Washington State is a perfect vacation spot for the entire family. There is fun, adventure, and challenge for all ages. The recreational opportunities are endless, from sport fishing and whale watching to whitewater rafting and mountain climbing. The difference between the west and east is like night and day – divided by the Cascade Mountain Range. The diverse climate and environment offer a wide array of options for adventure and experiences.
Whale watching in Washington is popular in April through September around the northwest part of the state and the San Juan Islands. Charter boats escort visitor for a front row seat in watching these spectacular animals as they swim and jump through the water. Most excursions last three to four hours and orca whales, bald eagles, porpoises, seals, seagulls and sea lions can all be viewed in their natural environment.
An Orca Whale up close (The photo is courtesy of Maya's West Side Whale Watch Charters in San Juan Island, WA. Their website: www.mayaswhalewatch.biz )
Name any seafood, and you just might capture it in Washington. The Pacific Northwest is decorated with an ocean, as well as many rivers and lakes (all of which provide tasty treats!) Charter boats take thousands of visitors each year out into the rivers and ocean in hunt of salmon, sturgeon and other seafood. The beaches are open during certain times of the year for clam digging, and tourists may visit oyster and mussel farms.
Returning from a sturgeon fishing trip (The photo is courtesy of Coho Charters in Ilwaco, WA. Their website: http://www.cohocharters.com/ )
In May of 1980 Mount St. Helens awoke and sent a rumble of ash and smoke all over the state. While it is not the only volcano in the state, it is the only one currently active. Mountain climbers are still allowed to adventure up, but they are reminded that it is an active volcano and eruption can occur at any time. Entry into the crater is strictly prohibited; however, an observatory was built at Johnson Ridge for visitors to sneak a peek inside the crater.
In making their way to the Pacific Ocean, Meriwether Lewis and William Clark lead one the most successful explorations in American history. From east to west the trail is marked with state parks, historical markers and an interpretive center located at the Cape Disappointment State Park. The center is open year round and hosts a series of mural-sized "timeline" panels that guide visitors through the westward journey.