Best Places To Visit In Washington State For Beer Lovers
Washington State is best known for its abundance of natural beauty and bevvy of outdoor activities with good reason. This “Evergreen State” has much to offer the active traveler: hiking, cycling, boating, swimming, fishing, camping, climbing, skiing…you’d be hard pressed to name an outdoor activity you can’t do in Washington. However, there is something else this West coast region offers and that’s a cornucopia of craft breweries!
Washington State wine has been on the radar for quite some time but the recent boom in craft and micro breweries has now put Washington on the map for beer lovers as well. In fact, Washington is second only to California in the number of craft breweries per state. Yes that’s right, Washington even beats out Oregon!
Craft breweries are popping up all over the Pacific Northwest but there are certain places in Washington that are hot spots for this refreshing diversion. These spots also happen to be full of sights and activities sure to please foodies, nature lovers, culture seekers and sightseers alike. Here’s my list of the top places to visit in Washington State for beer lovers….have fun!
The vibrant city of Seattle is beautifully situated between the Puget Sound and Lake Washington with a majestic backdrop of the Cascade and Olympic Mountain Ranges. Yes, it does rain a lot here but that’s why it’s so green, hence the nickname “Emerald City.” It’s also very temperate year-round so although you may need an umbrella you will rarely need a heavy winter jacket.
Seattle is full of performing arts, and music, in particular, is a big part of the city’s past and present culture. This gives way to a huge array of festivals running nearly year-round. Top tourist sights include Seattle Center with the iconic Space Needle, Pike Place Market (home to the famous fish throwers), the downtown waterfront with its piers and Great Wheel and multiple parks and museums.
Seattleites also love their coffee, food and of course craft beer, making the city an ideal destination for a food and drink tasting tour. Whether you’re in the downtown core or exploring one the many interesting neighborhoods you will have a hard time finding a bad meal or beverage.
To Drink: Pike Place Brewing
To Eat: Pike Place Market
To Stay: Inn at the Market
About 30 minutes from Seattle sits scenic Woodinville. Situated in a lovely river valley this former logging and farming town is now a trendy tasting room mecca overflowing with breweries, wineries, distilleries and eateries making it a perfect spot for a tasty and fun getaway.
Woodinville consists of four distinct districts, each with its own special flavor and offering a multitude of ways to satiate your hunger, quench your thirst and feast your eyes.
- Full of artisan shops and restaurants, the Downtown District makes a perfect beginning or end to your Woodinville excursion. Stop in at the Woodinville Chamber of Commerce to pick up a map of the town.
- Named for the old Hollywood Farm that used to sit on the land now home to the famed winery, Chateau Ste Michelle, the Hollywood District is indeed a star. You will also find the award winning Woodinville Whiskey Company and acclaimed Barking Frog restaurant.
- The picturesque riverside West Valley District is where you’ll find the Sumerian Brewing Company and Sea Spirits Distillery.
- In the Warehouse District there are more artisan winemakers per square foot than any other wine region in the world. But there’s much more than wineries here, don’t miss the Dirty Bucket Brewing Co and Elemental Hard Cider.
To Drink: Sumerian Brewing
To Eat: The Barking Frog
To Stay: Willows Lodge
Head to the center of Washington State and you will find the fairytale-like Bavarian style village of Leavenworth. Sitting at the base of the Cascade Mountains this charming town will make you feel like you’ve been transported to the Alps with the quaint streets and buildings and a backdrop of snowy peaks.
Any time or year is a good time to visit Leavenworth as they celebrate every season with at least one festival, some of which have a definite beer focus. Spring has Ale-Fest and Mai-Fest, Autumn is Oktoberfest, and Winter turns the town into a wonderland with snow-covered streets and the Christmas Lighting Festival. Summer is all about beating the heat with water activities and by sipping a cold brew on the deck of the Icicle Brewing Company Pub.
To Drink: Icicle Brewing Company
To Eat: Sulla Vita
To Stay: Bavarian Lodge
Walla Walla is Washington’s Wine Country and boasts scenes reminiscent of Italy’s more famous Tuscany wine region. With such beautiful scenery and more than 120 wineries and breweries you will want to allow plenty of time here to savor it all.
It’s best to have a car to fully explore Walla Walla Wine Country as the vineyards and wineries are quite spread out into the countryside surrounding the town. If you do not have a car there are tours you can take, such as Tesla Winery Tours or you can stay downtown and walk to numerous tasting rooms and brew pubs.
To Drink: Millcreek Brewpub and Restaurant
To Eat: Passatempo Tavern
To Stay: The Marcus Whitman Hotel
Wherever you decide to go in Washington you will find a feast for the senses so be sure to bring a camera, comfortable shoes, a big thirst and a hearty appetite.