Traveling is incredibly expensive. The flight alone will cost you a good fortune, especially if you’re heading out of the United States. But with so much to see in the world, it’s hard to not want to explore all the beauty our planet has to offer. If you’d rather go on an adventure without needing a passport, you can still experience international charm by visiting these eight spots right here in Washington.
1. Visit the Scandinavian-themed town, Poulsbo.
Poulsbo is also known as the Little Norway On The Fjord, and it's one of the most adorable, cozy towns you'll ever visit. It's set along Liberty Bay, and features a historic downtown with Norwegian architecture and charming shops that sell books, antiques, clothing and more. While you're in town, stop by Sluys Bakery and get a taste of their world-renowned bread.
2. Go see the Maryhill Stonehenge.
There's no need to fly out to England to appreciate this mystic concrete sculpture in person. We have a full-scale replica by Sam Hill in Maryhill, just east of the Maryhill Museum. It's considered to be our nation's first WWI memorial, dedicated in 1918.
3. Visit Peace Arch State Park.
This park is in the northwestern corner of our state, right at the Canadian border. On our side, there's a beautiful state park in Blaine, and on the other side is a lovely Provincial Park. In the center, you'll find a giant 67-foot-high peace arch memorial. Visitors to the park are free to visit both sides, without having to worry about any border formalities.
4. Experience the Bavarian town of Leavenworth.
Leavenworth is a small German-themed village at the base of the Cascade mountains. It's filled with Bavarian shops, events and mouthwatering authentic food. While you're visiting, check out the Nutcracker Museum, the Christmas store Kris Kringl (which is open year round), and grab a delectable artisan sausage or pretzel at Munchen Haus.
5. Make a trip to the Hoh Rainforest.
Washington has three temperate rain forests to explore, but the Hoh is arguably the most magical. Walking along the Hall of Mosses Trail is as close as you can get to experiencing a trip through the Amazon. It's only about a mile long loop, and perfect for families and hikers of all skill levels.
6. Check out the international stores at Pike Place Market.
Seattle's famous, long-standing farmer's market has much more than fish throwing and local goods. It's also home to dozens of international vendors selling imported items from all over the world, including Italy, Germany, Portugal, Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, the Middle East and more. Look out for DeLaurenti's, where you can find a fabulous selection of Italian wines & specialty foods.
7. Head out to the San Juan Islands.
If you've ever dreamed of an island getaway, the San Juans are a heavenly escape only a ferry ride away. On your stay-cation, be sure to explore the shops in Friday Harbor, relax on the beach, go whale watching, hike up Mount Constitution, and explore the San Juan Island National Historical Park.
8. Explore Stehekin Valley.
Only accessible by a ferry, Stehekin Valley is almost something out of a Norwegian fairy tale. It has hiking trails everywhere, surrounded by amazing world-class scenery. Visit the Stehekin Valley Ranch and you'll even be able to go for rides on Norwegian Fjord horses from the ranch to Coon Lake.
Have you been to any of these places before? Where else would you recommend visiting to travel the world in Washington?