Washington state boasts some of the most beautiful natural scenery in the country. Visitors flock to Seattle and enjoy the mild weather while exploring outdoor marketplaces. In 1889, the Evergreen State was the 42nd state added to the union. It is the only state that is named for a United States President—George Washington. But there’s lots more to this northern state than you might know. Here are 8 things that set it apart from the other 49 states in the country.
1. Apples—lots and lots of apples
It may come as no surprise that Washington state is the apple capital of the country—producing more apples than any other state. Apple season in Washington starts in mid-August and lasts well into autumn. But did you know that every year, over 100 million boxes of apples are harvested in Washington, and each of those boxes holds 40 pounds of apples? Every apple from Washington is hand-picked because there is no apple-harvesting machine. The state produces nine different varieties of apples—Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Braebrun, Honeycrisp, Cameo, and Cripps Pink. Which is your favorite?
Washington state is home to more than 3,000 different glaciers. This makes it the most glaciated state in the 49 lower states. Boston Glacier in North Cascades National Park is a mile long and almost 3.5 miles wide.
3. Coffee—lots of coffee
Washington is the coffee capital of the United States. People in Seattle consume more coffee than in any other American city. There are approximately 35 coffee shops per 100,000 residents in Seattle. The legendary Starbucks Coffee was founded in Seattle in 1971. Washington state is home to more coffee bean roasters per capita than any other state. I wonder if Seattle is the real “city that never sleeps.”
4. The first-ever revolving restaurant was built here.
In 1961, architect John Graham designed and built a revolving restaurant atop Seattle’s Space Needle. From the restaurant, visitors can enjoy views from 605 feet above the ground. When the restaurant opened, it was called the Eye of the Needle. Today it is called SkyCity and the restaurant rotates once per hour.
5. A variety of natural and historical points of interest
If you enjoy nature and history, Washington will be a virtual playground for you. That’s because it is home to 3 national parks and 186 state parks. The state also boasts 1,462 National Registries of Historic Places, 17 National Natural Landmarks, and 24 National Historic Landmarks.
6. A variety of natural environments and locations
The state of Washington encompasses over 71,000 square miles, and within the confines of those square miles, there are rainforests on the Olympic Peninsula, as well as 157 miles of shoreline. There are also gorges, mountains, canyons, and waterfalls. You might not know that part of the state of Washington is spread out over hundreds of islands.
7. Floating bridges
Washington is home to 4 of the world’s 5 longest floating bridges. They are the Homer M. Hadley bridge which measures 5,811 feet across and the Lacey V. Murrow bridge, which is 6,620 feet long. Evergreen Point Floating Bridge is 7,578 feet long and the Hood Canal Bridge is 7,867 feet long.
8. It holds some records, too.
Washington state can also lay claim to a few records. The deepest gorge in North America is in Washington. Hell’s Canyon is 8,000 feet deep. Snoqualmie Falls east of Seattle in Snoqualmie, Washington, is 100 feet higher than Niagara Falls. At 268 feet, it dwarfs New York’s beautiful falls. The westernmost point in the contiguous United States is Cape Alava at Olympic National Park. And the longest contiguous beach is on Washington’s coast. At 28 miles long, the Long Beach Peninsula really lives up to its name.