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Top 7 Hidden Gem Towns To Visit In Washington State

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Washington State is home to some iconic big cities like Seattle, but this gorgeous state also features a variety of small towns that are more than worth a visit! Here are our suggestions for the top 7 small towns in Washington State to visit this winter. 

Top 7 Small Towns To Visit In Washington State This Winter

1. Leavenworth

If you're looking for a festive small town to visit, you probably won't find a better choice than Leavenworth! Known for its Bavarian theme, this town goes all out every year. Intricate light displays turn the entire downtown into a winter wonderland. The town is also home to several shops perfect for getting in the holiday spirit, such as the Nutcracker Store and Museum. Some other fun things to do in the area include taking a sleigh ride or cross country skiing.


2. Ellensburg 

Head over to central Washington to check out Ellensburg! This small town is located about an hour and a half from Seattle – perfect for a day trip. It’s also home to Central Washington University and offers a unique mix of small-town charm as well as a young, hip vibe. Consider checking out the various shops downtown, grabbing a bite to eat at the local Campus U Tote Em, or some boba tea at Young T and Tea. 


3. Palouse 

If you’re looking for a true small-town experience, head over to Palouse! This town has fewer than 1,000 residents, as well as no shortage of charm. Check out the Roy M Chatters Newspaper and Printing Museum in downtown Palouse to learn more about local history. Or, head outside of town to take a drive on the Palouse Scenic Byway, a gorgeous road that showcases the rolling hills in the area. 


4. Walla Walla

Walla Walla offers a great balance of “small town” combined with “plenty to do”. A little larger than some of the other towns, Walla Walla is a great spot for everything from shopping to winter sports. Head downtown to check out a variety of shops, or over to Dusty’s Ski and Snowboard Shop for some cross country skiing. The town also has several wineries that offer wine tastings, including Basel Cellars Estate Winery and Pepper Bridge Winery. 

Walla Walla

5. North Bend 

Located a mere thirty minutes outside of Seattle, you won’t have to travel too far from the city to check out this gorgeous town! Sitting at the base of Mount Si, North Bend actually served as the inspiration for the iconic mystery show Twin Peaks. While there might not be any otherworldly mysteries in the real life, there are plenty of other things to do! Check out the North Bend Premium Outlets for some great deals. Or check out Alpental Ski Area for some winter recreation and fun!  

North Bend

6. Winthrop 

Experience a slice of the old west this winter with a visit to Winthrop! This tiny town is notable for its unique downtown – offering shops and food with a western flair. The town itself is pretty small – the population is less than 400 – but it’s a perfect stop for those looking to get away to a calmer, peaceful spot. The areas surrounding Winthrop are great for skiing and snowboarding. In the town itself, meanwhile, you’ll want to check out the Carlos1800 Mexican Grill And Cantina for some great food and drinks. The town’s winery, Lost River Winery, is also worth a visit. 


7. Port Townsend

Head over to the Olympic Peninsula to check out Port Townsend! Located approximately 2 hours from Seattle, Port Townsend is a historic town with a modern, artsy vibe. The town was a historic seaport. Nowadays, it is still home to plenty of ships – as well as museums, shops, and world-class restaurants. The town is also perfect for a wine tour or pub crawl thanks to its many options for both – an example itinerary is even offered on their webpage!

Port Townsend

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