The state I live in might not be the most touristy-place in the U.S., but nevertheless, millions of people from all over the world flock to Washington State to admire the natural surroundings. Here in Washington State, we don’t have battlefields, huge amusement parks or many skyscrapers, but we do have a wide range of natural environment--ranging from volcanoes to beaches. For those of you who prefer to be surrounded by buildings instead of the nature, well then you could also check out Seattle. I must admit, I wasn’t a very happy camper when I first arrived in Washington State. I first stepped foot in Sea-Tac Airport on a cold, windy, December evening. Coming from a tropical country, I wasn’t very used to the weather, and I thought, “Wow, I hate this place already.” However, one and a half years down the road, I can now proudly call Washington my second home. It might not be as popular as New York or California, but nevertheless, there are many perks to being a Washingtonian. Here are some cool places to visit in Washington State! Washington State Capitol (Olympia, WA) Truth be told, I’ve only ever been here once, and even that was coincidental and only lasted 45 minutes. Last spring break, I attended a photography seminar down in Olympia, and since we drove all the way to Olympia, we thought we might as well go photo-hunting to some of the most touristy places there. The Washington State Capitol is basically the home of the Washington state government. Inside of it, there are many, many offices for the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, and also chambers for the Washington State Legislature. My first impression was, “Oh wow. This is so cool!” We were there right about the time when the sun was about to go down, and that led to some really interesting flares and lighting, which made the State Capitol look even cooler. If you have a chance, I would truly recommend visiting this place. [caption id="attachment_1682" align="aligncenter" width="648"] Washington State Capital Building[/caption] Pike Place Market (Seattle, WA) I have to admit, Pike Place Market is just like any other public market ... with the exception of its fish-throwing tradition. The Pike Place Fish Market is so famous that it even has its own website! Here’s a fun fact: After nearly going bankrupt in 1986, the fish market rose to world-fame by introducing their flying fish, games and customer performances. It is even said that they attract up to 10,000 visitors each day! PS: The first ever Starbucks store is actually located by Pike Place! [caption id="attachment_1672" align="aligncenter" width="691"] Pike Place Market[/caption] Space Needle (Seattle, WA) If you’ve ever seen a brochure or postcard of Seattle, I bet the photo in front would have had the Space Needle in it. The Space Needle is such a famous tourist attraction and major landmark that it became the icon of Seattle. Even the previous Seattle SuperSonics logo had the Space Needle in it, and I have personally been up there at least three times already! Basically, the space needle is this tall, skinny building, and up on top, there’s an observation deck from which you can see not only the Downtown Seattle skyline, but also the surrounding Mountains and Elliot Bay and its surrounding islands. Also, there’s a restaurant up on top. Now that would make a very romantic dinner! But anyway, here’s another fun fact: the Space Needle was actually constructed especially for the 1962 World’s Fair. It is 605 feet (184 m) high, and it is built to withstand winds of up to 200 miles per hour (89 m/s) and earthquakes of up to 9.1 magnitudes! [caption id="attachment_1674" align="aligncenter" width="737"] Space Needle during the day[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1679" align="aligncenter" width="762"] Space Needle in the evening[/caption] International District a.k.a. Chinatown (Seattle, WA) As the name suggests, the international district features many Asian stores, from Chinese, Vietnamese, and Japanese to Korean. As an Asian myself, I come to this place quite often, mainly to get wonderful and delicious food. I would usually go and have Dim Sum at Duk Li Dim Sum, and then walk over to Oasis Tea Zone to get some bubble tea. If you’ve never tried hot bubble tea, you should definitely try some! I swear, it is one of the best things that mankind has ever invented. Also, if you need to get some grocery shopping done, you can always stop by at Uwajimaya. They have everything there, from food, to non-produce gifty type things. [caption id="attachment_1683" align="aligncenter" width="697"] Oasis Tea Zone[/caption] [caption id="attachment_1684" align="aligncenter" width="597"] Oasis bubble tea[/caption] Leavenworth, WA If you’re looking for a perfect getaway, then Leavenworth is the place to go. It is basically this German-architectural styled town. I was very lucky to visit Leavenworth with my family this winter break, and let me just say this: the place is awesome! There are tons of very unique stores. I remember there was this one store which sold puppets and dolls ... they were so cute! If you enjoy skiing, then don’t worry, because there are many ski resorts nearby! [caption id="attachment_1685" align="aligncenter" width="777"] Leavenworth, Washington[/caption] So those are just some of the popular places here around the Seattle-Washington area. Have you been to Washington State before? If so, where are your favorite places to visit? Post by Indira Pranabudi, an international student attending Green River Community College
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