Washington is known for its wet weather and associated greenery, so it should come as no surprise that the arboretum here is pretty out of this world—it’s actually the result of a collaboration between UW, which manages the tree and plant collections, and the City of Seattle, which owns the land and keeps up the trails, benches, and buildings. Start at the Graham Visitor Center, where you can meet the friendly botanists on staff (they’ll give you the scoop on which parts of the park are in bloom depending on when you visit)—and definitely take the time to walk along Azalea Way to the stunning Japanese gardens. More adventurous tourists might want to explore the arboretum by kayak or canoe, which we’ve heard is an excellent strategy if you’re looking for wildlife like ducks, beavers, turtles, and—if you’re a little lucky—bald eagles.

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