A version of this post was first published on TRAVELBREAK.
Ten years ago, you'd plan your next vacation by browsing through tour books. You'd purchase a map at a gas station or follow highway signs for a spontaneous road trip.
Now, the atlas serves little purpose for wandering -- just a debilitated piece of decor -- like a collectible Cabbage Patch Kid or tin Betty Boop lunch box.
Tour books and maps? That's pre-Google.
Today, mobile apps and social media are the root of our travel inspiration and planning.
Easily, it's an Instagram post or listicle that nudges us for a border-cross. Can a "pin," a post, a hand-held social "share" influence our interest in where we book our next trip?
I recently took to learning more about Instagram apps to boost my own travel photos, and stumbled upon so many refreshing features of Washington that I was intrigued to learn more.
Named after the U.S. president, the Evergreen State is home to some of my closest friends. Ph.D. student Nathan D. Iverson describes it as follows:
Fiercely clothed with rain-forests, mountain ranges, volcanoes, and rugged coastline, Washington State's beauty has long been a draw for creative personalities. Importing talent from around the world, the region has often been known for its influential ideas and innovative products. The residents of this state continue to shape the perspectives of our nation through photography, specifically in the 1 x 1 ratio. Whether it is their proximity to natural beauty, or the unique attitude found in those who choose to call it home, WA photographers are producing some of the most anticipated and celebrated images on social media today.
1. Washington: A Blank Slate to Stain with Passion
Photo by Cory Staudacher @withhearts
Cory's Other Favorite Spot: La Push, Washington
2. Washington: An Elevation and Revelation
Photo by Jonathan Sweet @jontaylorsweet
Jonathan's Favorite Spot: Mt. Rainer National Park, Washington
3. Washington: A Terrain Kissed By Natural Gifts
Photo by Christina Hicks @xt_marie
Christine's Favorite Spot: The Olympic Peninsula, Washington
My favorite place to travel to is the northwest coast of the state, on the Olympic Peninsula. The entire Olympic National Park is huge, and I love venturing out there for weekend getaways. The diversity of environments all in one area is incredible -- with rain forests, glaciers, mountains, and the rugged Pacific coastline, there's a bit of everything. There's something about its remoteness and untouched, rugged beauty that makes it so unique.
4. Washington: Bridging The Goodness of Creation
Photo by Trevor Olson @treasuretrev
Trevor Olson's Favorite Spot: Liberty Bell Peak
Liberty Bell Peak is my favorite place in Washington state just because of the sheer beauty and look of the highway combined with the mountains.
5. Washington: Textured by Vibrant Colors, Organic in Disposition
Photo by Janea Allen, @janealeigh
Janea's Favorite Spot: Mt. Rainer National Park, Washington
It's so difficult to pick a favorite place in Washington, because the whole State is amazing and full of diversity, but if I had to pick just one, I would say Mt. Rainier National Park. I can see it from my front porch, and it's my favorite place to explore. I have been hiking and exploring there since I was a child, and I always experience something new whenever I visit.
6. Washington: Re-discovering Local Mysteries,
Photo by Benj Haisch @benjhaisch
Benj's Favorite Spot: The Cascade Mountains, Washington
My favorite place in Washington is anywhere in the Cascade Mountains. There is so much of it that I've never explored and I can't wait to.
7. Washington: Go Forth for Greatness
Photo by Stephen Alkire @Stephenalkire
Stephen's Favorite Spot: The Washington Coast
The forest, the ocean, the sea stacks, the starfish, and the rainy weather. The Washington Coastline is my absolute favorite.
8. Washington: The Sprout of Hope in Limitless Landscapes
Photo by Daniel Volland @DrVolland
Daniel's Favorite Spot: Puget Sound, Washington
I love being on the water and exploring the Puget Sound. I especially love taking the ferry to Bainbridge Island--so much to see and do.
9. Washington: Serene and Uninterrupted
Photo by Brenna Nickels @brenna_marriie
Brenna's Favorite Spot: Blanca Lake, Washington
My favorite place in Washington right now is Blanca Lake, which I hiked for the first time two weekends ago. Located in the Cascade Mountains, the lake is a brilliant turquoise in color and sits in a basin surrounded by glacier peaks. It is beyond breathtaking!
10. Washington: The Legend
Photo by Nathan Iverson, @nathan_iverson
Nathan's Favorite Spot: Upper Base Camp on Easton glacier
One of the most surprising parts of Washington is that my favorite place keeps on changing after each adventure! Mount Rainier, Mountain Loop Highway, and Mount Baker have all been on the list. A recent favorite memory for me was Upper Base Camp on Easton glacier as smoke rose up from the volcano behind me, the sun went down, and pieces of ice crashed into the waterfall thousands of feet beneath us in the valley below.
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Stephanie Be is an award-winning writer, photographer and travel expert. Having traveled to over 200 places, the entrepretraveler and UCLA Alumna has a passion for adventure, lifestyle and motivation. Learn more on Travel-Break.net, follower her on Instagram @StephBeTravel, Facebook, Pinterest and Snapchat: TravelBreak.