We don't stop hiking because we grow old, we grow old because we stop hiking. -- Finis Mitchell

Memorial Day weekend in Washington

This weekend is Memorial Day. That means an extra day of freedom. What are you're plans?

Well, if you're a last minute decider, I ran the numbers, Googled the results, and added my own bias into the mix and in no paticular order, here are the JustSON Top 10 Washington state destinations for the extended weekend.

1. Paradise, WA -
Nothing beats Mount Rainier in my opinion. And for a long time I wanted to be a park ranger. Still might try it if this writing thing never pans out. I haven't been up to Paradise since they opened the new vistor's center. If you live in the area, and have never been up to the mountain, you're missing out on a lot.

2. Cougar, WA -
Explore Mount St. Helens. There are a ton of great stuff around the area to discover, from the visitor center to the ape caves to the lava canyon.

3. Anacortes, WA -
Ferry to the San Juan Islands and you won't be disappointed. This is a great trip with plenty to see. Some of the highlights include: ferry ride, scenic views, great dining, whale watching, histroic landmarks, Mount Constitution, and sea life.

4. Mazama, WA -
Take a drive in the North Cascades. This 132 mile drive throught the Cascades Mountains allows breath taking views of high mountain peaks, deep valleys, waterfalls, rivers and dams. Also, get out and go for a hike in the area.

5. Seattle, WA -
If you're more a one-day event person, why not hit up the city? Go to the zoo, the shops, Pikes Place Market, enjoy lunch on the waterfront, catch a Mariners game or a trip up the Space Needle.

6. Snoqualmie, WA -
The Snoqualmie Falls provides a great backdrop for pictures and you could eat lunch at the lodge. Or, if you're rich, stay there. There are tons of hiking trails around the area and lots of campgrounds. Take a trip up Mount Si in nearby North Bend, or if shopping is more your thing, then check out the North Bend Outlet Mall. Also, if you like to hit the slots, you can head over to the new Snoqualmie Casino.

7. Port Angeles, WA -
The Olympic National Park offers a huge range of items. This area can be explored by bike, car, foot, trail, path, kayak, canoe or even motor boat. There is so much to do here.

8. Lake Chelan, WA -
The home Web site of the lake promotes 101 things to do while visiting. On this list is wineries, boating, golfing, river rafting, music, fishing, need I go on. This is one awesome place to visit.

9. Long Beach, WA
- Beach. Right there. All you need to know.

10. Leavenworth, WA -
Tucked in the mountains is a great little town called Levenworth. Thjs town is rich in history and caters to tourists.

Honorable mention - Brandon's house, Spokane, WA -
Joking aside, Spokane is a great place to go for a weekend. The mountains are close by, golfing is all around, Spokies provide excellent entertainment and Coeur d'Alene, Idaho is just down the road.

Close call - Pullman, WA.
Hanging out with Ryan Leaf. Wait, this is the BEST places to visit for the long weekend. Scratch that. I vote we just give the Pullman area to Idaho.

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