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Washington Hotels Comparison & Online Booking

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What's important: you can compare and book not only Washington hotels and resorts, but also villas and holiday cottages, inns and B&Bs (bed and breakfast), condo hotels and apartments, timeshare properties, guest houses and pensions, campsites (campgrounds), motels and hostels in Washington. If you're going to Washington save your money and time, don't pay for the services of the greedy travel agencies. Instead, book the best hotel in Washington online, buy the cheapest airline tickets to Washington, and rent a car in Washington right now, paying the lowest price! Besides, here you can buy the Washington related books, guidebooks, souvenirs and other goods.

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How to Book a Hotel in Washington

In order to book an accommodation in Washington enter the proper dates and do the hotel search. If needed, sort the found Washington hotels by price, star rating, property type, guest rating, hotel features, hotel theme or hotel chain. Then take a look at the found hotels on Washington map to estimate the distance from the main Washington attractions and sights. You can also read the guest reviews of Washington hotels and see their ratings.

When a hotel search in Washington is done, please select the room type, the included meals and the suitable booking conditions (for example, "Deluxe double room, Breakfast included, Non-Refundable"). Press the "View Deal" ("Book Now") button. Make your booking on a hotel booking website and get the hotel reservation voucher by email. That's it, a perfect hotel in Washington is waiting for you!

Hotels of Washington

A hotel in Washington is an establishment that provides lodging paid on a short-term basis. Facilities provided may range from a basic bed and storage for clothing, to luxury features like en-suite bathrooms. Larger in Washington hotels may provide additional guest facilities such as a swimming pool, business centre, childcare, conference facilities and social function services. Hotel rooms in Washington are usually numbered (or named in some smaller hotels and B&Bs) to allow guests to identify their room. Some Washington hotels offer meals as part of a room and board arrangement. Hotel operations vary in size, function, and cost. Most Washington hotels and major hospitality companies that operate hotels in Washington have set widely accepted industry standards to classify hotel types. General categories include the following:

Upscale luxury hotels in Washington
An upscale full service hotel facility in Washington that offers luxury amenities, full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and the highest level of personalized and professional service. Luxury Washington hotels are normally classified with at least a Four Diamond or Five Diamond status or a Four or Five Star rating depending on classification standards.

Full service hotels in Washington
Full service Washington hotels often contain upscale full-service facilities with a large volume of full service accommodations, on-site full service restaurant(s), and a variety of on-site amenities such as swimming pools, a health club, children's activities, ballrooms, on-site conference facilities, etc.

Historic inns and boutique hotels in Washington
Boutique hotels of Washington are smaller independent non-branded hotels that often contain upscale facilities of varying size in unique or intimate settings with full service accommodations. Washington boutique hotels are generally 100 rooms or less. Some historic inns and boutique hotels in Washington may be classified as luxury hotels.

Focused or select service hotels in Washington
Small to medium-sized hotel establishments that offer a limited amount of on-site amenities that only cater and market to a specific demographic of Washington travelers, such as the single business traveler. Most Washington focused or select service hotels may still offer full service accommodations but may lack leisure amenities such as an on-site restaurant or a swimming pool.

Economy and limited service hotels in Washington
Small to medium-sized Washington hotel establishments that offer a very limited amount of on-site amenities and often only offer basic accommodations with little to no services, these facilities normally only cater and market to a specific demographic of travelers, such as the budget-minded Washington traveler seeking a "no frills" accommodation. Limited service Washington hotels often lack an on-site restaurant but in return may offer a limited complimentary food and beverage amenity such as on-site continental breakfast service.

Guest houses and B&Bs in Washington
A bed and breakfast in Washington is a small lodging establishment that offers overnight accommodation and inclusive breakfast. Usually, Washington bed and breakfasts are private homes or family homes offering accommodations. The typical Washington B&B has between 4 and 11 rooms, with 6 being the average. Generally, guests are accommodated in private bedrooms with private bathrooms, or in a suite of rooms including an en suite bathroom. Some homes have private bedrooms with a bathroom which is shared with other guests. Breakfast is served in the bedroom, a dining room, or the host's kitchen. Often the owners of guest house themselves prepare the breakfast and clean the rooms.

Hostels in Washington
Washington hostels provide budget-oriented, sociable accommodation where guests can rent a bed, usually a bunk bed, in a dormitory and share a bathroom, lounge, and sometimes a kitchen. Rooms can be mixed or single-sex, although private rooms may also be available. Hostels are often cheaper for both the operator and occupants; many Washington hostels have long-term residents whom they employ as desk agents or housekeeping staff in exchange for experience or discounted accommodation.

Apartment hotels, extended stay hotels in Washington
Extended stay hotels are small to medium-sized Washington hotels that offer longer term full service accommodations compared to a traditional hotel. Extended stay hotels may offer non-traditional pricing methods such as a weekly rate that cater towards travelers in need of short-term accommodations for an extended period of time. Similar to limited and select service hotels, on-site amenities are normally limited and most extended stay hotels in Washington lack an on-site restaurant.

Timeshare and destination clubs in Washington
Washington timeshare and destination clubs are a form of property ownership also referred to as a vacation ownership involving the purchase and ownership of an individual unit of accommodation for seasonal usage during a specified period of time. Timeshare resorts in Washington often offer amenities similar that of a Full service hotel with on-site restaurant(s), swimming pools, recreation grounds, and other leisure-oriented amenities. Destination clubs of Washington on the other hand may offer more exclusive private accommodations such as private houses in a neighborhood-style setting.

Motels in Washington
A Washington motel is a small-sized low-rise lodging establishment similar to that of a limited service hotel, but with direct access to individual rooms from the car park. Common during the 1950s and 1960s, motels were often located adjacent to a major road, where they were built on inexpensive land at the edge of towns or along stretches of highways. They are still useful in less populated areas of Washington for driving travelers, but the more populated an area becomes the more hotels fill the need. Many of Washington motels which remain in operation have joined national franchise chains, rebranding themselves as hotels, inns or lodges.

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HotelsCombined is the leading hotel metasearch engine founded in 2005, with headquarters in Sydney, Australia. It is widely recognized as the world's best hotel price comparison site and has won many of the most prestigious tourism industry awards. The site operates in over 40 languages, handles 120 different currencies and aggregates more than 2 million deals from hundreds of travel sites and hotel chains. The number of users counts more than 300,000 people a year with over $1,000,000,000 in estimated total cost of hotel reservations.

The main purpose of HotelsCombined hotel price comparison service is to help the travelers in finding a perfect accommodation option in Washington at the best price, eliminating the need to manually analyze hundreds of hotel booking sites and thousands of price offers. Through the partnership with the most popular hotel booking websites, online travel agencies and hotel chains, HotelsCombined allows its users to search for and compare the current rates on Washington hotels in a single search. It also provides an aggregated summary of hotel reviews and ratings from external sites.

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Travelling and vacation in Washington

"Washington state" and "State of Washington" redirect here. For other uses, see Washington (disambiguation).
State of Washington
Green flag with the circular Seal of Washington centered on it. A circular seal with the words "The Seal of the State of Washington, 1889" centered around it from top to bottom. In the center, a man with gray hair poses.
Flag Seal
Nickname(s): "The Evergreen State" (unofficial)
Motto(s): Al-ki or Alki, "bye and bye" in Chinook Jargon (unofficial)
State song(s): "Washington, My Home"
Washington is located on the West Coast along the line that divides the United States from neighboring Canada. It runs entirely from west to east. It includes a small peninsula across a bay which is discontinuous with the rest of the state, along with a geographical oddity under British Columbia, Canada.
Official language None (de jure)
English (de facto)
Demonym Washingtonian
Capital Olympia
Largest city Seattle
Largest metro Metro Seattle
Area Ranked 18th
• Total 71,362 sq mi
(184,827 km)
• Width 360 miles (580 km)
• Length 240 miles (400 km)
• % water 6.6
• Latitude 45°  33′ N to 49° N
• Longitude 116°  55′ W to 124°  46′ W
Population Ranked 13th
• Total 7,288,000 (2016 est)
• Density 103/sq mi (39.6/km)
Ranked 25th
• Median household income $58,078 (11th)
• Highest point Mount Rainier
14,411 ft (4,392 m)
• Mean 1,700 ft (520 m)
• Lowest point Pacific Ocean
sea level
Before statehood Washington Territory
Admission to Union November 11, 1889 (42nd)
Governor Jay Inslee (D)
Lieutenant Governor Cyrus Habib (D)
Legislature State Legislature
• Upper house State Senate
• Lower house House of Representatives
U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D)
Maria Cantwell (D)
U.S. House delegation 6 Democrats
4 Republicans (list)
Time zone Pacific: UTC −8/−7
ISO 3166 US-WA
Abbreviations WA, Wash.
Washington state symbols
Flag of Washington.svg
The Flag of Washington
Seal of Washington.svg
The Seal of Washington
Living insignia
Amphibian Pacific chorus frog
Bird American goldfinch
Fish Steelhead trout
Flower Rhododendron
Grass Bluebunch wheatgrass
Insect Green Darner
Mammal Olympic marmot/Orca
Tree Western Hemlock
Inanimate insignia
Dance Square dance
Food Apple
Gemstone Petrified wood
Ship Lady Washington
Soil Tokul
Song "Washington, My Home"
Tartan Washington state tartan
Other Vegetable: Sweet onion
State route marker
Washington state route marker
State quarter
Washington quarter dollar coin
Released in 2007
Lists of United States state symbols

Washington (Listen/ˈwɒʃɪŋtən/) is a state in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States located north of Oregon, west of Idaho, and south of the Canadian province of British Columbia on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Named after George Washington, the first President of the United States, the state was made out of the western part of the Washington Territory, which had been ceded by Britain in 1846 in accordance with the Oregon Treaty in the settlement of the Oregon boundary dispute. It was admitted to the Union as the 42nd state in 1889. Olympia is the state capital. Washington is sometimes referred to as Washington State or the State of Washington to distinguish it from Washington, D.C., the capital of the U.S., which is often shortened to Washington.

Washington is the 18th largest state with an area of 71,362 square miles (184,827 sq km), and the 13th most populous state with over 7 million people. Approximately 60 percent of Washington's residents live in the Seattle metropolitan area, the center of transportation, business, and industry along the Puget Sound region of the Salish Sea, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean consisting of numerous islands, deep fjords, and bays carved out by glaciers. The remainder of the state consists of deep temperate rainforests in the west, mountain ranges in the west, central, northeast and far southeast, and a semi-arid basin region in the east, central, and south, given over to intensive agriculture. Washington is the second most populous state on the West Coast and in the Western United States, after California. Mount Rainier, an active stratovolcano, is the state's highest elevation at almost 14,411 feet (4,392 m) and is the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United States.

Washington is a leading lumber producer. Its rugged surface is rich in stands of Douglas fir, hemlock, ponderosa pine, white pine, spruce, larch, and cedar. The state is the biggest producer of apples, hops, pears, red raspberries, spearmint oil, and sweet cherries, and ranks high in the production of apricots, asparagus, dry edible peas, grapes, lentils, peppermint oil, and potatoes. Livestock and livestock products make important contributions to total farm revenue, and the commercial fishing of salmon, halibut, and bottomfish makes a significant contribution to the state's economy.

Manufacturing industries in Washington include aircraft and missiles, shipbuilding and other transportation equipment, lumber, food processing, metals and metal products, chemicals, and machinery. Washington has over 1,000 dams, including the Grand Coulee Dam, built for a variety of purposes including irrigation, power, flood control, and water storage.

Washington (state): Etymology

Washington was named after President George Washington by an act of the United States Congress during the creation of Washington Territory in 1853. The territory was originally to be named "Columbia", for the Columbia River and the Columbia District, but Kentucky representative Richard H. Stanton found the name too similar to the District of Columbia (the national capital, itself containing the city of Washington) and proposed naming the new territory after President Washington. Washington is the only U.S. state named after a president.

Confusion over the state of Washington and the city of Washington, D.C. led to renaming proposals during the statehood process for Washington in 1889, including David Dudley Field II's suggestion to name the new state "Tacoma." These proposals failed to garner support. Washington, D.C.'s own statehood movement in the 21st century includes a proposal to use the name "State of Washington, Douglass Commonwealth", which would conflict with the current state of Washington. To distinguish it from the national capital, Washington is sometimes referred to as "Washington state", or, in more formal contexts, as "the State of Washington". Residents of Washington (known as "Washingtonians") and the Pacific Northwest simply refer to the state as "Washington", and the nation's capital "Washington, D.C.", "the other Washington", or simply "D.C.".

Washington (state): Geography

See also: Geology of the Pacific Northwest
Southeastern Washington
The Pacific Coast of Westport, Washington

Washington is the northwestern-most state of the contiguous United States. Its northern border lies mostly along the 49th parallel, and then via marine boundaries through the Strait of Georgia, Haro Strait and Strait of Juan de Fuca, with the Canadian province of British Columbia to the north. Washington is bordered by Oregon to the south, with the Columbia River forming the western part and the 46th parallel forming the eastern part of the Oregon-Washington border.

To the east, Washington borders Idaho, bounded mostly by the meridian running north from the confluence of the Snake River and Clearwater River (about 116°57' west), except for the southernmost section where the border follows the Snake River. To the west of Washington lies the Pacific Ocean.

Cascade Pass in the North Cascades National Park

Washington is part of a region known as the Pacific Northwest, a term which always includes Washington and Oregon and may or may not include some or all of the following, depending on the user's intent: Idaho, western Montana, northern California, British Columbia, and Alaska.

The high mountains of the Cascade Range run north-south, bisecting the state. In addition to Western Washington and Eastern Washington residents call the two parts of the state the "West side" and "East side", "Wet side" and "Dry side", or "Timberland" and "Wheatland", the latter pair more commonly in the names of region-specific businesses and institutions.

Washington (state): Western Washington

Major volcanoes in Washington
Washington (state) is located in Washington (state)
Mount Baker
Mount Baker
Glacier Peak
Glacier Peak
Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier
Mount St. Helens
Mount St. Helens
Mount Adams
Mount Adams

From the Cascade Mountains westward, Western Washington has a mostly marine west coast climate, with mild temperatures and wet winters, autumns and springs, and relatively dry summers. The Cascade Range contains several volcanoes, which reach altitudes significantly higher than the rest of the mountains. From the north to the south, these major volcanoes are Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Adams. All are considered active volcanoes. Mount Rainier, the tallest mountain in the state, is 50 miles (80 km) south of the city of Seattle, from which it is prominently visible. The 14,411-foot-tall (4,392 m) Mt. Rainier is considered the most dangerous volcano in the Cascade Range, due to its proximity to the Seattle metropolitan area, and most dangerous in the continental U.S. according to the Decade Volcanoes list. It is also covered with more glacial ice than any other peak in the contiguous 48 states.

The Columbia River Gorge.

Western Washington also is home of the Olympic Mountains, far west on the Olympic Peninsula, which support dense forests of conifers and areas of temperate rainforest. These deep forests, such as the Hoh Rainforest, are among the only temperate rainforests in the continental United States.

Washington (state): Eastern Washington

Eastern Washington – the part of the state east of the Cascades – has a relatively dry climate, in distinct contrast to the west side. It includes large areas of semiarid steppe and a few truly arid deserts lying in the rain shadow of the Cascades; the Hanford reservation receives an average annual precipitation of 6 to 7 inches (150 to 180 mm). Farther east, the climate becomes less arid, with annual rainfall increasing as one goes east to 21.2 inches (540 mm) in Pullman, near the Washington-Idaho border. The Okanogan Highlands and the rugged Kettle River Range and Selkirk Mountains cover much of the northeastern quadrant of the state. The Palouse southeast region of Washington was grassland that has been mostly converted into farmland, and extends to the Blue Mountains.

Washington (state): Climate

See also: Climate change in Washington
Köppen climate types of Washington state

As described above, Washington's climate varies greatly from west to east. An oceanic climate (also called "west coast marine climate") predominates in western Washington, and a much drier semi-arid climate prevails east of the Cascade Range. Major factors determining Washington's climate include the large semi-permanent high pressure and low pressure systems of the north Pacific Ocean, the continental air masses of North America, and the Olympic and Cascade mountains. In the spring and summer, a high pressure anticyclone system dominates the north Pacific Ocean, causing air to spiral out in a clockwise fashion. For Washington this means prevailing winds from the northwest bring relatively cool air and a predictably dry season.

Dryland farming caused a large dust storm in arid parts of eastern Washington on October 4, 2009. Courtesy: NASA/GSFC, MODIS Rapid Response.

In the autumn and winter, a low-pressure cyclone system takes over in the north Pacific Ocean, with air spiraling inward in a counter-clockwise fashion. This causes Washington's prevailing winds, the Chinooks, to come from the southwest, bringing relatively warm and moist air masses and a predictably wet season. The term "Pineapple Express" is used colloquially to describe the extreme form of the wet-season Chinook winds.

Despite western Washington's having a marine climate similar to those of many coastal cities of Europe, there are exceptions such as the "Big Snow" events of 1880, 1881, 1893 and 1916 and the "deep freeze" winters of 1883–84, 1915–16, 1949–50 and 1955–56, among others. During these events western Washington experienced up to 6 feet (1.8 m) of snow, sub-zero (−18 °C) temperatures, three months with snow on the ground, and lakes and rivers frozen over for weeks. Seattle's lowest officially recorded temperature is 0 °F (−18 °C) set on January 31, 1950, but low-altitude areas approximately three hours away from Seattle have recorded lows as cold as −48 °F (−44 °C).

Weather during the cold season is greatly influenced by the Southern Oscillation. During the El Niño phase, the jet stream enters the U.S. farther south through California, therefore late fall and winter are drier than normal with less snowpack. The La Niña phase reinforces the jet stream through the Pacific Northwest, causing Washington to have even more rain and snow than average.

In 2006, the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington published The Impacts of Climate change in Washington's Economy, a preliminary assessment on the risks and opportunities presented given the possibility of a rise in global temperatures and their effects on Washington state.

Washington (state): Rain shadow effects

Main article: Rain shadow
Washington experiences extensive variation in rainfall.

Rainfall in Washington varies dramatically going from east to west. The western side of the Olympic Peninsula receives as much as 160 inches (4,100 mm) of precipitation annually, making it the wettest area of the 48 conterminous states and a temperate rainforest. Weeks may pass without a clear day. The western slopes of the Cascade Range receive some of the heaviest annual snowfall (in some places more than 200 inches or 5,100 millimetres water equivalent) in the country. In the rain shadow area east of the Cascades, the annual precipitation is only 6 inches (150 mm). Precipitation then increases again eastward toward the Rocky Mountains.

The Olympic mountains and Cascades compound this climatic pattern by causing orographic lift of the air masses blown inland from the Pacific Ocean, resulting in the windward side of the mountains receiving high levels of precipitation and the leeward side receiving low levels. This occurs most dramatically around the Olympic Mountains and the Cascade Range. In both cases the windward slopes facing southwest receive high precipitation and mild, cool temperatures. While the Puget Sound lowlands are known for clouds and rain in the winter, the western slopes of the Cascades receive larger amounts of precipitation, often falling as snow at higher elevations. (Mount Baker, near the state's northern border, is one of the snowiest places in the world: in 1999, it set the world record for snowfall in a single season: 1,140 inches (95 ft; 29 m).)

East of the Cascades, a large region experiences strong rain shadow effects. Semi-arid conditions occur in much of eastern Washington with the strongest rain shadow effects at the relatively low elevations of the central Columbia Plateau-especially the region just east of the Columbia River from about the Snake River to the Okanagan Highland. Thus instead of rain forests much of eastern Washington is covered with grassland and shrub-steppe.

Washington (state): Temperatures

The average annual temperature ranges from 51 °F (11 °C) on the Pacific coast to 40 °F (4 °C) in the northeast. The lowest temperature recorded in the state was −48 °F (−44 °C) in Winthrop and Mazama. The highest recorded temperature in the state was 118 °F (48 °C) at Ice Harbor Dam. Both records were set east of the Cascades. Western Washington is known for its mild climate, considerable fog, frequent cloud cover and long-lasting drizzles in the winter, and warm, temperate summers. The Eastern region occasionally experiences extreme climate. Arctic cold fronts in the winter and heat waves in the summer are not uncommon. In the Western region, temperatures have reached as high as 112 °F (44 °C) in Marietta-Alderwood. and as low as −20 °F (−29 °C) in Longview.

Climate data for Washington State (1895-2015)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 74
Mean maximum °F (°C) 60
Average high °F (°C) 34.8
Average low °F (°C) 23.0
Mean minimum °F (°C) −19
Record low °F (°C) −42
Average precipitation inches (mm) 6.08
Source #1: "Office of the Washington State Climatologist". OWSC. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
Source #2: "Comparative Data for the Western States.". WRCC. Retrieved July 27, 2016.
Washington (state) is located in Washington (state)
Average daily high and low temperatures in °F (°C)
in cities and other locations in Washington
colored and sortable by average temperature
Place Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Bellingham 48 / 36
(9 / 2)
50 / 36
(10 / 2)
54 / 39
(12 / 4)
59 / 42
(15 / 6)
64 / 47
(18 / 8)
69 / 51
(21 / 11)
73 / 54
(23 / 12)
74 / 54
(23 / 12)
68 / 50
(20 / 10)
59 / 45
(15 / 7)
51 / 39
(11 / 4)
46 / 35
(8 / 2)
Ephrata 35 / 22
(2 / −6)
43 / 26
(6 / −3)
54 / 32
(12 / 0)
63 / 38
(17 / 3)
72 / 46
(22 / 8)
80 / 54
(27 / 12)
88 / 60
(31 / 16)
87 / 59
(31 / 15)
78 / 50
(26 / 10)
62 / 39
(17 / 4)
45 / 29
(7 / −2)
34 / 21
(1 / −6)
Forks 47 / 36
(8 / 2)
49 / 35
(9 / 2)
51 / 37
(11 / 3)
55 / 39
(13 / 4)
60 / 43
(16 / 6)
63 / 48
(17 / 9)
67 / 51
(19 / 11)
69 / 51
(21 / 11)
66 / 47
(19 / 8)
58 / 42
(14 / 6)
50 / 38
(10 / 3)
46 / 35
(8 / 2)
Paradise 35 / 23
(2 / −5)
36 / 22
(2 / −6)
38 / 24
(3 / −4)
42 / 26
(6 / −3)
49 / 32
(9 / 0)
55 / 36
(13 / 2)
63 / 43
(17 / 6)
65 / 44
(18 / 7)
58 / 40
(14 / 4)
48 / 33
(9 / 1)
37 / 25
(3 / −4)
34 / 21
(1 / −6)
Richland 41 / 29
(5 / −2)
47 / 30
(8 / −1)
58 / 35
(14 / 2)
65 / 41
(18 / 5)
73 / 48
(23 / 9)
80 / 54
(27 / 12)
88 / 59
(31 / 15)
88 / 58
(31 / 14)
78 / 50
(26 / 10)
64 / 40
(18 / 4)
49 / 34
(9 / 1)
38 / 27
(3 / −3)
Seattle 47 / 37
(8 / 3)
50 / 37
(10 / 3)
54 / 39
(12 / 4)
59 / 42
(15 / 6)
65 / 47
(18 / 8)
70 / 52
(21 / 11)
76 / 56
(24 / 13)
76 / 56
(24 / 13)
71 / 52
(22 / 11)
60 / 46
(16 / 8)
51 / 40
(11 / 4)
46 / 36
(8 / 2)
Spokane 35 / 24
(2 / −4)
40 / 25
(4 / −4)
49 / 31
(9 / −1)
57 / 36
(14 / 2)
67 / 43
(19 / 6)
74 / 50
(23 / 10)
83 / 55
(28 / 13)
83 / 55
(28 / 13)
73 / 46
(23 / 8)
58 / 36
(14 / 2)
42 / 29
(6 / −2)
32 / 22
(0 / −6)
Vancouver 47 / 33
(8 / 1)
51 / 33
(11 / 1)
56 / 37
(13 / 3)
60 / 40
(16 / 4)
67 / 45
(19 / 7)
72 / 50
(22 / 10)
78 / 54
(26 / 12)
79 / 53
(26 / 12)
75 / 48
(24 / 9)
63 / 41
(17 / 5)
52 / 37
(11 / 3)
46 / 32
(8 / 0)
Winthrop 31 / 15
(−1 / −9)
39 / 18
(4 / −8)
51 / 26
(11 / −3)
62 / 32
(17 / 0)
71 / 40
(22 / 4)
78 / 46
(26 / 8)
86 / 50
(30 / 10)
86 / 49
(30 / 9)
78 / 41
(26 / 5)
62 / 32
(17 / 0)
42 / 25
(6 / −4)
29 / 14
(−2 / −10)
Yakima 39 / 23
(4 / −5)
46 / 26
(8 / −3)
56 / 30
(13 / −1)
64 / 34
(18 / 1)
72 / 42
(22 / 6)
80 / 48
(27 / 9)
88 / 53
(31 / 12)
87 / 52
(31 / 11)
78 / 44
(26 / 7)
64 / 34
(18 / 1)
48 / 27
(9 / −3)
36 / 21
(2 / −6)

Washington (state): Flora and fauna

Black-tailed deer graze at Deer Park in Olympic National Park
See also: List of flora of Washington (state), List of fauna of Washington (state), and List of federal lands in Washington (state)

Forests cover 52% of the state's land area, mostly west of the North Cascades. Approximately two-thirds of Washington's forested area is publicly owned, including 64% of federal land. Other common trees and plants in the region are camassia, Douglas fir, hemlock, penstemon, ponderosa pine, western red cedar, and many species of ferns. The state's various areas of wilderness offer sanctuary, with substantially large populations of shorebirds and marine mammals. The Pacific shore surrounding the San Juan Islands are heavily inhabited with killer, gray and humpback whales.

Mammals native to the state include the bat, black bear, bobcat, cougar, coyote, deer, elk, gray wolf, moose, mountain beaver, muskrat, opossum, pocket gopher, raccoon, river otter, skunk, and tree squirrel. Because of the wide range of geography, the State of Washington is home to several different ecoregions which allow for a varied range of bird species. This range includes raptors, shorebirds, woodland birds, grassland birds, ducks, and others. There have also been a large number of species introduced to Washington, dating back to the early 1700s, including horses and burros. The channel catfish, lamprey, and sturgeon are among the 400 known freshwater fishes. Along with the Cascades frog, there are several forms of snakes that define the most prominent reptiles and amphibians. Coastal bays and islands are often inhabited by plentiful amounts of shellfish and whales. There are five species of salmon that ascend the Western Washington area, from streams to spawn.

Washington has a variety of National Park Service units. Among these are the Alta Lake State Park, Lake Roosevelt National Recreation Area, San Juan Islands National Wildlife Refuge, as well as three national parks, the Olympic National Park, North Cascades National Park and Mount Rainier National Park. The three national parks were established between 1899 and 1968. Almost 95% (876,517 acres, 354,714 hectares, 3,547.14 square kilometers) of Olympic National Park's area has been designated as wilderness under the National Wilderness Preservation System. Additionally, there are 143 state parks and 9 national forests, run by the Washington State Park System and the United States Forest Service. The Okanogan National Forest is the largest national forest located on the West Coast, encompassing 1,499,023 acres (606,633 ha). It is managed together as the Okanogan–Wenatchee National Forest, encompassing a considerablely larger area of around 3,239,404 acres (1,310,940 ha).

Washington (state): History

Main article: History of Washington (state)

Washington (state): Early history

A farm and barren hills near Riverside, in north central Washington.

The skeletal remains of Kennewick Man, one of the oldest and most complete human remains ever found in North America, were discovered in Washington. Before the coming of Europeans, the region had many established tribes of aboriginal Americans, notable for their totem poles and their ornately carved canoes and masks. Prominent among their industries were salmon fishing and, notably among the Makah, whale hunting. The peoples of the Interior had a very different subsistence-based culture based on hunting, food-gathering and some forms of agriculture, as well as a dependency on salmon from the Columbia and its tributaries. The smallpox epidemic of the 1770s devastated the Native American population.

Washington (state): European exploration

The first recorded European landing on the Washington coast was by Spanish Captain Don Bruno de Heceta in 1775, on board the Santiago, part of a two-ship flotilla with the Sonora. He claimed all the coastal lands up to Prince William Sound for Spain as part of their claimed rights under the Treaty of Tordesillas, which they maintained made the Pacific a "Spanish lake" and all its shores part of the Spanish Empire.

In 1778, British explorer Captain James Cook sighted Cape Flattery, at the entrance to the Strait of Juan de Fuca, but Cook did not realize the strait existed. It was not discovered until Charles William Barkley, captain of the Imperial Eagle, sighted it in 1787. The straits were further explored by Spanish explorers Manuel Quimper in 1790 and Francisco de Eliza in 1791, and British explorer George Vancouver in 1792.

Washington (state): Settlement

The British-Spanish Nootka Convention of 1790 ended Spanish claims of exclusivity and opened the Northwest Coast to explorers and traders from other nations, most notably Britain and Russia as well as the fledgling United States. American captain Robert Gray (for whom Grays Harbor County is named) then discovered the mouth of the Columbia River. He named the river after his ship, the Columbia. Beginning in 1792, Gray established trade in sea otter pelts. The Lewis and Clark Expedition entered the state on October 10, 1805.

Explorer David Thompson, on his voyage down the Columbia River camped at the confluence with the Snake River on July 9, 1811, and erected a pole and a notice claiming the country for Great Britain and stating the intention of the North West Company to build a trading post at the site.

Fur trading at Fort Nez Percés in 1841

Britain and the United States agreed to what has since been described as "joint occupancy" of lands west of the Continental Divide to the Pacific Ocean as part of the Anglo-American Convention of 1818, which established the 49th Parallel as the international boundary west from Lake of the Woods to the Rocky Mountains. Resolution of the territorial and treaty issues, west to the Pacific, were deferred until a later time. Spain, in 1819, ceded their rights north of the 42nd Parallel to the United States, although these rights did not include possession.

Negotiations with Great Britain over the next few decades failed to settle upon a compromise boundary and the Oregon boundary dispute was highly contested between Britain and the United States. Disputed joint-occupancy by Britain and the U.S. lasted for several decades. With American settlers pouring into Oregon Country, Hudson's Bay Company, which had previously discouraged settlement because it conflicted with the fur trade, reversed its position in an attempt to maintain British control of the Columbia District.

Fur trapper James Sinclair, on orders from Sir George Simpson, Governor of the Hudson's Bay Company, led some 200 settlers from the Red River Colony west in 1841 to settle on Hudson Bay Company farms near Fort Vancouver. The party crossed the Rockies into the Columbia Valley, near present-day Radium Hot Springs, British Columbia, then traveled south-west down the Kootenai River and Columbia River. Despite such efforts, Britain eventually ceded all claims to land south of the 49th parallel to the United States in the Oregon Treaty on June 15, 1846.

In 1836, a group of missionaries including Marcus Whitman established several missions and Whitman's own settlement Waiilatpu, in what is now southeastern Washington state, near present day Walla Walla County, in territory of both the Cayuse and the Nez Perce Indian tribes. Whitman's settlement would in 1843 help the Oregon Trail, the overland emigration route to the west, get established for thousands of emigrants in following decades. Marcus provided medical care for the Native Americans, but when Indian patients – lacking immunity to new, 'European' diseases – died in striking numbers, while at the same time many white patients recovered, they held 'medicine man' Marcus Whitman personally responsible, and murdered Whitman and twelve other white settlers in the Whitman massacre in 1847. This event triggered the Cayuse War between settlers and Indians.

Fort Nisqually, a farm and trading post of the Hudson's Bay Company and the first European settlement in the Puget Sound area, was founded in 1833. Black pioneer George Washington Bush and his Caucasian wife, Isabella James Bush, from Missouri and Tennessee, respectively, led four white families into the territory and founded New Market, now Tumwater, in 1846. They settled in Washington to avoid Oregon's discriminatory settlement laws. After them, many more settlers, migrating overland along the Oregon trail, wandered north to settle in the Puget Sound area.

Washington (state): Statehood

See also: Washington Territory
Yesler Way, Seattle, 1887

The growing populace of Oregon Territory north of the Columbia River formally requested a new territory, which was granted by the U.S. government in 1853. The boundary of Washington Territory initially extended farther east than the present state's, including what is now the Idaho Panhandle and parts of western Montana, and picked up more land to the southeast that was left behind when Oregon was admitted as a state. The creation of Idaho Territory in 1863 established the final eastern border. A Washington State constitution was drafted and ratified in 1878, but it was never officially adopted. Although never approved by Congress, the 1878 constitution is an important historical document which shows the political thinking of the time. It was used extensively during the drafting of Washington State's 1889 constitution, the one and only official Constitution of the State of Washington. Washington became the 42nd state in the United States on November 11, 1889.

Early prominent industries in the state included agriculture and lumber. In eastern Washington, the Yakima River Valley became known for its apple orchards, while the growth of wheat using dry farming techniques became particularly productive. Heavy rainfall to the west of the Cascade Range produced dense forests, and the ports along Puget Sound prospered from the manufacturing and shipping of lumber products, particularly the Douglas fir. Other industries that developed in the state included fishing, salmon canning and mining.

Washington (state): Industrial Era

Boeing B-17E Flying Fortress bombers under construction, c. 1942

For a long period, Tacoma was noted for its large smelters where gold, silver, copper and lead ores were treated. Seattle was the primary port for trade with Alaska and the rest of the country, and for a time it possessed a large shipbuilding industry. The region around eastern Puget Sound developed heavy industry during the period including World War I and World War II, and the Boeing company became an established icon in the area.

During the Great Depression, a series of hydroelectric dams were constructed along the Columbia river as part of a project to increase the production of electricity. This culminated in 1941 with the completion of the Grand Coulee Dam, the largest concrete structure in the United States.

During World War II, the state became a focus for war industries. While the Boeing Company produced many of the nation's heavy bombers, ports in Seattle, Bremerton, Vancouver, and Tacoma were available for the manufacture of warships. Seattle was the point of departure for many soldiers in the Pacific, a number of whom were quartered at Golden Gardens Park. In eastern Washington, the Hanford Works atomic energy plant was opened in 1943 and played a major role in the construction of the nation's atomic bombs.

Washington (state): Mount St. Helens eruption, 1980

Main article: 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens

On May 18, 1980, following a period of heavy tremors and eruptions, the northeast face of Mount St. Helens erupted violently, destroying a large part of the top of the volcano. The eruption flattened the forests, killed 57 people, flooded the Columbia River and its tributaries with ash and mud, and blanketed large parts of Washington eastward and other surrounding states in ash, making day look like night.

Washington (state): Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,201 -
1860 11,594 865.4%
1870 23,955 106.6%
1880 75,116 213.6%
1890 357,232 375.6%
1900 518,103 45.0%
1910 1,141,990 120.4%
1920 1,356,621 18.8%
1930 1,563,396 15.2%
1940 1,736,191 11.1%
1950 2,378,963 37.0%
1960 2,853,214 19.9%
1970 3,409,169 19.5%
1980 4,132,156 21.2%
1990 4,866,692 17.8%
2000 5,894,121 21.1%
2010 6,724,540 14.1%
Est. 2016 7,288,000 8.4%
Source: 1910–2010

The United States Census Bureau estimates that the population of Washington was 7,170,351 on July 1, 2015, a 6.63% increase since the 2010 United States Census. The state ranks 13th overall in population, and the third most populous (after California and Texas) west of the Mississippi River.

According to the United States Census, in 2010, Washington had an estimated population of 6,724,540, which was an increase of 445,811 or 6.63 percent from the year 2010. This includes a natural increase of 380,400 people, and an increase from net migration of 450,019 people into the state. Washington ranks first in the Pacific Northwest region in terms of population, followed by Oregon, and Idaho. In 1980, the Census Bureau reported Washington's population as 90% non-Hispanic white.

In 2011, 44.3% of Washington's population younger than age 1 were minorities.

The center of population of Washington in 2000 was located in an unpopulated part of the Cascade Mountains in rural eastern King County, southeast of North Bend, northeast of Enumclaw and west of Snoqualmie Pass.

At the 2010 U.S. census, the Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue Metropolitan Area's population was 3,439,809, approximately half the state's total population.

6.7 percent of Washington's population was reported as under five years of age, 25.7 percent under 18 years of age, and 11.2 percent were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 50.2 percent of the population.

The largest European ancestry groups (which the Census defines as not including racial terms) in the state are:

  • 20.7% German
  • 12.6% Irish
  • 12.3% English
  • 8.2% Hispanic
  • 6.2% Norwegian
  • 3.9% French
  • 3.9% American
  • 3.8% Italian
  • 3.6% Swedish
  • 3.3% Scottish
  • 2.5% Scotch Irish
  • 2.5% Dutch
  • 1.9% Polish
  • 1.8% Russian

In addition, 3.6% are African American.

Washington (state): Race and ethnicity

According to the 2010 United States census, the racial and ethnic composition of Washington was the following:

  • White: 77.3% (Non-Hispanic Whites 71%, White Hispanics 6.3%)
  • Black or African American: 3.6%
  • Native Americans: 1.5%
  • Asian: 7.2%
  • Pacific Islander: 0.4% (0.2% Samoan, 0.1% Guamanian, 0.1% Hawaiian)
  • Two or more races: 4.7%
  • Other races 5.1%

Hispanic or Latino (any race): 11.2%.

Washington Racial Breakdown of Population
Racial composition 1990 2000 2010
White 88.5% 81.8% 77.3%
Asian 4.3% 5.5% 7.2%
Black 3.1% 3.2% 3.6%
Native 1.7% 1.6% 1.5%
Native Hawaiian and
other Pacific Islander
0.4% 0.6%
Other race 2.4% 3.9% 5.2%
Two or more races 3.6% 4.7%

The Hispanic/Latino population can belong to any of the racial groups. In Washington state it consists of people of mainly Mexican (8.9%), Spanish (0.4%), Cuban (0.4%), Salvadoran (0.2%), Guatemalan (0.1%), and Colombian (0.1%) heritage.

According to 2010 United States Census estimates, 77% of Washingtonians identified as white or European American. This includes people born in Western Europe, Canada, Australasia, and the former USSR, and also people from countries in the Middle East and North Africa. (The number of Arab Americans of various national origins rose dramatically in the 1990s and 2000s).

Washington (state): Areas of concentration

Washington population density map

While the population of African Americans in the Pacific Northwest is scarce overall, they are mostly concentrated in the South End and Central District areas of Seattle, and in inner Tacoma. The black community of Seattle developed during and after World War II when wartime industries and the U.S. Armed Forces employed and recruited tens of thousands of African Americans from the Southeastern United States. They moved west in the second wave of the Great Migration left a high influence in West Coast rock music and R&B and soul in the 1960s, including Seattle native Jimi Hendrix, a pioneer in hard rock, who was of African American and Cherokee Indian descent.

American Indians lived on Indian reservations or jurisdictory lands such as the Colville Indian Reservation, Makah, Muckleshoot Indian Reservation, Quinault (tribe), Salish people, Spokane Indian Reservation, and Yakama Indian Reservation. The westernmost and Pacific coasts have primarily American Indian communities, such as the Chinook, Lummi, and Salish. But Urban Indian communities formed by the U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs relocation programs in Seattle since the end of World War II brought a variety of Native American peoples to this diverse metropolis. The city was named for Chief Seattle in the very early 1850s when European Americans settled the sound.

Chinese New Year, Seattle, 2011

Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are mostly concentrated in the Seattle−Tacoma metropolitan area of the state. Seattle, Bellevue, and Redmond, which are all located within King County, have sizable Chinese communities (including Taiwanese), as well as significant Indian and Japanese communities. The Chinatown-International District in Seattle has a historical Chinese population dating back to the 1860s, who mainly emigrated from Guangdong Province in southern China, and is home to a diverse East and Southeast Asian community. Koreans are heavily concentrated in the suburban cities of Federal Way and Auburn to the south and in Lynnwood to the north. Tacoma is home to thousands of Cambodians, and has one of the largest Cambodian-American communities in the United States, along with Long Beach, California and Lowell, Massachusetts. The Vietnamese and Filipino populations of Washington are mostly concentrated within the Seattle metropolitan area. Washington state has the second highest percentage of Pacific Islander people in the mainland U.S. (behind Utah); the Seattle-Tacoma area is home to over 15,000 people of Samoan ancestry, who mainly reside in southeast Seattle, Tacoma, Federal Way, and in SeaTac.

The most numerous (ethnic, not racial, group) are Latinos at 11%, as Mexican Americans formed a large ethnic group in the Chehalis Valley, farming areas of Yakima Valley and Eastern Washington. In the late 20th century, large-scale Mexican immigration and other Latinos settled in the southern suburbs of Seattle with limited concentrations in King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties during the region's real estate construction booms in the 1980s and 1990s.

Additionally, Washington has a large Ethiopian community, with many Eritrean residents as well. Over 30,000 Somali immigrants also reside in the Seattle area.

Washington (state): Cities and towns

See also: List of cities in Washington