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Must-See Roadside Attractions in Washington State
When exploring Washington state by road, there are a few must-see attractions along the way. The Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument pays homage to the 1980 eruption. Visitors can purchase a pass along Washington 504 to drive along the mammoth crater that the volcano left in its wake. Three Visitors Centers offer historic information and observation decks. Plan a few hours to stop and explore the magnificent views of the mountain and Coldwater Lake.
For quirkier roadside attractions the town of Winlock, south of Tacoma, is home to the World’s Largest Egg. Having been the number two egg producing town until 1950 the heritage remains strong. In Bellingham the Lightning Cage: Spark Museum of Electrical Invention combines unique electrical relics like an original Thomas Edison lightbulb with the opportunity to sit in the screened metal ball while its bombarded with Tesla coils that create lightning bolts around you.
For more serene beauty, Tulip Town in Skagit Valley, Washington provides must-see roadside attractions and events if you are visiting in April. With both indoor and outdoor flower displays, including trolley rides through the fields, Skagit Valley Bulb Farm is at the center of the excitement while local breweries and art galleries provide secondary events and entertainment.
Battle Ground Village
Plan your next visit to southeastern Washington and check out Battle Ground Village. A pleasant and eclectic mix of shops and eateries, Battle Ground Village is a popular destination in the city of Battle Ground, south of Kelso. You'll find Battle Ground Village adjacent to the Battle Ground Community Library and just down the way from the Avalon Art Gallery.
There's much to see and do at Battle Ground Village. From the retail and speciality stores, to cafes and nicer, sit-down style restaurants, Battle Ground Village accommodates even the pickiest of appetites. Village Square at Battle Ground Village will certainly be a highlight of your visit – check out the BG Village Outdoor Market, the nature park, and there are often live music performances.
Leavenworth Bavarian Village
The quaint Bavarian Village of Leavenworth is a wonderful, quaint village in the Washington Cascades filled with cheer. Visit during the winter to see the lights twinkling along the store fronts, enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride or go sledding.
Partake in a wine tasting, have fun shopping and taste a piece of delicious German pastry from the Bavarian Bakery. Stop by The Gingerbread Factory to step inside this historic house and smell the fresh-baked cookies.
Stroll through the Leavenworth Nutcracker Museum to see the 5,000 Nutcrackers that date back over 5,000 years.
Recreational enthusiasts love skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, ATVing, hiking, horseback riding, mountain biking, and golfing.
As you explore the lengths of the Puget Sound, discover the Bellingham Bay. A popular waterway in Bellingham, the Bellingham Bay off the Salish Sea. Named for Sir William Bellingham, the Bellingham Bay features stunning views of Mount Baker. You'll find major Bellingham attractions on the shores of Bellingham Bay on your visit.
Check out the Larrabee State Park, Teddy Bear Cove, or Woodstock Farm – all three of which reside near the southern area of Bellingham Bay. As you travel a bit to the north, discover Western Washington University, Sehome Hill Arboretum, and the Boulevard Park – all three yielding excellent views of Bellingham Bay. Just off of I-5 near the northern crest of Bellingham Bay is Bellingham Golf & Country Club.
Washington’s tallest building, the Columbia Center is a 932-foot skyscraper in downtown Seattle. The Columbia building stands at 76 stories, making it the Emerald’s City tallest skyscraper.
The Columbia Center yields incredible views of the Seattle metro area, Mt. Rainier, and the Puget Sound from the 73rd floor – better known as the Sky View Observatory at Columbia Center. Opened in 1985, the Columbia Center was formerly the Bank of America Tower and Columbia Seafirst Center.
Historic Fairhaven District
Plan your next trip into Bellingham and enjoy the sites of the Puget Sound area and northern Washington. No matter the time of year you visit, plan on exploring Fairhaven. A popular historic, tourist, shopping, and dining district just inland of Bellingham Bay, Fairhaven is overseen by the Historic Fairhaven Association, a non-profit.
There's enough to see and do at Fairhaven to keep you occupied all day. You can check out the Artwood Gallery, the Fairhaven Antique Mall, or the Fairhaven Rug Gallery. Check out the San Juan Cruises if you wanted to try a whale watching trip, the Japanese Gardens Coffeehouse is popular, and the Community Boating Center is the place for kayak rentals.
Joint Base Lewis-McChord
Officially known as the Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Fort Lewis is found in Lacey, a pleasant and quaint city in Puget Sound region of Washington. As you plan your Fort Lewis and Lacey visit, you'll find the base just south of I-5 on 41st Division Drive. Fort Lewis is combination of the McChord Air Force Base and the U.S. Army's Fort Lewis.
As the only power-projection base located west of the Rockies, Fort Lewis is a large mobilization and training center for all Army and Air Force services. Originally established as Fort Lewis in 1917, the base has since grown into a tiny city, with shops, restaurants, and entertainment abound. Be sure to visit the Fort Lewis Military Museum on your next adventure to Fort Lewis.
Kent Valley Ice Centre
The self-proclaimed “Largest Family Ice Entertainment Facility in the Pacific Northwest,” the Kent Valley Ice Centre is located in Kent, in the Puget Sound region of Washington. The facility offers a wealth of opportunity for family fun – on and off the ice.
Besides public ice skating sessions, Kent residents and visitors can take part in skating lessons, hockey sessions, a swing in the batting cages, and even miniature golf. Skaters can recharge at the On the Edge Café, while banquet and meeting rooms are also available to reserve.
Lacey Community Center
As you draw up plans for your next trek into Washington, make sure you head for Lacey in the southern section of the Puget Sound region. A quaint city and sterling example of small town charms, Lacey visitors, and locals alike, often enjoy visits to the Lacey Community Center.
Whether you're looking to host a small event, keep on the local goings-on, or if you're in town for a seminar, the Lacey Community Center is the place to be. You'll find the Lacey Community Center in the Woodland Creek Community Park.
A full staff of knowledgeable and helpful employees means you'll never be lost or alone at the Lacey Community Center. There's a kitchen, a banquet area, a stage, and an outdoor terrace at the Lacey Community Center. Find it between Lake Lois Park & Habitat Preserve and the Woodland Creek Community Park.
Naval Station Everett
With tremendous views of the Salish Sea, Naval Station Everett is a major draw for the city of Everett. Many family members and friends of those stationed at Naval Station Everett visit and enjoy the city's great offerings. You'll discover Naval Station Everett just west of I-5 along Marine View Drive and Perry Avenue.
Opened in 1994, Naval Station Everett features two Frigates, one nuclear-powered Aircraft Carrier (Nimitz class), two Guided-Missile Destroyers, and the USCGC Henry Blake – a Coast Guard Keeper-class cutter. Enjoy your tour of the Puget Sound region and stay in Everett.
Port of Everett
Home to miles of waterfront walkways, the Port of Everett is a marina located along the shore of the Salish Sea. Just north of downtown Everett, the Port of Everett is the largest marina on the west coast, striving to make the Puget Sound cleaner, while supporting the local community with thousands of jobs.
Created in 1918, the Port Everett is home to some great local history. Be sure to check out the Equator Ship, a two-masted schooner built in 1888. It's most famous passenger was novelist and poet Robert Louis Stevenson. You'll also want to check out the Weyerhaeuser Building, a lavish building and former headquarters of the Weyerhaeuser Company.
Covering 74 acres, the Seattle Center is an epicenter for the Seattle metropolitan area, and home to the iconic Space Needle. The site of the 1962 World's Fair, Seattle Center is set in the Lower Queen Anne neighborhood of Seattle.
A number of museums are onsite at the Seattle Center, including the Experience Music Project/Science Fiction Museum & Hall of Fame, the Chihuly Garden & Glass Museum, and the Pacific Science Center. The KeyArena is also found at Seattle Center, as well as annual events like Bumbershoot, Winterfest, and Bite of Seattle.
A famed structure in the Seattle skyline, the Space Needle began as installation for the 1962 World's Fair. This "must-see" attraction offers the best view of the Seattle area from the observation deck – 520 feet from the street at the Seattle Center.
Enjoy a one-of-a-kind meal at the SkyCity Restaurant, 500 feet high, while you slowly rotate 360 degrees – allowing for more incredible views of the city.
If you're in town during the New Year, the Space Needle is "the" place to be. The celebration is the premier New Year's Eve event on the West Coast. Enjoy your time at the northwest's number one attraction and be sure to bring your camera to capture a shot from the top.
Plan your next trip to Washington and head for Bellingham. A tremendous city with plenty to see and do near the Puget Sound, Bellingham is home to the Squalicum Harbor. Situated on the northern crest of Bellingham Bay, Squalicum Harbor is a full-service marina. You'll find more than 1,400 boats stationed at Squalicum Harbor.
Always looking out for the environment, Squalicum Harbor is a five-star EnviroStars harbor, making it one of the most green ports in the state. As you explore Squalicum Harbor, be sure to check out some major highlights. The Squalicum Harbor Fishermen's Memorial is always popular, and Zuanich Point Park is great for summer picnics.
Plan your next trek across the Puget Sound region of Washington and check out Tulip Town.
Just west of downtown Mount Vernon, discover Tulip Town and take advantage of a seemingly endless amount of tulips – you'll tour row after row of planted tulips on acres of pristine land.
Check out the Tulip Town Café on you visit. Enjoy a sampling of tasty treats, grab a cup of coffee to help warm up during the colder months, or just sit and relax.
There are trolley rides available at Tulip Town, and be sure to visit the gift show – why not take with you some of the amazing tulips grown at Tulip Town. The farm is also open during the popular Skagit Valley Tulip Festival, held each April.
Wild Horse Renewable Energy Center
Plan your next trip into Washington and head for Ellensburg. One of the premier outdoor recreation areas in Ellensburg is the Wild Horse Renewable Energy Center.
Enjoy your time exploring within the Cascade region of Washington with some bird watching, hiking, horseback riding, or picnics.
Wild Horse Renewable Energy Center is a massive wind turbine farm, with tours available. There is also a large solar-power instillation on site, generating up to 500 kilowatts.
Visit in late April and check out the annual Run Like the Wind Running Festival, held at Wild Horse.
Yakima Nation Cultural Heritage Center
On your next trip into Washington, head for the Cascade region and visit the Yakima Nation Cultural Heritage Center. You'll gain interesting and unique insights into the Yakima Valley, the original Yakima Native Americans who inhabited the area, and the city itself.
The museum portion of this Yakima focal point is just one of the top attractions. It's all found on the Yakima Nation Cultural Center Campus. There, you'll also find the Cultural Center Gift Shop, the Heritage Theater, Yakima Nation Library, and the aforementioned museum.
Yakima Valley SunDome
Draw up your travel plans for a trip to the Washington Cascades and head for Yakima. You'll want to explore the Yakima Valley SunDome, found on the grounds of the State Fair Park. Seating up to 8,000 people, the Yakima Valley SunDome hosts a number if different events throughout the year.
No matter the time of year, you'll find something interesting to see at the Yakima Valley SunDome. If you visit the area in late September, be sure to experience the fun and pageantry of the Central Washington State Fair. the SunDome can seat up to 8,000 people for concerts, but only 7,000 for sporting events.
Tacoma Narrows Bridge
First opened in 1950, the iconic Tacoma Narrows Bridge crosses the Tacoma Narrows Strait. Seattle Metro Area travelers on State Route 16, cross the bridge to reach Gig Harbor from Tacoma.
The original 1940 bridge – known as "Galloping Gertie" – and 1950 bridge were the world's third-longest suspension bridges (following the Golden Gate and George Washington Bridges).
Enjoy views of this iconic bridge from the Tacoma Narrows Park.
Ocean Shores Interpretive Center
Set north of Damon Point, the Coastal Interpretive Center is located in the city of Ocean Shores in southwestern Washington. Open weekends from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., the center exhibits the animal, plant, and human inhabitants of the Washington Coast.
A non-profit organization, the Ocean Shores Interpretive Center features artifacts from early Ocean Shores, Duck Lake, Damon Point, and debris from the Japanese Tsunami of 2011.