Washington State Off The Beaten Path

  • View from Viewpoint
    View from Viewpoint
    by glabah
  • Tacoma Dome and old Union Station (now courthouse)
    Tacoma Dome and old Union Station (now...
    by glabah
  • huge driftwood along Puget Sound at Chambers Bay
    huge driftwood along Puget Sound at...
    by glabah

Washington State Off The Beaten Path

  • National/Local - Parks/Gardens

    Seattle Off The Beaten Path

    Going east and slightly north of downtown Seattle, you will hit the Capitol Hill area of the city. Among the large old houses of this community, you will find Volunteer Park, which features a view of the Space Needle with the Olympic Mountains behind it. There are a number of gravel trails, an old water tower has been converted into a viewing...

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  • Hanford Reach National Monument

    Washington State Off The Beaten Path

    The Hanford Reach is the last remaining part of the non-tidal area of the Columbia River that runs free - meaning, it is not contained within one reservoir or another. It is a wild and grand stretch of river. You can run the 20-30 miles in one day, putting in a Vernita Bridge and floating down to Richland. The area used to be off-limits to all...

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  • Bruce Lee Memorial

    Seattle Off The Beaten Path

    This was a great thing to do on my last day in Seattle as I'm a huge fan of Bruce Lee. Their gravesite is in Lake View Cemetery on the Capitol Hill area which is probably not an area that people usually stay at. So if you're downtown it's a little bit out of the way. But if you're a huge fan, you'll appreciate it. Their grave is pretty much in the...

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  • Mount Rainier

    Seattle Off The Beaten Path

    Mount Rainier towers over Seattle even though it is over 50 miles away. At 14,411 feet this mountain is the highest peak in the Cascade Range. Mount Rainier is classified as a stratovolcano. Mount Rainer is home of Mount Rainier National Park. At this majestic park, one can explore both rainforests and glaciers. Abundant hiking trails traverse the...

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  • Snoqualmie

    Seattle Off The Beaten Path

    Somewhat off the beaten path is Snoqualmie Falls, which is about 30 miles (50 km) east of Seattle. It is taller than the famous Niagara Falls but not as wide. During the spring and early summer, it's much wider than in the later summer when the river level is lower. Unlike most waterfalls in the area, there is no need to hike to see the falls. It...

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  • Jimi Hendrix Memorial

    Seattle Off The Beaten Path

    Jimi Hendrix, the 60's music legend, has legions of fans to this day. I can't say I was a Hendrix fan and didn't like the culture he was involved in, but I appreciated his talent and some of the music he created. Hendrix was born in Seattle and given the name Johnny Allen Hendrix which apparently was later changed to James Marshall Hendrix. He was...

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  • Waterfront

    Seattle Off The Beaten Path

    in the early 1900s, there was a need for a sheltered harbor for the fishing fleet of small boats that were based in Seattle. Thus, the development of the "Fisherman's Terminal" soon after the "Ballard Locks" connecting Lake Union to Puget Sound were constructed, this terminal was developed for the fishing fleet. Just how this turned into a tourist...

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  • Sound Garden

    Seattle Off The Beaten Path

    I actually read about the Sound Garden on VT while researching things to do in Seattle and decided that I had to give this a go. Basically, the Soundgarden is a group of about 10 hollow metal pipes suspended vertically from pylon-style towers in a way that allows them to spin around in the wind. When the wind blows over the top of the pipes, it...

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  • Downtown Seattle

    Seattle Off The Beaten Path

    With a very deep room filled with pinball machines, this tiny and relatively unknown museum in the International District is most certainly one of the places few people hear about when considering attractions in Seattle. However, if you want a good rainy day place to visit and are a fan of pinball, this is a place to consider. It is a bit more...

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  • Fremont District

    Seattle Off The Beaten Path

    By far the most famous feature of the Fremont District in Seattle is the Fremont Bridge Troll, but there is more to the story and neighborhood than just the troll. This was once a very working class neighborhood with marine based industries along the water, and a railroad where the Burke-Gilman Trail now exists. As those industries closed the area...

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  • Museums / Theaters

    Seattle Off The Beaten Path

    Being the first building west of the Mississippi constructed with steel reinforced concrete, the Georgetown Powerplant was also a significant landmark in power plant development and is significant due to the preserved first generation steam turbines. There are also a number of other preserved pieces of equipment at the facility. However, the...

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  • Alki Point

    Seattle Off The Beaten Path

    Some of the best views of the Seattle skyline are available in the much more suburban communities known as West Seattle and Alki. Alki was the first American settlement in the area, and was so named as "Alki" means "some day" in Chinook trade jargon. The name was Alki New York or basically "One Day New York will be Here" but the community failed....

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  • Ferries / Ships / Boats

    Seattle Off The Beaten Path

    You can do your own low-budget "cruise" simply by hopping on one of the ferries operated by Washington State Ferries, ph: 800-84-FERRY or 888-808-7977 in Washington, or call 206-464-6400. www.wsdot.wa.gov/ferries. Try the Bainbridge Island or Bremerton ferries out of Seattle for a 1 1/2- to 2 1/2-hour round-trip. -Frommer's Review

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  • Discovery Park

    Seattle Off The Beaten Path

    Seattle has a few parks that are fairly good sized, and Discovery Park is one of them. This park is large enough to contain a number of different activities and attractions. I have written a few separate tips about this park which I have put in my Magnolia pages as that is the name of the community where the park is actually located (several miles...

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  • Mount St Helens

    Seattle Off The Beaten Path

    From time to time, posted in the Seattle Travel Forum, there are questions about visiting Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument. Usually, these are people who would like to do this trip as a day trip from Seattle. Obviously, following the 1980 eruption Mount Saint Helens became a tourist attraction for the region, but today it is not quite...

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  • Campus (various)

    Seattle Off The Beaten Path

    While it is still very much an urban university campus, the University of Washington Seattle campus (there are locations in Bothell and Tacoma, as well as many smaller locations in the state) just north of downtown Seattle does offer some activities of interest to the traveler. Many parts of the campus are very attractive in their landscaping, and...

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  • Space Needle

    Seattle Off The Beaten Path

    Certainly, it is an office building and therefore isn't really anything you would want to put onto a "Things to Do" list, but if you happen to be in the area of the Seattle Center (the facility that houses the Space Needle and several museums), it might be worth wandering across the street to the Bill and Melinda Gates Building. Around the...

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  • Bellingham

    Seattle Off The Beaten Path

    Too far away from Seattle to really be considered part of the same urban area, and yet close enough that people make the trip between the two regularly anyway, Bellingham is the heart of a much smaller urban area. Here, it is the largest urban center in a series of communities that serve as the gateway to North Cascades National Park. The city...

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  • Boeing Factory

    Seattle Off The Beaten Path

    The Boeing Factory is about 30 minutes north of Seattle. We took a guided tour of the Boeing plant and also went through their flight museum. This is a great family activity and both of our children enjoyed it.

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  • Leavenworth

    Seattle Off The Beaten Path

    If you have an extra day, take a nice scenery drive up to the Bavaria Village, Leavenworth. It's a nice small German heritage community. For more information and driving direction; go to: http://www.leavenworth.com/. If your trip is in October, you will get a taste of Autumn leaf and Octoberfeast festivals. The driving is about 2 1/2 hours away...

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  • Harbour District

    Seattle Off The Beaten Path

    The Puget Sound area has several major ports. Huge cargo ships are arriving and departing at all times, carrying vast loads of every commercial item known to mankind. Obviously, logging is a big industry in the northwest and here we see the product ready for shipping to parts unknown.

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  • Mima Mounds Natural Area

    The vast majority of the information about the Mima Mounds area is posted in my Mima Mounds Tip in my Olympia page. So, please see that tip.What exactly are the Mima Mounds? No one is really certain. They are a pattern of small hills that are nearly equally spaced across a flat area, and it so happens that at one time the Mima Mounds on the Mima...

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  • PACIFIC COUNTY COURTHOUSE – SOUTH BEND

    Pacific County precedes the establishment of Washington as a Territory. It was developed as a county by the Oregon Territorial legislature in 1851 as the third county to be created north of the Columbia River. The original county seat was Pacific City but those lands on Cape Disappointment were developed into Fort Canby and the townsfolk – such as...

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  • Stonehenge

    Along the Columbia River where it meets Highway 97 is Washington's Stonehenge. Originally cast as a memorial to men from Klickitat County who died in WWI, this makes a nice pit stop if you are tired of the road. The views over the river are stunning. There is a plaque which details the history of the monument and includes a section explaining that...

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  • The Columbia River

    The Columbia River is the largest North American river that drains into the Pacific Ocean. By volume, it is the fourth-largest river in the United States, disgorging 265,000 cubic feet (7,504 cubic meters) of water per second into the ocean. Its drainage area covers parts of seven American states and one Canadian province, an area the size of...

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  • Dungeness Spit

    The Dungeness Spit is the longest naturally occurring sand spit in the world at 5.5 miles. With over 250 species of birds, 41 land species of land mammals, and eight species of water mammals calling it home, it is a National Wildlife Refuge and affords amazing views of the Strait of San Juan. The Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge is located on the...

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  • North Head Lighthouse

    North Head Lighthouse was a bit less disappointing than its Cape Disappointment neighbor though still very much in the fog. You might wonder why the two lighthouses were built so close together on a clearer day but in this dense fog, it does not seem as unreasonable. Construction finished in 1898 and it stands at 65 feet though it also benefits...

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  • Cape Disappointment Lighthouse

    Cape Disappointment Lighthouse is an apt name for what for us was very much a let down after visiting many stellar lighthouses on the Oregon Coast. Oddly enough, we visited these as part of our Oregon trip as they are geographically closer and surely easier to visit from there. It was hard to believe how different the two experiences were. First...

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  • Disc Golf in WA

    Disc Golf is a sport played much life ball golf. Instead of holes, there are chained baskets. Trees and water hazards work the same way. Instead of a ball and club, you throw flying discs which are smaller, heavier and more beveled than "regular Frisbees" so you can throw then a lot further. I was very into the sport in 1994 and visited over 100...

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  • Yakima

    Yakima is not on on the average tourist's Washington State agenda. In fact, most people never see the arid desert area in the eastern part of the state which stands in such contrast to the lush parts west. For those who do venture there, they will be rewarded with a taste of America's Outback, an area sparsely populated with friendly locals and...

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  • Redhook become Budhook

    Redhook Brewing was a craft beer pioneer, starting in 1981 brewing Belgian styled beer to the confusion of beer drinkers in the area. With the switch to English styles beers and use of locally grown hops, the brewery took off and needed a bigger facility. I did a tour at their brewery in 1994 and it was free, great fun and best of all, unlimited...

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  • Thomas Kemper in Poulsbro

    Hey, what happened? This used to be a brewery. In fact, it was one of the nicest Oktoberfest experiences I've ever had and it came about quite by accident. I was headed from Seattle to Olympic National Park in 1994 and after catching the ferry over to Bainbridge Island, a stop in the Poulsbro brewery was in order. It just happened to be the start...

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  • RAINBOW FALLS STATE PARK

    Located roughly about halfway along WA 6 between Chehalis - on I-5 to the east - and Raymond - on the coast - is Rainbow Falls State Park. Rainbow Falls is a small waterfall of about five feet in height on the Chehalis River. The waterfall pool is a popular swimming hole on warm summer days when the water going through the falls doesn't amount to...

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  • CATHERINE CREEK

    Lying a few miles west of the small town of Lyle, in the heart of the Columbia Gorge area known as the Syncline is the little valley of Catherine Creek. It is a perfect spot for a spring-time hike that will give you a better appreciation for both the geology and the ecology of this transition zone between the desert of the Columbia Plateau and the...

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  • Take your time in Washington

    From Forks to Mt. Ranier is quite a trip even without planning any stops or activities. And there is rush hours to worry about (you'll have to go through THREE citys with rolling rush hours). The road from Forks is narrow and winding. In July there will be a number of RV's to get stuck behind. Lake Quinault is wonderful for staying at the lodge and...

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  • Walk when your in seattle

    Ok ride the bus. walk in post alley. go up to Freemont. get a coffee in the University District. dance on Broadway..the street.

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  • Twin Falls and Ashland Lakes

    Twin Falls just so happens to be the name of so many waterfalls. Some are good, some are mediocre. This one happens to be one of my new favorites even though it is fairly difficult to reach.The falls themselves are about 200 feet (60 m) tall as they rush over the granite face into Twin Falls Lake. The outlet of this lake is the more interesting...

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  • Mount Pilchuck Hike

    Mount Pilchuck is a 6 mile roundtrip hike to the top in a slightly steep trail ending at 5324 feet (1622 m) in elevation. It will take around 3 hours and gain 2,166 feet (660 m). It is fairly heavily used so expect to pass several people. You will be given great views at the top though. Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainer and the entire Cascade Range can be seen...

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  • Riverside State Park

    One of the most beautiful state parks. Riverside has many hiking trails, gorgeous scenery, and even a swinging bridge. The trails are not very difficult, and can be accessed easily. Located northwest of Spokane, Wash., on the Spokane and Little Spokane rivers.

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  • Washington State Park Trails

    Washington has many state parks, but one of the few states I have found where the state parks are actually free. Although the web site states certain fees for camping, etc, we never paid a daily use fee.Like Colorado, some of the most gorgeous scenery can be seen when you hike the park trails.

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  • Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge

    When I was 12 years old, my family took a summer vacation along the Olympic Peninsula to see Port Townsend and Port Angeles. In between the two locations on the coast is Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge - a protected ecosystem along the Dungeness sand spit. We briefly visited this site on our way to Port Angeles. I don't recall spending more than...

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  • Fort Ebey State Park on Whidbey Island

    Apparently Fort Ebey used to be a coastal defence fort during World War II, but has since been turned into a state park for recreational use. My family stumbled across this park by accident back in 1998. I think we were simply driving down the main highway on Whidbey Island when we saw the turnoff for the park. Being curious, we had to check it...

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  • Gosh it's B I G.

    Go see / visit the Grand Coolie Dam it's Awesome !This is where I met my first real americans The Indians or first peoples or first nations.Inside the Grand Coolie Dam is like being in a James Bond film site ITS THAT BIG.And is FREE.

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  • Wind River Cellars

    Wind River Cellars is located on the Columbia Gorge. The location is spectacular (they have weddings there), and the wine is good, too. They produce about 2500-3000 cases per year.We visited after rafting the White Salmon river nearby, and tasted their wine and ate our pre-arranged lunch on their patio. The owners, Joel and Kris, are fun and...

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  • Hiking at Alpental

    Alpental is known for skiing, but there are some great trails you can hike in the summer.I hiked here in late June 2002, and the first mile & 1/2 of the trail was clear. Beyond that there was still so much snow that we couldn't follow the trail and, after tromping around in our shorts in the snow for a while, finally gave up and turned around....

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Washington State Off The Beaten Path

Reviews and photos of Washington State off the beaten path posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Washington State sightseeing.
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