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Fun Facts About Washington State

Several years ago, I was given a list of fun facts about Washington.  I didn’t know all of this about our wonderful state and thought you might be able to pick up some fun trivia here, too!

  • Washington is America’s coffee capital with more coffee bean roasters per capita than any other state.
  • “The Wave,” a popular fan cheer for the past 25 years, was started by Husky fans at the University of Washington(I used to work with the famous fan known as “Captain Husky” at PACCAR, years ago)
  • Washington State is the nation’s largest exporter, representing 34 billion dollars and 5% of all US exports which includes forest products, aerospace products, apples, tulips, hops, mint, wheat and several other quality food products.
  • The first revolving restaurant in the U.S. was built in Seattle for the 1962 World’s Fair and is located at the top of the Space Needle.  It’s called Sky City.
  • Downtown Seattle Skyline From Alki

  • The State is home to the world’s largest private car collection featuring over 3,000 vehicles.  I can’t believe someone has more cars than Jay Leno!
  • Grand Coulee Dam, the largest concrete structure in North America, is located in Washington State.
  • Washington’s residents are educated with the most residents holding high school diplomas than any other state. Seattle leads the country in residents with more college degrees per capita.
  • The Boeing Plant, located in Everett, is the world’s largest building – able to fit 74 football fields inside!
  • In Washington, a Seahawk is an athlete, not a bird. The closest thing to a “seahawk” is an osprey hawk.
  • Washington, the 42nd state in the union, is the only state named for a U.S. President.
  • Washington produces 70% of the nation’s hops used to brew beer.
  • With 37” annually, Seattle gets less rainfall than Atlanta, Boston, New York, Houston, Miami, New Orleans, Philadelphia, or Washington D.C but we are still depicted as a very rainy city in movies.
  • Washington’s Hells Canyon is the deepest river gorge in North America, deeper than the Grand Canyon at over 5,500 feet deep.
  • Homegrown musicians include Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobain, Dave Grohl, Heart, Kenny G, The Wailers, Pat Boone, Bing Crosby, Quincy Jones and American Idol runner-up, Blake Lewis.
  • Petrified wood is the state’s gem. There is a petrified forest in the state that is considered the most unusual fossil forest in the world.
  • Washington State defines innovation. Some of the leading companies include MicrosoftAmazonNordstromREIBoeingPACCARCostco and Starbucks.
  • More people in Seattle commute to work on bicycles than any other city in the nation.  Yep, they have Portland, OR beat!
  • Far Side cartoonist Gary Larson is a Washington native (…and when I worked at Kinko’s in the mid 1990’s, we printed his retirement part invitations!)
  • Washington has hosted the World’s Fair twice: 1962 in Seattle and 1974 in Spokane.
  • The longest accessible beach in the U.S. is in Washington. The 28 mile long stretch is aptly named Long Beach.
  • Washington’s cows produce more milk per cow than any other state, totaling 1.3 billion pounds of milk each year.
  • The State’s nickname is the Evergreen State for its abundant evergreen forests.
  • Washington has the largest ferry system in the nation; 26 million passengers travel by ferry each year.
  • The State is America’s raspberry capital harvesting more than 57 million pounds of raspberries each year.
  • Washington is the nation’s top apple producing state with 10-12 billion apples handpicked annually.
  • Seattle sells more sunglasses per capita than any major city in the nation (probably because we have enough time between between sunny days, that we lose them and have to buy ’em again!)

And one last thing to share with you.  As a little girl, my dad would read me the L. Frank Baum Wizard of Oz books every night at bedtime.  I really enjoyed these moments with my dad, and the books were so enjoyable to read.  Like nearly everyone, I grew up watching “The Wizard of Oz” movie and sequel “Return to Oz“.  One thing that would always confuse me was when Dorothy approached the Emerald City: it looked nothing like Seattle!  There was no Space Needle!!  As a child, it was hard for me to understand that this was a different city than the nickname we’ve given Seattle.  🙂

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