Washington has amazing places to visit everywhere, but a lot of our state’s most impressive spots are often hidden, underrated and not as widely known. If you’re looking to find some new places beyond the ordinary, here are 11 spots in the Northwest that deserve to be on your bucket list:
1. Wynoochee Falls
Our state has countless hidden waterfalls to see! This stunning cascade on the Olympic Peninsula is one of only a few punchbowl-form falls in our area where the waterfall drops down into a swimming hole on the river.
2. Seattle Pinball Museum
When most people think about museums in Emerald City, they might go see the Seattle Art Museum or EMP - but many haven't been to this epic spot that features 30+ vintage pinball machines that date back to the '60s, all on unlimited play with paid admission of $10.
3. Nishinomiya Tsutakawa Japanese Garden, Spokane
When most visitors go to Manito Park, they usually head for the more popular Duncan Garden. However, this is another lovely place in the area that's free to stroll through and features a footbridge & gorgeous koi pond everyone needs to see at least once!
4. Dead Man's Cove, near Ilwaco
Just beneath the Cape Disappointment Lighthouse near Ilwaco, you can find this secluded area with a pebble stone beach to walk along and enchanting tide pools to explore.
5. Camano Island State Park
We have state parks all throughout Washington, but there aren't many as under-appreciated as this place on Camano Island. The 173-acre camping park is surrounded by rocky shoreline and a breathtaking beach for miles.
6. Quinault Rainforest
Everyone usually imagines the Hoh when talking about our state's temperate rainforests - but we're actually home to three, which are the only ones in the continental U.S.! In addition to the Hoh and Queets, this is another spot with trails to discover, surrounded by magnificent moss-covered trees.
7. Lake 22, near Granite Falls
We have so many bodies of water around the state that many go under-appreciated, like this serene lake near Granite Falls. The dazzling water lies in the center of an alpine wetland, nestled on the northern shoulder of Mount Pilchuck.
8. San Juan Island National Historical Park
Another park out on the islands that many people don't know about (but still boasts just as much beauty) is this historical area along the shores of Garrison Bay. It features trails for explorers of all skill levels, ranging from a strenuous hike up Young Hill to an easy loop along the bay.
9. Dalles Mountain Road
Our state has a number of scenic byways, but not many have traveled down this route near the Oregon border. The gravel road offers an unforgettable trip with some of the most spectacular views of the Columbia River Gorge.
10. Iron Goat Trail, near Skykomish
There's a lot of hidden terrain to explore around here, including this 8-mile historical trail near Skykomish that's ideal for all skill levels. The path goes all along the upper and lower sections of the old abandoned Great Northern Railway grade and will be open come March for adventures.
11. Boulder Cave, near Naches
Already seen the Ape Caves a million times? Check out this cavern near Naches! The fascinating cave was formed millions of years ago from volcanic activity, though it's now home to dozens of Pacific western big-eared bats.
Have you been to any of these underrated places before? Want to check any of them out?? Share your thoughts below!