While away a rainy day at an interpretive center

Admiralty Head

Whether it's rain, shine or a little bit of both, Admiralty Head Lighthouse at Fort Casey Historical State Park is a great day escape! Photo by U.S. Forest Service.

April 11, 2018

Here comes the rain again!

Washington’s reputation as a rain-soaked state is “moistly” deserved. But just because it’s coming down doesn’t mean you have to hide!

Washington’s state parks have lots of great ways to enjoy the rainy days. One of the best ways to enjoy a day out is to stay inside — at a state parks interpretive center. Ready to get out? Grab an umbrella, gas up the car and have some fun even when the weather is not cooperating!


Discover hands-on learning and lots of fun at the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment State Park.

Washington State Parks has more than a dozen interpretive and historic centers located at parks across the state. Interested in history? Curious about our state’s unique geology? You can while away the day learning about any of these subjects and much more. Wherever you are in Washington, there is bound to be a state parks interpretive center a short drive from you. Here are just a few to get you started…


Dive into history and still stay dry! Explore history at the Civilian Conservation Corps Interpretive Center at Cape Disappointment. 

Admiralty Head Lighthouse
Fort Casey Historical State Park

You’ll need to request a tour to see the 1903 lighthouse, but this is a not-to-be-missed interpretive experience. Explore military and maritime history at this late-1800's army fort overlooking Admiralty Inlet Bonus: Take a quick run through the rain across the parade grounds, and explore the catacombs of old bunkers and gun batteries. Imagine what it was like to prepare for a sea-to-land battle!

Catherine Montgomery Interpretive Center
Federation Forest State Park

Federation Forest is a true testament to the power of conservation! Peruse interpretive displays highlighting the differences in the ecosystems ranging from the east to the west side of the Cascade Mountains. Bonus: Bring some light rain gear and take a walk on the trails. The thick canopy of this old-growth forest provides cover from much of the rain, and the interpretive trails near the White River are stunningly beautiful!

Civilian Conservation Corps Interpretive Center
Deception Pass State Park
Oak Harbor

Deception Pass is the perfect place to discover how the Great Depression-era publics works projects put the nation’s unemployed back to work and created some of the most iconic places in America. Visit the center, and then enjoy a rainy day lunch from the comfort of a sheltered picnic table or, if it’s not reserved, one of the Civilian Conservation Corps-built, stone-and-log kitchen shelters. Bonus: The CCC also built the iconic bridge over the turbulent waters of Deception Pass. Imagine being one of the brave souls working on this beautiful structure.

Dry Falls Visitor Center
Sun Lakes-Dry Falls State Park
Coulee City

Imagine a waterfall as wide as a small city and tall as 40-story building. That’s what the Dry Falls cataract was like when the Ice Age floods rushed across the land millennia ago. Come explore the geological history of this one-of-a-kind, dramatic landscape at the visitor center. Bonus: Go for a hike! It’s breezy at the park, but it gets less rainfall than other parts of the state.

Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center
Cape Disappointment State Park

O the Joy! So said Meriwether Lewis when he first spotted the Pacific Ocean on the Corps of Discovery’s historic westward journey. We are guessing you will feel the same when you see all that the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center has in store for you! Explore displays on the Corps, maritime history and more at this beautiful building on the cliffs of Cape Disappointment State Park. Bonus: Enjoy the stunning views of North Head Lighthouse and the crashing waves on the cliffs near the mouth of the Columbia River.

Sacajawea State Park Interpretive Center
Sacajawea Historical State Park 

One of the oldest of the state parks interpretive centers, the Sacajawea Museum is chock full of interactive exhibits featuring the Corps of Discovery and Sacagawea, the Shoshoni woman who traveled with the Corps to the Pacific Ocean. Absorb the history and then take a stroll out to the confluence of the Snake and Columbia rivers to picture yourself paddling to the ocean. Bonus: Visit the seven “Story Circles” by artist Maya Lin that were installed in the park as part of the Confluence Project.

This is only a small sample! 
You’ll find many more parks, interpretive centers and historical sites that will make a great destination on a rainy — or sunny — day. Fort Worden Historical State Park, Olmstead Historical State Park and Mount St. Helens Visitor’s Center are a few more! Visit our state parks website today to explore even more ideas for a spectacular day excursion.


Learn more...

Don’t mind a bit of rain? We’ve got another blog chock full of great ideas for having fun when it’s wet outside.
Check it out here!

Got a favorite rainy day state parks activity?
Tell us about it and share your pictures here.  


                                                                                                                      Visit Sacajawea State Park Interpretive Center