Known as the Evergreen State, due to the lush, rich, green forests visible everywhere, Washington is a showcase of everything beloved about the Pacific Northwest. Nature lovers and adventure seekers are in heaven with the array of mountain ranges, coastline, forests, and lakes to play in as well as two National Parks and the gorgeous San Juan Islands to explore. There really isn’t an outdoor activity that can’t be done here in the gateway to the Pacific Northwest.
But there is so much more to Washington than natures wonders. Music fans will already know of the many talented artists who hail from this state including the advent of alternative and grunge rock. Today there are so many music festivals in Washington you could attend one almost every weekend between May and September. Of course all of this activity makes one hungry and thirsty. Not to worry, Washington is a favorite of foodies, coffee, beer and wine lovers. With over 900 wineries, almost 400 breweries, 2.5 coffee shops for every 1,000 people and an unrivaled, diverse food scene you’re appetite is sure to be satiated whatever your tastes.
Seattle & Beyond
Birthplace of Starbucks, and grunge rock, home to Microsoft, Amazon and Boeing, and the largest city in one of the first states to legalize marijuana and gay marriage, Seattle is many different things to many different people. This dynamic city is also a blend of unique neighborhoods so getting to really know Seattle takes time and effort, but it’s well worth it. From edgy Capitol Hill to hippy-thinking Fremont and all the way to the prestigious Queen Anne you will see a different city with every step. But regardless of the neighborhood you can always be sure to find great food, coffee, craft beer and creative cocktails. Plus, due to the amount of rain, making everything so green, there’s also plenty to do on a wet day in Seattle.
Just 30 minutes east of Seattle is Woodinville, the winery capitol of the area, where you can make your way around more than 140 wineries, tasting rooms and wine bars. If you leave Seattle and drive the I-5 Corridor you will find dozens of towns all offering their own taste of the Pacific Northwest. Go north and you’ll find Everett and Bellingham who have seen a craft brewery boom in the last few years. Go south and you’ll eventually end up in Tacoma and Olympia, cities with plenty of opportunities to indulge in great food and drink.
Central & Eastern Washington
This portion of Washington State is as diverse as it is large with plenty to see, do, eat and drink. The North Central region has the resort town of Chelan which turns into a summer playground with it’s huge lake and hot weather. Then there’s the Bavarian town of Leavenworth, popular year-round for its unique buildings, German food and festivals. Both towns also have their share of wineries, breweries, distilleries and tasting rooms.
Furthest south is The Gorge, named for the massive chasm carved out by the Columbia River. Dozens of concerts and music festivals take place here from summer to fall and there are also a handful of good wineries and breweries scattered here and in the city of Vancouver, Washington.
Washington Wine Country spreads from south central to southeast of the state with Walla Walla and the Tri-Cities being the biggest players. Walla Walla is a charming town set in the middle of an oasis of 2,800 acres of vineyards. Many of the 120 wineries in the area have tasting rooms in town and there are plenty of gourmet and boutique restaurants and cafes to enjoy.
Olympic Peninsula, Coast & Islands
The Olympic Peninsula and coast, a haven for artists and nature lovers, is filled with seaside towns, rain forests and rugged beaches. There is so much to see in this area you could spend weeks exploring. But some of the main draws are the Olympic National Park, the dramatic seastacks along the coast, the town of Forks for Twilight fans, the Olympic Game Farm at Sequim, surfing at Ocean Shores and visiting the San Juan Islands.
Port Angeles is the largest and probably most popular town in this region. Here you can spend your time doing a myriad of outdoor activities like kayaking and beach combing or explore the town’s wine tasting, markets and artist studios. Whidbey is probably the most visited island loved for its historic waterfronts, rolling fields of farmland, Civil war-era lighthouse and gorgeous land and seascapes.
Now before you say “You didn’t mention…!” or “You’ve barely scratched the surface!” We know! There is sooo much more to Washington State than what we’ve noted above, but our aim on this page is just to whet your appetite. In the weeks, months and years to come (yes we are in this for the long haul) we plan to fill this site with interesting and informative articles, guides, reviews and stories covering all that this state has to offer. Always keeping in mind that our primary focus is to highlight the amazing craft beverages made in the Pacific Northwest.
Cheers and happy travels!