Do you make New Year’s resolutions? If so, we hope that one of them involves more local travel in 2019. Washington has plenty of gems just waiting to be explored. We’ve put together a list to get you started — check out one of these spots each month, or create your own list of must-see spots.
1. Palouse Falls
If you've never seen Washington's official state waterfall, you owe it to yourself to take a trip to this beautiful state park. It's fairly easy to reach from most of Eastern and Central Washington, and it's spectacular.
2. Blake Island Marine State Park
Located in Kitsap County between downtown Seattle and the town of Manchester, this little island is big on natural beauty. Getting there is limited to privately owned tour boats, kayaks, and seasonal tour boats, so you'll have to plan accordingly — but it's well worth it.
You'll never run out of things to do in this tiny historic town. Not only is it a perfect meeting point for all sorts of local outdoor recreation, but it's also home to a stellar Farmers Market, nostalgic cafes, the Roslyn Theatre, and Heritage Distilling.
4. La Conner
Are you planning on going to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival this April? If so, that's the perfect time to spend an afternoon and evening in La Conner, the charming little village on the Swinomish Channel. With plenty of shops, dining options, and waterfront walking, you'll be smitten.
5. Port Gamble
This little New England-style village is home to Washington's most haunted house (pictured here), a charming general store, and not much else. A day is all you need to explore this delightfully spooky spot.
If you love Washington wine, you've probably explored Walla Walla and the Yakima Valley. However, Woodinville has tasting rooms featuring vino from all over the state as well as the famous icon, Chateau Ste. Michelle.
7. Dry Falls
The Dry Falls cataract is one of Washington's top natural wonders. Located in the heart of the Grand Coulee, it shows the remains of an ice age from thousands of years ago.
Take a ferry from Mukilteo to Whidbey Island and you'll be a very short drive from Langley, one of the most delightful small towns on the planet. Come hungry (preferably for seafood or pizza), and be prepared to browse — the shops and art galleries are part of the appeal.
9. Port Townsend
If it's been a while since you've checked out Washington's seaside Victorian village, treat yourself to a day in this little piece of paradise. The only problem: You probably won't want to leave.
10. Lake Wenatchee State Park
Just a short, scenic drive from Leavenworth, Lake Wenatchee State Park is the perfect place to spend a summer day. Take a dip in the lake, walk on the trails, or just relax by the water and take in the views.
11. Chuckanut Drive
This scenic 20-mile roadway offers some of the best views in the state, so you'll want to allow plenty of time for stops. Also, go hungry — the Edison-Bow area is full of delicious food spots.
There's never a bad time to go to Leavenworth. But if you can make a trip over when the holiday lights are on, you're in for a visual delight.
We hope you enjoy plenty of local road trips this year. And if you take one of our
famous scenic drives, the journey is also the destination.