76 Washington Facts And Weird Laws

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Millions of people visit Washington per year, generating about $21 billion annually.

Why do tourists prefer Washington?

Washington state, the Evergreen State, is a paradise for natural beauty, landmarks, and calm city life. 

Other than outdoor activities, the state boasts beautiful islands, lush rainforests, and sleeping volcanoes that draw visitors.

You can explore the state’s vibrant cities, the lively music scene, and active nightlife.

Here is our list of the interesting facts you should know about Washington state.

Best Fun Facts About Washington

  1. The world’s largest building by volume is in Everett, Washington – Boeing Factory.
  2. During World War II, the Boeing factory concealed their bomber plane manufacturing plant by building fake houses on the surface.
  3. Washington is the birthplace of the bass guitar.
  4. Mount Barker, Washington, holds the record for the most snow in one place at the same time–95 feet of snow.
  5. A pig almost caused a war between the United States and Canada in 1859.
Credits: Unsplash

Washington Facts—Politics, And Government

  1. Washington is a Democratic Party stronghold. Democratic presidential nominees had won this state since 1988 when Michael Dukakis won it.
  2. The Republican Party enjoyed a period of dominance in the first forty years after the state’s admission into the Union.
  3. The State of Washington has elected Democrats to the state’s top executive office since the 1980 elections.
  4. The governor of Washington serves for four years. The current governor is Jay Inslee, a Democrat.
  5. The state comprises 49 legislative districts.
  6. Representatives and Senators are not limited to two terms, as seen in most states.
  7. The Democrats enjoy a majority in both houses of the state’s bicameral legislature.
  8. The Democratic Party has served as the state’s attorney general since 1933.
  9. The Supreme Court of Washington has nine members elected to serve for six years. It’s the top court in the state of Washington.
  10. Did you know that voters don’t have to register as members of political parties in Washington?
  11. The State of Washington has ten Representatives to the US House of Representatives–7 Democrats and 3 Republicans.

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Washington Facts—History

Credits: Unsplash
  1. Indigenous People lived in present-day Washington state long before the Europeans arrived. These people practiced whale hunting and salmon fishing in the Columbia River or its tributaries.
  2. Onboard “Santiago,” the Spanish, Don Bruno de Heceta, was the first European to explore present-day Washington state in 1775.
  3. Through Don Bruno de Heceta, Spain claimed most of the region’s coastal lands.
  4. James Cook, a British explorer, was the first European to sight Cape Flattery in 1778. James didn’t see the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Nine years later, Charles William Barkley became the first British to discover the straits. Other explorers of Spanish and British origin explored the area.
  5. The Nootka Convention in 1790 allowed traders and explorers into the Northwest coast.
  6. Robert Gray, an American Captain, gave the river his ship’s name, Columbia hence the Columbia River.
  7. In 1805, the Lewis and Clark expedition reached the region of present-day Washington.
  8. The British, through David Thompson, claimed the territory and established a trading post along the Columbia River.
  9. The Puget Sound region became the first European settlement in 1833.
  10. US President Millard Fillmore established the Washington Territory in 1853.
  11. The Washington territory included portions of Montana and the Idaho panhandle.
  12. The State of Washington drafted and approved a Constitution in 1878, but the state never adopted it.
  13. The state drafted the Washington State Constitution in 1889, and it remains the state’s Constitution to date.
  14. Washington joined the Union as the 42nd state in 1889.
  15. War industries emerged in the state during World War II.

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Washington Facts—Geography

Credits: Unsplash
  1.  The State of Washington is the 18th most extensive state in the United States, with 71,362 square miles. The water area in the state totals 4,757 square miles.
  2. The state lies in the Western United States in a region popularly known as the Pacific Northwest. 
  3. Washington, the Evergreen State, shares its borders with Idaho, Oregon, and the Canadian Province of Columbia.
  4. The Columbia River forms the state’s eastern border with Oregon, with the Pacific Ocean forming the western boundary.
  5. Washington is home to the Cascade Ranges, splitting the state into two–western and eastern Washington.
  6. The Cascade Ranges in western Washington is home to active volcanoes, including Mount Adams, Mount Baker, Mount St. Helens, Glacier Peak, and Mount Rainier.

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Mount Rainier. Credits: Unsplash
  1. Mount Rainier is the state’s highest point at 14,411 feet above sea level. Mount Rainier is the most dangerous in the Cascade Range (US Geological Survey).
  2. The Grand Coulee dam in Washington is one of the world’s largest dams.
  3. No other peak in the lower 48 states has more glacial ice than Mount Rainier.
  4. Western Washington has densely forested Olympic mountains. The forests include the Hoh rainforest.
  5.   Eastern Washington has fertile soils with a semi-arid desert climate. Through irrigation, agriculture is one of the main economic activities in the area.

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Lake Washington. Credits: Unsplash
  1. The Palouse in southeastern Washington is home to grassland spanning much of the region to the Blue Mountains.
  2. The state’s northeastern portion has the Kettle River Range, Selkirk Mountains, and Okanogan Highlands.
  3. Winters and Autumn are wet, while summer and spring are dry seasons.
  4. The western region of the Olympic Peninsula is the wettest area in the lower 48 states –receives 4,100mm of precipitation per year.
  5. One of the world’s snowiest places is Mount Baker–set the world snowfall record in 1999 at 29m.
  6. The world’s largest floating bridge is in Evergreen Point, Washington –Governor Albert D. Rosellini Bridge.
Credits: Pinterest

Washington Facts—Animals And Plants Life

  1.  Nearly half of the state is forested.
  2. Plants common to Washington include Douglas Fir, camassia, penstemon, and ponderosa pine.
  3. Natural trees are rare in eastern Washington. Sagebrush and tumbleweeds are some of the common plants in this area.
  4. Washington is home to mammals such as bobcat, hare, cougar, gray wolf, coyote, moose, muskrat, mountain beaver, river otter, raccoon, opossum, and elk. 
  5. The state’s varied ecoregion supports several bird species, including woodland birds, raptors, ducks, grassland birds, and shorebirds.
  6. Washington is home to 400 named freshwater fish species, including sturgeon, lamprey, and channel catfish.
  7. The Evergreen State is home to 3 national parks: the North Cascades National Park, Mount Rainier National Park, and Olympic National Park.
  8. The Washington State Park System runs over 140 state parks, while the United States Forest Service manages 9 national forests. 
  9. The official state symbols for plants include state fruit (apple), state vegetable (Walla Walla sweet onion), state flower (coastal rhododendron), and the state tree ( western hemlock).
  10. The state symbols for animals include state fish (steelhead), state bird (American goldfinch), state land mammal (Olympic marmot), and state marine mammal (Orca).

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Washington Facts—Demographics

  1. With over 7,705,281 people, Washington is the 13th most populous US state.
  2. Olympia is the capital city of Washington. 
  3. Seattle is the most populous city in Washington and the only one with more than 500,000 people.
  4. Seattle, Washington was once home to the United States wealthiest man, Bill Gates.
  5. Other major cities in Washington are Tacoma, Kent, Vancouver, Bellevue, and Spokane.
Bellevue. Credits: Unsplash
  1. Christianity is the dominant religion in the Evergreen State, with over 69% of residents.
  2. The whites make up over 75% of the state’s population.
  3. Seattle has one of the nation’s largest college degree holders.
  4. Harrah in Washington is a palindromic place. It reads the same from right to left or vice versa.
  5. About 80% of Washington residents speak English as their only language.
  6. King County was originally named after William R. King and later renamed after Martin Luther King Jr.

Washington Facts—Economy

  1. Washington ranked 6th in long-term stability with infrastructure(3), economy(4), and education(4) as its crucial attributes.
  2. Washington ranked 10th by GDP according to the US Bureau of Economic Analysis(2020).
  3. Manufacturing industries in the state include Boeing (aircraft) and Paccar (automotive).
  4. Computer software development such as Microsoft is some other industries that are key to the state’s economy.
  5. Lumbering, tourism, mining, retail, and real estate contribute to the state’s economy.
  6. According to a Survey (by a fortune magazine), Washington is home to four of the 20 US most admired companies–Microsoft, Starbucks, Amazon, and Costco.
  7. Redmond, Washington, is home to the Microsoft Corporation.
  8. Washington doesn’t have a personal income tax.
  9. One of the wealthiest men globally, Bill Gates, lives in Medina.
  10. Zillah is one of the nation’s oldest functioning gas stations.
  11. Olympia Dairy Queen had the first soft-ice serve machine.
  12. Washington is home to 16 state airfields.

Famous Locations in Washington

  1. Olympic National Park is home to beautiful mountaintops and beaches.
  2. Seattle Center and the Space Needle is an iconic home of parklands, restaurants, museums, and monorail.
  3. The San Juan Islands is home to the San Juan Island National Historic Park.
  4. Mount Rainier National Park is home to the state’s highest peak, Mount Rainier.
Mount Rainier National Park. Credits: Unsplash
  1. Downtown Seattle has amazing places, including the Pike Place Market.
  2. Leavenworth, the Bavarian Village, is one of the top places for visitors in this state.
  3. North Cascades National Park lies next to Lake Chelan National Recreation Area, home to one of the state’s deepest lakes.
North Cascades National Park. Credits: Unsplash
  1. Puget Sound is the wet area between Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula.
  2. Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument
  3. Deception Pass State Park in Oak Harbor, Washington.
  4. Port Angeles is a paradise for sporting activities such as golfing. You can access the Hurricane Area and the Olympic National Park from this place.
  5. Riverfront Park in Spokane is home to the Spokane River and other wonderful attractions.
  6. Mount Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
  7. Sol Duc Hot Springs lies in the Olympic National Park near Port Angeles.
  8. Pacific Crest Trail begins at the Columbia River Gorge and extends to the Canadian border.
  9. Snoqualmie Falls
  10. Fort Worden Historical State Park in Port Townsend.
  11. Bloedel Reserve in Bainbridge Island.

Famous People From Washington

  • Bill Gates–the Co-Founder of Microsoft, was born in Seattle, Washington.
  • Macklemore–the rapper, was born in Kent, Washington.
  • Daniel Bryan –the professional wrestler, was born in Washington.
  • Madeleine Petsch–the actress was born in Washington.
  • Hope Solo–the football player, was born in Washington.
  • Jean Smart –the actress, was born in Washington.

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Common Misconceptions About Washington 

Here are the most misleading beliefs people have about Washington state.

Everybody in Washington is liberal.

While this is true for the residents of Seattle, the people living in Bellingham, San Juan Islands, or Olympia are conservatives.

Washington is a lush green state.

Yes, the western region of the Cascades is wet and lush green. East of the Cascade Ranges is a semi-arid region.

Weird Laws in Washington 

Here are our top 10 absurd Washington laws. Read the Craziest Laws in the United States, if you want more.

  1. You need the permission of the utility company before attaching a vending machine to a utility pole.
  2. You shouldn’t buy your mattress on Sundays.
  3. Using an X-ray to check whether shoes fit you is illegal.
  4. You risk a fine for breaking another person’s beer bottle without their written permission.
  5.   You shouldn’t be in public when you have a cold.
  6. Pretending that your parents are rich is unlawful in Washington.
  7. It’s illegal to buy you TVs on Sunday in Spokane.
  8. Only one cab can carry people from SeaTac airport in King County.
  9. Riding on an ugly horse is illegal in Wilbur.
  10. It’s illegal to purchase meat on a Sunday.
Image: Unsplash

Final Thoughts

Washington is a beautiful state with lovely people, lively cities, and scenic places to explore.

You choose what to do and where to do it. Every part of this state has something you would love.

As usual, we brought you interesting facts and weird laws you probably didn’t know about Washington state.

Washington Facts And Stats

Population2020 (7,705,281)
GovernorJay Inslee (Democratic Party)
Date Of AdmissionNovember 11, 1889
U.S. SenatorsPatty Murray(D)
Maria Cantwell(D)
US House of Representatives10 (of 435 Seats) 
State NicknameEvergreen State
State MottoBye and Bye (Unofficial)
State Song“Washington, My Washington” by Helen Davis and Stuart Churchill 
State FlowerRhododendron
State FishSteelhead Trout
State BirdWillow Goldfinch
State TreeWestern Hemlock
State Marine MammalOrca
State ShipLady Washington 
State Waterfall Palouse Falls
State DanceSquare Dance
State FossilPetrified Wood
Neighbor StatesOregon Idaho

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Washington famous for?

  • Mt. Rainier.
  • Mt. St. Helens.
  •  Space Needle.
  •  National Parks.
  • Evergreen Point Floating Bridge.
  • Apples.

What are the 10 interesting facts about Washington state?

  1. Washington is the only state named after a United States President–President George Washington.
  2. Seattle, Washington, is the birthplace of revolving restaurants.
  3. Washington is the leading producer of apples In the nation.
  4. Washington is home to more glaciers than the other states of the lower 48 states.
  5. Boeing’s final assembly plant in Everett is the world’s largest building.
  6. Ihe State of Washington is the birthplace of Microsoft’s Bill Gates.
  7. Washington is home to the largest ferry system in the country, the Washington state ferry system.
  8. The Evergreen Point Floating Bridge in Washington is the longest floating bridge in the world. The bridge connects Seattle and Medina.
  9. Only seven states in the country don’t have a personal income tax and Washington is one of them.
  10. Seattle hosted the Century 21 Exposition world’s fair in 1962.

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[1] https://www.history.com/.amp/topics/us-states/washington

[2] https://worldpopulationreview.com/states/washington-population

[3] https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/washington

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Sabrina is a former campaign manager who has decided to focus her effort to help people contact senators and get help. She leads our Editorial Team with Ronald and Lawrence to curate content and resources that help us navigate the system.

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