The tour crosses through rich agricultural lands along the flats and deltas of the Skagit, the Stillaguamish, and the Snohomish Rivers, which with their tributaries reach back through many miles of rolling land and wooded foothill to the Cascade Mountains.
Washington became a U.S. Territory in 1853, achieving statehood in 1889. Like other Pacific Northwest states, architecture in the Evergreen State has a more recent history with the oldest buildings dating from the 1850s. As the state grew in population, with settlements giving way to cities and homestead claims evolving into farmsteads, its architecture began to take shape. The three largest cities—Seattle, Spokane, and Tacoma—showcase the tallest buildings in the state as well as architecture from a variety of time periods. Historic downtown corridors (and courthouses in county seats) anchor many of the state’s smaller communities, and often continue to relate to the industries and landscape that first defined the community.
This section of the Pacific Highway lies through Washington’s State Capital and some of its largest cities. Skirting the bays of lower Puget Sound, the tour passes through the State’s most densely populated and most highly industrialized area, yet woodland stretches and thinly settled fanning districts are met with just outside these centers.
The tour follows the highway, lined with service stations, taverns, lunch counters, tourist camps, and billboards. It cuts through a prairie and winds around low hills before entering the Chehalis and Newaukum river valleys as it winds on to Mary’s Corner.
This tour follows the Yakima River through both narrow, rugged and expansive agricultural valleys as the river shaped the area’s development patterns. The tour climbs the Horse Heaven hills between the Yakima River Valley and the Columbia River Gorge.
This section of US 195, known as the Inland Empire, or Palouse Highway, traverses one of the most fertile farming areas in the United States. Practically the entire route runs through rolling hills, treeless except for clumps of willow and brush along the creeks and in the swampy lowlands.
The northern section of the route winds through sparsely settled foothill country cut by small streams, dotted with lakes, and interspersed with prairies and shallow valleys. A hundred years ago these hills were covered with open forests of lodgepole and ponderosa pine, tamarack, and fir; the prairies were unbroken expanses of bunch grass; and the watercourses ran full and clear.
This tour follows the San Juan Islands Scenic Byway. Follow the historic canoe route of the Coast Salish people aboard Washington State Ferries from Anacortes to the beautiful San Juan Islands. Once there, the Islands are easily accessible by multiple modes—walking, bicycling, transit, automobile, and even by kayak.
The tour follows the Pacific Coast Scenic Byway as it skirts the many-fingered upper reaches of Puget Sound, and then cuts across to Hood Canal, which it follows to Quimper Peninsula. Swinging in a westerly direction, the route roughly parallels Juan de Fuca Strait then turns to the south following the Pacific Coast.
This tour roughly follows the north/south route of the old Pacific Highway, SR 99. Today, many parts of the old highway still exist, and long sections of this historic route can be driven from the Canadian border to Vancouver.
The tour crosses the state between Maryhill and the Canadian Border passing sacred sites of Native American Tribes, as well as former gold camps, sawmills, and cattle ranches. The north portion follows the Okanogan Trails Scenic Byway.
The tour traverses two distinctly contrasting regions, different in topography, vegetation, climate, economy, and cultural development, but held together by a common dependence upon Spokane, the hub city of the Inland Empire. The southern portion follows parts of the Palouse Scenic Byway.
Travel through the jagged glaciated peaks of the North Cascade Mountains between the lower Skagit and Methow valleys. The tour winds through rich agricultural lands, dense forests and alpine mountain passes along the North Cascades Scenic Byway.
This tour crosses Snoqualmie Pass, traveling from rugged mountains to the shore of Puget Sound along the Mountains to Sound Greenway. This tour offers multiple side trips extending out to explore the national forests and rich lowland farming communities.
A constantly varying panorama unfolds on the cross-state route between the Idaho Line and Seattle, from Eastern Washington’s fields and orchards, ancient lava flow outcroppings, and powerful hydroelectric history, crossing the mountains of the Cascade Range to Western Washington’s forests, lakes, and populous Puget Sound communities.
Like the verdant crest of a young mountain, Vashon Island stretches for 14 miles along the west shore of the Sound, midway between Seattle and Tacoma, its fertile heights, above the timbered slopes, dotted with orchards and fields.