Washington state is a cool place to live and visit, but it’s also a pretty neato place to learn about. Whether you’re planning to visit soon, or live here and want to know some interesting tidbits, or are researching to learn something new about the Evergreen State – read on. These facts are for you!
Washington is the only state that’s named after a U.S. president – George Washington.
Washington became the 42nd state to become a part of the United States in 1889.
If you live in Washington, you’re called a Washingtonian. If you live in Seattle, you’re a Seattleite. If you live in Tacoma, you’re a Tacoman, which is a lot like Taco Man, which is just fine by most Tacomans because tacos are delicious.
Even though the state’s largest city is Seattle, the state capital is Olympia, which is about 1.5 hours south of Seattle.
Washington State is known for many things, but just a few of those things include Mt. Rainier, apples and cherries, the Space Needle, and Grunge music (at least for people who were teenagers in the 1990s).
Seattle is known for a lot of things in its own right, including famous spots like the Space Needle and Pike Place Market (the one of the oldest farmers markets in the country).
Seattle is also known as a rainy city and it gets somewhere between 33 and 38 inches of rain a year, depending on the year (which is less than some other cities, but Seattle’s fall and winter rain tends to be light and constant instead of heavy and occasional). But the eastern half of the state isn’t known for rain at all and in fact is home to deserts and dry weather thanks to the Cascade mountain range.
There are lots of famous people from Washington or who live in Washington. These include Bill Gates, Jimi Hendrix, and Bing Crosby.
The Washington State Fair is held in Puyallup every year and is one of the largest state fairs in the entire country.
Washington is home to several volcanoes, but five major ones – Mt. Rainier, Mt. St. Helens, Mt. Baker, Glacier Peak and Mt. Adams. Of those, Mt. St. Helens last erupted in 1980. The volcanic blast was so strong that the mountain lost 1,131 feet of elevation.
Washington state is the home of a major Boeing factory, which is the largest building by volume in the entire world. It’s huge. You can go on a tour of the facility and watch planes being assembled all in a row inside the massive building. The Lunar Rover, which was used by astronauts on the moon, was made by Boeing in Washington state!
Eastern Washington is a major agricultural area. In fact, Washington produces the most apples, pears, red raspberries, spearmint oil, and sweet cherries in the country. If you drive through Eastern Washington, you can often buy these fruits fresh from farm stands at great prices!
A herd of thousands and thousands of wild horses lives on the Yakima Indian Reservation.
The only rainforests in the continental U.S. are found on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula.
The state’s ferry system is the largest in the U.S. and is used for people to get around the Puget Sound, which has all kinds of inlets and islands. Some of the ferries are very small, others that run major routes (like the one between Seattle and Bainbridge Island) are really big and even have snack bars inside of them!
The Grand Coulee Dam is the largest dam in the country, but Washington has a grand total of more than 1,000 dams.
Washington has more glaciers than the rest of the lower 47 states all added together. About 80% of the nation’s glacial ice is within Washington’s bounds.
Cape Flattery is the northwesternmost place you can be in the lower 48 states.
Washington is home to several large companies, including Starbucks, Amazon, and Microsoft.
The state has lots of waterways and lakes and the Puget Sound, so there are lots of bridges and ferries to go with them. In fact, the state has four of the five longest floating bridges in the world. These are the Evergreen Point Floating Bridge, Lacey V. Murrow Memorial Bridge and Homer M. Hadley Bridge over Lake Washington, and the Hood Canal Bridge.
Washington state’s Mt. Rainier is the highest point in the state and the tallest geographically prominent mountain in the U.S. at 14,400 feet.
Washington isn’t known for beaches since it’s not the warmest state around, but it has the longest continuous beach in the country – the Long Beach Peninsula.