#48 best destination in the world

 

Mount Rainier, Mount Rainier National Park

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Best time to travel: July-Aug
Walk difficulty: Easy
Ease of travel: Hard
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$

  • Park established in 1899, as the fifth national park in the United States, preserving 236,381 acres including all of Mount Rainier, a 14,411 ft stratovolcano
  • Mount Rainier is surrounded by valleys, waterfalls, subalpine meadows, and 91,000 acres of old-growth forest
  • More than 25 glaciers descend the volcano, which is often shrouded in clouds that dump enormous amounts of rain and snow
  • Carbon Glacier is the largest glacier by volume in the contiguous United States, while Emmons Glacier is the largest glacier by area

Hoh Rainforest, Olympic National Park

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Best time to travel: July-Aug
Walk difficulty: Easy
Ease of travel: Moderate
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$$

  • One of the largest temperate rainforests in the U.S., located on the Olympic Peninsula
  • It includes 24 miles of low elevation forest along the Hoh River
  • The Hoh River valley was formed thousands of years ago by glaciers

Chihuly Garden and Glass, Seattle

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Best time to travel: Sept-Oct
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Showcases the studio glass of Dale Chihuly, opened in 2012
  • Contains 3 components: the Garden, the Glasshouse, and the Interior Exhibits

Museum of Pop Culture, Seattle

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Best time to travel: Sept-Oct
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Museum dedicated to the history and exploration of both popular music and science fiction
  • Features exhibits spanning such diverse areas as science fiction, fantasy, horror, fashion, sports, video games, and music

Olympic Peninsula, Olympic National Park

Best time to travel: July-Aug
Walk difficulty: Easy
Ease of travel: Hard
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$

  • Large arm of land in western Washington that lies across Puget Sound from Seattle, and contains Olympic National Park
  • The Olympic Peninsula contained many of the last unexplored places in the contiguous United States
  • It remained largely unmapped until Arthur Dodwell and Theodore Rixon mapped most of its topography and timber resources between 1898 and 1900

Space Needle, Seattle

Best time to travel: Sept-Oct
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Observation tower in Seattle, considered to be an icon of the city, it has been designated a Seattle landmark
  • Located in the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood, it was built in the Seattle Center for the 1962 World’s Fair
  • The Space Needle was once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi River, and is built to withstand winds of up to 200 mph and earthquakes of up to 9.0 magnitude, as strong as the 1700 Cascadia earthquake
  • The Space Needle features an observation deck above ground, providing views of the downtown Seattle skyline, the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier, Mount Baker, Elliott Bay, and various islands in Puget Sound

Mt. Baker Ski Area, Whatcom County

Best time to travel: mid Feb
Ease of travel: Moderate
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Ski resort located in Whatcom County, and despite its name, the Mt. Baker Ski Area is actually closer to Mount Shuksan than Mount Baker
  • The ski area is home to the world’s greatest recorded snowfall in one season, 1,140 inches (95 ft), during the 1998–99 season
  • Mt. Baker also enjoys one of the highest average annual snowfall of any resort in the world, with 641 inches (53.4 ft)

Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park

Best time to travel: July-Aug
Walk difficulty: Easy
Ease of travel: Moderate
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Beach located in the coastal section of Olympic National Park
  • Ruby Beach has a tremendous amount of driftwood, and is notable for the number of sea stacks there.
  • The beach is so called because of the ruby-like crystals in the beach sand

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

Best time to travel: April
Ease of travel: Moderate
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $$

  • Tulip festival in the Skagit Valley, held annually in the spring, April 1 to April 30
  • Local tulip growers showcased their bulbs through display gardens for decades prior to the formation of an official festival
  • The Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce established the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival as a three-day event in 1984 to add festivities during the bloom month
  • The event has since grown to a month-long event and coincides with street fairs, art shows and sporting events

Museum of Flight, Seattle

Best time to travel: Sept-Oct
Ease of travel: Easy
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Air and space museum in the Seattle metropolitan area, in the city of Tukwila, established in 1965, with more than 150 aircraft in its collection
  • It is the largest private air and space museum in the world

Diablo Lake, North Cascades National Park

Best time to travel: May-Sept
Walk difficulty: Moderate
Ease of travel: Moderate
Cost ($-$$-$$$): $

  • Reservoir in the North Cascade mountains, created by Diablo Dam
  • Diablo Lake Trail, designated a National Recreation Trail in 1981, runs for 3.8 miles along the lake’s northern shore
  • It is a popular recreational spot for kayakers and canoeists
  • The unique, intense turquoise hue of the lake’s water is attributed to the surrounding glaciers that grind rocks into a fine powder that is carried into the lake through creeks
  • That fine powder, also called glacial flour, stays suspended in the lake, giving the water its brilliant color