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Introducing Washington

Washington is a state of two distinct halves. To the west lie the snow-capped volcanoes and evergreen forests of the spectacular Cascade Range juxtaposed against the urban cool of glittering Seattle, while in the east hard-working fruit pickers and traditional rural farmers contribute just as much to the booming economy that has become famous the world over for everything from computers to Kurt Cobain. For most visitors, Seattle is the region’s obvious launching pad, with its cosmopolitan café culture and its handy proximity to the outdoor delights of Mt Rainier and the Olympic National Park. Few Washingtonians will forgive you, however, if you overlook sophisticated Olympia with its laidback collegiate charm, the pastoral San Juan Islands and their resident army of back-to-the-landers, or Johnny-come-lately Walla Walla, the next big thing in the international wine world (if the rumors are to be believed).