Best Tourist Attractions in Washington State

Washington state has a lot of interesting traits that attract tourists from all over the world. The Evergreen state displays viridescent foliage during the Spring and Summer seasons while transitioning to a colorful Autumn and a winter wonderland in the Winter season – depending on where you visit in this state.

When people think of Washington state, they typically think about excessive rain and Starbucks coffee. However, there’s so much more to it than that! Let me, a Washingtonian, walk you through Washington state’s most cost-worthy tourist attractions.

Seattle Space Needle

Seattle has A LOT to offer, and the Space Needle is one of many places tourists like to visit in WA state. It’s viewed as an icon that represents Washington’s earliest achievements. The Seattle Space Needle is the first revolving restaurant ever invented and was built back in 1961. The building was designed to look like an alien spacecraft to attract tourists and locals to the 1962 World’s Fair.

The cost of this attraction is well worth your money. There’s a wall full of information and pictures of the Space Needle’s rich history as you wait in line. Once you make it to the top of the Needle, you will see a breathtaking view of Seattle that won’t disappoint.

You can enjoy your view inside or outside (with a glass barrier to prevent falling), so you can enjoy your view from every angle. They call this the “Open-Air Observation Deck.”

Here is where you can find a bar and restaurant! Upon request, you can sit by the glass and enjoy a glass of wine with a hot meal as you take in this revolving restaurant’s ever-changing scenery, day or night. After dinner, you can take the stairs just below the observation deck to another deck with a complete view of the city.

If you can brave it, there will be glass everywhere, including just beneath your feet, giving any tourist a feeling of floating above the city. Downstairs, you can purchase a souvenir to remember the experience at the gift shop.


Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum

Who wouldn’t want to see the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum themselves with stunning reviews? This museum may not seem interesting initially. After all, it’s only glass, right?

However, this museum may have more than you’d expect. It’s one of Seattle’s top tourist attractions and never fails to astonish visitors from all over the world with its beauty! Interior Designer and Glass Artist Dale Chihuly designed the museum in 2012. He puts life into his glass art, and it shows. At some point, you may question if you’re looking at art or actual nature. This museum might blow your mind!


Cat Tales Wildlife Center

Cat Tales is a USDA Licensed Exhibitor that aids in rescuing and protecting big cats and Northwest Wildlife. As of 2022, it’s now rated One of the Top 3 Places to visit in Spokane, WA. As you visit and get to know the creatures of the Northwest, you’re able to get a full feel of the WA nature experience.

Here, if you’re daring enough, you can hand-feed black bears (ages 6 & older with a zookeeper), lions, and tigers (ages 8 & up with a zookeeper). That’s an experience you can’t get from just anywhere. This place is well worth your time and money. Another interesting feature of this ongoing exhibit is their highly trained bears. The bears have been taught to wave to visitors, so keep in mind, that if a bear waves at you, wave back.


Leavenworth Christmas Lighting Festival

Looking for something to do during the Winter season? Try checking out Leavenworth’s Christmas Lighting Festival! Watch in awe as the entire city lights up to look like a replica of a beautiful Bavarian Village!

If Bavaria is too far of a commute, Leavenworth, WA, will make up for that. From December to February, enjoy half a million lights, music, entertainment, warm meals, photo ops, visits with Santa, and more! Just don’t forget to bundle up and bring your snow boots!


Hands-On Children’s Museum in Olympia, WA

My kids love this place. If you have kids, this is the perfect place to visit! Everyone in WA state knows about the Hands-On Children’s Museum in Olympia. This enormous world of wonder will transport any child into a colorful playground with endless learning opportunities for kids of any interest!

Here, they have a play place for your child to climb and explore and learn science, math, and art! In addition, there’s music, games, and workshops for any class of your choosing! The workshops can cover anything from Arts and Crafts to Mechanical Engineering! So see for yourself the wonders this museum holds for your child.


National Parks and Wildlife

Most tourists who come to WA are interested in the beautiful Northwest hiking and natural wildlife. Though you’d think this would be a free experience, you still have to pay to park. Most hiking areas require a WA Discover Pass, while other places require the WA Snow Park Pass.

Keep in mind that these hikes are well worth the money. I’ve personally experienced this hands-on, and the views are breathtaking! There are so many places to choose from here. You can visit the active volcano, Mt. Saint Helens, or the Majestic Mt. Rainier. Mt. Spokane and the Olympia National Park are gorgeous year-round.

There’s also the North Cascades National Park. If you’re an extreme hiker, Mt. Rainier offers a guided overnight camping and backpacking 4-day trip. I have not braved this, but I only hear the good word from other Washingtonians. It might make for an interesting experience with friends and loved ones.

These, from my personal experience, are the best places to visit in WA state and will be well worth your time and money. They are also highly rated and well respected by locals. I hope you enjoy your trip!

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