most western and northerly of the lower 48 states, Washington
territory was visited by Spanish, American, and British explorers
throughout the 1700's.
A century later, Washington's incredible store of natural resources -- found in lumber, salmon fishing, and fur-trapping -- attracted early settlers to the area to stake personal claims to the region's riches.
Today, the state still beckons visitors by the millions each year to a variety of tourist attractions beginning with Seattle offering a view of the city high atop the iconic Space Needle, and more attractions including the Pike Place Market and
aquarium (see kid-friendly Seattle, below.)
Top Washington State attractions include the iconic Space Needle in Seattle (left); oceanside camping and
sightseeing at Olympic National Park (middle); and more natural beauty at Columbia River Gorge (right).
If traveling in the Fall, don't miss a trip to the Washington State Fair in Puyallup offering bronco busting, roller coaster rides, and other family-friendly entertainment starting in mid-September.
2024 Washington State Events & Festivals
Ballard SeafoodFest celebrates its
seafaring Nordic roots with three days of
wall-to-wall seafood and live music in July.
Check out our 2024 Washington State travel calender featuring memorable events and major festivals happening throughout the state with dates, locations and official links for more information.
May 24 - May 27, 2024 -- Northwest Folklife Festival Seattle - Jump into spring with a celebration of music, dance and food reflecting the culture of the Northwest.
July 12 - July 14, 2024 -- Ballard SeafoodFest Ballard - Enjoy free live music, family fun, arts, crafts, and food vendors, delicious seafood, and don't miss the salmon barbecue.
July 19 - July 21, 2024 -- Capitol Hill Block Party Seattle - Catch all the action at Pike Street and Pine Street for the annual 3-day music fest with block party fare provided by a great variety of food trucks.
July 30 - August 4, 2024 -- Seafair Fleet Week Seattle - Ooh and aah at the Parade of Ships through Elliot Bay, along with a whole week of events including search and rescue demos, US Navy ship tours, and free music concerts.
Labor Day weekend, 2024-- Bumbershoot Seattle - Great local food is on the menu together with a 2-day lineup of music concerts by bands and singers from the regional Pacific Northwest.
August 30 - September 22, 2024. -- Washington State Fair Puhallup - The state's biggest party with deep fried fare good, music concerts, comedy acts, farm animal exhbits, carnival rides and lots more.
Seattle Aquarium offers close encounters with all kinds of shore life.
Plan to spend
at least a full afternoon at the Pacific
Science Center guaranteed to offer something of interest for
teens to toddlers including hands-on exhibits, awesome
dinosaurs, a sit inside the cockpit of a space shuttle, a huge
screen IMAX theater, and even an outdoor play area.
For more outdoor family adventures, head over to the Woodland
Park Zoo offering an enormous 92 acres devoted to animals
living in either rain forest or coastal deserts displayed in state-of-the-art
For a closer
look at Seattle's shore life, also be sure to visit the Seattle
Aquarium for eye-popping displays including a 120,000-gallon
showcase Window on Washington Waters, as well as fascinating hands-on
about Washington State travel around the Web:
State Tourism -
A virtual tour to the entire state with 360º interactive
gallery plus facts & information on cultural & historical
attractions, Washington state birds & wildlife, must-see sights,
event calendar, maps.
Attractions. Roadside America - Weird Washington captured
in pictures & descriptions, i.e., the world's largest frying
pan, the Pickled Pioneer grave site, Jake the Alligator Man, and