Categories: Travel

The Best Washington State Cities Outside Seattle

There are so many amazing Washington State Cities beyond Seattle. These places are hidden gems to me. Below I listed my favorite Washington State cities that will provide an awesome experience beyond the most popular city. 


Bellevue is actually located next to Seattle. She sits across Lake Washington from Seattle. It is one of the most popular cities to commute the big city from. I’ve even stayed at a hotel in Bellevue during a trip that is focused mostly on Seattle. It is just a 20-minute bus ride away that costs 3.25 on the ST Express. 

Beyond convenience, there are so many things to do in this city. This metropolitan center is big enough to store multiple shopping centers, malls, public parks, and other city life. One of my favorite places to go is the Bellevue Botanical garden. It is a space full of gorgeous bouquets of flowers, cherry blossom trees, and incredible artwork. The artwork contains sculptures, pavilions, and other artsy structures. Another highlight of the city is the Old Bellevue shopping center. This strip is full of unique shops, restaurants, and other vendors. It is home to one of my favorite Asian Fusion restaurants, Dough Zone. 

Keep in mind that Bellevue is home to the Microsoft Headquarters. One of the tech industry’s biggest companies. The city can sure brag about that!

Ocean Shores

You can already guess what this city entails based on the title. It is a town by the ocean shores and it is an incredibly fun time. You can’t go wrong with any beach but there is something that makes this shoreline unique. Geographically, it is a tiny peninsula surrounded by the Pacific and North Bay. The beach is also extremely flat, making it effortlessly disappear to the ocean. There are seagulls, reindeer, and horses to look out for. I have seen so many adorable pictures of baby reindeer walking around the streets and the forests, so make sure to take a distant selfie with them once you visit. 

There are so many seaside activities to participate in! There’s Pacific Paradise, an attraction where you can play mini-golf, arcade, and mini boat. At the beach, you can book a horse ride to stroll around the sand. They are also opportunities to get some really good pictures by sea.

Ocean Shores is the perfect place to go when you need a break from city life and the mountains. It is a super calm and tranquil place!


The city is pretty far from everywhere else. It sits on the Northeaster corner of the state near the border to Idaho. However, it is still one of the Washington State Cities that deserve to be on this list!

Spokane is home to the iconic Spokane river cascades that split the city in half. It is one of the most beautiful sites Washington State has to offer. The set of this waterfall structure almost reminded me of Niagra Falls when I first looked at it. It is that gorgeous. What’s even more incredible is that you can take a gondola ride that goes over the river. This allows for the best views and pictures of the cascades. 

The design of this city is incredible. Most of the buildings were built during the 19th century, invoking an industrial yet rustic feel. They are mostly made of brick, blending perfectly with people who wear jeans and flannel shirts. 

You should also check out the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture. Over there, you’ll see many exhibitions that display the best of what the region has to offer. You get to see artwork and learn more about the Pacific Northwest. An absolute win in my book!


This is an important city because it is the capital of Washington State. Any laws made regarding the state is all coming from this city. That is the Olympic power!

Besides being the capital, Olympia has an iconic DC aesthetic. It is home to the State Capitol, a massive structure very similar to the Nation’s Capitol. There are also multiple neoclassical buildings you can spot around the state capital area. You can think of it as the National Mall, except it’s for the State of Washington.  

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The location of this city is also great. It is only an hour’s drive away from the nearest beaches. This does not sound super close, but compared to the other big cities in the state, this is the closest one. Olympia is also located super close to Mount Rainier, the highest peak in the state. 

This Washington State city also has a lot of museums, art galleries, shopping centers, malls, etc. All of the things we know and love from any city!


This is one of the oddest yet gratifying cities ever. Leavenworth is a small village located in the middle of the cascade mountains. Although you are in Washington state, you would feel like you are in Germany when visiting this town. 

Leavenworth is mostly known for its Bavarian style of architecture. The decor is spot on! You would definitely feel like you are visiting the European alps. Not the Pacific Northwest. I often find this village to be a wonderful opportunity to visit Germany without being in Germany. It is that authentic! 

There are clearly lots of things to do in this charming village. There are multiple German restaurants, Bier sellers, Bratwurst vendors, and museums. I highlight activity from Leavenworth is the Nutcracker museum. Over there, you would find the most bizarre display of Nutcrackers with both familiar and unique designs. There’s also a reindeer farm! Another enchanting feature of Leavenworth! 

Imagine visiting this beautiful town during Christmas. It will feel like you have never been closer to the North Pole. You must be thinking this is where Santa lives! 

Did you add any of these Washington State Cities to your travel list yet? If so, let us know which of these Washington State Cities you are excited about the most!

Featured Image Source:
Mark Grinker

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