In case you did not know, I am originally from a small town in Washington. I may not live there anymore, but the beauty of the pacific northwest will always have my heart. There is tons of beautiful scenery and hidden gems throughout the state. If you ever decide to visit or live there, this post will be the ultimate guide on seeing all of the beauty that you must explore. This will be part 1.
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
The tulip festival is a must in the spring. This is something that you must continuously watch for online, because the tulips don’t always bloom around the same time each year. Usually it is sometime between April and May. There are a few different tulip farms, but I found RoozenGaarde to be the best! Tulip Town is another one with tons of tulips. Make sure to go through the little town of Skagit too, as there are tons of cider tasting places and unique shops. The Eagles there will do Salmon dinners on the weekend too for $10 and a lot of food!
This is a beautiful lake over towards Leavenworth. There are tons of wineries, boating, fishing and hiking. I would suggest saving up and staying at one of the resorts. The campground is very subpar and usually has a fire ban. My family and I would always stay at Campbell’s Resort. It is right on the lake with a fishing dock, personal marina, restaurants, private beach and pools. It is a beautiful view. The town is also right next to there and has some fun shops and a little movie theater. It is one of my absolute favorite places to go. Especially to go fishing for fun.
Franklin Falls – Snoqualmie Pass
This place is a huge destination in the winter. It is a waterfall in the mountains that freezes solid every year. Its’ nickname is the frozen falls. It is a little trek out to it after you park, so dress warm and in snow clothes. You will get to see tons of frozen beauty on your way too it. The only random thing is that it is actually right next to an overpass. However, it is still a free and beautiful.
The University of Washington – Seattle
I know that it sounds funny to visit a college, but UW is a landmark with lots of history. The campus is huge, with tons of flowers, trees and secret gardens. There are also various coffee shops and places to eat spread throughout it. It is the perfect place for Instagram pictures in the spring. The most famous part is the legendary library that looks like it is straight out of Harry Potter. The university also has huge water fountains and old gothic architecture!
The San Juans is the most talked about island in Washington, but this one is very pretty and quaint. You have to check the ferry schedule to get there and there is only one little grocery store in ton. However, there are a few fun boutiques, a book barn and an antique store. There are a couple of restaurants as well. The best part is that you rent cabins and lake beach houses when you stay, so you can be on your own private beach! The tidepools are also amazing, with tons of starfish. It’s a must go place for crabbing.
Point Ruston – Tacoma
This is a newer place located in Tacoma, and it is actually really nice! You can walk down by the waterfront and enjoy trendy cocktail parlours and places to grab a bite. It is an absolutely gorgeous view at night and located close to the rest of the waterfront, which has seafood places, scuba diving, painting and tons of outdoor events. In the winter there is ice skating, the spring has farmers markets and the summer has hydroplane races and festivals
Chinese Friendship Garden – Tacoma
This is a little gem hidden in Tacoma with no clear path to get there. It is a small garden with a bridge and pagoda on the waterfront. The overpass hides the sign for it and you have to back track a tad after the freeway, but it is worth it.
This place is not too far from Ocean Shores. It is out in the middle of the woods and has the most beautiful scenery. There is a rainforest and plenty of waterfalls on its’ main drive. Also, the Hopi National Rainforest is connected to it. Quinault also has a ton of hiking trails and a fancy, antique lodge that you can explore. The property is hidden back in the woods and has a grassy field on a lake, with kayaks and yard games.As I always will say, follow the river. Some trails are by the river, and if you continue to follow the river, you will come up to hidden oasis’s and get closer up to magnificent falls.
The countryside is more of my kind of adventure. Where I come from, there are tons of places to go exploring and hiking. Green Water is not too far from me, and is a perfect place for off road use and shooting. In the winter, locals will drive the logging roads and play up in the deep snow, wheelin’ and shooting targets. The views are spectacular and it is a beautiful drive.
Puyallup River in Orting
One of my daily hangouts. This river is just off the side of the entrance of a town called Orting. You can walk along it on a path, or go down on the sandy beach and play it it. In the summer, when it is drier, you can go to little islands and relax with your feet in the sand. It has a perfect view of Mt. Rainier and has the most wonderful sunsets. If you drive along the river, you will eventually find parts where vehicles are parked off the road. A lot of times you will see people swimming or tubing, because this is the calm parts of the river with beaches.
Vance Creek Bridge – Everett
Sadly, too many people have come here and completely destroyed this beauty, so you will not be able to see it anymore. This is the highest bridge in Washington, and was used for railroad purposes back in the day. You can get ticketed and fined for being out in the area, so you have to park far away and trek to the bridge. I got the full experience and hiked the logging road out across the whole bridge and back to the other side through the woods. It was very sketchy due to all the damage, but it was amazing to see.
Deep Lake – Enumclaw
This lake is not very well known, and is a great choice during the summer on weekdays. It is a part of Nolte State Park. The park itself has a beach and you can eat and drink, but if you follow the trail around the lake, you can find your own private alcoves to the water. There are tons of trails that are semi-hidden and will lead you to small shores that you can claim your own. Just note that it is slightly at a diagonal, but perfect for tubing and hanging out.
Shake Shake Shake – Tacoma
Here is a place that not many know about, that has the best burger and shakes! It is a little old school style diner hidden deep in Tacoma. It is towards the water but up by Stadium high school. (This school is nicknamed Hogwarts, it is beautiful). There are tons of flavor options on the shakes and they are literally to die for. I LOVE the tiger butter one. It is a classic.
Rainier Beer Fest – Seattle
Rainier beer is from, you guessed it, Washington. Well, every year the Rainier brewing factory puts on a huge one day festival called the Rainier beer fest. There are bands, drinking games, beer (obviously), food trucks and free stuff. There is also a lot of merchandise that you can only get at the festival. It is a pretty fun time & you get to meet the beers!
Comet Falls – Mt. Rainier
Here is a hike that is in Mt. Rainier, a little long, but so totally worth it. This waterfall is hidden deep in the woods and is the backdrop to an amazing bowl shape landscape. The river from it flows down through a valley covered in wildflowers. It is not the easiest hike, but that is simply because it is really long and mostly uphill.
Alder Lake – Alder
This is one of the places everyone goes to during the summer. There is a free park and then there is a day park that is attached to a campground. The day park might not be free, but it is way better. You don’t just have to lay in the grass or go in the lake, you can go fishing and exploring. One side has hidden picnic buildings and a fishing dock. The other side has a trail that will take you back to the infamous Alder cliffs. If you decide to hop the fence and look at the cliffs, be forewarned that it is not a place to jump off of. Some teenagers have died by landing on rocks. But, there are safe trails off of the main path that you can safely jump off trees from. There is also a damn all the way down the trail, and it is an interesting find.
A tiny, tiny town in the middle of the woods. Out here you can see push cart racing, mining and railroad history and stop for a beer at the Pick N’ Shovel. The main reason to go in this town is to head towards logging roads and trails. You can find some pretty cool old architecture just left in the woods to waste away.