It began as the Ring of Fire, a series of volcanoes that shaped the landscape between the United States and Asia circling the Pacific Ocean. Great pouring lava mountains still gurgle up from the earth on occasion and as recently as 1980, explode entirely. Settled by Native Americans who came across the land bridge from Asia over 12,000 years ago, Europeans landing in Washington State (in the same year that the American Revolution was being planned) discovered over 125 thriving tribal cultures. When Lewis and Clark arrived in 1805, they were surprised about the differences in how women were treated, and the French fur traders who regularly married Native American wives. The Territorial Government granted women the vote and a woman served as the first mayor of Seattle. Scandinavians and German brought their work ethic to work in lumbering and diverse families from Missouri and Tennessee worked land that had previously been claimed by the Russians. Some miners bound for the Fraser Gold Rush in Canada stopped and settled here instead.  With such a continuing mix, it’s not surprising that Washington continues to be a forward-looking place. The place that Boeing, Starbucks, and Microsoft all call home is pretty cool, with urban sophistication and free flowing ideas.  Foodies love the works of art created by cutting edge chefs who settle here to hone their craft. Yet, even the diversity in Washington State is unique. The geography and cities of western Washington differ greatly from the farms, ranches and Old West communities in Eastern Washington. Fortunately, residents of this quintessential Pacific Northwest place have been able to blend it all together into one seamless experience.

Highlighted Scenic Byway

Chinook Scenic Byway All-American Road

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Washington Scenic Byways