Take Your Pick
Amboy, WA
The Active Mt Saint Helens
Mt Saint Helens - On May 18, 1980, immediately following a 5.1 magnitude earthquake, the north side of Mt Saint Helens slid down the mountain and an eruption shot volcanic ash 80,000 feet in the air. It became the deadliest volcano in US history and the costliest, 57 people died, hundreds of homes were destroyed and miles of roads and railroad tracks were buried. Today the 8,365 foot snow capped summit (a full 1,300 feet shorter than the pre-eruption days) seems serene and tranquil. But while looking down into the crater left after the explosion, even this sock monkey can imagine the raw force of the explosion.
Ashford, WA
Rainier from Above
Mt Rainier National Park - Rising dramatically from the surrounding valley is the 14,411 foot snow-capped active volcanic cone called Mt Rainier. Mt Rainer is the highest peak in the Cascade Mountain Range and the centerpiece of 380 square mile Mt Rainier National Park. Covered with dozens of glaciers and surrounded by spectacular waterfalls, wildflower meadows and pristine old-growth forests, this national park is an awe-inspiring natural wonder. Activities include camping, hiking, mountain climbing, and good old fashioned sightseeing.
Coulee City, WA
The Dry Falls of Coulee City
Dry Falls - A little imagination is needed when visiting Dry Falls. To this sock monkey, a dry falls is like a bird silently chirping, an oddity to say the least. Never-the-less, during the ice-age the flow-choked Columbia River backed up and created a massive lake. When the ice finally broke, an enormous wall of water came rushing trough eastern Washington scarring the land and creating dry channels called coulees. It is believed that this particular coulee was once the largest waterfall in the world - over 3 miles wide and having a vertical drop of 400 feet. Did I just hear a silent bird chirp?
Electric City, WA
It's Super Coulee
Grand Coulee Dam - The nearly one mile long Grand Coulee Dam is the largest concrete structure in the USA, using almost 3 times as much concrete as the Hoover Dam. Construction began in 1933 and the first generator started producing electricity in 1941 (just in time for WWII). The dam spans an ancient river channel (coulee) and created the 150 mile long Lake Roosevelt. The lake was named for President Franklin Delano Roosevelt who authorized the project. Attractions near the dam include a Visitor Center, a seasonal laser and light show, and behind-scene-tours of the Grand Coulee.
Lake Chelan, WA
The Cool Waters of Lake Chelan
Lake Chelan - Lake Chelan, with depths reaching nearly 1,500 feet, is the third deepest lake in the nation behind, Crater Lake in Oregon and Lake Tahoe shared by Nevada and California. The 55 mile long glacier and stream fed lake is also the longest natural lake in Washington. Those statistics aside and more importantly, Lake Chelan is a great place for swimming, camping, and water sports. The southeastern side of the lake near the town of Chelan enjoys over 300 days of sunshine a year.
Lake Ozette, WA
Westernmost Point In USA
Westernmost Point in Contiguous US - To get to the Westernmost Point in the Contiguous US requires a short hike from the small town of Ozette to Cape Alava along somewhat slippery boardwalks, but it's worth it. The Cape Alava trail is roughly 3 miles long and passes over coastal marshland on its way to the Pacific Ocean. From the coast you can see the rocky and tree-lined Ozette Island about a half mile in the distance. If you have the time and energy (and it's low tide), head south 3 miles along the Cape Alava to Sand Point Trailway, which connects to another 3 mile boardwalk and heads back to Ozette (total 9 miles).
Long Beach, WA
Long Beach of Washington
Long Beach and World Kite Museum - If you say you're going to Long Beach, everyone will think you are headed to SoCal, but there are great things awaiting at Washington's Long Beach too. This 28 mile golden-sand peninsula is perfect for sunbathing, horseback riding, or hiking along the Pacific Ocean. While there you will often see hundreds of kites aloft in the cool sea breeze. Long Beach is home to the World Kite Museum and Hall of Fame. Also, be sure to drop by Cape Disappointment, Washington's number one state park. You won't be disappointed!!!
Maryhill, WA
Stonehenge Memorial
Stonehenge Memorial - High atop a dramatic bluff overlooking the scenic Columbia River is a full-scale replica of England's Stonehenge. This is not a crumbling replica, but an astronomically-aligned version made to look like the day the Druids popped the campaign for their new design 4,500 years ago. Built by Maryhill resident Sam Hill, the structure was dedicated in 1918 to those who died in WWI, and completed in 1930. It is the nation's first monument dedicated to those who lost their lives in WWI. The Stonehenge Memorial is now part of the Maryhill Museum of Art, a nearby fine art museum in a delightful castle-like chateau.
Menlo, WA
A Young Pioneer
Willie Keil - Chances are, most people have never heard of Willie Keil (1836-1855). This 19 year-old pioneer was set to lead a wagon train with his father from Bethel, MO to the promise land of the west coast. Just 4 days before leaving young Willie succumbed to the effects of malaria, but just prior to dying he made his dad promise, that no matter what happened, he would still lead the team. True to his word, his father put Willie's body in a lead-lined coffin filled with 100 proof alcohol (to preserve him) and headed west. Willie did lead the team and on November 26, 1855 was laid to rest near the town of Menlo.
Olympia, WA
The Evergreen State Capitol
State Capitol - The State Capitol of Washington is unlike most states, instead of one building it is comprised of several separate buildings. It does however contain a traditional domed legislative building which was completed in 1928. The dome of the capitol reaches 287 feet in the air, making it the fourth tallest self-supporting all-masonry dome in the world. The interior also holds a world record amount of Louis Comfort Tiffany bronze as well as the world's largest Tiffany chandelier. Also in the rotunda are the four foot bronze Washington State Seal and a shiny nosed bust of George Washington himself.
Port Angeles, WA
The Enormous Olympic National Park
Olympic National Park - Nearly comprising all of Washington's Olympic Peninsula, Olympic National Park is made up of three distinct areas that has something for everyone; the Pacific Coast, the rainforest and the mountains. The 73 mile Pacific Coast region of the park features rugged outcroppings and sandy beaches. The rainforest, which receives over 140 inches a rain a year, has 200 foot tall spruce and hemlock trees. And the mountain area contains the 7,965 foot glacier topped Mount Olympus and provides a tremendous view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the north.
Renton, WA
Jimi Hendrix Memorial
Jimi Hendrix - Jimi Hendrix (1942-1970) is one of the most influential rock musicians of the 1960s and is widely recognized as the greatest electric guitar player that ever lived. His most popular songs include, "Purple Haze", "All Along the Watchtower", and "Hey Joe". The southpaw guitar player entertained crowds at Woodstock with an earth-shaking version of "The Star Spangled Banner" and often played it behind his back and over his head. There are a few places around Seattle to remember Jimi, his gravesite at the Greenwood Memorial Park in Renton, a statue on the corner of Broadway and Pine, and an exhibit at the Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum.
Seattle, WA
Where it all Began
First Starbucks - With an average of only 58 sunny days a year, the great people of Seattle needed a little caffeine pick-me-up to get them through the day. So in 1971 the very first Starbucks coffee house opened in the Pike Place Market. These days it is tough to find anyone in the city not carrying around a cup of coffee with the green Starbucks label on it. Besides coffee, the Pike Place Market has excellent seafood, a vast array of crafts, and tables full of beautiful flowers, fruits and vegetables. The Pike Place Market opened in 1907 and is a gathering place for locals and tourists. Other attractions include street entertainers or "buskers", flying fish, and Rachel (a bronze piggy bank).
Seattle, WA
Beneath the Streets of Seattle
Underground Tours - After taking in all that Seattle has to offer above ground, it's time to head beneath the streets for a light-hearted look at the city. Bill Speidel's Underground Tours begins at a restored 1890s saloon and then steps down to its "underbelly". Back in the day, the mid to late 1800s, because of its low elevation Seattle suffered greatly from backed up toilets. With the Great Seattle Fire of 1889 the city decided to lift the city up and put in a fancy sewer system. That meant building over the top of old stinky town. Lucky for us Bill Speidel rediscovered this "waste-land" and offers tours with plenty of funny bathroom humor.
Seattle, WA
Space Needle Underbelly
Space Needle - Now the symbol of Seattle, the Space Needle was built for the 1962 World's Fair (one of only a couple profitable World's Fairs). A trip to the top of the observation deck towering 520 feet above the city offers panoramic views of the nearby Puget Sound and Seattle as well as the distant Olympic Mountains, Cascade Mountains and Mt Rainier. For those afraid of heights, the tower was built to withstand winds of 200 mph and a 9.1 magnitude earthquake. Also at the top is the rotating Sky City Restaurant where you simply have to order the Lunar Orbiter dessert which every monkey will love.
Sedro Woolley, WA
Scary Names of North Cascades
North Cascades National Park - With names like Mount Terror, Damnation Peak, Mount Fury, Mount Despair, Mount Torment, and Desolation Peak you'd think this is one place on earth you wouldn't want to visit. Not true. The 700,000 acre North Cascades National Park is a beautiful area of northern Washington with hundreds of glacier filled mountains, towering spires, dramatic shear-walled cliffs and gorgeous turquoise waters. The park is a very popular place for hiking and mountain climbing, but a lot of the beauty can be seen just by driving through the park. So don't let the names scare you off because there are the Sourdough Mountains and Bacon Peak too. Mmmmm bacon sandwiches.
Snoqualmie, WA
The Twin Peaks Waterfall
Snoqualmie Falls - With water from the melting snows of the Cascade Mountains, several rivers join with the Snoqualmie River and dive 270 feet over Snoqualmie Falls. Because of its stunning beauty and close proximity to Seattle, the falls attract over 1.5 million visitors a year. Alongside Snoqualmie Falls is a two acre park featuring free viewing platforms and a gift shop. At the top is the Salish Spa and Lodge, with Northwest cuisine, comfy guestrooms, and a relaxing spa. Snoqualmie Falls became famous between 1990 and 1991 when it was featured in the opening credits of the TV show "Twin Peaks".
Spokane, WA
Bowl and Pitcher
Riverside State Park - Spokane, the second largest city in Washington, is home to Riverside State Park a popular camping and tourist area. Inside the park visitors can climb up to an overlook to see the large basalt formation called the "bowl and pitcher". Next to this volcanic formation and crossing the Spokane River is a popular 1930s suspension bridge. Riverside State Park shouldn't be confused with Riverfront Park - which was home to the 1974 World's Fair Exposition '74 and is still a popular gathering place to ride the 1909 Looff Carrousel and more modern SkyRide.
Tacoma, WA
Parks of Tacoma
Point Defiance Park - Point Defiance Park attracts over 2 million people each year to its many attractions. A handful of these attractions include Fort Nisqually (a living history museum), Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, several gardens, a Boathouse and Marina and roughly 14 miles of hiking trails. The park also hosts events year-round with one of the biggest being the Taste of Tacoma held at the end of June. Of course if you only come to Tacoma to see one of the state's largest totem pole, stop at nearby Fireman's Park.
Vancouver, WA
1800s Trading Post
Fort Vancouver - Established as a supply depot for fur traders in 1824, Hudson Bay Company's Fort Vancouver was established as a monopoly that held tight controls over trading. Then in 1849 the US Army created a post on the site to help American settlers heading west along the Oregon Trail. Today the 366 acre fort is a National Historic Site featuring US Army barracks, the Pearson Air Museum, the Kaiser Ship Yards and relics from the Hudson Bay Company.
Vantage, WA
Ponies on the Run
Wild Horse Monument - Entitled "Grandfather Cuts Loose the Ponies", the Wild Horse Monument is a life-sized sculpture of 15 ponies running free across a central Washington bluff. Created by Washington resident David Govedare, the dramatic sculpture easily catches the eye of travelers heading down I-90. The horses can be viewed from below or you can climb to the top of the hill (albeit a little slippery and possibly filled with rattlesnakes) to get next to these sheet metal wonders. The hill top also offers a great view of the Columbia River and surrounding countryside.
Walla Walla, WA
Home of Balloons and Sweet Onions
Hot Air Balloon Stampede and Wineries - There are at least two great reasons to visit Walla Walla, the annual Hot Air Balloon Stampede and an abundance of wineries. The Hot Air Balloon Stampede, held in early May, attracts nearly 50 balloons that paint the spring sky with a rainbow of colors. The event features night glows, live music, arts and crafts, and is a great place to load up on Walla Walla sweet onions. The other big attraction is the local wineries. As many as 50 wineries exist in and around the town, many in the downtown area within walking distance of each other.