1. La Conner
La Conner’s history goes back thousands of years, and in 1869 it was deeded to John Conner for $500. This former fishing village and current farming town is full of art galleries, cafes, interesting shops and beautiful tulip fields.
2. Port Townsend
In the late 1800s, Port Townsend nearly became the region’s most important city due to its potential railroad connections. But the railroad passed it by, so it had to settle for being a gorgeous place that people from Seattle and Bellingham escape to for the weekend.
Republic was founded as Eureka after the 1896 gold rush, and it still has plenty of pioneer charm to this day. You’ll love the lack of traffic stops and rush hours here, and you’ll also love the Stonerose Interpretive Center and Eocene Fossil Site.
Newport was originally considered part of Idaho, but our state claimed it when the local post office moved there. Its downtown area still has a historic feel, and the Pend Oreille County Historical Society and Museum offers another glimpse into the past.
Native Americans were the first to call the Winthrop area home, and the lure of gold brought the first white settlers in the 1800s. Visiting today will still give you an “Old West” experience since cattle drives, pack trains and vintage shows are still part of its current events.
Langley is a former fishing village on the south end of Whidbey Island, and it’s now an upscale arts community with some wonderful antique shops, boutiques and restaurants on the shores of Saratoga Passage.
Ellensburg is listed on the National Trust for the Historic Preservation’s Dozen Distinctive Destinations. Its vibrant, historic downtown area makes it a true gem of Central Washington.
Eatonville was the home of the Nisqually people for centuries, and the town’s founder, Thomas C. Van Eaton, opened a trading post for area settlers and the Nisqually to trade goods. When the Eatonville Lumber Mill opened, the town’s population grew. Today it’s a popular stop for people heading to Mount Rainier. If you go, don’t miss exploring the Pioneer Farm Museum & Ohop Indian Village.
Davenport has a rich heritage that’s celebrated at their annual Pioneer Days festivities on the third weekend in July. But even if you can’t make the celebration, you can enjoy relaxing by rolling wheat fields, visiting the Lincoln County Historical Museum and heading to the rodeo in August.