Labor day weekend parade attendees wait on the historic old town street, Roslyn, Washington.

10 Top-Rated Small Towns In Washington

Ever dreamt of visiting the state of Washington for vacation? It is time to stop dreaming and hop on the next flight to Washington. As one of the wealthiest and most socially liberal states, this state is open to visitors from all walks of life. The dissection by the Cascade Mountains separates Washington into rainy western and dry eastern regions. It is a dream come true for lovers of outdoor activities. This state has a lot to explore, from the Olympia Peninsula to the sunny beaches in Long Beach, Washington.

Do not get carried away with the great outdoors that you forget to explore Washington’s best wineries, as this state stands as the second-largest producer of wine in the country. Longing to know more? Discover 10 of the top-rated small towns in Washington to visit right now.

Gig Harbor

Late afternoon sunlight at the Harbor in Gig Harbor, Washington
Late afternoon sunlight at the Harbor in Gig Harbor, Washington.

One of the many towns that claim to be a gateway to the Olympic Peninsula, your vacation cannot begin without first stopping at Gig Harbor. This town is known for its closeness to many states and city parks. The most remarkable thing and a favorite tourist hotspot of this town is its historic waterfronts. The Walkable Waterfront of Gig Harbor is known for its boutique and fine dining options.

Learn about the people of Gig Harbor and their culture on the walk along the waterfronts by making brief stops at the Harbor History Museum and Waterfront History Walk. Spend your afternoons kayaking along the Puget Sound and glimpse its unique biodiversity.


Downtown Roslyn, Washington.
Downtown Roslyn, Washington. Image credit Graham Cornall via Shutterstock

Roslyn is a small, charming town with a lot of mining history. Beautifully seated in the Cascade Mountains, Roslyn offers visitors many outdoor activities. Downtown Roslyn is a major tourist hotspot, attracting tourists searching to know more about the history of this town. Visit the Brick Saloon, the oldest operating bar in the state. From the tasty pub fare to the basement jail cell, the bar is a fun place to be.

You should hike along the Coal Mine Trails to see significant locations in the town’s mining history and the beautiful river. After the hike, stop by Basecamp Books and Bite, a restaurant, bookstore, bar, and gift shop.


Winthrop, Washington / USA. Old buildings in the historic western town of Winthrop, Washington.
Old buildings in the historic western town of Winthrop, Washington. Image credit Gareth Janzen via

In the middle of the Methow Valley is the small, western town of Winthrop. The history of Winthrop has been preserved so well that stepping into the town is like going back in time to the 1880s setting of a Western town. Popularly known for having the largest network of cross-country Ski trails in the state, Winthrop is perfect for hiking, biking, and snowboarding.

Stargazing along Gunn Ranch Road is one of the favorite activities of tourists. During the moonless nights, you can enjoy the beautiful view of the Milky Way galaxy, and if you are lucky, you can watch the Northern Lights dance in the clouds. Add one of Winthrop's festivals to your itinerary, like the Chamber Music Festival.

La Conner

Rainbow Bridge in the town of La Conner, Washington.
Rainbow Bridge in the town of La Conner, Washington.

Close to Seattle and Vancouver is the small, charming getaway town of La Conner. This town is always filled with tourists and artists all year round. It is a perfect location for couples looking to spend quality time together. It has been voted as one of the top 5 best places to kiss.

Start your day by using binoculars to watch the Trumpeter Swan and the Snow Geese fly beautifully over the clear blue skies from your hotel room in La Conner Lodge. Have a picture-perfect picnic at La Conner Waterfront Park, just under the rainbow bridge. 

Buy Ice cream at La Conner Ice Cream Tower and take it to visit the Swinomish Totem Pole, which looks like President Franklin D. Roosevelt. Enjoy your evenings by attending numerous festivals like the Guitar or Daffodil Festival.


Cars parked along the Main street in Langley, Washington.
Main Street in Langley, Washington.

Langley is a small, perfect mix of old-fashioned and modern town that overlooks the Saratoga Passage. Despite its size, it has a truckload of activities. For people who love to shop, visit Fair Trade Outfitters, Alma, or The Star Store at Langley to keep you busy throughout your stay. Art lovers looking for inspiration should stroll around town, stopping by several art shops like Callahan’s Firehouse Gallery or Whidbey Art Shop.

Want to experience the great outdoors? The town sits at the south end of Whidbey Island, so you can hop on a Guided Whale-Watching Tour. Do not forget to try wines from Ott and Hunter, Village Wine Shop, or Spoiled Dog Winery.

Vashon Island

The Beautiful Point Robinson Lighthouse with Mount Rainier in the Backdrop during Sunset
Point Robinson Lighthouse on Maury Island with Mount Rainier in the backdrop, near Vashon Island.

Vashon Island is a perfect escape location for a time away from the noise of the big cities, discovered in 1792 by a Royal Navy Officer. After the non-American Captain George discovered it, he named the island after his friend and fellow captain, James Vashon.

Vashon Island is known for its many artists and entertainers. The town is bursting with artists and performers from all over the state. Tourists enjoy touring around art galleries like Swiftwater, Valise, and Starving Artist Works.


The beautiful waterfront of Chelan, Washington.
Waterfront of Chelan, Washington.

The small, beautiful town of Chelan can be found at the southeastern tip of Lake Chelan. The town offers all year-round recreational activities, quaint-themed boutiques, and a rising wine-producing market. 

There are over 9,000 acres of apple farms along the Chelan Valley, and visitors can check out these farms and try out their world-famous apples. Its location by Lake Chelan provides visitors and locals with several parks for picnics and an 18-hole Golf Course. Spend time at the Lakeshore Marina sipping wine and bathing in the sun, taking in the beautiful scenery.


Colorful waterfront homes in Coupeville, Washington.
Waterfront homes in Coupeville, Washington.

Also on Whidbey Island, Coupeville is a small island town on Puget Sound that lies between the Mainland and the Olympic Peninsula. On the north side of Downtown Coupeville is Penn Cove, an inlet of Saratoga Passage.

Located at the heart of Ebey's Landing National Historical Reserve, the town is a hub of recreational activities, private farmland, and historic buildings. Start exploring the town from the Coupeville Wharf down to the downtown area, where you can either go shopping at the lines of boutiques available or try your hand kayaking along the Penn Cove.

Do you want to explore the Puget Sound? With ferry services connecting central Whidbey to the Olympic Peninsula, Coupeville is the best place to start exploring the Puget Sound region.

Friday Harbor

Spring Street Port in Friday Harbor.
Spring Street Port in Friday Harbor, Washington. Image credit Colleen Michaels via

A gateway to the San Juan Islands, Friday Harbor is the perfect quaint seaport town. In Friday Harbor, everywhere you need to go is within walking distance from the ferry landing. This town is the perfect place if you are looking to slow down your fast-paced life.

This little town is filled with boutiques, jewelry shops, and gift shops like the Island Studios or Arctic Raven, where you can shop for clothes and souvenirs to your heart’s content. After shopping, explore the several dining options in town, and do not miss out on the variety of seafood meals on The Bait Shop menu and Blue Water Bar and Grill.


Autumn afternoon at the Bavarian-themed village of Leavenworth, Washington.
Bavarian-themed village of Leavenworth, Washington. Image credit Kirk Fisher via

Leavenworth is a small mountain town styled in a German Bavarian fashion. This town is steaming with tourists all year round.  From hiking to skiing to window shopping to food tasting, there is something to do for everybody. 

If you are a fan of agritourism? Tour the farms and orchards around Leavenworth. The town is best known for its cultivation of apples, pears, and cherries. Visit the Farmer’s Market to shop for fresh farm produce. 

Visitors enjoy climbing up the Leavenworth Mountains around the town in summer and riding a snowmobile down the mountains during winter. Other side attractions include Enchantment Park, bird watching at State Parks, and kayaking down the Wenatchee River.

Washington state is a perfect vacation spot for art lovers, food lovers, wine enthusiasts, adventurers, and those looking to take a break from their fast-paced lives. From mountainous towns like Leavenworth to valley plain towns like Winthrop, there is an array of activities for everyone. These top-rated towns keep drawing tourists back for more.

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