Travels With Trish: Washington State
Flying into Washington State, I am always awestruck at the magnificence of the Pacific Cascade Mountain Range. On a clear day, depending on your approach, you can often see the snow capped tops of Mt. Rainer, Mt. Saint Helens, Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood all together - welcoming you to all this state has to offer.
This past Easter was my fourth trip to the Evergreen state. I thought I would share some places to visit that I have been to, and some fun facts about this wonderful state.
Places to visit:
Olympic National Park: Established as a national monument in 1909, the area was re-designated Olympic National Park by President Franklin Roosevelt in 1938. In 1976, it became an International Biosphere Reserve, and in 1981 was designated a World Heritage Site. It's nearly one million acres, provides three distinct ecosystems for visitors to experience - glaciated mountains, rugged coastline, and lush rainforests which were so amazing to explore.
The San Juan Islands: Located north of Seattle and only accessible by ferry, these islands are an archipelago in the northwest corner of the contiguous United States between the U.S. mainland, and Vancouver Island. These beautiful islands are so beautiful to explore, and offer a host of different activities and places to stay, but be sure to do some sea-kayaking, or Orca whale watching – you won’t be disappointed.
Seattle: We all know Seattle as the birthplace of Starbucks Coffee, but Washington State’s largest city is also home to Microsoft and Amazon, which have headquarters here. I loved every inch of this city from Pike Place Market to the Space Needle – leftover from the 1962 World’s Fair. We also took in the Jimi Hendrix Experience, did a tour of the Underground in Pioneer Square, and visited the Seattle Art Museum. There is an aquarium, a zoo, harbor cruises, and tours of Boeing to name a few other things to do. And the food…that could be another article!
Spokane: One of the smallest cities to host the World’s Fair in 1974 - this city may not be a top destination, but it certainly is a fun place to visit, and my step-daughter lives and works here. We stayed downtown in the Historic Davenport Hotel built in 1914. We visited the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture which had an incredible exhibit on the Titanic. Our hotel even replicated the five-course dinner served in first class aboard the Titanic complete with wine pairings. Speaking of wine, did you know that Washington is the second largest premium wine producer in the United States? This adorable city of Spokane has a wonderful collection of tasting rooms that are a great meeting place for locals and out of towner's alike. We took in a few throughout the course of our visit.
Some additional fun facts about Washington:
- The State of Washington is the only state to be named after a US President.
- Washington produces more apples than any state in the union.
- It is the birthplace of Jimi Hendrix and Bing Crosby.
- The region around eastern Puget Sound developed heavy industry during World War I and World War II, and the Boeing company was established.
- During the Great Depression, a series of hydroelectric dams were constructed along the Columbia river as part of a project to increase the production of electricity. This culminated in 1941 with the completion of the Grand Coulee Dam, the largest dam in the United States.
- In 1980, the northeast face of Mount St. Helens exploded outward, destroying a large part of the top of the volcano.
- Popular games such as Pictionary, Pickle-ball, and Cranium were all invented in Washington.