Washington gained statehood in 1889, and is the only state named after a U.S. president, George Washington. It is home to Mount St. Helens, which famously erupted in 1980, leaving behind trees scattered like matchsticks and a mountain with an enormous crater at the top. Starbucks started in Washington and Microsoft's head office is in Redmond, east of Seattle. Olympic National Park is a designated wilderness area, with ecosystems that range from sub-alpine to temperate rain forest.Continue Reading
Seattle is a major gateway city, with a busy harbor welcoming commercial vessels, cruise ships and ferries. Some ferries, like the high-speed Victoria Clipper, offer service to Victoria, British Columbia. Washington State Ferries makes trips around the Puget Sound, to the San Juan Islands, and to Sidney, British Columbia.
Sea-Tac International Airport is just south of Seattle and serves as the primary port of entry for flights from Asia and the South Pacific. The Space Needle, standing 500 feet above the Seattle city streets, opened in 1961, becoming the first revolving restaurant in the contiguous 48 states. It is a distinctive part of the Seattle skyline and the site of the fireworks on New Year's Eve.
The capital city, Olympia, is roughly 60 miles south of Seattle. Its capitol building was the last one in the United States to feature a rotunda.Learn more about Geography