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Washington (state)

Revision as of 22:59, 13 October 2006 by (talk)
Often called Washington State to distinguish it from Washington (D.C.), Washington [1] 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.


  • 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


Western Washington

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

Eastern 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


West of the Cascades

  • Allyn -- Allyn overlooks the shoreline of North Bay-Case Inlet on Puget Sound.
  • Bainbridge Island -- a 35 minute ferry ride from Seattle
  • 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 Home of Western Washington University. Near Canadian border.
  • Bremerton -- The Kitsap Peninsula's largest town
  • Burley
  • Brownsville
  • 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 -- Quaint waterfront community, mostly residential
  • Keyport -- Home to the Naval Undersea Warfare Center.
  • Kingston -- 30 minute ferry ride from Edmonds
  • Kirkland -- Lakefront town across from Seattle with cute downtown
  • Manchester
  • 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. Home of the University of Washington.
  • Seabeck
  • 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 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

  • 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

Other destinations



Get in

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 San Francisco Bay Area and Southern California.

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.

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.

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.

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.

By train

Amtrak has 3 routes into Seattle's King Street Station. These routed are Amtrak Cascades, Coast Starlight and Empire Builder

By car

From British Columbia

Interstate 5 and the Peace Arch [2] 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 [3] 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.

From Oregon

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

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

Get around


Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens



Locally grown produce and seafood.


Local wines and micro beers. Coffee and espresso are also popular.

Stay safe

Get out

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