Their names both come from the first President of the United States, but otherwise Washington DC and Washington have little in common. Washington DC (stands for District of Columbia) is the capital of the USA and is located on the east coast . Just across the street, on the west coast, is Washington State, which stretches from the Canadian border to Idaho in the east and Oregon in the south.
In the west, “Washington State”, as the state is often called in the USA to avoid confusion, is bordered by the Pacific Ocean. What is the best way to get to this interesting state? The best way to do this from Europe is to take a direct flight to the country’s largest city. Seattle has an international airport and is an ideal base for a trip to Washington State.
Seattle, a city between Boeing and Hendrix
According to TRACKAAH, Seattle is Washington State’s largest city, but not the capital. This honor goes to the much smaller Olympia, which has just under 50,000 residents. What unites both cities is their location on Puget Sound. Here the Pacific has eaten deep into the land mass and thus offers ideal conditions for safe and protected harbors. In this respect, too, Washington State cannot rival the largest city. Not only do the ferries and large cruise ships to Alaska depart from Seattle; the port is also one of the most important sea connections to the Asian economic area.
The atmosphere in the city is correspondingly international and young. Not only the many students here like to take a coffee break. Coffee is part of Seattle culture; not least since the now world-famous “Starbucks” chain opened its first coffee shop here over 20 years ago. It is still at its original location (102, Pike Street), but has now faced a lot of competition. You can enjoy some adventurous coffee creations in dozens and dozen of small cafes in Seattle today.
Rock musician Jimi Hendrix was one of the people who used to enjoy doing it. His hometown of Seattle has dedicated a dignified tomb to their world-famous son, who died far too early from a drug overdose. It has been in Renton since 2002 and is still visited by around 15,000 fans every year.
Also a little outside of the city center is a tourist highlight that does not point to the past, but to the future. In the Boeing factory in Everett you have to be able to walk if the tour through the hangars is to be a real experience. Mile after mile it goes through a tunnel labyrinth, through huge workshops and finally to a center in which the aircraft of the next generation and the one after that are designed. The tour lasts four and a half hours.
Those who want to see Seattle from a higher point of view are in good hands on the viewing platform of the “Space Needle”. From here you can see over the whole city to the Pacific. Also interesting: the art museum (“ Art museum “, 1300 First Avenue) and the Asian Art Museum (” Asian Art Museum “, 1400 East Prospect Street).
From the capital straight to nature
It’s much quieter and more contemplative in Washington’s capital, Olympia. The place has an interesting cultural scene and is the ideal base for trips to the nearby Olympic National Park. The entire city center of Olympia is considered a historical monument and is definitely worth a visit. Gourmets will also get their money’s worth here. The oysters farmed here have an excellent reputation.
Those looking to experience nature in Washington State are spoiled for choice. The best thing to do is to cross the whole country from west to east, then you get to know all of its beauties at least in part. The Pacific coast awaits visitors to the west. The ocean not only looks huge and beautiful, it also offers wonderful water sports. To the east, the traveler will encounter a lot of forest.
Over half of Washington State’s area is covered with conifers, cedars, and other conifers. This ensures good air and has earned the country the nickname “Evergreen State”, in German “Evergreen State”. In the east the landscape becomes drier.
A real must is a visit to the Olympic National Park, which perfectly reflects the diversity of the landscape. It stretches from the rugged coast of the Pacific over rainforests to proud mountains, volcanoes and glaciers. Around three million visitors relax here every year. In addition, Washington State also has the North Cascades National Park and Mount Rainier National Park. Both are absolutely not overcrowded and are still an insider tip for alpine hikers and a paradise for wildlife observation.
Washington State in a nutshell
- In Seattle, do not miss the Boeing Everett Tour and visit the observation deck of the “Space Needle”
- Eat oysters in the capital Olympia and from there visit the National Olympic Park
- two national parks that are still real insider tips for alpine hikers and animal watchers