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5 Destinations to Visit in Washington This Summer

For a getaway that's close to Seattle, head 45 miles southwest to the waterfront town of Gig Harbor. (Image: Marissa Pederson / Seattle Refined)

While many people head out of state to vacation in the summer, there’s no reason to when you live in Washington. From the solitude of the San Juan Islands to the hotter climate of central Washington, there’s somewhere to go no matter what type of vacation you’re looking for.

Long Beach
Long Beach calls itself the “Fun Beach,” and with 28 miles of coastline to explore, it’s no wonder why. Head down to the southwest corner of the state to build sandcastles, explore tidepools at Beard's Hollow, and collect seashells.

Tap into your active side by grabbing a kite to fly on the beach or discover the coast by going horseback riding. If you're feeling up to a hike, drive to Cape Disappointment State Park to explore a combined 12 miles of trails. You'll also have stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, Oregon, and an old lighthouse sitting on a cliff.

Winthrop
You’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time when you enter the town of Winthrop. Located in the North Cascades, there’s an old Western theme to the central part of this city. Take time to visit the free Shafer Museum to see how the town initially started in the 1800s and see original homes, businesses, and accessories like old bikes.

It's rumored that Three Fingered Jack's Saloon is Washington's oldest legal saloon, so stop by to see the swinging saloon doors and decide for yourself. For entertainment, check out the live music on the outdoor patio at Old Schoolhouse Brewery while trying the local beer. Children and adults alike will love playing a round of mini golf complete with getting a scoop of homemade ice cream at Sheri’s Sweet Shoppe afterward.

Orcas Island
For a relaxing getaway, head to the San Juan Islands to spend a weekend at Orcas Island. Outdoor lovers will enjoy camping at Moran State Park, which has five lakes and over 5,00 acres to explore. You can also go on the seven-mile hike up Mt. Constitution for beautiful views of the other islands and Canada.

Head to the central part of town in Eastsound to check out boutique shops, wine taste, and try local food. From June until the end of August, you can spend your Thursday evening walking around downtown to see and purchase arts and crafts by local artists. If you’re hoping to see Orca whales or other wildlife, join one of the whale watching tours offered on the island.

Gig Harbor
For a getaway that's close to Seattle, head 45 miles southwest to the waterfront town of Gig Harbor. It's hard not to love the small town feel, with friendly locals greeting you whether you're at the local health store or small coffee shop. Post up at one of the restaurants that's right on the harbor for a spectacular lunch.

If you want to get on the water, you can sign up for a sightseeing tour where you gawk at the waterfront homes and see what sea life comes out to play that day. You can also take a romantic gondola ride with a boat that came right from Italy.

Chelan
If warm weather and being in water is your idea of summer, you’ll love Chelan. Located east of the Cascade Mountains, this 55-mile lake has plenty of opportunities to jet-ski, take a boat out for a day, or just lounge on the beach. The lake is also stocked with hundreds of thousands of trout and salmon every year, so get your fishing license from a local hardware store and head out on the water to try your luck.

This area has over two dozen wineries, so sign up for a wine tasting tour or spend an afternoon at one with a view, such as Benson Winery. From Thursdays in May until October, the Evening Farmer's Market is the place to go for local cheese, fruit, vegetables, herbs, and more.

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