Washington Cascade Mountains and Valleys: Places to Explore


  • Arlington

    Adorable Arlington, as picturesque as early Americana can be, is surrounded by pastures, woods, and the rich farmlands of the Stillaguamish River plain. On sunny days the skies above the local airfield... Read more

  • Ashford

    Adjacent to the Nisqually (Longmire) entrance to Mount Rainier National Park, it's hardly surprising that Ashford draws around 2 million visitors every year. Long a transit route for local aboriginal tribes... Read more

  • Bellingham

    The fishing port and college community of Bellingham is transforming itself from a grungy blue-collar area to the arts, retirement, and pleasure-boating capital of Washington's northwest corner. Downtown... Read more

  • Bremerton

    Nearly surrounded by water, and with one of the largest navy bases on the West Coast, Bremerton is a workaday city of about 30,000 with several attractions that center on the waterfront and its gardens... Read more

  • Centralia

    Centralia (sen-trail-ya) was founded by George Washington, a freed slave from Virginia, who faced serious discrimination in several states and territories before settling here in 1852. The town has a well-maintained... Read more

  • Edmonds

    This charming, somewhat suburban small city just north of Seattle has a waterfront lined by more than a mile of boutiques and restaurants, seaside parks and attractions, and a string of broad, windswept... Read more

  • Everett

    Much of this industrial town, the county seat of suburban Snohomish County, sits high on a bluff above Port Gardner Bay and the Snohomish River. The waterfront was once lined by so many lumber, pulp, and... Read more

  • Ferndale

    On the Nooksack River and amid dairy farms, Ferndale is a pleasant town that has burst its seams in recent years as urban sprawl arrived. It has the best views of Mt. Baker in the county.... Read more

  • Gig Harbor

    One of the most picturesque and accessible waterfront cities on Puget Sound, Gig Harbor has a neat, circular bay dotted with sailboats and fronted by hills of evergreens and million-dollar homes. Expect... Read more

  • La Conner

    Morris Graves, Kenneth Callahan, Guy Anderson, Mark Tobey, and other painters set up shop in La Conner in the 1940s, and the village on the Swinomish Channel (Slough) has been a haven for artists ever... Read more

  • Mossyrock

    Another great "outdoors" destination, with opportunities for camping, fishing and boating in abundance, Mossyrock is a charming small town with two lakefront parks. The large lakes—Riffe and Mayfield—were... Read more

  • Mount Vernon

    This attractive riverfront town is the county seat of Skagit County and was founded in 1871. After a giant logjam on the lower Skagit was cleared, steamers began churning up the river, and Mount Vernon... Read more

  • North Bend

    This small town gets its name from a bend in the Snoqualmie River, which here turns toward Canada. The gorgeous surrounding scenery is dominated by 4,420-foot Mt. Washington, 4,788-foot Mt. Tenerife, and... Read more

  • Olympia

    Olympia has been the capital of Washington since 1853, the beginning of city and state. It is small for the capital city of a major state, but that makes it all the more pleasant to visit. The old and... Read more

  • Packwood

    Its location, between Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens, makes this delightful mountain village on U.S. 12 an attractive destination for those who plan to explore the nearby wilderness areas.... Read more

  • Port Gamble

    Residents from the opposite side of America founded Port Gamble around a sawmill in 1853; hence its New England-style architecture mimicking founder Capt. William Talbot's hometown of East Machias, Maine... Read more

  • Poulsbo

    Velkommen til Poulsbo (pauls-bo), a charming village on lovely Liberty Bay. Soon after it was settled by Norwegians in the 1880s, shops and bakeries sprang up along Front Street, as did a cod-drying facility... Read more

  • Puyallup

    Set before the towering forests and snowfields of Mt. Rainier is Puyallup (pyoo-al-lup), one of western Washington's oldest towns. The Puyallup Fair attracts all of western Washington to its carnival rides... Read more

  • Snohomish

    Snohomish arose in 1859 in typical Northwest fashion: around a shack in the woods. When E.C. Ferguson transported his Steilacoom mansion here, through the sound and upriver, it was reassembled as the town's... Read more

  • Snoqualmie

    Spring and summer snowmelt turn the Snoqualmie (sno-qual-mie) River into a thundering torrent at Snoqualmie Falls, the sweeping cascades that provided the backdrop for the Twin Peaks opening montage. The... Read more

  • Tacoma

    After decades of decline, Tacoma has been steadily undergoing a renaissance in recent years, with development around the waterfront and in other parts of downtown showing the greatest progress—a number... Read more