The Artist’s List: Great Outdoors Washington

Washington State is a natural gem. The windswept coastline is lined with lush, green forests that reach the mountain’s slopes. On the other side of the mountains lay sprawling stretches of farmland and rolling hills, eventually spilling into the arid desert region. There’s countless hikes, nature trails, outdoor festivals, and fun activities that celebrate our state’s diverse beauty.

If you’re a nature photographer or local artist, it’s the season for outdoor exploring. Washington is the perfect place to capture stunning nature shots. We’ve compiled a list of top sites and events you can’t miss this year. Happy adventuring!


  • Skagit Valley Tulip Festival: Wander through endless colorful tulip fields. It’s well worth braving the April rain showers!

  • Sequim Lavender Festival: Find yourself in a sea of fragrant purple buds. During July there are several lavender farms to visit in Sequim.

  • Seattle Cherry Blossom Festival: The beloved springtime tradition takes place on UW’s Seattle campus. The best time to go is the end of March and early April.


  • Rattlesnake Ledge Trail: A moderate hike that climbs to breathtaking views.

  • Franklin Falls Trail: An easy year-round hike to a beautiful waterfall. A great hike for kids. 

  • Icicle Gorge Trail, Leavenworth: An easy trail follows a winding river through the valley.

  • Mount Rainier: An easy to moderate hike to see Washington’s famous mountain.

Other Local Sites

  • Leavenworth: Washington’s charming Bavarian village nestled in the Cascade mountains. Experience traditional German food, spring flowers, and fun at Maifest next month during Mother’s Day weekend.

  • Deception Pass: Iconic bridge connecting Whidby and Fidalgo Islands. The perfect photo spot.

  • San Juan Islands Scenic Byway: Hike, bike, or drive your way through the beautiful San Juan Islands. Orca whale watching is a plus.

    Explore lavender fields this summer. Photo credit: iStock Photos.
    Plan your Washington outdoor adventure! Photo credit: iStock Photos.