Washington March 27, 2018
Only True Washingtonians Know About These 9 Local Adventures
When tourists come to Washington for the first time, they often check out our most popular attractions like the Space Needle, Pike Place Market, Walla Walla wine country, Mount Rainier… well, you get it. And while those things are pretty fantastic, we’ve also got plenty of opportunities for locals to have more off-the-beaten-path adventures.
Washingtonians, how many of these have you experienced?
1. Olympic Hot Springs, Olympic National Park
While most people wait their turn to soak in the popular Sol Duc Hot Springs, people who know the area well sneak off to the more remote and rustic Olympic Hot Springs. While you won't find the amenities here that you will at the resort, you will find a few perfectly piping hot pools set amongst nature. You can access these natural hot springs via a 2.5-mile trail.
2. The Sky View Observatory at Columbia Center, Seattle
The Space Needle is iconic, and the Observation Deck is fantastic. It's also crowded and expensive. For a smaller admission fee of $14.75 ($9.75 for seniors), you can see views that are just as breathtaking from the Sky View Observatory downtown.
3. Manito Park, Spokane
If you live in Eastern Washington and you've never been to this stunning park with its five major garden areas, you're doing yourself a huge disservice.
4. Vashon Island
While out-of-staters make their way to the Bainbridge Island ferry or head for the San Juans, locals head to West Seattle and take a short, beautiful ferry to the peaceful Vashon Island.
5. Afterglow Vista, John S. McMillin Memorial Mausoleum, San Juan Island
Speaking of the San Juans... this old mausoleum is steeped in symbolism, and it's a hidden attraction located in Roche Harbor. John S. McMillin was an active Mason, so you'll find all kinds of ornate symbols here. The mausoleum can be found by following a trail leading through the local cemetery. It's open to the public daily.
6. Finding antique treasures in Snohomish
Visitors to Washington probably wouldn't think twice about visiting Snohomish, if they even knew it existed. But in addition to being full of local history and charming old buildings (a few of which are haunted, but that's another story), this tiny town is an absolute mecca for antique shoppers.
7. The culinary delights of Edison - Bow
This small part of Skagit County is so rural, many Washingtonians don't even know it exists. But from the freshly grown produce to the local bakeries (like Breadfarm) and the amazing seafood, it's a little-known foodie's paradise most tourists will never see.
8. The Heather Lake Trail, near Port Angeles
If you're a somewhat experienced hiker, you've probably heard of the Hurricane Ridge trail on the Olympic Peninsula. It's a gorgeous hike, but it can get crowded -- but you can still enjoy some solitude if you hike the Heather Lake Trail, which is a mere 12 miles away. And while it's a steeper, more difficult hike in general (and over 10 miles long in entirety), your views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca from west to east will be worth the journey.
9. The Outback Kangaroo Farm, Arlington
Who needs to visit a zoo when you can tour a real life kangaroo farm and get up-close-and-personal with exotic animals?
These are just a few of the many underrated attractions in the Evergreen State. And if you’re lucky enough to
call Washington home, you can find them all.