Are you planning a trip to the Pacific Northwest, only to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of gorgeous places to see? Or maybe you have lived here your whole life, but want to see more of our beautiful state? Where are the best places for an Instagram in Washington?
That’s where this post comes in.
Early this November, Berty and I wrote our 2017 PNW Bucket List to inspire us to travel more in our own backyard. It has really motivated us to get out and explore of home state, Washington! For all those who want a concise list of our favorite go-to spots, this is the post for you.
(I originally wanted to write this post as Most Instagrammable Places in the PNW, but that would have been a REALLY long post, so I’m going to break it down by state. Check back later for posts on Oregon, Idaho and British Columbia!)
Best Spots For An Instagram in Washington State
(In no particular order)
1. Hurricane Ridge
More often than not, this Olympic Peninsula gem is foggy and moody – a classic PNW location. A perfect mix of wildflower fields and blue/green mountains, this place captures the heart of free spirits and sunset chasers. Make sure to check the weather before coming here, many times Berty and I have visited only to have a huge blanket of fog covering the mountains!
2. Lake Crescent
If you are heading out on an Olympic Peninsula road trip (see our step by-step-route here!), Lake Crescent is a likely stop in the beginning of your journey. This place not only has pristine water and beautiful views from the Storm King and Fairholme docks, but you can also hike up Mt. Storm King and visit Marymere Falls on a short half-day hike. We like to come in the morning or just when the sun sets behind the mountains for that gorgeous PNW golden hour and glassy waters.
3. La Push Second Beach
A summer favorite of many PNWers, this beach should not be missed. Check the weather for a clear day and head down for one of the most spectacular sunsets you will ever see! You are also able to camp on this beach and experience La Push at all hours of the day. It’s also worth mentioning that there are three beaches, respectively named First, Second, and Third Beach. Second Beach is the most iconic!
4. Artist Point
The proximity of this viewpoint to the parking lot makes it an enticing stop if you’re not into a long hike! While there are options to go on longer hikes (like these ones here and here) you would be satisfied with the views just from around the parking lot. Even in the summertime there is snow on the ground, so bring a good jacket! This place is best experienced during sunrise – the sun peeks right out from behind Mt. Shuksan!
See Berty’s Instagram for more pictures of Artist Point.
5. Cape Flattery
Fun Fact: This place is the most northwest point of the contiguous United States. You can’t get more Pacific Northwest than Cape Flattery – literally! Here, there is a short series of boardwalks to stunning vistas of the ocean and spectacular rock formations. Go any time of day in any sort of weather. These photos were taken in January!
Plan a Trip! The Perfect Olympic Loop Road Trip Route
6. Diablo Lake
A stunning view of Diablo Lake and the North Cascades – AND it’s location just off the highway. This is a popular place for Berty to shoot engagements…check out more posts on PNW Engagements in part 1 and 2 here!
See More: Berty’s Playful Diablo Lake Engagement
7. Palouse Falls
This 198-foot waterfall is actually the state waterfall of Washington. If you live in Spokane, it’s a pretty easy drive to this state park, but for us Seattleites it will take pretty much all day for a drive. (Read this post if you’re planning to drive!) Luckily, there are camping spots nearby – check them out here. We recommend going during sunrise or sunset – it’s VERY hot in the middle of the day (no trees!) Bonus: seen this bus on instagram? It’s en route.
8. Maryhill Stonehenge
Like Palouse Falls, it’s quite the drive from well…everything. This stonehenge was inspired by the original one in England and built as a memorial for the soldiers of the local area who fought in WWII. Come during sunrise or sunset (like we don’t recommend this enough, HA!) for some spectacular views. You can even spot Mt. Hood in the distance!
See More Photos: Maryhill Stonehenge
9. Rattlesnake Ledge
If you’ve been in Seattle only a little bit, SOMEONE is bound to have recommended you do this classic hike. The incredible view from the top is loved by families and photographers alike. The hike is easy enough to complete in a half-day. Go on a weekday for fewer crowds (it gets very busy on the weekends). However, we also think a great time to go is on a Sunday evening -families have already gone home in preparation for the week ahead. It’s surprisingly quiet!
See More of Our Photos: Rattlesnake Ledge Hike
10. Cape Disappointment
If you’re looking to channel your inner Wes Anderson movie, this is the place for you. This state park is located in the most southwest corner of Washington state and is a perfect stop on your way to the Oregon Coast. Bring good hiking shoes and a few good hours to spend exploring the many trails here.
11. Lake Wenatchee
This place is a favorite in all seasons. Just a short drive west of the quaint German town of Leavenworth is the glacial-fed lake with its iconic island. Lake Wenatchee has tons of hiking trails that surround the lake. It can get pretty windy here so keep that in mind if you are planning to camp!
Read More: How To Camp In The Pacific Northwest
12. Ruby Beach
Just a short drive south of La Push and Rialto Beach is a lesser known gem of the Washington Coast…Ruby Beach. Here, you can explore the many rock formations along the beach and climb over huge pieces of driftwood. It’s a little more rugged here than La Push, so if you’re looking for a little adventure – this is your place.
Don’t know where to start? Take this quiz to find out the PNW place you should visit next!
Did we miss your favorite place for an Instagram in Washington? Have you been to any of these places? Let us know in the comments below!
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