Washington Landmarks Mapped

Washington is the second most populous state on the West Coast of the United States—and one of the richest. More than that, The Evergreen State is rich in history. The 42nd state to be admitted to the Union on November 11th, 1889, the state is home to 54 official Washington state landmarks. In celebration of its birthday, we’re highlighting all of the landmarks in Washington: parks, memorials, and national monuments in Washington state on the map below.

View Washington Landmarks in a full screen map

Washington Landmarks’ Types

The 54 Washington state landmarks can be separated into eight categories (“Type” on the map). Let’s go over them now.

  • Current National Historic Landmarks (24)
  • National Natural Landmarks (18)
  • National Historical Parks (4)
  • National Monuments (3)
  • National Historic Sites (2)
  • National Memorials (1)
  • National Historic Landmarks in the U.S. National Park System (1)
  • Former National Historic Landmarks (1)

Twenty-four Washington landmarks are currently designated as nationally historical, in addition to one former national historic landmark that moved out of state. Structures, districts, objects, and similar resources nationwide are deemed as such if they meet the criteria of national significance, which includes locations with:

  • a significant impact on American history overall
  • an association with a nationally significant figure in American history
  • a broad theme or trend in American history overall
  • an architectural style or significant development in engineering
  • a group of resources that together form a historic district
  • nationally significant archeological information

The map also includes national natural landmarks, historical parks and sites, monuments, and memorials. With that in mind, let’s go over where most of these landmarks are located in The Evergreen State.

Seattle, Washington Landmarks

While Washington’s capital is Olympia, it’s home to few landmarks. However, another nearby city boasts multiple. Many travel to The Evergreen State to visit its largest city: Seattle. So let’s view some of the many Seattle, Washington landmarks.

  • ADVENTURESS (Schooner)
  • Duwamish (Fireboat)
  • Lightship No. 83 “SWIFTSURE”
  • Panama Hotel
  • Pioneer Building, Pergola, and Totem Pole
  • Seattle Electric Company Georgetown Steam Plant
  • Virginia V (Steamboat)
  • W.T. Preston (Snagboat)
  • USCGC Fir
  • Klondike Gold Rush

The 11 landmarks above are (or were) all located around the Seattle area. One of the newest to be designated a national historic landmark (2006), the Panama Hotel was built in 1910 and holds the last remaining Japanese bathhouse (sento) in the U.S.

Another Seattle-based landmark is the Klondike Gold Rush. While most often associated with Alaska, Seattle’s Pioneer Square holds a park that tells the city’s history as a boomtown when prospectors passed through and bought their provisions.

Seven more of the Seattle, Washington landmarks are varying types of boats, six of which currently reside in the Emerald City: Duwamish and W.T. Preston in Salmon Bay, ADVENTURESS, ARTHUR FOSS, and SWIFTSURE in Lake Union, along with Virginia V in Elliott Bay.

Photo of USCGC Fir from the U.S. Coast Guard

Former Washington landmark USCGC Fir was the last working lighthouse tender to resupply lighthouses and lightships and service buoys. Its homeport was Seattle, Washington for 50 years until it was moved to California in 2002. Moving on, we’ll look at the age of these landmarks.

Oldest Landmarks in Washington State

Washington may have been established as a state on November 11th, 1889. But The Evergreen State’s oldest landmark was designated in 1936 (Whitman Mission) and the most recent addition was in 2015 (Medicine Creek Treaty signing site). Let’s take a look at the ten oldest and most recent Washington state landmarks on the table below.

Landmark Year designated
Whitman Mission 1936
Fort Vancouver 1948
Lewis and Clark 1958
American and English Camps, San Juan Island 1961
Chinook Point 1961
Marmes Rockshelter 1964
Ginkgo Petrified Forest 1965
Grand Coulee 1965
Steptoe and Kamiak Buttes 1965
Nez Perce 1965

The table shows Washington state’s ten oldest designated landmarks, including the 138.53-acre Whitman Mission. In 1847, members of the Native American Cayuse tribe killed the Whitman family and 11 other settlers of the Oregon Trail. As a result, the U.S. annexed the land as the Oregon Territory, beginning the Cayuse War. The Whitman Mission National Historic Site was designated in 1936 to commemorate the challenges encountered when two cultures meet, the Whitmans, and their role in establishing the Oregon Trail.

Photo of the Whitman Mission by Jmarkp1

The Whitman Mission is a part of the Oregon National Historic Trail, along with Fort Vancouver. The 206.72-acre reconstructed fort shows life in the Columbia District, where the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) had its northwest headquarters, operating the fur trade and overseeing vast territory from 1824 to 1845. The fort is joined by the house of HBC superintendent John McLoughlin in Oregon City, Oregon to form the entire landmark.

Nez Perce also has a foot in both Washington and Oregon (among many other sites). The National Historical Park has two sites in Washington to commemorate the history of the Nez Perce people (the Burial Site of Chief Joseph the Younger and Nez Perce Campsites at Nespelem).

To see all of the landmarks Washington shares with other states like Alaska, Idaho, Montana, New Mexico, Tennessee, and Oregon, sort the map by that desired group. Similarly, you can view the ten newest landmarks in The Evergreen State when you group by “Year designated” and opt for the “2015 – 2008” and “2006 – 1992” ranges.

You can also prepare for another state’s August birthday with a map of Hawaii’s landmarks. Or, for more general attractions, check out the World’s Largest Map of the World’s Largest Roadside Attractions.