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Travel Tips for Washington Nature Lovers: 7 Places to Visit on Next Outdoor Adventure

By    |   Tuesday, 13 Jan 2015 03:16 PM

From the high mountains of the Cascade Range, the coast to the west and the deserts of Eastern Washington, to the rainforests and alpine meadows, the Evergreen State has a host of scenic outdoor adventures for nature lovers. Visitors should always check with venue operators for updated location information and any seasonal travel tips.

Here are seven destinations for nature lovers.

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1. Hoh Rainforest: This area located inside Olympic National Park is one of the largest rainforests in the United States. One travel tip for nature lovers visiting the forest is to make sure to dress for the weather — during the winter, 140 to 170 inches of rainfall is common. It is this rain that creates "a lush, green canopy of both coniferous and deciduous species." In addition to a visitor center, outdoor adventures including year-round camping and three hiking trails.

2. Snoqualmie Valley Trail: Nature lovers will enjoy the 31.5 miles of trail that "meanders past working farms as well as preserved open space areas, and connects to the cross-state John Wayne Pioneer Trail in Iron Horse State Park. Points of interest include Tolt-MacDonald Park, Meadowbrook Farm, Three Forks Natural Area and the Tokul Trestle." Travel tip: Because of the crushed rock surface of the trail, it's not recommended for those who aren't surefooted.

3. Japanese Garden: Located within the Washington Park Arboretum, this nature lover's paradise offers 3.5 acres of formal gardens designed by "world-renowned Japanese garden designer Juki Iida in 1960." Travel tip: "Garden closing times are subject to weather, available light, and impacts of daylight savings time." In addition, some of the trail surfaces, bridges and small paths are not wheelchair or walker friendly.

4. Whale watching: With more than 20 different tour companies offering whale watching opportunities, outdoor adventure of the marine kind is readily available in Washington. While some of these operations focus on the overall experience including comfort and dining, others are more hardcore in that they focus on making sure their patrons see whales. Traveler tip: If there's a certain type of whale you'd like to see, check to see the best time of year to view them in the area.

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5. Mount Rainier: This impressive active volcano has a summit elevation of 14,411 feet and provides hiking, camping, snowshoeing, horseback riding and much more for nature lovers looking for outdoor adventure. Travel tip: Always check road and park conditions before traveling to the mountain as weather and road closures can affect visitors.

6. Port Townsend: According to The Seattle Times, Port Townsend is the place for sailing, kayaking, rowing, and boating fanatics. "Because we're right on the Strait (of Juan de Fuca) there's almost always wind in Port Townsend so sailors love it," says Ted Pike, longtime sailor and past president of both the Port Townsend Sailing Association and the Wooden Boat Foundation."

7. Winthrop, Washington: This town, located in Okanogan County, offers both summer and winter outdoor adventures for nature lovers. From hot air balloon rides, biking, birding, camping, and hiking to cross-country and downhill skiing, sledding, and "fat biking," visitors are never lacking for outdoor activities. In addition, the town offers a local arts and culture scene, farmers markets, and family fun including "the Winthrop Balloon Festival, Rhythm and Blues Festival, the Methow Valley Rodeo, the Methow Valley Chamber Music Festival, Vintage Wheels Show, and Christmas at the End of the Road."

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From the high mountains of the Cascade Range, the coast to the west and the deserts of Eastern Washington, to the rainforests and alpine meadows, the Evergreen State has a host of scenic outdoor adventures for nature lovers.
travel, tips, washington, nature, outdoors
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2015-16-13
Tuesday, 13 Jan 2015 03:16 PM
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