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Water has always played a significant role in the settlement, commerce, and recreation of Washington. Rivers and streams meander across the landscape, peaceful lakes provide prime spots for fishing and swimming, dramatic waterfalls thunder over cliffs, and the constant ebb and flow of the tides lap at the state’s western shores. Long before the arrival of roads and railways, the rivers, streams, and water passages served as the transportation network within the area. Canoes, sailing ships, steamships, tugs, fishing boats, and even military ships have graced the waters of Washington. Many communities were built along the water, to take advantage of its rich harvest. Shipbuilding companies, canneries, fisheries, dams, and lighthouses represent the Evergreen State’s intrinsic connection to the water.

Seattle to Olympia

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.

San Juan Islands

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.

Maryhill Junction to Vancouver

Beginning among brown, treeless hillsides, the Lewis and Clark Highway threads downstream along the Columbia River through a deep and spectacular gorge which, laying open a cross section of the otherwise unbroken 2,000-mile Cascade-Sierra mountain chain, separates the states of Washington and Oregon.