27 Things To Do In Washington: A Local’s Guide

Washington State, with its diverse landscapes and vibrant culture, offers a plethora of experiences that will captivate your senses and leave you with lasting memories.

In this guide, we invite you to embark on an exploration of the lesser-known wonders that make Washington State truly unique. So, pack your sense of adventure and let’s delve into 27 remarkable things to do in this enchanting region.

1. Wander the Historic Streets of Georgetown

Step into the bohemian neighborhood of Georgetown, where history and creativity converge.

Meander through the cobblestone streets lined with renovated warehouses and discover eclectic art galleries, quirky boutiques, and delightful cafes.

Immerse yourself in the neighborhood’s vibrant energy and soak up the unique charm that sets Georgetown apart.

2. Embark on a Craft Beer Tasting Tour in Ballard

For beer enthusiasts, a visit to Ballard’s thriving craft beer scene is a must.

Explore the numerous breweries that dot this neighborhood, each offering a distinct selection of handcrafted beers.

From hoppy IPAs to rich stouts, there’s something to satisfy every palate.

Join a guided tour or create your own adventure as you sample the finest brews that Ballard has to offer.

3. Marvel at the Beauty of Olympic Sculpture Park

Nestled along the waterfront, Olympic Sculpture Park is a haven of contemporary art and natural beauty.

Take a leisurely stroll through the park’s winding paths and admire the striking sculptures that grace the landscape.

With the picturesque backdrop of Elliott Bay, this park seamlessly blends art, nature, and breathtaking views, creating an enchanting experience for visitors.

4. Explore the Charm of Fremont

Known as the “Center of the Universe,” Fremont is a quirky neighborhood that embraces its eccentricity.

Wander through the bustling Fremont Sunday Market, where local artisans showcase their creations.

Marvel at the whimsical Fremont Troll, a larger-than-life sculpture that resides under the Aurora Bridge.

Indulge in delicious cuisine at the neighborhood’s diverse eateries, and immerse yourself in the vibrant spirit of this captivating community.

5. Venture into the Otherworldly Ape Cave

Prepare to be transported to a subterranean realm as you explore the Ape Cave, one of the longest lava tubes in North America.

Equipped with a flashlight, navigate the dark tunnels and marvel at the unique geological formations that adorn the cave walls.

The awe-inspiring silence and the sense of adventure make this underground journey a memorable and mystical experience.

6. Wander Through the Charming Leavenworth

Nestled in the Cascade Mountains, the Bavarian-inspired town of Leavenworth exudes Old World charm.

Stroll along the picturesque streets adorned with Bavarian architecture, browse the quaint shops, and savor traditional German cuisine.

Immerse yourself in the town’s festive spirit during seasonal events such as the Oktoberfest celebration or the magical Christmas Lighting Festival.

7. Experience Tranquility at Lake Crescent

Escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and find serenity at Lake Crescent.

Surrounded by lush forests and framed by majestic mountains, this pristine lake offers a tranquil retreat.

Take a leisurely hike along the lake’s shore, go for a refreshing swim in its crystal-clear waters, or simply bask in the awe-inspiring beauty that nature has to offer.

8. Discover the Enchanting San Juan Islands

Embark on a ferry journey to the San Juan Islands, an archipelago renowned for its natural beauty and abundant wildlife.

Explore the charming coastal towns of Friday Harbor and Roche Harbor, where you can wander through art galleries, sample local cuisine, and immerse yourself in the laid-back island lifestyle.

Don’t miss the opportunity to spot majestic orcas and playful seals as you kayak through the picturesque waters surrounding the islands.

9. Marvel at the Unique Landscapes of Palouse Falls

Venture to the heart of eastern Washington and be mesmerized by the awe-inspiring Palouse Falls.

Surrounded by dramatic cliffs and rolling hills, this iconic waterfall offers a breathtaking sight.

Take in the panoramic views from the designated overlooks, or embark on a hike to explore the surrounding canyons.

Palouse Falls is a photographer’s paradise and a testament to the raw beauty of Washington State.

10. Delight in the Colorful Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Immerse yourself in a sea of vibrant colors at the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, held annually in April.

Witness the breathtaking beauty of endless rows of blooming tulips that stretch as far as the eye can see.

Capture Instagram-worthy photos, participate in fun-filled events, and embrace the joyous atmosphere that permeates this floral extravaganza.

11. Immerse Yourself in Native American Culture at the Makah Museum

Journey to Neah Bay and delve into the rich history and culture of the Makah tribe at the Makah Museum.

Learn about their ancient traditions, explore artifacts, and gain insights into their way of life.

The museum provides a fascinating window into the indigenous heritage of the Pacific Northwest, offering a deeper understanding of the region’s cultural roots.

12. Hike to the Majestic Sol Duc Falls

Embark on a scenic hike through the lush rainforest of Olympic National Park to reach the awe-inspiring Sol Duc Falls.

The trail winds through moss-covered trees, over wooden bridges, and alongside cascading streams, leading you to the grandeur of the waterfall.

Marvel at the powerful rush of water as it plunges into the turquoise pool below, surrounded by verdant greenery.

13. Discover the Beauty of Deception Pass State Park

Deception Pass State Park, spanning Whidbey Island and Fidalgo Island, is a natural wonderland waiting to be explored.

Traverse the park’s network of trails, leading you through old-growth forests, along rugged cliffs, and to picturesque beaches.

Marvel at the iconic Deception Pass Bridge, which spans the swirling waters below, connecting the two islands and offering stunning views of the surrounding scenery.

14. Step into the Past at Fort Nisqually Living History Museum

Travel back in time to the 19th century at Fort Nisqually Living History Museum, a meticulously reconstructed Hudson’s Bay Company trading post.

Engage with costumed interpreters who bring the past to life, demonstrating the daily activities and crafts of the era.

Wander through the fort’s buildings, explore the lush gardens, and gain a glimpse into the lives of the early settlers who called this place home.

15. Marvel at the Exquisite Blooms of Point Defiance Park

Escape to the urban oasis of Point Defiance Park in Tacoma, where stunning gardens and natural beauty await.

Explore the renowned Rose Garden, featuring over 1,500 rose bushes in full bloom during the summer months.

Wander through the Rhododendron Garden, where vibrant flowers create a kaleidoscope of colors.

With breathtaking views of Puget Sound and diverse flora at every turn, Point Defiance Park is a feast for the senses.

16. Unwind in the Tranquil Peace Arch Park

Located on the border between Washington State and Canada, Peace Arch Park offers a peaceful respite from the busy world.

Walk through the beautiful gardens, relax in the shade of towering trees, and admire the iconic Peace Arch, a symbol of friendship between the two nations.

Whether you’re seeking solitude or enjoying a picnic with loved ones, this park is a serene haven that fosters a sense of tranquility.

17. Indulge in Culinary Delights at Pike Place Market

No visit to Washington State is complete without a trip to Pike Place Market in Seattle.

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere as you wander through the bustling market stalls, filled with fresh produce, artisanal crafts, and delectable treats.

Sample local delicacies, sip on freshly brewed coffee, and witness the iconic fishmongers tossing seafood with skill and flair.

Pike Place Market is a sensory feast that showcases the vibrant culinary culture of the region.

18. Experience the Thrills of Whitewater Rafting on the Wenatchee River

For adrenaline seekers, a whitewater rafting adventure on the Wenatchee River is a must-do.

Navigate through exhilarating rapids, soak in the stunning scenery, and enjoy the rush of adrenaline as you conquer the wild waters.

Whether you’re a seasoned rafter or a first-timer, the Wenatchee River offers a thrilling and unforgettable experience.

19. Soak in the Serenity of Ruby Beach

Escape to the rugged beauty of Ruby Beach, a hidden gem on the Olympic Peninsula.

Walk along the expansive shoreline, adorned with driftwood and sea stacks, as waves crash against the rocky coastline.

Breathe in the salty sea air, search for colorful seashells, and witness dramatic sunsets that paint the sky with vibrant hues.

Ruby Beach is a place of tranquility and natural wonder that will leave you in awe.

20. Take a Scenic Drive Along the North Cascades Highway

Embark on a road trip along the North Cascades Highway, a scenic byway that winds through the breathtaking landscapes of the North Cascades National Park.

Marvel at towering peaks, pristine alpine lakes, and cascading waterfalls as you navigate the serpentine roads.

Stop at overlooks to capture panoramic photographs and savor the awe-inspiring beauty of the rugged mountains.

21. Explore the Fascinating Museum of Glass in Tacoma

Discover the captivating world of glass art at the Museum of Glass in Tacoma.

Witness skilled artisans create intricate glass masterpieces through live demonstrations in the Hot Shop.

Admire stunning exhibitions that showcase the versatility and beauty of glass as an artistic medium.

Don’t miss the iconic Chihuly Bridge of Glass, a dazzling installation that spans over the highway, connecting the museum to downtown Tacoma.

22. Unleash Your Inner Thrill-Seeker at Wild Waves Theme & Water Park

Experience a day of excitement and exhilaration at Wild Waves Theme & Water Park in Federal Way.

Ride thrilling roller coasters, splash down water slides, and relax in the lazy river.

With a mix of heart-pounding rides and family-friendly attractions, this park guarantees fun and laughter for visitors of all ages.

23. Hike to the Summit of Mount Si

Challenge yourself with a hike to the summit of Mount Si, a popular trail located near North Bend.

Ascend through dense forests and rocky terrain, and be rewarded with breathtaking views of the surrounding valleys and mountains.

This challenging hike is a favorite among locals and offers a sense of accomplishment upon reaching the summit.

24. Witness the Magnificence of Multnomah Falls

Just across the border in neighboring Oregon, Multnomah Falls beckons with its stunning beauty.

Admire the awe-inspiring cascades as water plunges from a height of 620 feet, creating a mesmerizing spectacle.

Take a leisurely hike to reach the Benson Footbridge, where you can witness the falls up close and feel the refreshing mist on your skin.

Multnomah Falls is a natural wonder that showcases the region’s mesmerizing waterfalls.

25. Immerse Yourself in History at Fort Vancouver National Historic Site

Step back in time and explore the rich history of Fort Vancouver National Historic Site. Walk through the meticulously reconstructed fort, which once served as a fur trading post in the early 19th century.

Engage with costumed interpreters who will transport you to the bygone era, sharing stories of the fur trade and daily life at the fort.

The site offers a fascinating glimpse into the region’s history and the pivotal role it played in shaping the Pacific Northwest.

26. Savor a Wine Tasting Experience in Woodinville Wine Country

Venture into Woodinville Wine Country, where you can indulge in the pleasures of wine tasting amidst picturesque vineyards and rolling hills.

Explore a multitude of wineries and tasting rooms, where you can sample a variety of wines crafted with passion and expertise.

From rich reds to crisp whites, the wines of Woodinville will delight your palate and offer a taste of the region’s viticultural excellence.

27. Capture the Breathtaking Beauty of Mount St. Helens

Embark on a journey to Mount St. Helens and witness the raw power of nature.

Explore the Johnston Ridge Observatory, where you can learn about the volcanic eruption that forever changed the landscape.

Hike along trails that offer panoramic views of the volcano’s crater, marvel at the regrowth of plant life, and reflect on the resiliency of the surrounding ecosystem.

Mount St. Helens is a testament to the forces that shape our planet and serves as a reminder of the enduring spirit of Washington State.


Washington State is a tapestry of remarkable experiences, from vibrant urban adventures to serene natural landscapes. As you embark on your journey, embrace the spirit of exploration and let the hidden gems of this captivating region unfold before your eyes. Discover the magic of Washington State, one unforgettable experience at a time.

David Kingston

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