Space needle in Seattle © Yatharth
Washington State, in the northwestern extremity of the United States bordered by Canada and the Pacific Ocean, offers a unique opportunity for visitors to blend the fun of a vibrant city vacation with an exciting wilderness experience, all within a relatively short distance of each other.
In the scenically set young city of Seattle, hugging the shores of the Puget Sound, high-tech attractions both educate and entertain at the foot of the city's famous landmark, the soaring Space Needle. It is just a step from the waterfront of this dynamic metropolis onto a ferry, which transports you to the wild windswept Pacific beaches, or the emerald green islands of the Sound.
Travel inland to explore national parks, three within easy reach of Seattle, most set around the peaks of the volcanic Cascades Mountains and sporting forests, rivers, lakes and glaciers. In summer the green western wilderness areas draw thousands of hikers, climbers and cyclists, while in winter the skiers head for the slopes.
The north-eastern part of the state, across the barrier of the Cascades Mountains, is desert-like with warm, dry air and a landscape befitting the gateway to the Rocky Mountains. The southeast is carpeted with wheat fields and dotted with historic towns while the central Columbia River Plateau is a rugged area, sculpted by glaciers and ice age flooding, characterised now by wheat fields, lakes and orchards.
Washington is a diverse and beautiful state that can truly claim to offer 'something for everyone'.