Settled by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1845, scenic, nautical Friday Harbor is about 100 miles north west of Seattle, and as the crow flies, about 15 miles east of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. It the hub of the San Juan Islands Archipelago and sits in a breathtaking setting on the eastern shore of San Juan Island.
Tucked on the northern end of northwestern Washington's Whidbey Island, Oak Harbor is a waterfront town about two hours north of Seattle. The rocky cliffs of Deception Pass and the Deception Pass Bridge are minutes away. Naval Air Station Whidbey Island is just outside of town.
Spread across the Point Brown Peninsula on Washington's scenic mid-coast, this salty Gray's Harbor town was once a cattle ranch and then a favorite destination for Hollywood jet setters. It had a rough time in the 1970s and 1980s, but it has grown by nearly 50% in the last ten years.
Nestled in heart-stopping scenery at the southern end of beautiful Puget Sound, laid back Olympia is Washington's capital city and is about an hour south of Seattle and 20 minutes west of U.S. Joint Base Lewis-McChord, a training and mobilization base for the Army and Air Force.
Tucked amid lavendar farms on the scenic Olympic Peninsula, Sequim is quiet, safe and relaxed. It is a great retirement spot!
In a pretty region, welcoming Walla Walla is known for its quaint downtown, wine culture and gentle ambiance. It is a great retirement spot!
East of the Cascades, picturesque Wenatchee is surrounded by mountains, rivers and apple orchards. While outdoor recreation abounds, cultural amenities are in good supply, too.
Washington was the 42nd state to enter the union on November 11, 1889. The initial state constitution proposed women's suffrage and prohibition. Both ideas were removed from the final document. Women did not gain the right to vote in the Evergreen State until 1910.
The country's 18th largest state has six distinct geographic areas. The northwest corner contains the rugged Olympic Mountains. The Coast Range, in Washington's southwest corner, include the Willapa Hills. The Rocky Mountains and Cascade Mountains also cut through the state. The Columbia Plateau has fertile land. A large portion of the population lives in the Puget Sound Lowlands. Ports like Anacortes and Skagit have helped the state maintain its role as a leader in trade.
West of the Cascades, the climate can be mild and humid. Washingtonians east of the Cascades may experience warmer summers and cooler winters. Annual precipitation there can be as little as six inches. Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are a rarity, but coastal flooding, freezing rain, and high winds are possibilities.
Pacific Rim commerce is a major economic driver. Other key businesses are the manufacture of jet aircraft, computer software development, online retailing, mining, tourism, and wood products. Washington contributes red raspberries, apples, and hops to the nation's food basket. It leads the country in hydro-electric power generation.
Washington is the only state in the Union to be named after a president. It's highest point, Mt. Ranier, was named after a British soldier who fought against America in the Revolutionary War.
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