The capital of Washington State is Olympia. Learn about Washington State government operations and services. Browse the Washington travel and tourism information, and read about living and working in the Evergreen State. - [Read more]
Learn about the geography, tourist attractions, and history of Washington State. View detailed highway maps, relief maps, and topo maps of Washington. - [Read more]
This is the Washington state category. Washington's capital city is Olympia, and its postal abbreviation is WA. Washington entered the Union as the 42nd state, on November 11, 1889. It is the 20th largest state, with an area of 70,637 square miles. Washington is located in northwestern United States. Its largest city is Seattle. In the northwest is the navigable Puget Sound, around which the state's major industrial and commercial cities are situated. The Cascade Range, including Mount Rainier and Mount St Helens, dominates the state. The coastal region west of the range features dense rain forests, while the region east of the Cascades is a semi-arid plain. Spanish explorers found the mouth of the Columbia River in 1775. In 1792, George Vancouver mapped the Puget Sound, and Robert Gray sailed down the Sound to establish U.S. claims to the region. These claims were strengthened by the 1805 Lewis and Clark Expedition and the establishment of an American Fur Company trading post in 1811.