Looking for a place to relocate? Are you familiar with the Westward approach of Manifest Destiny? And how do you feel about apples? Regardless of how you answer any of these questions, here for you today is a breakdown of the 42nd state admitted to the union, home to the cascade mountains and space needle, the wonderful state of Washington:
Climate and Geography
The climate is a bit all over the place in the Evergreen State. It has it all; arid desert-like regions and rainy ecosystems that sprout temperate rain-forests. Much of the diverse climate comes from the strategic placement of the Cascade and Olympic mountain ranges that nearly split the state down the middle. Western Washington (Seattle, Tacoma, Bellevue) gets the oceanic weather bounced back off the mountain and recirculates across the coast to give everything the foggy, overcast feel. But not everyday is wet, when the sun comes out (mostly in the summer), it lights the beauty of being a coastal zone. To the East of the cascades (Wenatchee, Spokane, Yakima), the mountains block much of the weather so it tends to be more of an arid high desert feel with more sunny days and less thick green foliage. And with the northwest part of the state laced with inlets and ports, their’s plenty of room for fishing and other water sports. And did I forget to mention active volcanoes?
Trails, Parks, & Other Amazing Things
With so many geological advantages, and half the state covered in forests, there’s no way not to fill your recreational prescription in Washington. With three National Parks (North Cascade, Olympic, & Mt. Rainier), nine National Forests, and over 140 State Parks; there is enough land to explore for the most of the rest of your life. And to get you started, why not try the 75-mile John Wayne Pioneer Trail, or the 90-mile Wonderland Trail located smack dab in the middle of Mount Rainier National Park.
And speaking of Mount Rainier, not only is it the biggest peak in Washington (14,441 feet), but it’s also a gigantic volcano. In fact it is part of a set of 5 volcanoes in Washington, including Mount Saint Helens which had its last major eruption in 1980. Not a land lover you say? The San Juan Islands northwest in the state offers beautiful water, a great culture, and whales to watch as they swim on by; or head west to the continental U.S.’s only rain forests, Hoh rain forests, where it rains so much you may feel like your underwater.
Outdoor Companies in Washington
Go figure, a state with such a long list of awesome outdoor amenities also attracts some of the most amazing and innovative outdoor companies as well. With powerhouses like REI, Cascades Design, and Outdoor Research; their are plenty of industry leaders around. But don’t lose sight on the up and coming companies such as Liberty Bottle Works, Nuun, and Sherpa Adventure Gear; or the local favorites like Seattle Sports Company or Rite in the Rain.
Besides being the U.S.’s 18th most expansive state, Washington is currently one of seven states to not impose a personal income tax. It also has been home to some of the nation’s most influential people including Bing Crosby, Kurt Cobain, and Bill Gates. And besides the tech-king, Amazon and Boeing both have headquarters in Washington (and don’t forget about Starbucks). And oddly enough, even with the arid climate to the east, Washington has more glaciers then the other 47 contiguous states combined. Appearing in numerous “Best Places to Live,” the state of Washington and its cities also score high on their “litter scorecards” by effectively keeping their streets clean. And did I forget to mention being the lead producer of apples, cherries, and 2nd behind California for wine?