The Pacific Northwest boasts stunning landscape and unique metropolitan areas all year round. But perhaps the best time to visit the beautiful green coast is the summer! In the summer, the infamous rain abates a bit, and the temperatures hover around a delightful 70°F.
When you’re planning a trip to the great PNW, you won’t be at a loss for finding a great hotel. You also won’t have any trouble finding fresh and fun activities to do whether you’re outdoorsy or more of a city tourer. Let this list of ten great things to do in Washington State this summer convince you!
1. Hike in Olympic National Park
This classic Washington State day out is not to be missed. Olympic National Park is known for its diverse landscape, including natural features ranging from rocky coastlines to high, white mountains, to the famous Hoh Rain Forest.
The over-a-million-acre park is just a 2-hour drive from Seattle, so if you’re not wanting to camp on your summer vacation, you can turn visiting the park into a day trip! There’s even a lodge that you can stay at in the park.
2. Seattle Japanese Garden
This Japanese Garden in the heart of Seattle is correctly billed as an urban sanctuary. You can see all kinds of varieties of beautiful plants, which flourish in the damp climate of Washington State.
If you’re going to visit the Japanese Garden, you can even experience a traditional Japanese Tea Ceremony. Although this amazing display is currently on hold until further notice, guests at the Seattle Japanese Garden can still experience this culturally authentic site and enjoy the peace and intense beauty of traditional Japanese Gardens.
3. Leavenworth Reindeer Farm
You read that right – a Reindeer Farm! This Christmassy destination is open all-year round. The family farm in the Cascade Mountains of Washington State provides hands-on, educational fun for visitors of all ages.
The owners of this beautiful farm set out with the purpose of educating people on and helping preserve this amazing animal. Right now, visitors can see brand new Reindeer babies! What could make for a cuter vacation activity than that? While you’re there, be sure to check out the rest of Leavenworth, Washington, which is known for its charming similarities to a Bavarian Village!
4. San Juan Islands
A visit to the San Juan Islands offers visitors a temperate climate and views of whales all year long. The wildlife in the area is a big attraction, including sea lions, ospreys, and otters as well as the famous whales.
Visitors to the this system of 172 names islands and reefs can also enjoy tours and tasting rooms at local wineries and breweries, as well as kayaking and paddling tours.
5. Chihuly Gardens and Glass
A trip to Washington State wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Chihuly Gardens and Glass Exhibit. Visitors to the gardens will find the impressive Glass House, a 4,500 square foot structure of colorful glass, and the garden itself, which provides a lush backdrop for the glass art scattered artistically through the plants.
In addition to touring the stunning gardens, visitors can also learn about the art of glass through live demonstrations. Visitors can also participate in onsite workshops to learn even more about the art.
6. The Space Needle
The Space Needle is probably the most iconic feature of Seattle. It was built in 1962 for the World’s Fair. The theme of the fair that year was “The Age of Space,” and the Space Needle was built as a monument to that theme. Its unique architecture makes it extremely recognizable. And it’s not a landmark to miss!
Visitors to the Space Needle can have drinks on the observation deck and take in the views, and you can even visit the Loupe Lounge at the Space Needle and dine on the world’s first and only revolving glass floor 500 stories above the city!
7. Bellevue Botanical Garden
These 53 acres of cultivated gardens, woodlands, and wetlands put the flora of Washington State on display. Visitors to the Bellevue Botanical Gardens can take part in hands-on workshops to learn more about how to cultivate their own gardens.
There are detailed maps of the gardens available for self-guided tours through the dozen unique and awarded gardens throughout the property. Visitors can also spend time in the area of Bellevue, Washington, where you can enjoy art museums, fine dining experiences, and local breweries!
8. Hike in Mount Rainier National Park
Mount Rainier is another iconic feature of Washington State. And Mount Rainier National Park can’t be missed on a tour of Washington State. Mount Rainier, which is an active volcano, is the backdrop of Seattle and can be seen from much of the state.
Some of the most popular summer activities for visitors to Mount Rainier National Park range from hot air balloon rides above the park to viewing the famous wildflowers on the stunning trails.
9. Downtown Seattle
You could spend several days just hanging out in Downtown Seattle and seeing all the sights. Downtown Seattle boasts the original Starbucks, the Seattle Art Museum, and a plethora of amazing restaurants.
Seattle even has several guided food tours and tours of the famous Pike Place Market curated by local chefs! You can also explore the city’s diverse cultural history by visiting downtown attractions such as the Seattle Asian Art Museum and the Northwest African American Museum.
10. The Fremont Troll
One of the most unique sights to see in Washington State is the Fremont Troll Sculpture located under the Aurora Avenue Bridge in Seattle. This feature is a destination for visitors and locals alike. Take a picture with this fascinating piece of public art and marvel at the construction of this massive work.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com
Wednesday 14th of April 2021
Float the Yakima? Palouse Falls? Methow Valley? Downtown Spokane even? Explore the Gorge...?! Seattle and surrounds are great (massive hometown pride here), but there's quite a bit more that deserves mention- or to avoid garden fatigue :)
Thursday 15th of April 2021
Yes a list of 10 always leaves out many favorites ;) But thank you for adding some of your suggestions
Sunday 11th of April 2021
Nice article but you primarily focused on Seattle? Is there nothing else to do in the rest of the state?!