With its three distinct geographic regions, Washington state offers everything from majestic old-growth rain forests to island ferry rides to snow-capped peaks and lush agricultural plains. Whether you’re sipping an expertly brewed espresso atop Seattle’s Space Needle or sampling the local wines in the shadow of Mt. Adams, the heart of the Pacific Northwest will enchant you.
Seattle, the Emerald City, is set on the waterfront and framed by snow-capped mountains. This sophisticated, yet small-town city, offers visitors a real sampling of Northwest life. At 605 feet high, the Space Needle is the recognized symbol of Seattle and its views from the top are not to be missed. Fresh seafood, local farm produce, and other Northwest specialties provide cuisine that is unrivalled.
As a leading cultural center on the west coast, Seattle offers world-renowned performances of opera, theater, ballet, and symphony as well as action packed concerts and professional football, basketball, and baseball teams. Along with all this action, don’t miss a stroll through Seattle Centre (site of the 1962 World Fair), the Pike Place Market, and the International District. Pioneer Square, the city’s historic district, is filled with unique shops, music clubs, and galleries.
A visit to Washington wouldn’t be complete without a scenic ferry ride across the waters of the Puget Sound. You’ll be met by fresh salt air, lapping waves, friendly faces, and spectacular views of the glacier topped peaks of the Cascade mountains. Head out at night and watch the city lights of Seattle become a sparkling romantic image.
Nestled between the protected waters of America’s Northwest corner and Canada’s Vancouver Island lie the San Juan Islands. Distinguished for unspoiled beauty and peaceful lifestyle, each island also has its own unique setting and allure. The four major islands, San Juan, Orcas, Lopez, and Shaw, can be reached by a scenic cruise on the State Ferry, with others accessible by private boat or plane. Whale watching and window-shopping are only a small part of the special charm of the San Juans.