From volcanoes and rain forests to wineries and beaches, Washington has a wealth of assets that make it one of the Pacific Northwest’s best vacation spots. Get to know the State of Washington with these interesting facts.
1. Volcano Variety
The State of Washington is home to multiple volcanoes, including Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, and Mount Adams. These volcanoes are part of the Cascade Range, which extends from British Columbia to northern California. From winter sports to summer waterfall hikes, these mountains are a paradise for outdoor recreation.
2. Abundant Apples
Washington produces more apples than any other state in the country. The state is also known for producing red raspberries, spearmint oil, sweet cherries, and more.
3. Glaciers Galore
With more than 3,000 glaciers, Washington is the most glaciated of the 48 contiguous states. There are 25 major glaciers on Mount Rainier alone.
4. Watery Depths
Lake Chelan is the deepest lake in the State of Washington and the third deepest lake in the country. The lake’s lowest point is 118 meters below sea level. In the summer, the lake is a popular destination for water recreation.
5. Island Time
At low tide, the San Juan Islands archipelago in San Juan County can feature as many as 170 named islands and rocks, although not all are big enough to inhabit. The main islands of San Juan, Orcas, and Lopez are most frequented by visitors.
6. Resident Whales
The waters of the Salish Sea, including Puget Sound, are home to a resident population of orca whales. Three orca families called J, K, and L pods — known collectively as the Southern Residents — frequent these waters each year.
7. Grand Dam
Grand Coulee Dam is the largest hydropower producer in the United States. The dam produces enough power to supply about 2 million households with electricity for one year.
8. Great Heights
The majestic 14,410-foot-tall Mount Rainier is the highest point in the state. It became a national park in 1899 and is now one of three national parks in the state.
9. Ferried Away
Washington State Ferries, which provides transport to many of the state’s islands, is the largest ferry operator in the country.
10. Waterfall Wonder
At 286 feet, Snoqualmie Falls is about 100 feet higher than New York’s Niagara Falls. Washington is home to dozens of fantastic waterfalls.
11. Great Lengths
Stretching about 28 miles, the Long Beach Peninsula is the longest contiguous beach in the United States. A scenic oceanfront boardwalk covers a half mile of that stretch.
12. Rain Forests
Olympic National Park on the Olympic Peninsula is home to four temperate rain forests in the Quinault, Queets, Hoh, and Bogachiel valleys. Of those, the Hoh Rain Forest is one of the largest temperate rain forests in the country.
13. Slam Dunk
The city of Spokane hosts the world’s largest three-on-three outdoor basketball tournament, known as Hoopfest, each year. The event features more than 6,000 teams and 425 courts spanning 45 city blocks.
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14. Indigenous Peoples
Washington is home to 29 federally recognized tribes with reservations across the state, from the Makah in the Peninsulas Region to the Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation in the Ponderosa Region.
15. Ocean Shores
The state has 157 miles of Pacific Ocean coastline, spanning from sandy beaches in the south to rocky shores along the northern coast. In the winter, visitors to the Beaches Region can experience epic storm watching.
16. Wild West
Cape Alava in Olympic National Park is the westernmost point in the continental United States and offers great hiking.
17. Grape Escapes
The State of Washington is the second largest wine-producing region in the country, boasting more than 1,000 wineries and 60,000+ acres of wine grapes over 19 American Viticultural Areas (AVAs). The state’s Wine Country Region offers an abundance of tasting rooms.
18. Hoppy Days
More than 75 percent of the country’s hops are grown in the Yakima Valley. The region is home to many craft breweries for visitors to explore.
19. Sand Spit
The Dungeness crab gets its name from the longest natural sand spit in the country: 5.5-mile-long Dungeness Spit on the Olympic Peninsula.