This past July, we flew to Seattle, Washington to photograph a wedding and visit some new friends. We had no idea about the beauty that would await us. From the moment we stepped off the plane, our souls felt deeply connected to the Earth. To say that it has become our happy place would be an understatement. Washington state offers some of the most truly surreal scenery you can visit in the country. Today we want to share our top 3 places you should visit in Washington state before you die.
The Snoqualmie Falls are one of Washington state’s most popular outdoor attractions. Located off the 1-90, it’s about a 45 minute drive from Downtown Seattle. Once you stand before the raging 270 foot majestic waterfall, you will easily understand why! From the observation deck, you can feel a light mist hit your face from the falls.
During the summer, many people head to the bottom of the falls to the river area where you can swim, sunbathe or even enjoy a picnic on the rocks. If you’re lucky, there sometimes is an ice cream stand set up on the main road! Grab a cone and head down to enjoy the view…
Too rainy to be outside? Now worries! Make a reservation at The Salish Lodge & Spa for breakfast in the morning. The four course meal they serve you will leave you absolutely satisfied (especially their famous pancakes). The lodge would be an excellent home base for a weekend of hiking, fly fishing and escaping the city life. We personally would love to photograph a wedding there!
Visiting the Salish Lodge & Spa in the afternoon? Enjoy a glass of chardonnay while you appreciate the stunning view from the window. Overall, the Snoqualmie Falls is a totally surreal place to visit in Washington state before you die.
Mt. Rainier National Park
With only a day to explore, we rented a mustang from Enterprise and made the trek to Mt. Rainier National Park. The beautifully scenic drive down from Seattle was about 2 and a half hours with traffic. The Mustang rental was super comfortable and fun to drive! Once we arrived at the entrance to the park, we paid a $25 fee for a seven day pass.
Both Josh and I gasped as Mt. Rainier came into view. The photo below doesn’t even begin to demonstrate the grandeur of the park. You have to see it for yourself in person to truly experience everything it has to offer.
Being right off the Mount Rainier Highway, the Narada Falls are one of the easiest waterfalls to access in the National Park. It drops down into two tiers, with the upper tier being about 168 feet high. The hiking trail takes you across the top of the waterfall, then further down to the bottom tier. If you catch the light just right, you can sometimes see a rainbow reflecting off the rocks.
Despite the short hiking trail, it is a very steep decline and may leave you panting if you aren’t in shape. However, we promise you the view of this majestic waterfall will be worth your effort!
By the time we were done hiking the Narada Falls Trail, we were already beginning to lose light. However, when we return for another visit, we’d love to visit the below locations :
This signature view of the lower falls is one that we really wanted to see, but just didn’t have the time! It is definitely still on our bucket list for our next visit to Washington. The falls drop 69 feet nad is easily accessible from the upper parking lot.
Image by Adobe Stock.com
We would also love to see the Grove of the Patriarchs, Paradise, Nisqually Vista Trail, Bloucher Falls and Comet Falls! To see everything in the Mt. Rainier National Park, you would need to spend at least 2-3 days there.
Josh and I knew we definitely wanted to venture out of Seattle and do something outdoorsy with our friends Melissa and Andrew. In the North Cascade mountains, a reservoir created by the Diablo Dam resides – Diablo Lake. The water is literally turquoise! The surrounding glaciers send a fine powder into the lakes creating the turquoise hue in the water. It reminded us a lot of Banff, Canada – we couldn’t believe the color of the water!
We had hopes of renting kayaks, but sadly found out there were no vendors on the lake, and you have to bring your own. It was still worth the drive, and we ended up camping at Goodell Creek for the night.
Have you ever visited one of these surreal locations in Washington?