The drive between Spokane and Seattle is usually just a little over 4 hours, but the drive is packed with vastly different kinds of scenery, as well as numerous worthwhile stops that will help break up your drive.
With over 1.5 million tourists flocking to the area each year, Snoqualmie Falls has become one of Washington’s most popular tourist attractions. The main attraction is the 270 foot tall waterfalls that are only a 10-minute detour from the I-90 freeway. Viewers can get great views of the majestic falls from two separate observation decks, check their website before you go to make sure the observation decks are open to tourists.
There are plenty of other attractions surrounding the falls, such as a gift shop, a 2-acre park, numerous trails, and even a candy factory & cafe. If you’re looking to try your luck you can go just down the road to the very popular Snoqualmie Casino where they have 54 game tables and over 1700 slot machines.
Visit the town of Leavenworth
Leavenworth combines a fascinating history with entertainment and european flavor for a one of a kind experience in the inland northwest. An old logging town that ran into trouble in the 1930’s when the railway was rerouted out of town, town leaders of Leavenworth decided in 1960 that they needed to take action to save their beloved town from being deserted. They looked at the surrounding nature and came to the conclusion that it looked nearly identical to Bavaria, so they decided to makeover the town to fit it’s surroundings.
Since the makeover, this little town has become a top tourist destination and now attracts 1 million tourists every year. They host numerous festivals such as the Autumn Leaf Festival, Maifest, and Christmas Lighting Festivals. If you aren’t passing through during one of these festivals there is still nearly endless of unique dining, activities, and amenities that blend northwest and bavarian cultures like nowhere else in the world.
Soap Lake is an unassuming but fascinating lake that is a must stop if you are into mineral baths and the healing power of nature. The lake isn’t just another body of water with some minerals in it, Soap Lake is known to have the most diverse mineral content of any body of water on earth. The lake was originally carved out from ancient floods, and after thousands of years of ground water leaching through nearby basalt cliffs, the lake is saturated with minerals such as sulfate, carbonate, bicarbonate, sodium, and chloride. The lake is known to have a pH level at or close to 10.0. Another fascinating tidbit is that the lakes water is stratified into layers that don’t mix, and have never mixed throughout its history. Locals and visitors alike have claimed for centuries that the lake leaves their skin feeling soft and smooth, as well as relieving various aches and pains throughout the body.
The Gorge Amphitheatre
When it comes to live music in the northwest United States, The Gorge Amphitheatre is difficult to top. Tucked into the banks of the Columbia River, this venue offers visitors a place to soak in some rays while listening to various genres of music. The real treat is watching the sun slowly drop down behind the stage and behind the Columbia River for one of the better sunsets you will ever see.
Hike in the Cascade Mountains
It’s hard not to be blown away by the Cascade Mountains, especially if you’re traveling west from Spokane where the landscape is relatively barren and flat. Seeing them is one thing, but hiking into the mountains is a whole nother experience. Whether you want to stop for a quick hike to stretch the legs or go on a full-day hike, there is something for everyone. You can find an extensive list of trails here, but some of our top recommendations include, Annette Lake Trail, Talapus Lake Trail, and Margaret Lake Trail.
Looking for more exciting things to do on your trip to Washington, check out our website for other great suggestions!
Saurabh Chatterjee, CC BY 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons