Washington – The Evergreen State

The state of Washington is located in the northwestern United States on the Pacific coast, bordered by the states of Oregon to the south and Idaho to the east, as well as Canada. This is a fairly large state, its area is 185 square meters. km, population – more than 6 million people. The capital of Washington is the city of Olympia, the largest cities are Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma.

Olympic Peninsula in Washington State

As a rule, the state is simply called “Washington”, in contrast to the capital of the United States, the city of Washington, which is also located in a completely different state (the abbreviation DC is usually added to the name of the capital of the state – District of Columbia, that is, the District of Columbia in which it is located ). Another unofficial name for Washington is the “evergreen state”: there are many trees in the local forests, and thanks to heavy rains, grasses and shrubs remain green throughout the year. Another nickname is the “State of Contrasts”. The fact is that on its territory you can see a variety of landscapes: mountain ranges and plains, semi-deserts and unique rainforests, plateaus and the ocean coast.

The state of Washington is the birthplace of the grunge music style and a distinct culture of coffee consumption: many American coffee chains were founded in Seattle. The names of Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Bruce Lee, Bill Gates are associated with Washington.

How to get there

  • by plane

The largest airports in the state of Washington are located 6 km from Olympia, in Seattle and in Seatak, between the cities of Seattle and Tacoma. There are no direct flights from Moscow, but you can fly daily with connecting flights from Los Angeles or New York. The most popular carriers are American Airlines, Delta, United, and Northwest.

  • by ship

In addition, many ships arrive in Puget Sound, including passenger cruise ships, mainly from Asian countries. And Washington’s major cities of Seattle, Bellevue, Tacoma and Olympia are served by the largest U.S. ferry system of 28 high-speed ferries that ply the Puget Sound and inland waterways to 20 ports. It is the largest ferry system in the United States and the third largest in the world.

The United States has a well-developed railroad system, but in Washington this mode of transport is not particularly popular: a train ticket costs about the same as an air ticket.

  • by car

Washington also has a large network of state highways, so you can come here from neighboring states and Canada by car.

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The state’s climate varies greatly from west to east, with the Cascade Ranges dividing Washington into eastern and western parts. Air masses from the Pacific Ocean create a humid climate in the western part, thanks to which these places have unique rainforests (usually found in areas with a hot climate, but here they grow at very moderate temperatures). On the Pacific coast, the average annual temperature is +11 °C. In the east, beyond the Cascades, the climate is arid, with an average temperature of +4 °C. In winter, frequent fogs, cloudiness and prolonged drizzling rains; summers are generally sunny and dry. However, climatic extremes are not uncommon in the western region: Arctic cold fronts in winter (up to -30 ° C) and intense heat in summer (up to + 45 ° C).

Things to Do in Washington State

About 60% of Washington state residents live in Seattle , a transportation, business, and industrial center in the western state near the Salish Sea. Trade routes with Asian countries pass through the ports of Puget Sound, and Seattle itself is considered the largest business center on the coast. Most of Washington State’s attractions are concentrated in and around Seattle.

Boeing, Starbucks, Velve (manufacturer of computer games Dota 2? Counter-Strike, Half-Life), Amazon are based in Seattle.

The hallmark of Seattle is the Space Needle (“Space Needle”), erected in the early 60s of the 20th century. on the territory of the exhibition complex Seattle Center (this is the center of many city and cultural events). The Space Needle has been immortalized by many American photographers and filmmakers. In addition, Seattle is famous for its skyscrapers: Smith Tower, Columbia Center, Washington Michual Tower, as well as the Museum of Music History and Science Fiction in Seattle Center and the fantastic-looking building of the central library. Another interesting place is Pike Place Market, one of the oldest public markets in the United States, a center for folk festivals and a place for performances by street actors, clowns and singers.

Another tourist center of the state is Spokane, more interesting for history buffs. 18 districts of the city are included in the US National Register of Historic Places – that is, more than 50% of the central part of Spokane is recognized as a historical heritage. Three Victorian districts are of particular interest: South Hill, Browne’s Addition and Davenport Arts District.

There is an opinion that the wines from this state are even among the top five in the world – and tourists are offered to verify this for themselves. The most famous winery is Chateau Ste Michelle in Woodinville, opened in 1954.

In the state of Washington, the state has a monopoly on the sale of alcohol. The monopoly applies to all alcoholic beverages over 20% alcohol, as well as liqueurs (even if their alcohol content is less than 20%) – they can only be bought in state-owned stores or private wineries with a state license. Beer and wine that contains less than 20% alcohol can be bought in regular shops and supermarkets.

Nature and National Parks in Washington State

The Cascade Mountains stretch from north to south, dividing the state into zones of maritime and sharply continental climate. There are several active volcanoes in the Cascade Range, which are significantly higher than the rest of the mountain range: Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, St. Helens and Mount Adams. However, in fact, only St. Helens (or Mount St. Helena) periodically erupts.

Just 80 km from Seattle is Mount Rainier volcano with a height of 4392 m – due to its proximity to the metropolis, it is considered the most dangerous volcano in the continental United States and is included in the list of the ten most dangerous volcanoes in the world. There is also a national park of the same name, one of the oldest in the United States – it was founded in 1899, the fourth of the country’s national parks. It is known not only for its glaciers (there are more than two dozen of them on its territory, and the largest glacier in the continental United States is located on top of Rainier itself), but also for picturesque valleys, waterfalls, meadows and forests.

Olympic National Park is located on a peninsula of the same name in the Pacific Ocean. The Olympic mountain range divides the park and the peninsula itself into two parts. Western is famous for the Ho Rainforest, one of the few tropical rainforests in the continental United States, beaches on the Pacific coast, and three Indian reservations open to tourists. In the west, the climate is more arid. On the territory of the national park there are clean lakes, dense forests, meadows, and on the peaks of Olympic there are about six dozen glaciers.

The Olympic National Park has the status of an international biosphere reserve and is included in the World Heritage List due to its unique flora and fauna: it has been isolated from the mainland for a long time, and its lands have preserved 15 endemic animal species and 8 plant species.

Washington - The Evergreen State