Washington May 01, 2018
10 Of The Greatest Destinations Most Washingtonians Overlook
Whether you spend your summer weekends at Lake Chelan or you never miss a Leavenworth Oktoberfest, you probably have your annual traditions or go-to spots if you grew up in Washington. But sometimes it’s nice to break free from your routine and explore some places that sometimes get overlooked. These are 10 of them.
1. Birch Bay
Located less than 10 miles south of the Canadian border, Birch Bay is a quiet, peaceful area perfect for beach combing, clamming, camping, and catching some of the most amazing sunsets ever.
2. The Washington Pass Overlook, North Cascades Highway
Located along North Cascades Highway 20, you'll find an amazing place to stop and enjoy the views at the east end of North Cascades National Park. There's even a paved trail to the overlook that makes a loop.
3. The Snake River and Hells Canyon
The Snake River is one of the largest rivers in the country, winding through parts of Wyoming, Oregon and Idaho before emptying into the Columbia River near the Tri Cities. You'll find the gateway to Hells Canyon (and part of the Snake River) near Clarkston and Asotin, and you can take a guided fishing tour or get your own boat on the water.
4. Howarth Park, Everett
Try to time your visit to this waterfront park for when the tide is out so you can enjoy the beach. No matter when you go, though, you'll be treated to gorgeous views of the city and the water.
5. The Edison - Bow area
Edison and Bow are two tiny communities in the Skagit Valley that happen to have a large amount of exceptional food, most of it grown or caught within a few miles of the area. If you love food and beautiful, rural scenery, it's a must-see.
6. The Columbia National Wildlife Refuge
Located near Othello, the refuge is a gorgeous mixture of rugged cliffs, lakes, canyons, and grasslands. Although it's primarily used for fishing and hunting (during hunting season), there are also miles and miles of scenic hiking trails.
7. The Washington Park Arboretum, Seattle
This amazing arboretum is located in the Madison Park neighborhood of Seattle, although you'll never believe you're still in the city when you're exploring it.
8. Gingko Petrified Forest State Park
If you're heading through Vantage, make it a point to stop at this highly underrated state park, where you'll see how minerals in lava once replaced organic matter in trees, creating these natural sculptures.
9. Yale Lake
Yale Lake is a reservoir on the Lewis River, and it remains remarkably uncrowded despite its breathtaking beauty. The fishing here is mostly for (catch and release) bull trout, but it's a great place to wakeboard or jet ski.
10. Camano Island State Park
You don't need a boat to access this under-appreciated state park, which boasts acres of rocky shoreline and breathtaking beach views.
It never hurts to go off the beaten path in Washington. If you have friends coming from out of state to visit, take them to these
lesser-known tourist attractions.