Visiting Washington and wanting to explore the off-beaten path that isn’t tourist central? Then add these hidden gems in Washington to your Bucket list! Washington is full of secret spots; some are not so secret, while others are well-kept local favorite places! Since we are locals, we know a lot about Washington and what is worth visiting and what is not.
So! Let’s get started on finding the secret spots in Washington!
Secret Spots in Washington Overview
We know some of you are in a hurry, so we wrote down the top spots in a list format so you can read it and explore! If you want to know why they are must dos in Washington, then read on ahead =).
- Hall of Mosses
- Fort Canby
- Blanca Lake
- Kalaloch Tree of Life
- Underground Seattle Tour
- Sequim Lavender Festival
- Fremont Troll
- Fall City Wallaby Ranch
- San Juan Islands
Why Should You Explore Hidden Gems and Secret Spots in Washington?
Washington is a beautiful state with lush evergreen forests, snow-capped glaciers, mystical lava tubes, and stunning coastal beaches. Tie that into multiple unique experiences that transport you to another country.
It’s hard to argue why you wouldn’t explore all the hidden gems Washington offers to locals and tourists alike.
What is the most popular Natural Hidden Gem in Washington?
The most popular natural hidden gem in Washington is the Olympic National Forest, with its large spread and great west coast location. You get the best of both worlds with stunning beaches, numerous trails through the rainforest and evergreen forest, stunning mountain views, and various beautiful lakes and waterfalls in the evergreen state.
What is the most popular hidden Gem in Washington?
The most popular hidden gem in Washington is Blanca Lake, this stunning lake hidden in the depths of the Mt Baker Snoqualmie Forest. With crystal aqua-colored waters, the secluded backdrop of mountain ranges, and a rewarding but challenging hike, it’s no wonder why this lake is so popular but remains a hidden gem in washington.
When should you visit hidden gems in Washington?
You should visit hidden gems in Washington because there’s more to Washington than just tourist hot spots. There are hidden moss trees, aqua-colored lakes, stunning falls, hidden coves, and other various beauties in Washington.
Are Hidden Gems in Washington free?
Some hidden Gems in Washington will not have an entrance fee, however, there are a few that require admission such as the lavender festival, wallaby ranch, and underground Seattle.
13 Secret Spots in Washington State
1. Hall of Mosses Olympic National Park: Explore a Unesco World Heritage Site
The Hall of Mosses is absolutely stunning and if you haven’t been there then you should go asap! The whole area is covered in moss, and it’s so green, like beyond normal forest green. It’s a popular spot but also, at the same time, not as popular as some other areas in Washington. So we thought it would he a great addition to this Washington hidden gems guide.
Where: Olympic National Forest
When: Best to go during the warmer months
Cost: National Park Pass
Special Notes: The Hall of Mosses is a trail that is located close to the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center in the Olympic National Forest. It’s a fairly easy hike and is under a mile-long roundtrip.
2. Fort Canby State Park: The Batteries and Past
Fort Canby is off the west coast of Washington and is secret spot that most people do not visit because they are off exploring nearby areas instead. But we want to stress the history of this area, it was a military fort that was constructed back in mid 1900s and remained as a military reservation until 1948.
You can tour this area, see the well-preserved batteries, and learn about the history of Fort Canby. Then go and explore cape disappointment and see other spots like Dead Man’s cove, cape disappointment lighthouse, and the Lewis and Clark interpretive center.
Where: Ilwaco, Washington
When: Spring, Summer and early Fall are best
Special Notes: Explore Cape Disappointment State park afterward!
3. Blanca Lake: Brilliant Blue Water and Incredible views
One of the hardest hikes weve ever done, so it’s pretty easy to understand why this is a hidden gem lol. Everyone wants to see it but its such a hard hike that you have to be in good shape and have supplies ready incase of emergency. There are a ton of switchback on a steep incline, climbing through rocks over giant fallen trees, and fresh bear tracks…
But despite the obvious dangers of exploring nature, we think this is an epic spot to visit in Washington! The water is a stunning aqua-greenish blue, and the glaciers feeding into the lake are what contribute to the coloring. It’s in a secluded part of the forest with Gorgeous mountain snow-capped ranges behind it.
Where: Mt Baker Snoqualmie National Forest
When: Summer Season
Hike Difficulty: Hard
Length: 12 miles, including extra walking for the washed-out path.
Pass: Northwest Forest Pass
Special Notes: Be Safe! Only follow marked trails, bring supplies and safety gear, and know it’s in nature so you may see wildlife.
4. Kalaloch Tree of life: A Gravity Defying Wonder
The Tree of Life is a sight you must see before it’s too late, with gravity, soil erosion, and tourists against it. It’s only a matter of time before this gravity-defying tree falls to the depths of the tree root cave.
Where: Kalaloch Beach, Washington
When: Year Round but best during Late Spring, Summer, and Early Fall
Special Notes: Do not touch the tree!
5. The Fremont Troll: Learn about the Famous Troll in Seattle
The Fremont Troll is a Seattle Gem, and rightfully so, this local delight is located in Fremont, and you’ll see locals and Tourists going out of their way to view the up-to-no-good troll. This popular attraction is also on a lot of tour guides’ itineraries.
In fact, booking a Seattle Guided Bus Tour might be the best thing you can do if you want to see a majority of Seattle’s must-see sigh!
Where: Fremont, Washington
When: Year Round
Special Notes: Street Parking
This 3-hour guided tour by bus covers almost 50 miles of views and attractions throughout the Seattle Area!
You’ll also be guided by a local guide who knows their stuff regarding Seattle’s history.
Plus, it’s a small group tour, so you don’t have to worry about feeling to loss in the masses.
Hurry and Book Your Seattle: 3-hour City Tour by Bus!
Visiting Seattle and on a budget???
Read our Best Free Things To Do In Seattle Guide By Locals!
6. Underground Seattle: Tour the original Seattle and learn its history
You may think you know Seattle, but do you really? Have you explored the depths of Underground Seattle? If not, you’ll want to get on that asap because the history of Seattle and what took place in the historical underground passageways is beyond fascinating.
Where: Downtown Seattle
When: Year round
Parking: Street parking or pay to park garages
One of the best ways to learn about the history of Seattle Underground? Book a Seattle: Underground Walking Tour!
7. Sequim Lavender Weekend Festival
The Sequim Lavender Festival is so underrated! Everyone talks about the tulip festival that takes place in Mount Vernon. But no one blinks an eye at the gorgeous lavender festivals in Sequim! Hello, Lavender is beautiful, smells fantastic, and well, that’s enough to plan a trip from Seattle to Sequim!
Where: Sequim, Washington
When: July 21- 23, 2023
Cost: Some lavender farms have free admission and some have a fee
8. Fall City Wallaby Ranch: Learn About Kangaroos!
Where: Fall City, Washington
When: Year Round
*prices found Wallabyranch*
- Small Group up to five: $100.00
- Group tours for five or more are $20.00 per person.
- School Groups 50 or more: $17.50
- Children under 2: no charge
Special Notes: A tour is required; check out WallabyRanch. Each tour is expected to last around 1- 1.5 hours long
*Prices subject to change without notice, so double check when making a reservation*
Thought Kangaroos and Wallabies were only for Australia? Well, good news for you, you can interact and see baby roos, grown kangaroos, and wallabies in Washington! This hidden treasure is home to Albino Bennett’s Wallabies and Red Kangaroos, and they offer interactive tours to see these wonderful animals and provide vast amounts of information, that you’ll be a roo expert in no time!
The Wallaby Ranch is a USDA Licensed Breeder of roos and wallaroos.
9. Poulsbo: The Cutest Norwegian Town
Poulsbo is such a cute little town, and we are so surprised it’s not talked about more because this norwegian style town is so wholesome! We love the whole vibe of this town and as soon as we stepped foot here we were like wowwww, it almost feels like we are in another country.
Plus, when you smell those heavenly sweets being made by the local confectionary and bakery, you’ll nose will be in heaven! There’s also a good variety of pubs, restaurants, and coffee shops to try out and find easily in the historic Poulsbo downtown area. When you’re done, visit the boating docks for some stunning water views.
Where: Poulsbo Washington
When: Year Round
Visiting this cute Norwegian Style City? Then read our guide for the Best Things To Do In Poulsbo!
10. Leavenworth: Hearty German Town With Amazing Holiday Festivals
Like Poulsbo, Leavenworth is a unique and heavily Bavarian style-infused town. This close-knit community is vivacious during the holiday and festivities, such as Octoberfest and the Christmas holiday season, where the city is lit with festive decor and a giant Christmas tree.
Where: Leavenworth, Washington
When: Year Round but Octoberfest and Christmas are especially popular
Special Note: Parking is difficult during peak periods.
11. San Juan Islands: Orca Island – Escape to the Coastal Islands
The San Juan Islands are gorgeous, and their various islands each offer something unique to every traveler and visitor. We recommend visiting each san juan island, but we especially think Orcas Island is a treasure cove of natural beauty.
Things to do on Orcas Island are kayak tours, aviation whale tours, sailing tours, and hiking through the nearby Moran State Park.
Where: San Juan Islands
When: Year Round
Special Note: You’ll need to take a ferry to access the San Juan Islands
The San Juan Islands are beyond amazing but want to know some of the amazing spots in Washington? Read Our Guide for Amazing Places in Washington!
Other Popular Hidden Gems in Washington
- Diablo Lake
- Mt. Rainier National Park – Make Sure You Visit During The Right Time!
- Nooksack Falls
- La Push – La Push is an Amazing Beach off the West Coast Of Washington
- Sol Duc Hot Springs
- Vashon island
- Goldmyer Hot Springs – Read about other Famous Hot Springs in Washington!
- Steptoe Butte
- Ape Cave – The Caves are fantastic, but what about other hidden caves in Washington?
- 4 big ice caves
- Snoqualmie Falls
- Rialto Beach
- Deception Pass
- Beacon Rock State Park
- Snoqualmie Tunnel
- Cape Disappointment – Dead Mans Cove
- Whidbey Island
Hidden Gems In Washington FAQ
Washington State grows the most apples in the entire United States. Shipping off Apples to various countries and states around the world.
The most famous thing in Washington is the Olympic National Forest.
Three things Washington State is famous for are its large product of Apples, its evergreen forest and national parks, and its large wineries.
The Olympic National Forest is the number one attraction in Washington State.