Washington state is located on the northwest coast of the United States of America, and is often confused with Washington DC (though the two places, couldn't be any more different). Washington is home to deserts, forests, mountains, coastal islands, and a rugged coastline.
Seattle is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest and it's the city with the most hostels in the region. It's a vibrant, modern, and quite liberal city. It is a port town, and is where many visitors start their Alaskan cruises or trips into Canada. Seattle is also home to the first Starbucks, and home to legendary rock bands Pearl Jam and Nirvana. There are lots to do in the city, plenty of museums, Pike's place market, and the Space Needle (the iconic tower which offers a great view of the city).
If you love hiking, then Washington is for you. Washington has several National Parks, including Mount Rainier National Park, Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument, and Olympic National park.
Mount St. Helens and Mount Rainier are both volcanos. Mount St Helens' most recent eruption in 1980 was one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history and it dramatically changed the mountain itself and the surrounding landscape. There is information about the eruption in the park's visitor center. There are glaciers in both parks and plenty of good hiking trails and wildlife spotting opportunities. Hostel options near St. Helens are limited, but if visiting Mount Rainier, you can find hostel accommodations in nearby Ashford.
There are also the San Juan Islands in the San Juan National Historical Park. The islands are definitely worth exploring. This is also a great place for wildlife spotting, and even whale watching. The islands are famous for sea kayaking, scuba diving, hiking, amazing sunsets, sailing, and fishing.
There are many different accommodation options throughout Washington state. In the larger cities, such as Washington and Olympia, there are plenty of hostels. In smaller towns and national parks, there are campsites and RV sites, some hostels and backpackers. Hostels and backpackers in and near the national parks are sometimes quite basic, and don't have hot water or internet. So if you're after these things, make sure you double check the listing and description before booking. If you are planning on travelling to Washington during the summer months (June - August), make sure you book in advance, as this is the school holiday period in the USA and Canada, and places book up quickly.
Hi, I'm Kelly Sheldrick,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Washington hostels. Welcome.
I wouldn't recommend hitchhiking. There are two prisons in the area, one being an honor camp, meaning there is not much preventing an inmate from breaking out, but his honor. There are escapees quite frequently. Some years ago, when the police were looking for an escapee, all the hitchhikers between Port Angeles …
Living near Seattle is such a treat. If you get the chance to visit, make sure you get some fresh donuts at the end of Pike's Place Market! They are absolutely wonderful. If you can find a place that serves felafel, try it -- it's surprisingly good!