Prepare to gawk, architectural admirers. Washington is home to everything from carefully preserved historic structures to cutting-edge designs.
In Olympia, the circa 1928 Capitol Building is the fifth-tallest masonry dome in the world. Free guided tours take place every day of the week. Show up on the hour between 11am and 3pm at the information desk inside the main entrance.
Architectural beauties also dazzle in Seattle. Don’t miss the Bullitt Center, the greenest commercial building in the world, complete with compostable toilets; Seattle Central Library and its chartreuse escalators; and the colorful, whimsical curves of the MoPop Museum (the Museum of Pop Culture).
When it comes to design as art, though, look to Washington’s theaters. Martin Woldson Theater at The Fox in Spokane opened with art deco flair in 1931. In its heyday, it hosted stars like Katharine Hepburn, Bing Crosby, and Frank Sinatra, and was saved from a wrecking ball in 2000. Today it’s on the National Register of Historic Places.
Get charmed in the historic districts of Port Gamble, Ellensburg, Port Townsend, and Fairhaven in Bellingham. The streets in these areas are lined with 19th-century structures and quaint Victorian homes, perfect for a stroll among the architecture.
Trip Tip: Seattle Architecture Foundation offers design-themed walking tours.
-- Angela Cabotaje