Washington State is renowned in the Northwest for its extensive history and cultural legacy. It is one of the most well-known states in the US and was given its name in honor of the first US president, George Washington. From surrounding mountain sceneries with forest escapes to countryside retreats and mid-west-themed towns, this list of the best main streets in Washington offers a little bit of everything.
Walla Walla is the first town on top of anyone’s mind when recommending the best downtown or main streets in Washington. Confusing to many, the city of Walla Walla is located in Walla Walla County. Walking along the main streets of a locally beloved city inspires the feeling of still being in the 1950s with its beautiful, classy brick walls and famous vintage clock, a symbolic piece to locals. Artistic in its surrounding old-school architecture, Walla Walla is located near modest farmlands and is known for its many wineries and restaurants. Aside from the charming main street of Walla Walla, some of the best sites in the area include the Fort Walla Walla Museum, Lakum Duckum Park on the Witman College campus, and Jefferson Park.
Nicknamed “The Village By the Sea,” Langley is a small city in the water surrounding Island County of Washington and has one of the most colorful and vibrant downtowns on this list of the best downtown streets. The main street of Langley is well maintained by government institutes and local shop owners in the area, covering it with beautiful flowers in the summer, while the small shops’ vibrant decors keep the lively vibe throughout the winter. The town oversees Saratoga Passage’s waters, offering breathtaking views and a small marina and boat dock for your boats and Kayaks. Its best attractions include the City Hall edible garden with its natural snacks and the small garden shop located on 1st, where all the town’s magic happens.
Completely different than what you envision Washington small towns to be, Snohomish offers a Midwest rustic vibe with its antique buildings and small red brick shops. The historic downtown of Snohomish is a walkable and welcoming soul of the city, a visitor’s main destination, to its preserved mercantile history. Splitting Snohomish’s historic area and main downtown from its farmlands and countryside is the Snohomish River, backed by vast farmlands rich in local produce. Visit the Mountainview Blueberry Farm and Bob’s Corn and Pumpkin Farm on the other side of the river to experience everything the city has to offer.
A breathtaking village in Washington’s Cascade mountains, Leavenworth is an all-year-round vacation stop that accentuates German culture in The United States. The best time to visit Leavenworth town is during its cold winters due to the snowcapped mountain atmosphere and its unique Bavarian-themed architecture that transports you to the Alpines in Germany. Leavenworth Washington’s main street offers a wide range of German Cuisine, cute gift boutiques, and pubs and bars that serve almost nothing but authentic German beverages and local brews.
Located in the cascade mountains 80 miles east of Seattle, Roslyn was originally a coal mining city that attracted settlers for its rich natural resources. The city’s main street is home to many false wooden-fron businesses that decorate its streets in a mid-west theme to attract visitors and tourists. Despite all its mines being tapped-out, the small cozy town of Roslyn still embraces its husting heritage with museums and murals. Things to do in Roslyn include visiting the historical theatre and Visiting the Roslyn Museum to learn about the biggest mining disaster in Washington’s history. Additionally, you can stroll along the row of stores along Harper’s Front on Pennsylvania Avenue and even follow the historic mining trail if you are trying to escape the downtown scenery.
A main street on the water, Coupeville is a small cozy town that sits along Penn Cove’s shores. This small town, just like Langley Washington recommended above, is located on Whidbey, Island, surrounded by waters of the Pegut sound that flow along the island’s Saratoga Passage. Coupville’s main street is the definition of vintage America; it is mainly residential and inspires feelings of a boring old town until its highway leads you to the beautiful Front St, where all the town’s local businesses are located. Front St is situated right on the waterfront and consists of many small wooden shops like those of a beach town, with a vintage historical feel.
Winthrop, like Snohomish, escapes the usual and enjoys its own wild west vibe with historical remnants from the Gold Rush era. Winthrop was home to many gold mines that attracted settlers and almost became a ghost town once those mines all tapped out. Locals had to work to revive their beloved town and add some enhancing touches to turn their town into the wild west-themed place that it is today. When the North Cascade Highway was built in 1964, people began to appreciate and grow fond of Winthrop’s main street and the unique atmosphere it offers.
A cozy small city on the Qimber peninsula in Jefferson County, Port Townsend has a main street embellished with Victorian architecture. The town enjoys a scenic waterfront setting of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Townsend Bay. The city is rich in arts and culture, with many local events and faded murals that were once signs of a busy industrial city. Locals call the murals the “Ghost wall murals,” adding a vintagey atmosphere to the downtown aesthetics. Water Street in Port Townsend is the Main Street with plenty to see and do and a spacious layout of shops supported by the non-profit main street program to help business owners.
Finally, La Conner is a main street on the water, a small vacation town located in Skagit County, Washington, overseeing the Swinomish channel. Across from La Conner is the Swinomish Indian Reserve on Fidalgo Island, linked to La Conner via the Rainbow metal bridge. First St in La Conner features different restaurants of local cuisine, fashion boutiques, and gift shops. A number of La Conner’s restaurants and cafes are located along the waterfront and were originally residential buildings built in the 1800s. The best time of year to visit La Conner is during the spring or summer when the nearby fields are covered with brightly colored tulips.
Ultimately, the beauty of the main streets and towns within Washington State lies in the eyes of the beholder. There is something for everyone that visits, as tourists can experience both small-town country vibes and historical midwestern atmospheres, all within the Evergreen state. From exploring several national parks and observing the local wildlife to checking out what downtown has to offer of museums, markets, and music, it really doesn’t get any better.