The state of Washington is known for its high rainfall and beautiful scenery; however, there is certainly more to this northwest state than meets the eye. Continue reading below for 20 of the most interesting facts about our 42nd state.
1 Washington was named after the first U.S. president, George Washington. Washington is the only state to be named after a president.
2 Apples are a huge export for Washington. In fact, Washington produces more apples than any other state.
3 Everett, Washington is home to the world’s largest building: the final assembly plant for Boeing.
4 The largest coffee chain in the world, Starbucks, was famously founded in Seattle, Washington.
5 The Olympic Peninsula in the northwest corner of Washington is one of the rainiest places in the world, containing the only rainforest in the continental United States.
6 The first exploration of the area that is now Washington was in 1775 by the Spanish; however, the area was famously explored by Lewis and Clark in 1805.
7 The state of Washington has more glaciers than any other state.
8 The Washington state flower is the coast rhododendron, and the state bird is the willow goldfinch.
9 Before Washington became a state, it was known as the Columbia Territory. However, so that it would not be confused with the District of Columbia, the name was changed to Washington.
10 Famous Washington natives include Bob Barker, Jimi Hendrix, Rainn Wilson, Kurt Cobain, Bill Gates, and Bing Crosby.
11 Washington is home to three national parks and over 180 state parks.
12 Seattle is home to the first gas station in the world.
13 Washington holds one of the largest petrified forests in the world. The Ginkgo Petrified Wood Forest has more than 50 petrified wood species.
14 Washington state has five major volcanoes within its borders. They include Mount Baker, Mount Adams, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, and Mount St. Helens, which erupted as recently as 1980.
15 Father’s Day was first started in Washington in 1910.
16 Washington produces around 70% of the country’s hops which are used to make beer.
17 Besides agriculture, Washington’s major industries include computer software, aircraft engineering, tourism, and hydroelectric power.
18 Washington is nicknamed the Evergreen State.
19 Outside of California’s Silicon Valley, Seattle is the fastest growing tech startup city. In fact, online retail giant Amazon was started outside of Seattle.
20 Washington is home to one of the world’s largest populations of orca whales, the state’s official marine mammal.