Settled by the Hudson's Bay Company in 1845, scenic, nautical Friday Harbor is about 100 miles north west of Seattle, and as the crow flies, about 15 miles east of Victoria, British Columbia, Canada.
Spread across the Point Brown Peninsula on Washington's scenic mid-coast, this salty Gray's Harbor town was once a cattle ranch and then a favorite destination for Hollywood jet setters.
On Washington's Quimper Peninsula, charming Port Townsend enchants nearly everyone with its treasure trove of Victorian architecture, trendy shops, fun eateries, scenic setting and more. It is a great retirement spot!
In a pretty region of the country, welcoming Walla Walla is known for its quaint downtown, wine culture and gentl0e ambiance. It is a great retirement spot!
Washington was the 42nd state to enter the union on November 11, 1889. The initial state constitution proposed women's suffrage and prohibition. Both ideas were removed from the final document. Women did not gain the right to vote in the Evergreen State until 1910.
The country's 18th largest state has six distinct geographic areas. The northwest corner contains the rugged Olympic Mountains. The Coast Range, in Washington's southwest corner, include the Willapa Hills. The Rocky Mountains and Cascade Mountains also cut through the state. The Columbia Plateau has fertile land. A large portion of the population lives in the Puget Sound Lowlands. Ports like Anacortes and Skagit have helped the state maintain its role as a leader in trade.
West of the Cascades, the climate can be mild and humid. Washingtonians east of the Cascades may experience warmer summers and cooler winters. Annual precipitation there can be as little as six inches. Tornadoes and severe thunderstorms are a rarity, but coastal flooding, freezing rain, and high winds are possibilities.
Pacific Rim commerce is a major economic driver. Other key businesses are the manufacture of jet aircraft, computer software development, online retailing, mining, tourism, and wood products. Washington contributes red raspberries, apples, and hops to the nation's food basket. It leads the country in hydro-electric power generation.
Washington is the only state in the Union to be named after a president. It's highest point, Mt. Ranier, was named after a British soldier who fought against America in the Revolutionary War.
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