• New Transportation Options: Amtrak Cascade has added a daily train service between Seattle and Vancouver, B.C. Also, the Link Light Rail train carries travellers from the airport directly into downtown Seattle in less than 40 minutes.
• Geotourism MapGuide: The National Geographic Society recently unveiled its latest Geotourism MapGuide, highlighting the Central Cascades region of Washington and Oregon. An interactive version can be accessed at www.thecentralcascades.com. Features sustainable and “green” travel destinations, and activities throughout the region.
• Culinary and Agricultural Tourism: The Yakima Valley is home to some of the best farming land in the state, and several U-Pick Farms. Guests at the Wilcox Family Farms in Roy are escorted through the century old family farm and taken on the farm bus to see their free-range poultry house and production facility.
• Experience Music Project: Interactive museum featuring 80,000 artifacts, including a gallery dedicated to Seattle-born Jimi Hendrix. Seattle.
• The Grand Coulee Dam: Free tour with a 141-metre ride down the dam.
• Future of Flight Museum: Features hands-on exhibits, video, graphics and interactive stations. Boeing Tour Center, Everett.
• Olympic Sculpture Park: Enjoy a variety of sculpture, and incredible views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. Seattle.
J. Poth• Skagit Valley Tulip Festival (April), Mount Vernon and La Conner.
• Washington State Apple Blossom Festival (late April to early May), Wenatchee.
• Spokane Lilac Festival (May), Spokane.
• Vancouver’s Annual 4th of July Fireworks Celebration (July), Fort Vancouver.
• Sequim Lavender Festival (July), Sequim.
• SeaFair (early July through early August), Seattle.
• Evergreen State Fair (August), Monroe.
• Western Washington and 4-H State Fair (September), Puyallup.
• Central Washington State Fair (September), Yakima.
• Oktoberfest (October), Leavenworth.
• Mt. Rainier National Park: Spectacular views of wildlife and scenery at Paradise on the south side, and Sunshine on the east.
• Olympic National Park: A large, diverse park featuring pristine coastlines, temperate rainforests and glacier capped peaks.
• North Cascades National Park: Just south of the Canada – U.S. border, hundreds of miles of hiking trails amid this rugged wilderness.
• San Juan Islands: Offers whale watching, mountain hiking and historic resorts, and bed and breakfasts. Puget Sound.
• Fort Vancouver National Historic Reserve: Guided tours, living history demonstrations and walks through a reconstructed 1800s fort. Ask about the ghosts.
• Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument: Witness the earth recreating itself after the massive 1980 eruption. Mt. St. Helens.
• Lake Quinault and the Quinault and Hoh Rain Forests: Lake Quinault is a clear, 14-kilometre long lake, about 305 metres at its deepest point. The valleys that cradle Lake Quinault, the Quinault Rain Forest and the Hoh Rain Forest are the “Valleys of the Rain Forest Giants”. Due to the plentiful rainfall the area receives annually, trees grow to record sizes, providing some of the country’s largest trees.
• Whidbey Island: Access via boat or ferry across Puget Sound or in a car over dramatic Deception Pass. Eighty-eight kilometres long, Whidbey Island comprises rolling farmlands, the historic waterfront communities of Coupeville, Langley and Oak Harbor, a bridge 20 storeys above a rocky, roaring strait, Civil War-era lighthouse and forest-meets-sea landscape. Coupeville offers shops and galleries in historic buildings, the Island County Museum, Admiralty Head Lighthouse, Greenbank Farm and Meerkerk Gardens. Highlights in Langley include a Mystery Weekend in February, Choochokan Festival of the arts in the summer and DjangoFest Northwest, a jazz festival, in the fall.
• Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad: Vintage steam train rides through the scenic foothills of Mt. Rainier with themed excursions and picnics at Mineral Lake. Elbe and Morton.
• Blaine: Beautiful waterfront, public pier, Blaine Marine Park, summer ferry to Semiahmoo Spit.
• Fairhaven: 48 kilometres south of the Canada–U.S. border, just south of Bellingham. Fairhaven’s quaint waterfront neighbourhood was featured on Evening Magazine’s Top Tourist Towns in Washington State.
• Ilwaco Heritage Museum: A big city museum in a small town chronicles the history and culture of the Columbia Pacific Region. Ilwaco.
• Snohomish Antique Shops: Historic Snohomish is known as the antique capital of the Northwest. Quaint antique shops, lovely bed and breakfasts, and views of the Snohomish River. Snohomish.
• Wines in Washington: Second largest wine-producing state in the U.S. and home to more than 600 wineries and vineyards. Tastings and tours available throughout Yakima and the Tri-Cities. Some highlights include J. Bookwalter and Sheridan Vineyards and Badger Mountain Vineyard in Kennewick, Washington’s first certified organic winery. Walla Walla is home to over 100 small artisan wineries, like Cayuse Vineyards and Gramercy Cellars. Abeja Winery and Inn offers overnight accommodation at this dairy farm turned winery. Nestled in the Sammamish River Valley, Woodinville, just outside Seattle, has become a haven for fine large and small wineries, including Chateau Ste. Michelle, Washington’s oldest winery. The North Olympic Peninsula is known for boutique vineyards that produce as few as 2,000 cases annually.
Did You Know?
State Motto: Al-ki or Alki, a Chinook Indian word meaning “by and bye” or “hope for the future”
State Flower: Coast Rhododendron
State Bird: American Goldfinch/Wild Canary
America’s Byways: Chinook Scenic Byway, Coulee Corridor Scenic Byway, International Selkirk Loop, Mountains to Sound Greenway, Stevens Pass Greenway, Strait of Juan de Fuca Highway
Direct Flights: Air Canada, Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, United Airlines
Cruise Lines: Carnival Cruise Lines, Celebrity Cruises, Clipper Cruise Lines, CruiseWest, Fantasy Cruises, Glacier Bay Cruise Line, Holland America Line, Norwegian Cruise Line, Princess Cruise Line
Sales Tools: Experience Washington – The Official Washington State 2010 Travel Planner, Central Cascades Geotourism MapGuide
Info: Washington State Tourism
Washington - The Evergreen State