Best Things to do in Washington: Space Needle & Seattle Skyline

The 25 Best Things To Do in Washington

Nestled in the Pacific Northwest, the state of Washington is a gem known for its wild and rugged scenery and epic outdoor adventures. It truly offers it all – from snowy mountain peaks to untouched islands to vibrant cities. 

This beautiful state is a dream for outdoor enthusiasts! With lush rainforests, dramatic coastlines, and dormant volcanoes, there are so many unique terrains to explore. Three national parks offer some of the best hiking in the US, laid-back shorelines are perfect for beach lovers, and kayaking with orcas on the San Juan Islands is a definite bucket list activity! 

Lesser-known cities in the Evergreen State are not to be overlooked, as these off-the-beaten-path destinations are filled to the brim with small-town charm and family-friendly attractions. Foodie fans will be enticed by Washington’s thriving farm-to-table scene and world-class wineries, as well as its reputation for high-quality craft coffee.

With so many exciting things to see and do in Washington, you might not know where to begin. So we’ve compiled our list of the absolute best things to do in Washington, including the epic outdoor adventures, hidden gems, and cultural attractions. Plan your trip to this incredible state with our unique Washington bucket list!

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25 Cool and Unique Things To Do in Washington

1. Eat and Drink Your Way Through Pike Place Market

Cool Things to do in Washington: Pike Place Market Seattle

You can’t visit Seattle and not browse Pike Place Market, the oldest continuously operating farmers market in the US. In addition to farm-fresh produce, it features more than 500 shops as well as a variety of restaurants and bars. It’s considered the heart and soul of Seattle, luring you in with its lively landscape of fishmongers slinging salmon, street buskers, and local artisans.

In addition to being a great spot to people watch, Pike Place Market is also one of the must-do things in Washington because it’s home to the first Starbucks ever. Snag yourself a cup of joe, then wander the produce stalls or pick up specialty cheeses and charcuterie from DeLaurenti for a picnic lunch. 

You can also fill up with decadent mac and cheese bowls from Beecher’s Handmade Cheese or enjoy a sit-down meal with waterfront views at Lowell’s. Afterward, wash your food down with a specialty beer at Old Stove Brewing Co. or satisfy your sweet tooth with a pastry from Piroshky Piroshky Bakery.

Pike Place Market is just as exciting after hours. Sip whiskey from barrel taps and signature bourbon margaritas at Radiator Whiskey or make your way through the rotating tap list at Pike Brewing Company. When hunger strikes, you can sample Mediterranean-inspired small plates paired with wines from Iberia at the pint-sized JarrBar.

Book a Chef-Guided Food Tour of Pike Place Market

2. Enjoy Stunning City Views from the Top of Seattle’s Space Needle

Unique Things to do in Washington: Space Needle Seattle

As one of the most recognizable landmarks in the world, the Space Needle is considered a Seattle icon. Built for the 1962 World’s Fair, its 520-foot saucer-shaped top house offers visitors 360-degree panoramic views of Seattle’s downtown. You can even see Mount Rainier, Puget Sound, and the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges on a clear day. 

One of the top things to do in Washington, you can step outside to experience the Space Needle’s floor-to-ceiling glass observation deck for souvenir snaps of the postcard-worthy skyline views. Lean into the views from the glass benches or visit The Loupe, the world’s first and only rotating glass floor. 

If you want to take your visit to the next level, soak up the city lights and sunset views from your own private open-air covered lookout. This romantic Drinks on the Deck experience for two is located on the Space Needle’s outdoor deck and includes a quartet of wines and a selection of savory bites. Alternatively, the on-site Atmos Café features an espresso bar, while Loupe Lounge serves locally-sourced seafood towers and charcuterie plates. 

Pro Tip: Book tickets for the Space Needle in advance to skip the line and save yourself a lot of time and hassle.

Buy Tickets for the Space Needle

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3. Take A Day Trip To Bainbridge Island

Must do Things in Washington: Ferry Bainbridge Island

Located in the Puget Sound, Bainbridge Island is a short ferry ride from downtown Seattle. In addition to shops, museums, and restaurants, this beautiful small island offers a wide range of recreational activities, making it the perfect day-trip excursion from the capital city. 

Start your trip by browsing Bainbridge Island’s charming downtown area, which is dotted with boutique shops and restaurants. Art lovers can browse the contemporary pieces on display at Bainbridge Museum of Art, while history buffs can learn more about the island at Bainbridge Island Historical Museum

Washington Bucket List: Ferry Bainbridge Island

Nature lovers will want to add Bloedel Reserve to their itinerary for a chance to admire its 150 acres of lushly landscaped gardens. The gardens are considered some of the best in North America and boast 23 distinct landscapes to explore.

If you’re an active traveler, follow Eagle Harbor Waterfront’s walking trails for picturesque water views. Afterward, quench your thirst with a stop at Bainbridge Brewing Alehouse or Fletcher Bay Winery

Seattle CityPASS

If you’re planning on visiting a lot of attractions in Seattle, make sure you check out the Seattle CityPASS. It gives you access to 5 top attractions including the Space Needle, Seattle Aquarium, Woodland Park Zoo, and the Chihuly Garden and Glass.

Buy the Seattle CityPASS

4. See Airplanes Being Made at the Future of Flight Aviation Center

The Future of Flight Aviation Center is a must-visit for aviation fans, offering a rare, behind-the-scenes tour of a massive Boeing assembly plant. It’s set in the largest building in the world (with 472 million cubic feet) and offers a glimpse of a production line that creates 747, 767, 777, and 787 Dreamliners. 

You’ll have the chance to see commercial planes in various stages of construction, explore the cockpit of working full-size models, and peruse a museum collection with a range of exhibits and displays. Don’t forget to pick up one of the aviation collectibles in the gift shop on your way out! 

The renowned attraction is located in Mukilteo, a beautiful coastal city in Snohomish County, about 25 miles from Seattle. The Mukilteo Lighthouse Park is another top attraction in the area, home to a historic light station and a green space with picnic areas, kids playgrounds, a sandy beach, and a boat launch. 

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5. Visit Tacoma’s Iconic Museum of Glass

Washington Things to Do: Tacoma Museum of Glass

If you’re a fan of unique art, one of the coolest things to do in Washington is visit the Museum of Glass. Located in Tacoma, this beautiful museum is – as you might have guessed from its name – all about glass. 

At this fascinating museum, you can watch glass artists create masterpieces via live glass blowing demonstrations. Next, marvel at the 20th and 21st-century glasswork on display in the permanent collection. Don’t miss the collection of featured art by Dale Chihuly, including the 500-foot-long pedestrian overpass called the Chihuly Bridge of Glass. 

The eye-catching 4-story structure is a treat for architecture lovers and features a 90-foot-tall steel cone, reflecting pools, and outdoor plazas. After you browse the museum, take a break in one of the plazas and enjoy stunning views overlooking the Thea Foss Waterway, Tacoma Dome, and Mount Rainier. 

For a behind-the-scenes look at the museum, visit on a Saturday and sign up for a walking tour for a chance to hear little-known facts from knowledgeable guides. If you want to take home a piece of glasswork, the on-site Museum Store sells everything from small glass trinkets to fine art.

Buy Tickets for the Museum of Glass

6. Explore Family-Friendly Attractions in Tacoma’s Point Defiance Park

Best Things to do in Washington: Tacoma Point Defiance Park

Plan a fun family day out in Tacoma’s popular Point Defiance Park. Home to Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium, Point Defiance Marina, and Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, it’s a top thing to do in Washington with the kids! Located at the tip of Tacoma, this triangle-shaped park juts out into the Puget Sound and features 760 acres of beautifully landscaped green spaces. It’s a great spot to unwind and relax, follow its scenic trails, enjoy a picnic with friends, and hang out at local festivals.

Home to polar bears, tigers, and elephants, kids love the up-close animal interactions at Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium. History comes to life at Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, where live demonstrations highlight daily activities from the 1800s. If you prefer a day out on the water, rent a boat at the park’s marina. 

If it’s sunny, pack your sunglasses and head to Owen Beach. Once there, you can stroll the boardwalk, throw a towel on the shore, or rent a kayak and paddle its waters. Alternatively, opt for a tranquil stroll through Point Defiance Park’s Japanese Gardens, which feature pools, a waterfall, and colorful tree blossoms. 

7. Take a Guided Tour of the Washington State Capitol Building in Olympia

Sitting at the southern end of Puget Sound, Olympia stands proud as the capital of Washington. One of the best things to do in this compact city is to visit the Washington State Capitol Building, where guided tours offer a glimpse into its rich history and lavish interior. 

Its striking white dome is visible when you arrive in Olympia and is the tallest masonry dome in North America. A step inside this historic building reveals an iconic 5-ton Tiffany chandelier and marble from five countries. 

Other highlights include the redbrick, Georgian-styled Governor’s Mansion that has been home to Washington’s governors since 1910. It is the oldest building on the Capitol Campus, furnished with various antiques from the American Federal period. 

Other fun things to do in Olympia include wildlife watching at Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge, catching a live show at the Capitol Theater, and strolling along the shores of Capitol Lake. You’ll also find an array of excellent museums, farmers’ markets, and a picture-perfect waterfront district. 

8. Plan an Adventure in Mount Rainier National Park

What to Do in Washington: Mt. Rainier National Park

No trip to Washington State is complete without a visit to Mount Rainier National Park. With 14,410 feet of adventure at your fingertips, Mount Rainier is an iconic part of the state’s landscape and offers a wealth of year-round experiences. 

While summer offers a chance to hike alongside blooming wildflower fields, the winter season is the perfect time to enjoy skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. However, trekking one of the scenic hiking trails is the best way to explore this national treasure. 

The Skyline Trail is favored for its close-up views of Mount Rainier and Nisqually Glacier, while Snow Lake features spectacular scenery and alpine lakes. Families with kids can follow the Grove of the Patriarchs Trail to see 1,000-year-old Douglas fir and western red cedar trees. 

Exploring by car is another excellent way to see Mount Rainier’s highlights. The Sunrise area is the highest point you can reach by car and is well worth the effort to relish the 360-degree views of the surrounding valleys and other volcanoes in the Cascade Range. For a different perspective, travel 2,000 vertical feet in the Mt. Rainier Gondola.

Book a Tour from Seattle to Mt. Ranier

9. Marvel at the Cascading Waters of Snoqualmie Falls

Best Things to do in Washington: Majestic Snoqualmie Falls

Located just 25 miles outside of Seattle, Snoqualmie Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the United States. A sight to behold, the 270-foot-tall natural wonder is surrounded by a 2-acre park that features upper and lower observation decks where you can take in 180-degree views of the waterfall.

Follow the trail to the river from the upper observation platform to the base of the falls. While the upper deck offers unobstructed views of the cascading waters, the bottom area allows you to explore the river rocks. From here, you can feel the powerful spray of mist from behind the waterfall. (Tip: Bring a raincoat and umbrella or you’ll get soaked!)

For a memorable overnight experience, the Salish Lodge is a luxury mountain hotel that sits at the top of Snoqualmie Falls. Even if you don’t want to book a room, consider taking a break to enjoy a meal in its dining room while looking out over the magnificent waterfalls. 

Hop on a raft and float down the River of Snoqualmie if it’s a sunny day or explore the tiny town of Snoqualmie. Top attractions in Snoqualmie include the Northwest Railway Museum with its fascinating train displays and Snoqualmie Falls Brewery.

Book a Tour from Seattle to Snoqualmie Falls

10. Have an Outdoor Adventure the Bavarian Town of Leavenworth

Unique Things to do in Washington: German-Inspired Leavenworth

You can’t have a list of top things to do in Washington without including the charming, Bavarian-themed village of Leavenworth. Discover year-round fun at this German-inspired city, including its popular Oktoberfest celebrations, as well as its excellent museums and outdoor adventures.

Start your visit with a stop at the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum, a family-friendly attraction that showcases nutcrackers from across the globe. Kids of all ages love the waterfall and family of goats at the 18-hole Enzian Falls Championship Putting Course, while the Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery boasts fishery exhibits and easy-to-navigate nature trails. 

The summer season brings fantastic weather, perfect for enjoying hiking, mountain biking, and tubing. Make the short walk from downtown Leavenworth to Riverfront Park for a riverside trail through the wooded parkland. In winter, Leavenworth Ski Hill offers fun snow tubing sessions and Stevens Pass is a hotspot for snowboarding and skiing. 

If you’re an avid outdoor hiker, add a trip to Colchuck Lake to your itinerary. Considered the entry point for the iconic Enchantments, this Cascade Mountains area is known for its magnificent scenery of alpine lakes, rocky peaks, and cascading waterfalls. The trailheads here are long and challenging, but hikers are rewarded with jaw-dropping views from over 7,000 feet.

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11. See a Show at the Gorge Amphitheatre

Catching a live performance at the Gorge Amphitheatre is one of the coolest things to do in Washington. The iconic 20,000-seat outdoor concert venue has played host to some of the world’s biggest performers, including Pink Floyd, Dave Matthews Band, Aerosmith, and Tom Petty.

What makes this venue unique are the epic views – from your seat, you can set your eyes on panoramic vistas of the Columbia River and Columbia Gorge canyon. Located nine miles west of the rural town of George, the amphitheater is renowned as one of the most scenic concert locations in the world.

Live music fans love the venue’s lawn-terrace seating and concert-friendly weather, as well as its packed calendar of annual festivals. Some of the most popular festivals it has hosted include the Area Festival, Creation Festival, Lilith Fair, Ozzfest, Lollapalooza, and The Vans Warped Tour. 

Hotels in nearby Quincy cater to different travel budgets, offering modern amenities just a short drive from the Gorge. If you’re an adventurous concert-goer, you can camp on-site the night before or the night of your event. You’ll have access to a convenience store, food and drink stands, and hot showers.

12. Enjoy Outdoor Recreation in Port Angeles

Sitting at the doorstep of Olympic National Park is Port Angeles, a must-stop on your Washington adventure. Its convenient seaside and mountain locale means you’ll find a variety of water sports on offer – from paddling to scuba diving to surfing – at the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the Elwha River. 

Port Angeles is surrounded by beautiful beaches, including Hollywood Beach at the City Pier area, which makes an excellent spot for kayaking. Surfers can attempt to catch a wave at the Salt Creek Recreation Area and Clallam Bay’s Slip Point Beach. If you visit in winter, head to Hurricane Hill Road for snowshoeing and skiing paired with panoramic views. 

For a more leisurely activity, you can stroll Port Angeles’ charming downtown. The waterfront area is dotted with quirky boutiques, art galleries, antique shops, and gourmet markets. Next, take a self-guided tour along the Port Angeles Mural Trail to see a collection of colorful hand-painted murals. 

The kids will love the hands-on exhibits and touch tanks at Feiro Marine Life Center and the 2,000-year-old Native American artifacts at Carnegie Museum. A day of tasting award-winning wines at Harbinger Winery is a must for adults! 

13. Join a Whale Watching Tour in the San Juan Islands

Washington Bucket List: San Juan Islands

Located just 60 miles north of Seattle, the San Juan Islands are one of the world’s best places for whale watching. While many boat tours operate year-round, the pods – which include orca, humpback, and minke whales – are best seen from June to September. 

If you want a real adventure, sea kayaking with the orcas is one of the coolest things to do in Washington. You can choose to rent a kayak by the hour or sign up for a guided tour, with many excursions leaving from Roche Harbor and Friday Harbor on San Juan Island. Specialty kayak tours are also available, including sunset tours, overnight camping trips, and a chance to see glowing plankton on a bioluminescence tour. 

Washington Things to Do: San Juan Islands

If you prefer wildlife watching on land, head to San Juan’s Lime Kiln Point State Park to see the action from a historic lighthouse or nearby sea cliff. After seeing the fin-slapping whales, other popular activities on the San Juan Islands include fishing, crabbing, hiking, and seaplane tours.

14. Snap a Photo of the Iconic Bridge in Deception Pass State Park

What to Do in Washington: Deception Pass State Park

With over 3,800 acres, there’s a good reason why Deception Pass State Park is Washington State’s most visited park. It’s known for its glorious sunsets, rugged cliffs, beautiful beaches, and iconic bridge. Not only that, but the park also provides numerous opportunities for outdoor fun, including tide pooling, hiking, camping, and boating. 

For sweeping views of the park, cross the famed Deception Pass Bridge and admire the deep blue-green waters from above. Another scenic spot to visit is West Beach, where you can enjoy views of the Puget Sound and the Olympic Mountains in the distance. 

Take a dip in Cranberry Lake or enjoy a leisurely day of fishing and kayaking, then collect colorful seashell treasures along the Puget Sound beachfront. Birdwatching and whale watching are also popular, while hikers will discover 38 miles of trails to explore. 

Camp overnight to add more outdoor adventure to your itinerary, including a chance to peer into tide pools at Rosario Beach or go boating in Cornet Bay. If you’re ready to immerse yourself in nature, bring your hiking shoes and explore Hoypus Forest, one of the largest old-growth forests in Washington.  

15. Stroll Through Fairhaven Historic District in Bellingham

Fun Things to Do in Washington: Fairhaven, Bellingham

Located south of downtown Bellingham, Fairhaven is a charming historic district and an excellent off-the-beaten-path destination in Washington. Overlooking the waters of Bellingham Bay, it features a delightful collection of shops, galleries, bookstores, and restaurants. 

It’s a great spot to find unique souvenirs, with galleries selling fine and arts and crafts such as woodwork, blown glass, pottery, and more. Pick up unique pieces at Artwood: A Gallery of Fine Woodworking or Good Earth Pottery, then take a break to enjoy homemade soups and deli sandwiches at Colophon Café & Deli.

The small, well-preserved area is just four square blocks, making it easy to tackle on a day trip. Most travelers leave their car at the nearby train station and explore the area on foot. 

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16. See the Colorful Tulip Fields of Skagit Valley in the Spring

Must See Things in Washington: Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Set in the northwestern corner of Washington, Skagit Valley is a photographer’s dream, spanning the small towns of La Conner, Mount Vernon, Burlington, and Bow. It’s home to beautiful snow-capped mountains, waterfront marinas, and friendly locals, but its biggest draw is the tulip fields bursting into bloom every spring. 

One of the coolest things to do in Washington, you can take a scenic drive through Skagit Valley and feast your eyes on the millions of tulips that blanket the area in a rainbow of colors. The Skagit Valley Tulip Festival is a popular driving tour. It’s typically held from April 1 to April 30 each year and is popular with nature lovers who want to see the colorful displays of tulips, daffodils, and irises. 

What to Do in Washington: Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

There is no specific entrance since the flower fields are scattered around the Skagit Valley – between La Conner and Mount Vernon. After you’ve taken your fill of photographs at RoozenGaarde and Tulip Town, stop to enjoy the many events and activities that comprise the festival.

While Skagit Valley is popular in spring, it is a beautiful year-round destination where you can enjoy boating, kayaking, fishing, and wildlife watching. There are many indoor attractions to explore as well, including the La Conner Quilt Museum and Museum of Northwest Art. If you’re feeling lucky, roll the dice at Skagit Valley Casino Resort

17. Savor the Stunning Scenery in Olympic National Park

Cool Things to do in Washington: Olympic National Park

Olympic National Park is at the top of many traveler’s Washington bucket lists, loved by all for its diverse wilderness that spans glacier-capped mountains, temperate rainforests, glacially-carved lakes, and wild coastline. It’s a haven for outdoor adventures, offering nearly one million acres of ecosystems to explore. 

This spectacular wilderness park offers a long list of things to do, including hiking, camping, boating, fishing, and tide pooling. Home to bald eagles, black-tailed deer, elk, and black bears, wildlife is abundant in Olympic National Park. Seeing whales in the migration season (from April to May and October to November) is a definite highlight! 

Offering one of the most unique habitats in the US, the Hot Rain Forest is well worth a visit. Hurricane Ridge is another top attraction in Olympic National Park, featuring scenic trails with Insta-worthy mountain views in the park’s northeast corner. 

If you prefer a water-based activity, plan a paddling adventure on Lake Crescent or Lake Quinault. Don’t forget to explore the park’s 73 miles of coast, including the driftwood-strewn Kalaloch Beach and stunning sea stacks at Shi Shi Beach. For a glimpse of the park’s signature triple waterfall, head to Sol Duc Falls.

Book a Tour from Seattle to Olympic National Park

18. Take a Scenic Drive in North Cascades National Park

Unique Things to do in Washington: North Casacades National Park

North Cascades National Park is less than a 3-hour drive from Seattle, offering beautiful alpine scenery that has to be seen to be believed! If you’re a nature lover, this park should be at the top of your Washington bucket list. You can explore snow-capped peaks crowned by glaciers on scenic hiking trails or hop in the car for an epic road trip adventure. 

North Cascades Highway is the only paved road in the park, traveling east-west along the Skagit River. Within the 30-mile path, you’ll find numerous outlooks and starting points for short hikes through the park. Don’t miss the Diablo Lake Vista Point on Highway 20, which offers a spectacularly gorgeous view of the green-blue natural wonder.

Fun Things to Do in Washington: North Cascades National Park

With some of the best mountain hiking in North America, it would be a shame not to hit the trails here. Hikes range from short, scenic strolls to steep mountain treks and cater to all skill levels. 

The Sterling Munro Trail is ideal for families with its 300-foot boardwalk offering views of the Picket Range, while the moderate Thunder Knob Trail provides a glimpse of Diablo Lake. If you’re looking for a challenge, experienced hikers can explore the half-day Easy Pass Trail with panoramic mountain vistas or follow the full-day hike to Sourdough Mountain.

19. Experience the Wild West in Winthrop

Must do Things in Washington: Western Winthrop

For an off-the-beaten-path experience, grab your cowboy hat and explore the small town of Winthrop. It’s one of the best things to do in Washington for families, featuring kid-friendly attractions, a walkable town center, and year-round outdoor recreation. 

Located right in the middle of Washington State, this western-themed town has tons of fun places to explore, including the Shafer Historical Museum, highlighting pioneer life through historical exhibits. When you need a break, visit Sherri’s Sweet Shoppe for ice cream cones and chocolate treats.

It’s not just about all things western in this charming destination, as you’ll also find opportunities to go shopping, visit breweries, and explore the outdoors. Biking, hot air ballooning, fishing, and boating are popular activities, while you can cross the Staeekhwa Bridge to access an easy riverside hiking trail.

Three Fingered Jack’s Saloon is the oldest legal saloon in Washington State and serves up hearty portions of breakfast and lunch favorites. You can enjoy dinner and drinks on the riverside patio of the Old Schoolhouse Brewery or sample local ciders at Methow Valley Ciderhouse, which has a heated deck and rock climbing wall for kids.

20. Bask in the Sunshine at Lake Chelan

Washington Things to Do: Lake Chelan

With 300 days of sunshine a year, Lake Chelan is a sun-soaked oasis just three hours from Seattle. Not only can you enjoy picture-perfect views in every direction from this natural wonder, but you’ll also have plenty of chances to enjoy fun outdoor recreation throughout the year. 

Surrounded by hills and mountains, Lake Chelan is 1,500 feet deep and 50 miles long and offers 15 docks for boaters who want to get out on the water. It’s an ideal getaway for those who love kayaking, paddleboarding, and jet skiing. It’s also one of the top fishing spots in Washington and home to an abundance of salmon and trout. 

It’s not all about water-based adventures at Lake Chelan though, as mountain biking, boutique shopping, and wine tasting are also popular. Visit the tasting room at Cairdeas Winery, then browse the boutiques and antique shops in the charming downtown area.

If you’re looking for an overnight excursion, head to Lake Chelan State Park for a night under the starry skies. The 139-acre camping park is located on the south shore of Lake Chelan and features a long, sandy beach and shaded picnic tables. 

21. Experience the Remote Wilderness of Stehekin

Cool Things to do in Washington: Steheken

Located at the southern tip of Lake Chelan is one of Washington’s most remote destinations – Stehekin. Only accessible by boat or seaplane, a visit here is like stepping into a time machine. It’s ideal for adventurous travelers who want to get away from it all (with no cell reception or ATM services) and deserves a spot on your Washington bucket list. 

Start your day with a sugary treat at Stehekin Pastry Company, then pack your itinerary with a day of hiking, mountain biking, or fly fishing. Tackle the easy Agnes Gorge Trail for a nice view of the 8,115-foot Agnes Mountain or follow the more moderate Rainbow Loop Trail. If you’re looking for a challenge, hiking McGregor Mountain offers grand 360-degree views.

Best Things to do in Washington: Stehekin

To access this area, you can hop aboard the Lady of the Lake passenger ferry, which departs from downtown Chelan and other spots around the lake. After your adventures, retreat to North Cascades Lodge for a chance to recharge. Offering a convenient base within North Cascades National Park, it boasts various lake-view rooms and cozy cabins. 

22. Visit Spokane Falls in the Historic Riverfront Park

Spokane Falls is a unique natural wonder in Washington, set in the heart of Spokane’s urban downtown area. The waterfall is nestled within Riverfront Park, one of the city’s top family-friendly attractions and home to exhibits, walking trails, and carnival-like rides.

Just a short walk from River Park Square and its top restaurants, shops, hotels, and wineries, this waterfall is a prime location in Spokane. You’ll hear the sound of the crashing water before you see it, almost a low rumble in the distance! 

May is one of the best times to see the cascading waters because the mountain snow runoff is at its peak. A Place of Truths is a popular viewpoint of the falls near City Hall, while Huntington Park offers panoramic views of the lower falls. Stop to read the plaques and learn why Native American tribes considered this area sacred.

Test your courage with a walk across the swaying pedestrian suspension bridges or hop aboard the SkyRide gondola for a birds-eye view of the waterfall from 200 feet above. Kids will love ice skating at Skate Ribbon and riding the hand-carved carousel in the 100-acre Riverfront Park. 

23.Go Wine Tasting in Walla Walla

Must do Things in Washington: Walla Walla Wine Tasting

Vino lovers should definitely add a trip to Walla Walla and its enticing selection of wineries to their Washington bucket list. This area in Eastern Washington is quickly emerging as one of the best wine regions in the US, thanks to its unique combination of weather, soil, and over 2,800 acres of grapes. 

Some of the Walla Walla wineries you don’t want to miss include Long Shadows Winery with its Bordeaux blends and Riesling served in a luxe setting, as well as Sleight of Hand Cellars, which boasts several single-vineyard Syrahs. For stunning views of the Blue Mountains, head to Pepper Bridge Winery to sample cabernet sauvignon on its outdoor patio.

Washington Bucket List: Walla Walla Wine Tasting

The best way to sample the award-winning wines in Walla Walla is to visit its collection of estate vineyards, tasting rooms, and wine bars. However, after exploring Walla Walla’s wine scene, you can stroll through the quaint downtown area to browse charming boutique shops, museums, and art galleries. 

24. Enjoy Majestic Views of Palouse Falls

What to Do in Washington: Amazing Palouse Falls

Plunging from a height of 200 feet, Palouse Falls is one of the most beautiful waterfalls in Washington. Located in the 94-acre Palouse Falls State Park, the natural wonder is famous for its Ice Age history, standing proud among the last active waterfalls from the flood path. 

If you’re a nature lover, you’ll want to see this mighty cascade with your own eyes as it drops into the massive churning bowl and glides through a winding gorge to Snake River. Its history is fascinating, as it’s said to have been carved naturally around 13,000 years ago.

Washington Things to Do: Amazing Palouse Falls

Three footpaths offer different vantage points of the waterfall. The lower viewpoint provides direct waterfall views perched atop the rim of the gorge, while another features a paved interpretive path highlighting the history of the canyon. Both paths lead to the Fryxell Overlook, which boasts sweeping views of the waterfalls. 

You’ll have to make an effort to reach this remote corner of southeast Washington, but it will be worth it when you’re able to experience its raw and unspoiled scenery. Just make sure to exercise caution, as the drop-offs on the pathways are steep.

25. Learn About the Volcanic History of Mount St. Helens

Best Things to do in Washington: Mt. St. Helens

Located within the Gifford Pinchot National Forest, the Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument is famed for its volcano that made headlines when it erupted in 1980. It’s now a popular recreation area with numerous hiking trails, lakes, and outdoor activities such as boating, camping, and horseback riding. 

You can explore the area on foot on an adventurous day trip or enjoy volcanic vistas from the comfort of your car. On your way up, make sure to stop at the visitor centers to see fascinating videos and displays that highlight the geological events and history of the area. 

The Johnston Ridge Observatory is a highlight at Mount St. Helens, offering information on the historic eruption in 1980. It’s also one of the closest viewing areas on the north side of the volcano. While summer is the perfect time to explore the underground Ape Caves, winter is ideal for snowmobiling at nearby Marble Mountain Sno-Park.

There you have it! 25 of the best things to do in Washington. What’s your favorite thing to do in the Evergreen State?

Planning a trip to Washington? Check out our favorite books and travel guides.


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