Here are five towns that will deposit national parks, historic downtowns, scenic harbors, and more into any traveler’s memory bank.
Established by an executive order from Abraham Lincoln in 1862, this town was once known as the country’s “second national city.” Today it’s the gateway to explore Olympic National Park.
Bordering both Canada and the Pacific Ocean, this town has a proud maritime heritage, evident in picturesque Drayton Harbor. And its international status is celebrated at Peace Arch Park, a 20-acre park stretching between Blaine and Surrey, British Columbia.
Within easy reach of city limits you’ll find both Mount Rainier and Mount St. Helens. Staying closer to sea level? Each city boasts a historic downtown lined with local shops, brewpubs, and restaurants.
Diners are in good hands in this Orcas Island hub. Along its vibrant downtown streets, dozens of airy cafés, restaurants, and bakeries beckon. Add sights in nearby towns like Deer Harbor and Orcas Village by boarding the Orcas Island shuttle bus, which departs from downtown Eastsound.
Make this Northeast Washington town your base camp for traveling the International Selkirk Loop, a 280-mile drive that winds through Washington, northern Idaho, and British Columbia. Closer to town, tour Albeni Falls Dam or the Pend Oreille County Museum, set in an early-1900s train depot.