit]

Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, (IATA: SEA), called "SeaTac" by locals, connects Seattle to all regions of the world, with especially frequent transpacific routes. Competition is heavy on busy San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California routes. Non-stops to the following countries: Canada, China, United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Iceland, Japan, South Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Taiwan, and the UK. Transfers are required from the Caribbean and Central and South America.

Spokane International Airport, (IATA: GEG). Most flights go to Seattle, Portland (Oregon), Boise, Oakland (across from San Francisco), Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, Denver, Phoenix and Minneapolis. Seasonal flights to Chicago.

Portland International Airport, (IATA: PDX) is just one mile across the state line in Oregon from Vancouver. For Southwest Washington (i.e. anything south of Chehalis along I-5 exit 77) this is the (next) nearest major airport. One daily non-stop from Tokyo, Amsterdam, Calgary and Guadalajara. Plans are underway to include additional flights to Los Cabos, Germany and Iceland with additional airlines.

Vancouver International Airport (IATA: YVR) is in Canada 27 miles (44 km) from the border in Blaine/Surrey which is the border crossing to the USA from Canada. You will need the proper travel documents to (re)enter Canada and the U.S. to cross the border. For U.S. residents, going through customs twice probably isn't worth it unless you also want to visit Vancouver so the next nearest American airport is in Bellingham (see below). For Canadians wanting to go to the San Juan Islands it may be the best choice. There are also direct international flights to/from Europe, Mexico, Cuba, Australia, and Asia. For travel across Canada the total airfare may come out cheaper for one to cross into the United States by Greyhound or by another bus line, fly across the North American continent and go back up into Canada on another bus, then fly across Canada as Air Canada has a near monopoly on domestic travel. For, example to get from Toronto to Vancouver one may take a bus from Toronto to Buffalo, fly across the United States to Seattle and continue on another bus to Vancouver.

Bellingham International Airport (IATA: BLI) is a regional airport about 90 miles north of Seattle and 60 miles south of Vancouver, Canada. Allegiant and Alaska Airlines have jet service to Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Oakland, Mesa (near Phoenix), San Diego, Honolulu and Palm Springs (seasonal). There are many shorter flights (mostly to Seattle) with turboprop aircraft.

Tri-Cities Airport (IATA: PSC) is a commercial airport located 2 miles northwest of the city of Pasco and is the third largest commercial air terminal in the State of Washington. Flights go to Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Mesa (near Phoenix), Salt Lake City, Denver, and Minneapolis (seasonal).


Commuter Airports[edit]

Horizon Air (which links to Alaska Air) has flights to five small cites in or near Washington State with infrequent daily service to Seattle-Tacoma.

Lewiston, Idaho (next to Clarkston, Washington) (IATA: LWS) Seattle-Tacoma

Pullman (IATA: PUW) Seattle-Tacoma

Walla Walla (IATA: ALW) Seattle-Tacoma, or Portland via Eastern Oregon Regional Airport (IATA:PDT) in nearby Pendleton

Wenatchee (IATA: EAT) Seattle-Tacoma, Portland (1 stop)

Yakima (IATA: YKM) Seattle-Tacoma, Portland

By train[edit]

Amtrak [10] offers several ways to enter and travel throughout Washington by train:

  • The Empire Builder [11] runs between Chicago and Spokane, Washington, where it then splits, with half of the train continuing to Seattle, and the other half to Portland.
  • The Coast Starlight [12]. Regarded by many as America's most scenic train ride, the Coast Starlight runs between Los Angeles, California, and Seattle, Washington, stopping at many Washington towns including Seattle, Tacoma, Lacey/Olympia, Centralia, Kelso/Longview & Vancouver, WA.
  • Amtrak Cascades [13]. The Cascades is a special service that operates between Seattle and Portland 4 times (6 times beginning in fall 2017) round trip daily. Twice daily from Seattle to Vancouver, BC and from Portland to Eugene using special high-speed Talgo rolling stock. Washington stops include Bellingham, Mt Vernon, Everett, Edmonds, Seattle, Tukwila, Tacoma, Lacey/Olympia, Centralia, Kelso/Longview & Vancouver, WA. Additional service to Eugene & Vancouver are on the Thruway Motorcoach buses.

For more information, see Amtrak's website, Wikitravel's article Rail travel in the United States, or the Wikipedia pages on each of this train services.

By car[edit]

From British Columbia[edit]

Interstate 5 and the Peace Arch [14] crossing is the main land port-of-entry to Washington from Canada. However this is only one of five land crossing points between the Lower Mainland region of BC and the Northwest Cascades region of Washington. See the Get in — by car section of Northwest Cascades region article for details.

From Oregon[edit]

Interstate 5 (and Interstate 205) provide access from the greater Portland area. Interstate 82 / US 395 provides access from eastern Oregon to the tri-cities area of Eastern Washington. For a more scenic entry, try taking US Route 101 along the Washington and Oregon coast, but be aware for the numerous speed traps in the small cities.

From Idaho[edit]

Interstate 90 is the main route in via Coeur D'Alene, but US 2 provides access to the northern parts of Idaho and Washington.

By bus[edit]

Greyhound [15] has a number of bus stations throughout the state in metropolitan areas as well as the smaller micropolitan areas by way of the main interstate highways (5, 82 & 90). Passengers transfer buses in Missoula, MT; Portland, Seattle, Salt Lake City or Sacramento to get to where they're going.

Get around[edit]

To explore most of Washington (outside of main cities), you will generally need a car because there is very little public transportation, especially to more remote locations.

By plane[edit]

Most people get around the state by private automobile or buses but flying is still available if you're in a hurry to get there. Intrastate service is only offered by Alaska Airlines (Seattle, Portland and various destinations in the state) and Delta (Seattle, Portland & Spokane).

By car[edit]

Washington's road network is well-maintained and cars are the quickest way to travel around the state. The main freeways are I-5, running along the west side of Washington through many of Western Washington's population centers. I-90, running east of Seattle to Ellensburg and Spokane, and I-82, which starts at I-90 near Ellensburg and heads southeast through Yakima and Kennewick. Other US highways and WA state routes access all parts of the state. Rental-car agencies can be found in the larger cities.

All of the state's major east-west highways cross over the Cascade Mountains, which are subject to closure, delays, and studded tire or chain requirements in wintertime. In severe weather, it may be better to use I-84 just across the border in Oregon. This route goes through the relatively low elevation of the Columbia River Basin. On rare occasion, I-84 may also have weather-related problems where it passes north of Mount Hood. A 20-mile detour on Washington State Hwy 14 is available between I-84 Exit #44 Bridge of the Gods, and Exit #64 Hood River Bridge. Both have a small toll.

In urban areas (especially in Seattle) getting around by bus is fine but for most places, especially in small towns and in rural areas having driving is a must as (local) bus services are limited.

By bus[edit]

  • Greyhound, [16], travels primirarly along Interstate 5, 82 & 90 and along US Hwy 395 between Pasco & Ritzville. Along I-5 buses go between Seattle & Portland via Tacoma, Olympia, Centralia, and Kelso and between Seattle & Vancouver via Everett, Mt Vernon & Bellingham. Along I-90 buses go from Seattle to Missoula, MT (via Ellensburg, Moses Lake, Spokane, etc) and southeast to Stanfield, OR (via Ellensburg, Yakima, Sunnyside & Pasco along I-82. Along US 395 buses go from Pasco up to Ritzville & over to Spokane along I-90. Passengers typically transfer buses in Seattle, Portland, Spokane, Sacramento, Missoula, Pasco , Stanfield and Vancouver to continue to other cities.
  • Bellair Airporter, [17] goes from SeaTac Airport up to Lynden and Blaine via Stanwood, Marysville, Mt Vernon,Burlington and Bellingham on one route and over to Yakima via North Bend, Cle Elum and Ellensburg on another route. From Burlington they have a third route going across to Anacortes and the San Juan ferry terminal.
  • BoltBus, [18]. Direct service from Portland, Seattle, Bellingham and Vancouver, BC. Buses stop at 5th Ave S and S King St next to the International District/Chinatown transit station. Fares $1-20.
  • Northwestern Trailways, [19] goes from Spokane to Seattle, Leavenworth, Wenatchee, Coeur d'Alene, Boise, Pullman & Lewiston on multiple routes as well as operating the 'Travel Washington - Apple Line' bus between Ellensburg and Omak along US 97 [20].
  • Travel Washington Intercity Bus Program. ... offers options for statewide travel, connecting towns and rural communities with major transportation hubs and urban centers in areas not served by Greyhound Lines. They are the Dungeness Line (operated by Olympic Bus Lines)[1] between Seattle, Port Townsend, Sequim, and Port Angeles; the Apple Line [2] (operated by NW Trailways) between Ellensburg, Wenatchee, and Omak along US Hwy 97; the Grape Line between Pasco and Walla Walla [3]; and the Gold Line [4] between Spokane, Chewelah, Colville, & Kettle Falls along US Hwy 395 in the northeastern part. Latter two are operated by Bellair Charters  edit
  • People for People, [5]. People For People is a non-profit group that provides limited rural transit service in Yakima, Lincoln, Adams, and Grant counties.  edit
  • Quick Shuttle, [21]. Runs between the airport in Seatac Airport to Vancouver via downtown Seattle, Tulalip & Bellingham.
  • Washington Dept. of Transportation Transit List' [22] provides a list of urban and rural public transportation providers throughout the state. In some parts of the state such as the Olympic Peninsula, the Northwest, and South Sound using these public buses are the only thing available to get around without a car.

By ferry[edit]

Washington State Ferries [23] is the largest in the country. It has routes across Puget Sound and to Bainbridge, Vashon, Whidbey and the San Juan Islands. Inland, the state also offers some free ferries across the Columbia River. There are also some county-run ferries to smaller destinations such as to Anderson Island and Guemes Island.

Many ferry destinations are not islands without a bridge, but peninsulas where going by land would involve a very long detour. The most extreme example of this is the Port Townsend -- Keystone route on State Hwy 20. Only five and a half miles via the ferry, becomes a whopping 217 miles (354 km) traveling by car!

By train[edit]

Getting around by train on Amtrak [24] is likely to be quite a hassle, especially with infrequent departures, slow travel times, inconvenient schedules and limited routes. For those who still wish to take trains to get around Washington, these are the main routes:

  • The Empire Builder [25] runs between Chicago and Spokane, Washington, where it then splits, with half of the train continuing to Seattle, and the other half to Portland.
  • The Coast Starlight [26]. Regarded by many as America's most scenic train ride, the Coast Starlight runs between Los Angeles, California, and Seattle, Washington, stopping at many Washington towns including Seattle, Tacoma, Lacey/Olympia, Centralia, Kelso/Longview & Vancouver, WA.
  • Amtrak Cascades [27]. The Cascades is a special service that operates between Seattle and Portland 4x daily. Twice daily from Seattle to Vancouver, BC and from Portland to Eugene using special high-speed Talgo rolling stock. Washington stops include Bellingham, Mt Vernon, Everett, Edmonds, Seattle, Tukwila, Tacoma, Lacey/Olympia, Centralia, Kelso/Longview & Vancouver, WA. Additional service to Eugene & Vancouver are on the Thruway Motorcoach buses.
  • Sound Transit Sounder [28] runs commuter trains between Everett-Seattle and Seattle-Tacoma-Lakewood on two separate routes.

For more information, see Amtrak's website, Wikitravel's article Rail travel in the United States, or the Wikipedia pages on each of this train services.

See[edit][add listing]

Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Visit the San Juan Islands, famous for sailing, fishing, sea kayaking, scuba diving, hiking, bicycling and fine vistas and sunsets.
  • Go killer whale watching in Bellingham Bay, Haro Strait, and Lime Kiln State Park
  • Go bird-watching and see some of the 400+ species of birds with a local birding guide who knows all the best locations.
  • Go fishing for Salmon,Trout, Albacore Tuna, or Bottomfish while visiting Washington both fresh water and Saltwater opportunities available. Washington State offers some of the best fishing in the United States. There are several types of fishing opportunities available in both Saltwater and Freshwater. Salmon and Steelhead are among the most popular fish to pursue and there are several guides to help travelers enjoy the thrill of catching trophy size fish."
  • Go hiking in the Ape Caves
  • Go skiing at Mount Baker
  • Go rock climbing at Frenchman Coulee
  • Tour wineries in Washington's wine country
  • Pick farm-fresh produce at Yakima Valley farms and in Whatcom and Skagit Counties

Eat[edit][add listing]

Washington state is a great place for seafood, with salmon in particular being a specialty.

Drink[edit][add listing]

As with almost everywhere else in the U.S., the legal drinking and purchasing age of alcoholic beverages is 21. And as with most states, Washington uses loopholes in the federal law to allow underage drinking. Underage drinking of alcohol is allowed on private non-alcohol selling premises with parental consent. Underage drinking is allowed for religious purposes. Anyone under the age of 21 shall not be prosecuted for underage drinking if the underage drinker is succumbed to alcohol poisoning and is in need of medical assistance, but for obvious safety reasons this method is not recommended.[29]

Specialty Coffee[edit]

High quality Arabica coffee beans roasted with greater emphasis on taste and freshness, brewed with dripped water or "espresso" steam) arguably has its birthplace here. Starbucks and Tully's are apparent brands that most associate specialty coffee with Seattle. However, many small local companies are the ones that have paved the way (and continue to do so) in pioneering the specialty coffee industry. When you visit Seattle, be sure to check out these renowned coffee roasters (in no particular order):

Cafe Allegro (Seattle's original espresso bar, tucked away in an alley in the U-District), Espresso Vivace, Caffe Vita, Zoka Coffee, Victrola Coffee, Stumptown Coffee, Caffe Appassionato, Caffe Umbria, Caffe Fiore, Fonte Coffee, Pura Vida, Vashon Island Coffee, Lighthouse Coffee, Caffe D'Arte, Tony's Coffee/Caffe Ladro, Top Pot Donuts & Coffee, Batdorf & Bronson, Mukilteo Coffee, Moka Joe Coffee, Pioneer Coffee

Wine and Microbrew Beers[edit]

Washington is also the home to well-crafted local wines [30] and "microbrewery" beers.

Respect[edit]

The western part of the state tend to be more tolerant to the LGBT group than the eastern part which is more conservative.

Washington has a large Asian population that is concentrated mostly in the western part of the state. Some understanding of the corresponding customs and culture may serve you well in these areas. Also, do not assume that no one around you speaks English (chances are they do, so watch what you say).

Do not litter along the freeways or highways. The fines for littering can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars depending on the scenario. It is an offense that the state takes VERY seriously. If you are caught in the act you will know what the state means by the "Litter and It Will Hurt" signs which frequently decorate its roadways.

Stay healthy[edit]

Disease[edit]

Like many western states, Washington State has had cases of hantaviral pulmonary syndrome, 41 confirmed cases in the state since 1993. Realistically, however, hantavirus is of very little concern to the traveler; but sensible precautions should be applied. Do NOT venture in a wild animal's den or handle any dead animals; particularly rodents, as rodents seem to be the primary vector of the illness. There is no cure for the disease, treatment mainly consists of supportive therapies. The main defense against the virus is prevention.


For more information on prevention and transmission, visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention [31] website on hantaviruses.

Stay safe[edit]

Law Enforcement[edit]

Law enforcement in the state is under control of the Washington State Patrol.

Avalanches[edit]

In the Cascade Mountains (which divide the state into halves) there can be significant snow accumulations during the late fall and winter months. This poses a danger for avalanches whenever these areas experience warm up periods, regardless of how brief they may be. Mountain passes are sometimes closed for avalanche control and may affect travel plans, especially along I-90 from Yakima to Seattle. Check the Washington State Department of Transportation website [32] for information regarding Avalanche control.

If going into the mountains during winter and early spring months, refer to the Northwest Weather and Avalanche Center website [33] for information regarding the current avalanche dangers throughout the Cascade region of the state.

Crime[edit]

Much like any state in the United States, Washington is generally safe provided that you use common sense and keep your wits about you. Certain areas of Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, and Yakima can become seedy after dark and it is therefore advised that one avoid being out alone very late at night; this is especially true in unlit places where you are an easy target for any crime or other illegal activity. Parks in the urban areas of western Washington are not places to be at night unless you are seeking trouble.

Stay to the main tourist areas of the state during the day and you will have a great visit.

If you find yourself in an emergency situation (of any kind), dial 911 on your phone.

Deserts[edit]

East of the Cascade Mountains, the state's terrain begins to turn into desert and temperatures often exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit in regions such as the Yakima Valley and the Columbia River Plateau. If are planning on hiking into these locations, follow desert survival guidelines. Be sure to take plenty of water (at least one gallon per person, per day), sunscreen and wear light clothing. Let someone know where you are going and when you expect to get return.

Also, it is best to hike during the earlier part of the day, as thunderstorms tend to develop suddenly during the afternoon. In the event you encounter inclement weather conditions, seek high ground immediately! Thunderstorms can cause flash flooding in canyons and other low laying areas.


Landslides[edit]

During the winter months, the western side of the state often receives significant rainfall which soften the grounds to such a point that landslides sometimes occur. Be especially alert when driving. Embankments along roadsides are particularly susceptible to landslides. Watch the road for collapsed pavement, mud, fallen rocks, and other indications of possible landslides or debris flows.

If you encounter a landslide, LEAVE the area immediately if it is safe to do so and call the local fire, police or public works department

Volcanoes[edit]

Volcano safety is, to put it mildly, a controversial subject; see the article on Volcanoes (and, particularly, its discussion page) for some of the issues. Washington state is home to five major, ACTIVE volcanoes, plus one just across the border in Oregon: Mount St. Helens (1980), Mount Rainier (1894) (which is considered to be one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world), Mount Baker (1880), Mount Hood, Oregon (1866), Glacier Peak (c. 1700), and Mount Adams (c. 550 B.C.). The majority of these are considered to be tourist destinations, particularly Rainier and St. Helens.

If planning to visit one of these locations, FOLLOW the policy regarding any road and/or trail closures that at first glance may appear unnecessarily conservative -- but it is not. Believe it. The closures aren't there simply to inconvenience and irritate you. If a trail is closed due to eruptive hazard, stay off the trail.

Marijuana[edit]

Warning to anyone who is a non-U.S. citizen traveling from Canada. Even though Cannabis is now legal in the State, U.S. Border guards still obey federal law, where Marijuana is still illegal, so anyone trying to cross the border to the U.S. who discloses plans to try cannabis in the state could be denied entry into the U.S. or barred entry indefinitely. Guards will still be allowed to ask travelers whether they plan to buy legal marijuana. The U.S. department of justice allows Indian Reservations to regulate cannabis on their land. Because of this, Some Indian Reservations in the state may not allow cannabis on their land, such as the Yakama Nation, located in southern Washington. Bringing cannabis into any reservation that doesn't allow it will have indian reservation and federal law applied.

Get out[edit]

  • Oregon - The state's southern neighbor is known for lush forests and craggy mountains.
  • Idaho - Washington's eastern neighbor is a rugged state, with snow-capped mountains, whitewater rivers, forests, high desert, and plenty of wilderness.
  • British Columbia - Crossing the state's northern border into Canada leads into the mountainous terrain of British Columbia and the seaside city of Vancouver. There's also a ferry from Port Angeles to Victoria on Vancouver Island.
  • Montana - While Washington does not share a border with Montana, due to the narrow panhandle you can pass through Idaho in just over an hour on I-90, US 2, and Route 200. However, allow more time on US 12 in the southern part of the state, as Idaho is significantly wider here.
  • Alaska - Though quite far, Washington State has been the gateway to Alaska for well over a century, with ferries and cruise ships connecting the two today. In addition, there are dozens of flights to Alaska's four main cities from Sea-Tac Airport, mostly on Alaska Airlines.
This is a usable article. It gives a good overview of the region, its sights, and how to get in, as well as links to the main destinations, whose articles are similarly well developed. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!



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