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Best things to do in Washington State

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Where in the world: USA  /  Washington State

Top 15 things to do in Washington State

1. Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle

Chihuly Garden and Glass features a comprehensive exhibit showcasing the work of Dale Chihuly, a renowned American glass sculptor and entrepreneur. Despite the considerable technical difficulties of working with blown glass, Chihuly uses it as a primary medium for large installations and environmental artwork, some of which you can see at this gallery. The artist's complex and colorful glass sculptures fill the eight-room greenhouse. Stop by the adjacent garden to see a blend of nature and more blown-glass creations.
Suggested duration: 1 hour
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Tours including Chihuly Garden and Glass:

2. Space Needle, Seattle

Enjoy panoramic views of Seattle and the surrounding water from 184 m (605 ft) in the air at Space Needle. A symbol of the city since it was built for the World’s Fair in 1962, the tower features a 360º observation deck. Ride the elevator to the top for unobstructed views of the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Elliott Bay, and the surrounding islands, before stopping for a meal at the rotating SkyCity restaurant. Take a jacket with you when visiting the tower, as the observation deck is known for windy conditions.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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3. Pike Place Market, Seattle

Built in 1907 on the edge of a steep hill in the downtown waterfront area, Pike Place Market remains one of the country's oldest continuously operating public farmers' markets. A regular place of business for local farmers, craftspeople, and merchants, the market also ranks as one of the city's top tourist attractions. Consisting of a main level and several lower sections, the market features a range of flower stalls, comic-book stores, antiques shops, and family-owned restaurants. Before you explore the areas below street level, visit the main market's fresh produce and fish stalls. Access the market by car, public bus, or streetcar.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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4. The Museum of Flight, Seattle

Walk through the cabins of a British Airways Concorde and the “flying Oval Office” of four presidents at The Museum of Flight, the largest private air and space museum in the world. The museum's world-class collection of nearly 150 aircraft includes a B-17F Flying Fortress bomber, a Lockheed M-21 Blackbird, and a Lockheed model like the one Amelia Earhart piloted when she disappeared over the Pacific. Other highlights include the world's first fighter plane, built in 1914, and one of only two remaining airworthy Douglas DC-2s. Within the museum is the restored “Red Barn,” Boeing’s original manufacturing plant. To take advantage of discounts offered to returning visitors, consider purchasing a "return trip" ticket, valid for up to seven days.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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5. Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park

Ruby Beach is the northernmost of the southern beaches in the coastal section of Olympic National Park in the U.S. state of Washington. It is located on Highway 101, in Jefferson County, 27 miles (43 km) south of the town of Forks.

Like virtually all beaches on the northern coast, Ruby Beach has a tremendous amount of driftwood. It is notable for the number of sea stacks there.

The beach is so called because of the ruby-like crystals in the beach sand.
Destruction Island is located about 4 miles southwest off the beach. The island and the Destruction Island Lighthouse can be seen from the beach.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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6. Hurricane Ridge, Olympic National Park

Ski and snowboard in winter or hike and camp in summer at Hurricane Ridge, a pristine site that affords all-encompassing views of the Pacific coastline. Sitting 1,598 m (5,242 ft) high in the mountains of Olympic National Park, in an intense wind zone, the ridge has unpredictable weather where it can snow any time of year. The drive along the ridge overlooks the Olympic mountain range with views of meadows and snow-capped peaks. Watch for wildlife here. Check the visitor center's information desk, which provides maps and tips regarding the park's facilities and regulations. A snack bar and restrooms are also available on-site.
Suggested duration: 4 hours
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7. Roozengaarde Display Garden, Mount Vernon

If you love tulips and daffodils, you've found your flower heaven! Visit in the spring when millions upon millions of the biggest, brightest, and most beautiful flowers burst into bloom. Check out our Bloom Map for color updates: www.tulips.com/bloommap.

Order fresh cut flowers delivered overnight direct from our family farm - year round. Get the biggest and best bulbs around - ready to plant in the fall.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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8. Seattle Aquarium, Seattle

Located on Pier 59 with a view of the city, Seattle Aquarium hosts more than 800,000 visitors every year. The aquarium's goals of conservation and preservation mean many visitors take part in the site's educational programs. Some exhibits are interactive, such as the Life of a Drifter display that surrounds visitors with an aquarium full of jellyfish, starfish, and rockfish.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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9. Olympic National Park, Olympic National Park

In Olympic National Park, ancient rainforests and ocean tidal pools at lower elevations contrast with wildflower-filled alpine meadows and snowcapped peaks. The park's 373,120 hectares (922,000 acres) include numerous hiking trails that stretch from moist, mossy, and leafy valleys up to jagged mountain peaks that hold snow into summer. Anglers cast their lines into some of the hundreds of lakes and streams that hold 37 species of fish, including coho, chinook, and sockeye salmon, while birders try to spot a few of the 250 species, including blue grouse, belted kingfisher, warblers, woodpeckers, kinglets, and sparrows. Tide pools hold colorful life forms, such as green anemones and purple starfish, while gray whales appear off the coast from March to May, and black bears, cougars, and elk roam the park's interior year-round. The lower elevations of the park remain snow-free through winter--the extra moisture during the rainy season brightens the forest's greenery.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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10. Wine Tours & Tastings, Seattle

Experience the unrivaled beauty of Washington State's natural wonders on a wine tasting tour from Seattle. You'll travel through forested foothills and over the famed Evergreen Point floating bridge, the second-largest of its kind in the world. You'll also have a chance to marvel at the iconic Snoqualmie Falls, plunging from a height of 82 m (268 ft), before stopping at several award-winning boutique wineries, including Chateau Ste Michelle, the oldest winery in the state. Your sommelier will give you some wine tasting tips and teach you how to tell between different varietals--it's a great way to learn and have some fun. Tours range from 2-hour experiences to full-day excursions.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
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11. Discovery Park, Seattle

Take in the classic view of the lighthouse in Discovery Park, which marks the westernmost point of the city. Set out on the 4.5 km (2.8 mi) Discovery Park Loop Trail, the main route leading to all the park's paths. The 19.01 km (11.81 mi) of pathways weave through woods and grassy prairies and past beaches. If you'd like to drive to the beach, you'll need a permit, which you can pick up at the Environmental Learning Center near the east parking lot. Stop by the cultural center in the park to enjoy art and music events in the inspiring, natural setting.
Suggested duration: 2h 30 min
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12. Second Beach Trail, Olympic National Park

Stretching for 1.6 km (1 mi), Second Beach Trail takes you along a flat stretch of coast offering unparalleled views of the ocean. The offshore sea stacks attract oystercatchers, seabirds, and gulls, but the real attraction here are migrating whales (March/April and October). You will need a wilderness permit for overnight stays.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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13. Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center, Olympic National Park

Visit , a lush, green wonderland of ferns, mosses, and trees that form a canopy covering much of the area. The temperate rainforest stretches 39 km (24 mi) along the Hoh River, and it is partially contained and protected by Olympic National Park. Explore this river valley, created by glaciers thousands of years ago, via the various trails throughout the forest. For a short hike, try the Hall of Mosses Trail, a 1.3 km (.8 mi) journey, or walk the 1.9 km (1.2 mi) Spruce Nature Trail. If you are interested in a longer adventure, take on the 27.8 km (17.3 mi) Hoh River Trail. Stop by the visitor center for more information on the trails and diverse wildlife you will have the chance to see. Campsites are available in the park, but be prepared for heavy rain depending on the time of year.
Suggested duration: 2 hours
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14. Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, Seattle

Watch boats and fish travel the Hiram M. Chittenden Locks, a waterway system that provides safe passage between salt water and fresh water. The locks connect the Puget Sound to the Ship Canal, which links to Lake Union and Lake Washington. See barges, yachts, sailboats, and more pass through as water levels adjust to allow their journey. Don’t miss the fish ladder, which allows the migration of anadromous fish, such as salmon, between the two types of water. Glass panels give you a clear view of the fish making their journey. Pop into the visitor center to learn more about the history of the locks and how they work.
Suggested duration: 1h 30 min
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15. Discover Nature, Mount Rainier National Park

Discover Nature specializes in fully guided, small group tours designed to maximize your enjoyment of the Mt. Rainier area. You'll be treated like a friend from out of town and guided to some of the best spots within Mt. Rainier National Park, a place of stunning vistas and diverse wildlife. With your personal guide, you'll hike the old growth forest, spot all kinds of animals (like foxes, deer, and marmots), learn about glaciers and native trees and plants, and hear anecdotes about the pioneers who contributed to the creation of the park. Bring your camera--sights of the magnificent mountain will surely inspire you to snap a few memorable photos.
Suggested duration: 8 hours
Learn more about Discover Nature