Interesting Facts About Washington

Many people, especially foreigners, seem to confuse Washington with Washington D.C.; some even think that Washington D.C. is in the state of Washington itself!

To be clear, Washington is the name of the 42nd state of the United States. Washington D.C., on the other hand, is a federal district that technically does not belong to any state (although it is bordered by Maryland and Virginia). Here we also include a bit of history behind the state’s present name.

Washington is known for being a technology hub, its magnificent natural wonders, the Space Needle, and the world-famous coffee houses, as well as being the only state named after a US President. Here are some more interesting and wonderful facts about the Evergreen State that you’d love to know!

Washington is America’s coffee capital

Washington has more coffee bean roasters per capita than any other state. From home-based global cafes like Starbucks and Seattle’s Best Coffee to your neighborhood espresso joints, Washington is easily the nation’s coffee hub.

Washington state produces more apples than any other state in the union.

Being a leading agricultural state, little wonder that Washington has also led the apple production in the US since the 1920s. The state is also the number one exporter of apples to several countries around the world.

Washington state has more glaciers than the other 47 contiguous states combined

This makes Washington the most glaciated state in the US mainland, and overall the second iciest state after, of course, Alaska.

Everett is the site of the world's largest building Boeing's final assembly plant

Measuring 116.5 million cubic feet (or 3,300,000 square meters), the Boeing assembly plant in the city of Everett, Washington is the largest building in the world by volume.

Washington leads the country in technology industry employment

Washington has become a hub for engineers, scientists and mathematicians and other related fields that involve highly technical skill. In a most recent study by Technology Alliance, Washington state ranks number one in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) jobs. About 9.2% of the jobs in Washington state is related to technology and other related fields, compared to 7.2% in California, the home of the Silicon Valley.

Grand Coulee Dam, the largest concrete structure in North America, is in Washington State

The Grand Coulee Dam, which is situated on the Columbia River, measures 550 feet (168 meters) tall, and 5,223 feet (1,592 meters) long. It is 30 feet (9 meters) wide at the crest, and 500 feet (152 meters) at the base. The Grand Coulee Dam is currently the biggest electric power-producing facility in the country.

Seattle leads the country in residents with more college degrees

Seattle has unofficially become the country’s “smartest city” as the largest city in Washington state boasts the most number of college degree-holding residents. This is largely due to the high concentration of jobs that involve higher degrees such as engineering and technology. About 53.8% of Seattle’s adults are bachelor degree holders, and this is higher than the 27.4% national average.

Father's Day was founded in Washington in 1910

While first “observance” of Father’s Day occurred in Fairmont, West Virginia in 1908, its first true establishment happened two years later in Washington. Arkansas-born Sonora Smart Dodd, the daughter of a Civil War veteran William Jackson Smart, first held the celebration of Father’s Day at YMCA in the city of Spokane.

Microsoft Corporation is located in Redmond

Microsoft’s current headquarters, the Microsoft Redmond Campus, is located in the city of Redmond, in King County, Washington.

Washington, the 42nd state in the union, is the only state named after a president

The area was once a part of a region named Columbia District after the Columbia River. It was later named Washington to prevent it from being confused with the District of Columbia, where the city of Washington is located — which is kind of ironic.

Washington's state insect is the Green Darner Dragonfly

The green darner dragonfly, which is abundant in Washington, was designated as the state insect in 1997. The grade school students in Kent, Washington initially pushed this proposal which was eventually supported by other schoolchildren throughout the state.

Starbucks, the biggest coffee chain in the world, was founded in Seattle

Three men — schoolteachers Jerry Baldwin and Zev Siegl and writer Gordon Bowker — were inspired to manufacture and market high-quality coffee beans and equipment. This inspiration led to the first establishment of Starbucks at Pike Place Market in Seattle in 1971. From a humble coffee bean roaster and retailer, Starbucks rapidly expanded and now it is one of the most recognizable global brands.

The state capital is Olympia and the largest city is Seattle

If you think Seattle is the capital of Washington, the you’re wrong! Olympia, the state capital, was incorporated on January 28, 1859 and is the home of the Puget Sound region. Seattle was incorporated on December 2, 1869; its industry has grown exponentially from logging to a technology hub.

The longest beach in the U.S. is in Washington, the 28-mile Long Beach Peninsula

The Long Beach Peninsula really deserves its name: measuring 28 miles (45 kilometers) of seemingly endless sand beaches on the side of the Pacific Ocean, it’s reputed to be the longest beach in the US.

Washington has the largest ferry system in the nation – 26 million passengers travel by ferry each year

The government-owned Washington State Ferries is also the fourth largest ferry system in the world. It began its operations on June 1, 1951.

As of 2014 though, that number of passengers slid down a bit to “just” 23 million.