12 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Washington State
From mountains to coastline: 12 of the most beautiful places to visit in Washington State.
Beautiful Washington State offers an abundance of breathtaking destinations to discover and explore. We’ve curated a list of the most beautiful places to visit in Washington State.
Washington State is a top destination for travelers seeking natural beauty. From the rugged coastline and scenic beaches to the majestic mountains and serene forests, the state offers a wide variety of picturesque locations to explore.
Outdoor enthusiasts will delight in the beauty of the national parks, scenic byways, and many outdoor activities they can find here. The beauty of the Evergreen State is sure to leave a lasting impression on every traveler.
12 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in Washington State (from a Local)
In this post, we will be listing some of the most scenic places to visit in Washington State. This beautiful state is a nature lovers paradise, filled with magic and wonder.
Please note that some of these locations may have seasonal closures or special hours, so it’s a good idea to check with each one before planning your trip.
Lake Crescent is an enchanting glacial lake located in the heart of Olympic National Park. The breathtaking glacial lake is approximately 12 miles long and over 600 feet deep, making it one of the deepest lakes in the United States.
One of the most striking features of Lake Crescent is its crystal-clear, blue-green water, which is so clear that you can see the rocks and logs at the bottom of the lake from the surface. The lake is surrounded by dense forests of fir and hemlock trees, which give way to rugged mountains in the distance.
There are several scenic pullouts along the shore of the lake that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, as well as hiking trails that lead to even more stunning vistas. On a clear day, the reflections of the surrounding mountains in the still waters of the lake create a truly magical sight.
One of the best places to appreciate the lake’s beauty is the historic Lake Crescent Lodge, which has been welcoming guests since 1916. From here, you can take in sweeping views of the lake and the surrounding peaks while enjoying a meal or a drink on the lodge’s patio. You can also rent canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards.
Another great spot to enjoy Lake Crescent is from the summit of Mount Storm King. This challenging four-mile hike takes you up 4,500 feet, but the stunning views of the lake and the Olympic Mountains make it well worth the effort.
For a more relaxed experience, head to Devil’s Punchbowl, which is accessible via the Spruce Railroad Trail. This short hike is about 1 mile long and leads to the popular swimming destination. This is our favorite place to enjoy Lake Crescent!
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
Did you know that the tulip was seen as a symbol of paradise on Earth? One of the most beautiful sights in Washington State is the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.
This festival is held each spring and draws visitors from all over the world to see the breathtaking fields of colorful tulips in bloom. With miles of vibrant flowers stretching as far as the eye can see, it’s an unforgettable sight that’s not to be missed.
Skagit Valley Tulip Festival features four farms: RoozenGaarde, Tulip Town, Tulip Valley Farms, and Garden Rosalyn.
Leavenworth is a hidden gem in the Pacific Northwest. Nestled in the Cascade Mountains, this quaint town is known for its Bavarian-themed architecture and scenic mountain views.
It is great to visit in any season but the best time to visit is during the winter months when the town transforms into a winter wonderland filled with festive decor, colorful lights, and is surrounded by snow-capped mountains.
It is a great place to bring the whole family so they can partake in the remarkable Christmas magic of this small town, and one of the most popular places to visit in Washington.
Picture Lake is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Washington. In the North Cascades National Park, in the Mount Baker Area, you can follow a short path to get to Picture Lake. The lake is situated at an altitude of 5,500 feet and surrounded by towering mountains, and offers breathtaking views.
Picture Lake is one of the most photographed vistas in the US. What makes this vista point so special is that you can see a reflection of Mount Shuksan in the lake!
During hte summer, you can find beautiful wildflowers that also add to the beauty of this beautiful destination. Swimming and boating are not allowed, and you do need a valid recreation pass.
Located in the Olympic National Park, Hurricane Ridge is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Washington State. Not only can you find majestiv mountain views and scenic hiking trails, but Hurricane Ridge is filled with a diverse range of wildlife such as deer and elk.
Hurricane Ridge is a beautiful place to visit year-round, but we believe the best times to visit are during the spring when the wildflowers are in full bloom and during winter when the mountains transform into a snowy heaven.
The Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center is the perfect place to enjoy the incredible views of the Olympic Mountains without having to hike for hours.
Diablo Lake is a captivating glacial lake in the North Cascades. Visitors can enjoy hiking, kayaking, boating, camping, and even swimming in this popular destination.
Diablo Lake is known for its striking blue-green waters which are fed by glacial runoff. The enchanting turquoise color is best seen on sunny dates during the summer during the period of glacial melting. The wildflowers are also in full bloom during this time.
While there are many popular hikes at Diablo Lake to explore, the lake can also be seen from the overlooks and viewpoints along the North Cascades Highway (State Route 20). There are several pullouts and scenic overlooks that offer stunning views of the lake and surrounding mountains, for those who may not want to hike.
Snoqualmie Falls is one of the most picturesque places to explore in Washington State. The waterfall is 270 feet and easily accessible.
The falls are beautiful year-round, but the best time to visit is during the spring when the snow is melting and the water flow is at its peak. The waterfall is also lit up at night, making it a great place to visit after dark.
You can find free parking that leads to an observation area that’s open daily from dawn until dusk. Pets are allowed at Snoqualmie Falls on a leash. In addition to the falls themselves, Snoqualmie Falls is also home to the Salish lodge and a gift shop.
Cape Flattery is located at the northwesternmost point in the contiguous United States on the Olympic Peninsula. Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean, visitors will delight at the magnificent rock formations, sea stacks, and wildlife that they will find here.
You can visit Cape Flattery all year long, but the weather is best during the summer months. To access the viewing platform at Cape Flattery, there is a short 3/4 mile hike from the parking lot. Whale watching is a fun activity that you can also do at Cape Flattery, particularly during the colder months of the year.
Cape Flattery is located in the Makah Reservation, close to the town of Neah Bay. You can visit the Makah Cultural and Research Center to learn more about the tribe and its history.
The Hoh Rainforest is a temperate rainforest that is home to a variety of animal species and known for its lush greenery, sporting trees such as Douglas fir, Sitka spruces, western hemlocks, and more.
Head to the visitor center and choose from the 3 main hikes to begin to explore. The Hall of Mosses Trail is 8/10’s of a mile with an elevation gain of 500 feet, and is the most popular and famous to explore. It is absolutely stunning and one of the most beautiful places to visit in Washington State.
You can also choose to hike the Spruce Nature Trail, which is 1.2 miles and rated easy, or the Hoh River Trail which is anywhere from 1-20 miles, and rated easy to moderate.
Olympic National Park Beaches
The Olympic National Park Beaches are one of the most beautiful places to visit in Washington State. With miles of coastline, these beaches provide stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, and one of the best ways to get away from city life.
One of the best things about this coastline is that it is relatively undeveloped. There are no large hotels or restaurants, and the only thing that interrupts the sound of the waves is the occasional bird call. As a result, visitors can feel like they have truly escaped from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
There are numerous beaches on Washington’s coast, and they are all stunning so we couldn’t choose just one specific beach for this list. Some of the most beautiful beaches you can find are La Push (“It’s La Push, baby!”), Second Beach, Ruby Beach, Rialto Beach, Shi Shi Beach, Kalaloch Beach, and more.
Deception Pass Bridge
Deception Pass Bridge connects Fidalgo Island to Whidbey Island and is located within Deception Pass State Park. The bridge has stunning views of the surrounding area, including the rugged coastline, the turquoise waters of Deception Pass and the nearby islands, which are dotted with lush green forests and picturesque beaches.
The area around Deception Pass Bridge is popular with tourists and locals alike, and there are many opportunities for outdoor activities such as hiking, fishing, and boating. The bridge itself is also a popular destination for photographers and sightseers, and there are several viewpoints and scenic overlooks that offer great views of the bridge and the surrounding area.
Make sure to take some extra time to visit both Anacortes and Whidbey Island to make this visit an extra special one.
Related post: Things to do in Oak Harbor
Related post: 14 Romantic Things to do on Whidbey Island Getaway
The state of Washington is truly a wondrous place with countless scenic locations to explore, and we feel incredibly grateful to call this breathtaking destination our home. There are many more beautiful places to visit in Washington State to discover and explore, but these are the ones that we love the most!