I have lived my life in 2 states, Washington and Missouri, and both have much to recommend themselves. If you asked me which is better, I would have to say Washington. There are many places in this state that I can easily recommend for the tourist, and they may not be what you would expect to hear. Our recent trip has caused me to evaluate what I already have known for many years. I was lucky to get a job here early on that took me all over this state, and I learned from it. The 5 following destinations are highly recommended to the traveler.
Snoqualmie. East of downtown Seattle is a great place to spend some time. Snoqualmie is a town of 10,000 people that grew rapidly after I-90 went through it. It was once a lumbering center. Less than 30 miles from Seattle. Snoqualmie Falls plunges 268 feet over a basalt cliff into a chasm. Washington’s heavy rains keep it flowing almost year round. It is adjacent to a park, and a highly innovative power plant accompanies it. You have to drive to the Palouse to see a waterfall as impressive as Snoqualmie is. In the Southeastern part of this state is a remote state park with an equally impressive waterfall called Palouse, but it is way south of the town of Ritzville and difficult to get to. Seeing this waterfall near Seattle is far better and less taxing.
Within walking distance of Snoqualmie Falls is a lodge called The Salish. It is a prop-your-feet up-in-front-of-a-roaring-fire kind of place with a fine dining room. A stay in this lodge and a walk to the falls is highly recommended.
Cashmere. On this recent trip, Ruth and I had occasion to spend some time in a town called Cashmere. In apple country near the resort town of Leavenworth, Cashmere is in the Wenatchee Valley and is a family-oriented town named for a region in India, not for a sweater. It’s downtown has an inviting look and is strollable to the max. For attractions, its pioneer villager and museum doesn’t look so inviting but it’s a community asset kind of place with much to see. Time in Cashmere is time well spent.
Quincy. This is the kind of town that makes one wish he had more time to learn about it. I plan to go back and do just that. In the middle of Washington’s booming food production industry, Quincy is a town of about 7,500 people close to the center of this productive state. It’s Washington’s food capital and bustles with the creation of alfalfa, apples, corn. potatoes and wheat. If you are eating well it’s because of places like Quincy. Founded as a railroad camp in the late 19th century, Quincy today is all about feeding the nation. It has a cold, desert climate, and I didn’t even know it existed until I came to it.
Goldendale. This quiet town of about 4,000 people is not too far from the unusual Maryhill Museum and a major bridge across the Columbia River at the top of the Gorge. It’s major attraction is an observatory that allows visitors to investigate the night sky and a re-creation of Stonehenge nearby that makes a trip to England to see the original unnecessary.
Point Roberts. This unusual protrusion from Canada makes it necessary for its school-aged children living there to be bussed across an international border to attend schools in the United States. It resulted from a border settlement agreed to by the United States and Canada. Home to about 1,100 US citizens, it should have been in Canada but is indeed in the United States. While there, you feel like you’re in a foreign country.