Along the coast of Washington are the San Juans. According to deluxesurveillance, this archipelago is cut off from the ‘Pacific’ by the Olympic Peninsula and Vancouver Island. There are approximately 170 islands, some of which fall under the protected San Juan Wildlife Refuge. This is the place to spot orcas.
These beautiful killer whales have made the San Juan area their permanent home along with various bird species, sea lions and seals. Islands such as Orcas and Lopez are popular holiday destinations from which you have a magnificent view over the raging sea and the food-seeking whales.
On the so-called ‘Olympic Peninsula’, nature is largely allowed to take its own course. Result: a rural, densely wooded area where you can enjoy hiking and camping! For example in the Olympic National Park. Port Townsend and Port Angeles are tourist villages on the coast of the peninsula from where ferries also depart to the mainland of Washington and British Columbia. Indian tribes also used to live in this part of the Pacific. On the peninsula you will find several Indian communities that are worth visiting because of the many festivals and museums.
According to electronicsmatter, the heart of Washington is here, around the water. With Seattle as the largest city, it is the state’s most densely populated and urbanized region. World companies such as Microsoft and Boeing are stationed here. Everett, Olympia and Tacoma are the three other major cities in the Sound as the ‘residents’ affectionately call this region. The area is mainly lowland and extends to the Cascades in the east.
In the area you will find a wealth of activities. In addition to the outdoor attractions such as hiking, mountain biking and water sports, you can also dive into the urban environment here. Discover ‘Greys Anatomy’ city of Seattle with its fascinating culture and architecture. Seattle is not as busy as industrial cities like Chicago and New York and, to the surprise of many, is not the capital of Washington. This honor belongs to the nearby city of Olympia.
Washington borders Canada to the north, which also includes part of the Pacific Northwest. The region is known for the North Cascades National Park which is very popular with visitors and is also the gateway to the San Juan Islands.
In the southwest of Washington, the Columbia River Gorge ends with its beautiful ‘sceneries’. The Columbia River flows into the Pacific here after a journey through mountainous areas of almost 2000 kilometers! The so-called Megacity also traverses this area, from Seattle in the north to Portland in the south. Close to Portland, but just in Washington, is the fourth largest city in the state, Vancouver. Not to be confused with the metropolis of Vancouver in Canada, but certainly a city that counts in the US side of the Pacific Northwest. In the north of this region there are several villages on the coast from where you can cross to the Olympic peninsula, such as in the village of Aberdeen.
Wonderful Washington’s South Central region is known for its wine. Here you will find ‘never ending’ vineyards where the best wines in the US come from. Wine tasters will also feel at home in this part of the Pacific Northwest among the grape bushes. In addition to grapes, other products are grown such as apples, pears and various vegetables. This is the land that originally belonged to the Native American tribe of the Yakamas and you can still find a so-called ‘Indian Reservation’ along the Columbia River Gorge.
The Cascades mountain range covers virtually the entire central portion of Washington, from the extreme north to the south. In its entirety, the Cascades stretch all the way from Canada’s British Columbia to the deep south of California. You can roughly divide the Cascades into three regions. The ‘north cascades’, the ‘central cascades’ and the ‘south cascades’. In the latter part of the Cascades you will find Mount Rainer and Saint Helen’s peaks.
Another troubled volcano is Mount Rainer, in Washington state. This volcano is also the highest peak in the entire Pacific Northwest and is known as the most active volcano. For years, researchers have been trying to fathom this area but have never been able to comprehend the humble beauty of these regions. Mount Rainer National Park attracts many visitors every year because of the countless hiking routes that the area has, the beautiful waterfalls and the deep forests. You can visit Mount Rainer all year round, but be aware that there is a high risk of avalanches in winter.
Previously relatively unnoticed by residents but praised by travelers is now clearly present. Why? In 1980, this dormant volcano erupted that devoured lakes, forests and rivers with devastating force. In exchange for this destruction, this area received a number of new inhabitants from Mother Nature: both plants and animals made their comeback to the area. Every year many tourists come to see this, now world famous, volcano.
Northeast Washington has a very famous ‘feature’, the Grand Coulee Dam. This so-called hydroelectric dam produces more electricity annually than all similar dams in the US. To the south, this region borders the Columbia Basin. This fertile nature provides a diverse ecosystem with many wildlife parks and national parks. For a glimpse into the history of this region, be near the region’s largest city, Spokane. Here one has found ancient rock paintings made by Indians.
Remains from the ‘golden rush’ era have also been found. For even Washington was not spared when it was heard that gold had been found in the western US. In the south-east of Washington, the high-altitude Columbia Basin has left its mark. This fertile lava soil makes it an ideal place to grow grapes. Wine connoisseurs will be amazed by the tasty Cabernet Sauvignon produced in this region. The so-called ‘sweet onions’ are also grown here, near Walla Walla.
There are several state parks and wildlife refuges such as Umatilla National Forest and the Potholes Reservoir, where you can spot pelicans and cormorants very well. The history fans among us will not be disappointed either, because thanks to a rich and turbulent history, you will also find a number of Historical Landmarks here in the region. Whatever type you are, you won’t get bored in this region!