Mount Rainier National Park was established in 1899, making it the nation's fifth national park. Its dominating feature is, of course, the 14,410-foot-tall active volcano for which it is named. The mountain is the tallest volcano in the Cascade Range and the most glaciated peak in the continental United States, with 25 named glaciers. Every year, thousands of people successfully scale its glaciers to enjoy the contrast of the steaming volcano – which last erupted in 1854 – to the icy rivers along its sides.
Washington State's Olympic National Park, located on the Olympic Peninsula, offers something for every kind of nature lover, from hikers to stargazers to boaters to photographers. Among its nearly 1 million acres, visitors can explore glacier-capped mountains, trek through old-growth temperate rainforests and marvel at more than 70 miles of wild coastline.
Seattle's laid-back attitude and diverse neighborhoods more than make up for its consistently cloudy weather. Plus, it's home to some of the country's best coffee and a thriving arts scene, plenty of history, culture and – when the weather permits – some exciting outdoor activities. Surrounded by water (and resting between Puget Sound and Lake Washington), the city's favorite outdoor pursuits include kayaking, hiking and camping. Not only that, but the nearby Olympic Mountains and the giant Mount Rainier are visible from many spots in the city; ski slopes are just a short drive away. And while travelers often bemoan the weather, there's actually less annual precipitation here than in New York or Boston. Overcast skies rarely stop Seattleites from getting out and exploring the city – and it shouldn't stop you either.
Best Places to Visit in the USA