Are you excited for 2016? There are now less than 10 days left in the year, which means that it’s time to start planning out our lists for next year. If you’re ready to have some unforgettable adventures, here are 15 things in Washington that you’ve got to add to your calendar:
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. January: Bavarian Ice Fest in Leavenworth.
Even after Christmas, there's still lots of excitement going on in our state's
. This winter event is coming up on January 16 & 17th, and will feature over a half million twinkling lights, snow sculptures, activities, snowmobile sled pulls, a live ice carving with chainsaws, delicious local chili and more.
2. February: Spend a weekend at a bed and breakfast in Port Townsend.
In the romantic month of February, there aren't many more amorous places to stay than at a Victorian-style B&B like the Old Consulate Inn, located in Port Townsend. In the morning you'll be treated to a mouthwatering gourmet breakfast by their acclaimed chef!
3. March: See the panoramic view on top of Mount Si.
Once spring rolls around, it's finally time to head out for a journey. Mount Si is a moderate hike in the North Bend area that makes for a great adventure early on in the year! The climb might make you sweat a little bit, but the panoramic view on top couldn't be more worth it.
4. April: Visit Meerkirk Rhododendron Gardens on Whidbey Island.
While you're at this woodland site during the spring, there are all kinds of gorgeous flowers to admire, from our state's flower, the rhododendron, to azaleas and spring bulbs. You can stroll through all 10 acres of these beautiful gardens anytime Monday - Sunday from 9:00 - 4:00 pm.
5. May: Go for a picnic near Baker Lake.
With the summer coming up, going for a picnic is perfect this month! The area around this reservoir in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest offers a number of tables where you can sit and enjoy the meal. Here's some inspiration for your cooler: Ham & Swiss sandwiches. Potato chips. Sliced watermelon. Lemonade.
6. June: Go camping at Colonial Creek.
Before it gets too hot over the summer, going on a camping trip is a must. The North Cascades Park offers lots of places to set up tent, like this campground by Diablo Lake. There's plenty of fascinating wildlife to observe and challenging trails to hike, so you'll never find yourself bored!
7. June: Explore Gardner Caves in Crawford State Park.
Another place to explore before it gets too hot is this cavern in Crawford State Park. It's the 3rd longest limestone cave in our whole state and features some impressive stalactites, stalagmites, rimstone pools and flow stone.
8. July: Head out for a scenic trip over Chinook Pass.
There's nothing quite like a road trip during the summer! This scenic route offers unbelievable views of Mt. Rainier along SR-410 - a two-lane pass running from the west of the Cascades in Enumclaw towards the eastern side in Naches Valley.
9. July: Go for an unforgettable hike to see Sol Duc Falls.
What better time to go check out a waterfall than the middle of July? If you head over the Sol Duc River Bridge you'll be able to see stunning scenery everywhere, including a sight of this cascade.
10. August: Spend a weekend in Long Beach.
Been to Ocean Shores already? Our state has tons of other beautiful towns to visit by the coast! Long Beach has a number of attractions to check out, including one of the longest continuous beaches in the country, Marsh's Free Museum, and the International Kite Festival which will run from August 15-21, 2016.
11. August: Explore the Grove of the Patriarchs Loop.
This 1.2-mile trail in Mount Rainier National Park features an epic suspension bridge to cross over. It makes for a spectacular mid-summer hike, and you'll be surrounded by some of the biggest & oldest trees in the whole Cascades area.
12. September: Visit Tongue Point at Salt Creek Recreation Area in Port Angeles.
Not only can you spot wildlife at this park on the Olympic Peninsula, but catching the sun set here is pretty wonderful too. The area is open year-round, but a trip just after the summer ends makes for a perfect day trip.
13. October: Explore an abandoned
Ghost Town in Washington like Bodie.
With Halloween coming up this month, you'll definitely want to explore somewhere peculiar. Why not discover this old mining town in Washington with a population of zero?
14. November: Stay overnight in a treehouse.
With the weather starting to cool off in November, a retreat in the woods is totally ideal. Located only 30 minutes from Seattle, Treehouse Point offers an exotic place to stay in a beautiful forest along the Raging River. It's way more unique than any hotel you'll find!
15. December: Catch a scenic winter train, like the Santa Express.
There's no better way to finish off the year than a scenic trip on a warm and comfortable train. The Mount Rainier Scenic Railroad in particular offers several rides to catch this month. They also have a new museum to tour afterwards, which showcases the most extensive collection about steam-logging locomotives in the world!
What’s on your bucket list in Washington for the New Year?? Add to this list below!