Hike North America’s longest sand spit. The 5.5-mile trek ends at New Dungeness Lighthouse, where visitors can scale the 74 steps for panoramic views. Sequim’s annual Lavender Weekend in Julyis the largest lavender festival in North America with 15-plus farm tours and nighttime fun, including barn dances, concerts, and more. For more Americana, the Irrigation Festival in May is the state’s longest-running fest. Started in 1896, the celebration includes a logging show and carnival.
Take a six-minute ride on the Whatcom Chief ferry to reach this nine-square-mile island outside Bellingham Bay. The 1.6-mile Baker Preserve trail climbs 1,000 feet to the high cliffs of Lummi Mountain for breathtaking views of the San Juan Islands. If you visit on Memorial or Labor Day weekends, take part in the Artists’ Studio Tour, when more than 40 artists showcase works ranging from sculpture to jewelry.
Cle Elum—meaning “swift water”—received its name from the Kittitas tribe. Nestled along the Yakima River, the city of some 2,000 people is packed with historic sights and small-town charm. Hike a portion of the 285-mile-long John Wayne Pioneer Trail in Iron Horse State Park, where you can find preserved remains of the Milwaukee Road Depot and rail yard south of town. Hit the links at two public golf courses at Suncadia Resort, then relax over a glass of wine from Swiftwater Cellars.
Every September, more than one million fairgoers enjoy everything from livestock competitions to fair scones—plus plenty of rides and big-name concerts—at the Washington State Fair. The Outdoor Art Gallery showcases nearly 49 permanent and rotating pieces throughout downtown created by student and professional artists. The area is strongly rooted in agriculture, so plan a stop at local mainstays such as Spooner Farms for in-season berries, corn, and pumpkins or Duris Cucumber Farm, legendary for its pickling recipe and from-the-field ingredients.
The Mighty Tieton Warehouse brims with creativity with shops like Paper Hammer Studio, where you can purchase custom postcards and peruse vintage paper presses. It’s also home to Trimpin Sound Space showcasing installations by the world-renowned artist and composer. The Warehouse also hosts a packed calendar of events. Just west of Tieton where mountain biking reigns supreme, ride along the ridge of French’s Canyon over Tieton River into Oak Creek. After your ride, refuel at Santos Bakery (810 Wisconsin Ave), a local favorite for fresh-baked Mexican pastries.
Spokane Falls in downtown Spokane is the nation’s second-largest urban waterfall. Opened in 2014, visit Huntington Park (350 N Post St) for an up-close Kodak moment and don’tmiss the Spokane Falls SkyRide for a bird’s-eye view via a gondola. Imbibers can enjoy downtown’s Cork District, home to more than 20 wineries and tasting rooms. If you’re hops inclined, the Inland Northwest Ale Trail map is a helpful guide for finding area favorites like No-Li Brewhouse, federally designated as a “Spokane Style Beer” for using only local ingredients.
Photo by Emergency Brake