Why is Washington famous? – travel drafts (2023)

Microsft, Amazon and all the rain are things we instantly associate with Washington State, but on top of that,what is washington known for?

Located in the northwestUNITED STATES, Washington shares internal borders with Oregon to the south, Idaho to the east, and an international border withCanada(British Columbia) to the north. It is the 18th largest state and the 13th most populous.

Nicknamed the Evergreen State due to its many evergreen forests and trees, Washington was named after President George Washington. In 1889, Washington became the 42nd state to join the union. For obvious reasons, it is often confused with Washington, DC, the capital of the United States.

But here we will only explorewhat is Washington state famous for?

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17 things Washington is known for


It's odd that the first thing on this list is rain in a state famous for so many products, landmarks, businesses, and cultural traits. However, it's usually the first thing that comes to mind when you ask people, "what is Washington known for?" »

Average annual precipitation in Washington varies within the state, ranging from 70 to 100 inches on the coast to over 150 inches of rain on the mountain slopes.

So, it rains a lot in Washington State - and people don't forget it! However, Washington is not even the rainiest state, i.e.Hawaii. Moreover, Seattle is far from being the rainiest city. Each year, it rains less in Seattle than in Boston,Massachusetts, ou NYC,New York.

The thing is, most precipitation in Seattle and the state is a drizzle or light rain that occurs about 150 days a year. So it may not be a heavy rain, but it rains almost every other day!


What is Washington famous for producing? Apples are a standard answer! Besides having large amounts of apples, they are notoriously sweet and succulent.

Washington State is the largest apple producer in the United States, producing about 60% of the total apples consumed in America. Other major producers include California, New York and Michigan.

Washington's fertile soils and mild climate are excellent for growing a variety of apples, including Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith.

More than 175,000 acres of land are used to grow apples in Washington, making apples the state's most important agricultural product. In total, about 10 to 12 billion apples are grown in Washington each year.

Pourquoi Washington est-il connu ? – brouillons de voyage (1)


Starbucks is a world famous brand and the leader in coffee sales in the world. But did you know that the first Starbucks opened in Washington? More specifically, inPike Place Market, Seattle, in 1971.

Even more interesting, the same Starbucks cafe with vintage chairs and signs is still open to the public. It's a lovely cafe with a story, but it's usually crowded with tourists wanting to see how it all started.

Going to a Starbucks is more than just having your coffee - it's an experience that has changed the way people drink their coffee.

They introduced a wider variety of coffee experiences to America, serving hot and cold beverages, differentiating coffee origins and offering a wide range of micro ground instant coffee, espresso, caffe latte, full, frappuccinos and many more. others.

Today (2023), Starbucks has over 35,000 stores in 83 countries, employing over 400,000 people. In the United States, Starbucks has approximately 9,000 licensed and company-operated locations.

From Pike Place to Seattle, it has grown into a huge business and one of the symbols of Washington State.

Pourquoi Washington est-il connu ? – brouillons de voyage (2)


As big as Starbucks is, it's quite small compared to Amazon, another famous Washington company.

Founded by Jeff Bezos in Bellevue in 1994, Amazon began as an online marketplace for books but has grown to become one of the largest companies in the world.

Amazon is most famous for its online store, which sells practically everything and is therefore called "the store of everything". However, today it is much more than that and has subsidiaries in cloud computing, autonomous vehicles, satellite internet, hardware, streaming, websites and even Whole Foods Market.

How giant is Amazon? In 2021, it generated nearly $470 billion in revenue and had about 1.5 million employees (nearly 1 million in the United States).

Along with Microsoft, Facebook, Apple and Google, Amazon is considered one of America's Big Five technology companies. Of course, this is one ofmost influential economic and cultural forcesglobally and one of the most valuable brands.


Besides Amazon, Microsoft is also headquartered in Washington. And who hasn't heard of Microsoft and used many of its products?

Although Microsoft was not originally created in Washington, but inNew Mexicoin 1975. In 1979 moved to Washington and in 1986 to the campus of Redmond, where they are today.

Microsft Redmond Campus is huge, occupying 8 million square feet (740,000 m2) of office space and has over 50,000 employees.

During the 1980s, Microsoft grew exponentially, rising to dominate the personal computer operating system with Ms-DOS and Windows. Today it is a much more diverse company offering many products and services such as LinkedIn, Skype, Microsft Surface, etc.

It is estimated that since its IPO in 1986, Microsoft has been responsible for creating 3 billionaires (Bill Gates is the most famous) and 12,000 millionaires with employees included.

In 2022, Microsft was considered the fourth highest global brand by valuation. As Amazon was No. 2, Washington State is the headquarters oftwo of the four most valuable brands in the world.

Aerospace industry

The aerospace industry is another major contributor to Washington's economy. It generates millions of dollars and is responsible for thousands of jobs in the state and exports services and products around the world.

Boeing is the most famous name in the industry, as it is one of the largest aerospace companies in the world (second only to Aerobus). Boeing's Everett factory produces many famous airplanes, such as the 747, 767, 777, and 787.

However, there are more aerospace companies, such as Blue Origin (founded by Amazon's Jeff Bezons), Aerojet Rocketdyne, and several R&D centers for the US military and NASA.

Washington's aerospace industry is crucial to the state and the United States, as it is vital to the development of new technologies, global communications, and national security.

Pourquoi Washington est-il connu ? – brouillons de voyage (3)

rich and liberal

With so many large corporations employing so many people, Washington is expected to be known to be wealthy as well. In fact, it is the state with the third GDP per capita, only behind (but very close)New YorketMassachusetts.

The state's strong economy, famous businesses, and wealth attract young, educated, and talented people who tend to be more liberal.

Thus, the state is also renowned for being one of the most liberal in the United States, especially in the urban areas around Seattle. Thus, Washington is generally home to progressive politics and environmental and social activism.

Nevertheless, we must note that the state is diverse. There are many conservative rural areas and a few less wealthy regions.

grunge music

Why is Washington famous? The grunge movement is one of the first things that comes to mind, especially for music lovers.

The grunge music and movement exploded in the 1980s in Washington State, particularly in Seattle and surrounding towns. It emerged as a bridge between hard rock and post-post punk rock, incorporating indie rock influences as well.

Grunge music uses elements of punk rock, heavy metal, and indie rock, with distorted sounds of electric guitar, bass guitar, drums, and vocals.

The lyrics of grunge music are typically dark and address themes ranging from self-doubt and social alienation to aggression, betrayal, and trauma. Often also the desire for freedom and escape.

Some of the most famous grunge bands include Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Sound Garden, Alice in Chains and the Stone Temple Pilots.

Columbia River

The Columbia River is the largest in the Pacific Northwest region. Flowing from the Rocky Mountains in British Columbia, Canada to Washington and then to the Pacific Ocean, the Columbia River stretches 1,243 miles (about 2,000 km).

For the last hundred miles, the Columbia River forms most of the border between Washington and Oregon. Besides being a long river, it is also the 4th largest river in the United States by river flow and the largest North American that drains into the Pacific.

The river and its tributaries are central to Washington's culture and economy. It has been used for transportation since pre-Columbian times, connecting people and facilitating trade.

The construction of several dams further increased the importance of the river, allowing better flood control, navigation, irrigation and electricity generation. The Columbia River hydroelectric dams contribute nearly half of the hydroelectric power generated in the United States.

Pourquoi Washington est-il connu ? – brouillons de voyage (4)

Olympic National Park

Located on the Olympic Peninsula, Olympic National Park is one of the most popular and well-known parks in the United States. It's understandably one of the most famous things about Washington, offering visitors a variety of experiences and activities, from hiking through ancient forests to exploring tidal pools along the coast.

The Olympic Park is well known for its diversity of ecosystems and landscapes with four major regions, the rugged Pacific coast, the alpine areas, the temperate rainforest and the drier forest on the eastern side.

UNESCO designated Olympic National Park as an International Biosphere Reserve in 1976 and a World Heritage Site in 1981, testifying to the ecological and cultural significance of the park.

The park's proximity to two major metropolises, Seattle and Portland, makes it one of the most popular and accessible wilderness areas in the United States.

Pourquoi Washington est-il connu ? – brouillons de voyage (5)

Mont Rainier

Rising to more than 14,000 feet, Mount Rainier is the highest point in Washington and one of the mostawe-inspiring natural wonders in the United States.

Mount Rainier is part of the Cascade Range and is an active volcano. Although it hasn't erupted in over 150 years and hasn't had a major eruption in over 500 years, it is considered one of the most dangerous in the United States due to its great height, frequent earthquakes, active hydrothermal system and vast glacial mantle.

As one of Washington's main features, Mount Rainier is a top destination for outdoor enthusiasts. The area around the mountain is popular for hiking, camping, backpacking, and rock climbing. In winter it is also popular for snowshoeing, skiing and snowboarding.

Mount Rainier is also an iconic image of Washington due to its scenic beauty. Its snow-capped summit is the most heavily glaciated of the lower 48 states. As it is visible from many places across the state, making it one of the most famous natural landmarks in the state.

Pourquoi Washington est-il connu ? – brouillons de voyage (6)

Volcanoes and the Cascade Range

Mount Rainier may be the most famous, but it's far from the only volcano in Washington state. But, there are five active volcanoes in Washington, Mt. Baker, Glacier Peak, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Adams, and Mt. St. Helens. Plus a few other inactive ones.

The Cascade Range is a volcanic chain of volcanoes that stretches from British Columbia,Canada,in the state ofCalifornia. With more than 700 miles, it crosses Oregon and Washington.

Along with California, Washington is the only state of the 48 contiguous states to have experienced a volcanic eruption in the past 250 years.

The Cascade Range and its volcanoes are one of the state's most prominent features and an essential part of its geology and natural history. Plus, as mentioned above, they are also incredibly popular as an outdoor recreation area.

Pourquoi Washington est-il connu ? – brouillons de voyage (7)

space needle

The Space Needle is Seattle's most iconic landmark and one of the most famous in Washington State. This observation tower was built for the 1962 World's Fair in the Lower Queen Anne Quarter.

Once the tallest structure west of the Mississippi, the Space Needle is not particularly tall compared to today's buildings. At 184 meters (650 feet), it is no longer Seattle's tallest. But it's the most famous, appearing in multiple movies, TV series and even logos, as a symbol of the city.

From the 160-meter-high observation deck, one can see downtown Seattle, Olympic National Park, the Cascade Mountains, Mount Rainier and Mount Bakes, and even Puget Sound.

Pourquoi Washington est-il connu ? – brouillons de voyage (8)

Evergreen forests

Another thing Washington is known for is its evergreen forests and parks. According to the USDA, more than half of the state's land area is covered in public and private forests.

The entire region where Washington State is located is famous for being one of the largest temperate rainforest systems in the world. Characterized by high rainfall, fertile soils and a mild climate, it is a paradise of trees and lush vegetation.

Some of these trees are huge, reaching over 300 feet tall and living for hundreds of years. Some of the most famous species include Douglas Firs, Western Hemlocks, and Red Cedars.

Evergreen forests are an iconic part of the state's natural heritage, which is why the state is also at the forefront of sustainable and responsible forest management.

Pourquoi Washington est-il connu ? – brouillons de voyage (9)


Washington's trees and forests are also crucial to the state's economy, as lumber is one of the state's best-known products.

The logging industry has been central to Washington's economy since its inception. The region's abundant forests fueled the westward expansion of the United States, which is still the state's third-largest manufacturing industry.

The timber industry provides thousands of jobs and generates millions in revenue every year. However, the forest management is thoughtful and considered one of the best in the world, as it guarantees the preservation of this essential resource for the future.

Orcas and whales

Whales are one of the most fascinating and intriguing animals in the world. Washington is famous for being home to several species of whales and other marine animals, but especially for the unique orcas, also known as killer whales.

Although orcas are technically not whales, the similarity and size make people associate them. Killer whales are the largest dolphin species, weighing over 10,000 pounds and reaching up to 30 feet. They are APEX predators and majestic animals.

One of the most popular things to do in Washington is to go on whale watching tours, usually in Puget Sound. These tours will allow you to see orcas and learn more about their life and fun facts, but it is also possible to see gray whales, humpback whales and sea lions.

Washington Fun Facts

From breathtaking natural wonders to unique documents and facts, Washington is truly one of a kind. And many of these fun facts about Washington are recognized around the world, which only adds to the state's popularity and recognition. So, let's dive into some of the most interesting and well-known facts about this beautiful state.

  • Washington has more than 3,000 glaciers. Outside of Alaska, it is the state with the most glaciers in the union.
  • The Grand Coulee Dam in Washington State is the largest hydroelectric generator in the United States, providing electricity to more than 2 million homes.
  • The flag of Washington is the only green flag of the American states.
  • The first general strike in the United States took place in Seattle in 1919 and lasted 5 days.
  • Seattle was also the city where there were bike cops.
  • The lunar rover was built at Boeing's Everett factory in Washington.
  • Washington is the only state named after a president.
  • Dungeness Spit is the longest natural spit in the United States.
  • Washington is one of seven states that does not levy personal income tax.
  • The Ginkgo Petrified Forest is one of the largest petrified forests in the world.
  • Besides apples, Washington is also a major producer of red raspberries, hops, sweet cherries, pears, Concord grapes, and Niagara grapes.

We also read that there is a law stating: “It is mandatory for a motorist with criminal intent to stop at the city limits and telephone the chief of police when entering the city. But that can't be true, can it?

Do you want to know more about each of the American states?

Click in the state you want to know better!


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Washington was named after President George Washington by an act of the United States Congress during the creation of Washington Territory in 1853; the territory was to be named "Columbia", for the Columbia River and the Columbia District, but Kentucky representative Richard H. Stanton found the name too similar to the ...


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