Like people, every place in the world has something unique about it—things that you just can’t find anywhere else. Washington State is no different, with Seattle, three national parks, and legends born in technology, music, and business. So from its Guinness World Records to cultural history, here are 15 experiences only possible in the Evergreen State.
Six different ecological areas in 12 hours (or less)
It might be a little rushed, and participants are guaranteed to be exhausted at the end, but in a 12-hour period of time, one can span the state of Washington and see mountains, ocean, a rainforest, desert, cities, and islands. From the San Juan Islands (of the over 50 islands in the state), between the Hoh Rainforest and the Pacific Ocean, through Seattle and the Cascade Mountains, and across the desert to Spokane, Washingtonians are just a day away from each of these wonders, all within one U.S. state.
Destinations Unlocked:Let our travel expert Stefano help you find your perfect Culture trip
Looking for an expert's perspective?Uncover my top 3 recommended places from each continent on the map.
1. GuatemalaAn express adventure for those with limited time off. Prepare yourself incredible experiences. You will hike a volcano, visit mayan temples and witness a ceremony and take in beautiful colonial Antigua.
2. BelizeA quick trip not too far away for those seeking a relaxing mini break. You will have plenty of free time to relax but also some awesome activities to experience the rainforest and the caribbean sea.
3. MexicoAn exciting mini trip exploring the lesser known colonial towns of central Mexico. This is hte perfect trip for someone with limited time off and still wants to turn on explorer mode and do something different.
1. EcuadorA remarkable 8 days adventure through the Andes and the Amazon rainforest. The best choice for adventure seekers wishing to visit the 2 most iconic areas of South America, in only 1 week and no flights.
2. PeruAn alternative itinerary to classic Peru, from Cusco to Arequipa. This itinerary is great combination of highlights Cusco and Machu Picchu with the lesser known Arequipa and Colca Canyon.
1. ItalyThe ultimate Italian experience from the vibrant streets of Naples to the breathtaking sceneries of the Amalfi Coast followed by Matera and down to Puglia with its golden beaches, intense flavours and fascinating destinations.
2. ScotlandEmbark on this great adventure starting from London all the way to Scotland with a true Scottish experience made of breathtaking sceneries, whisky tasting and ..lots of fun! Ideal for train lovers and explorers.
3. PortugalA wonderful train journey around Portugal, from the romantic city of Porto to the Douro Valley, to the beautiful Aveiro all the way to Lisbon and Sintra. The perfect trip to train, culinary and culture lovers.
1. South KoreaDiscover incredible temples, mountains and modern cities on this 10 day adventure. This trip is perfect for those seeking immersion in the cuisine, culture and natural wonders of South Korea.
2. ThailandFrom Bankgok to Angkor Wat to Ho Chi Minh City and everything in between - adventure through the heart of South-East Asia. Taste the delights, see history brought to life and unwind on a Mekong River cruise.
3. Sri LankaA fantastic adventure that showcases Sri Lanka's fantastic landscapes, wildlife and flavours. With 3 epic rail journeys, 3 UNESCO heritage sites and time to relax, this trip has loads to offer at a great price
1. MoroccoAn epic journey across Morocco: from Casablanca to Marrakech, through the blue city of Chefchaouen to the wonders of the desert and deep to the High Atlas Mountains - this trip has it all! Ideal for true explorers!
2. EgyptFrom Cairo to Aswan, this trip brings the land of the pharaohs to life. You'll visit the Pyramids, Valley of the Kings and Luxor Temple and cruise down the Nile in style. This is the perfect way to explore Egypt.
Speaking of mountains, the fifth tallest (by less than 100 feet or 30 meters) mountain in the contiguous U.S. and the tallest in the Pacific Northwest, Mt. Rainier towers over the state of Washington. As a mountain and a volcano, it is a unique sight to see and an incredible challenge to summit.
Seattle is the birthplace of grunge: a huge cultural piece of the United States, uniquely tied to the Pacific Northwest region and more specifically, the singular city of Seattle. If you’re excited to venture to the root of ’90s fashion, or you’re looking for someone to blame for it, there’s only one place to go.
Washington State has been the birthplace of many legends, some of whom have been buried back home. It hosts the memorials of Kurt Cobain, Jimi Hendrix, and Bruce Lee (as well as his son, Brandon Lee). If these are people whom you’d like to honor, then Washington State is worth a visit.
This one is not for those with aquaphobia. For those who want to drive, walk, or bike across the world’s largest floating bridge, you’ll have to come to Washington State. The locally referred to 520 Bridge is followed by at least two more Washington State bridges as the top five longest floating bridges in the world. Yes, they are floating on water—not in midair.
Pike Place Market
The nation’s oldest market, celebrated as one of the world’s best markets, still attracts tens of thousands of visitors every day. At Pike Place Market, the best of the Pacific Northwest, including produce, flowers, jewelry, art, handmade goods, and, of course, top-quality fish, delights visitors—both locals and tourists. Throw in the view of Elliott Bay and the Olympic Mountains, and you can’t get this anywhere else.
The Boeing Factory in Everett, WA is the largest building in the world by volume. Check it out through the Future of Flight Aviation Center and Boeing Tour. Tickets include admission to the 90-minute tour, which provides the opportunity to view the assembly of 747, 777, and 787 Dreamliners, as well as entrance to the Aerospace Gallery and the Strato Deck.
There is a city named after the first name of the first president of the United States of America in the only state named after a U.S. president: the city of George in the state of Washington. The “home of the world’s largest cherry pie,” George, Washington has a population of not much more than 500 people, but it attracts thousands on the Fourth of July!
Apples in Washington State are the best in the nation—this is not an exaggeration. It is a fact and one of the reasons that the state produces more than half the apples consumed in the U.S. So why not go straight to the source? Pick an apple in a Washington orchard for the most delicious snack experience ever.
Only in Washington State can you visit the location of the world’s first rotating restaurant. As one of the city’s most distinctive buildings in its skyline, pretty much any excuse will do to visit the city’s seventh tallest building—once the tallest building west of the Mississippi River. Go check it out for a unique 360-degree view of the city from 605 feet (184.4 meters) up high!
Hop onto one of the ferries from the nation’s largest ferry fleet! While aboard, take in the iconic city skyline, majestic mountain ranges, and—if you’re lucky—some orca whales. Then, since you’re already on the ferry, you might as well go check out that Pacific Northwest island life.
Washington State is one of the few states (and maybe the only one) in the U.S. with a city that can only be accessed by a road through Canada. Yes, you read that correctly. If you want to get there without leaving the country, you have to travel via boat. By car, you must enter British Columbia, and then exit back into the U.S.A., into the accidentally exiled city of Point Roberts.
A state of industrial and creative incubation, you’ll need to travel to the Evergreen State to visit the first Microsoft, first Nordstrom, first Costco, first Amazon, first Starbucks, first R.E.I., and first UPS. They may be (not so slowly) taking over the whole world, but they all started right here.
Cream Cheese Hot Dog
Check out the streets of Seattle’s nightlife for hot dog vendors selling the ultimate Seattle tradition: cream cheese hot dogs. You can eat them elsewhere in the world, but nowhere else will offer a certain pride and fellowship served alongside it—which makes it all the more scrumptious.
Olympic National Park
Of course, each national park is unique to the states in which they reside. However, most national parks don’t have a mountain range, a rainforest, and hot springs all in one—right next to an ocean. If they do, they’re probably not contained by a single state.
Volcanic Iceland Epic Trip
meet our Local Insider
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
KEEN TO EXPLORE THE WORLD?
Connect with like-minded people on our premium trips curated by local insiders and with care for the world
Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.