Explore the Underrated: 15 Small Towns in Washington State You Need to Visit

Onasill – Bill Badzo/Openverse

Washington State, known for its energetic cities and beautiful surroundings, is home to many small towns frequently overlooked by the general public. Each of these tiny towns in Washington State has a unique history and a story to tell that sets it apart from the state’s more populated cities. If you want to venture off the usual route, finding these quiet spots can help you get closer to Washington’s calmer and more reflective side. Swipe through for some truly underappreciated places, each hiding an attraction just waiting to be found.

Metaline Falls


Tucked away in the northeastern corner of Washington, Metaline Falls is a town that feels like a step back in time. The dramatic cliffs and lush forests surrounding the city create a lovely setting that has remained relatively untouched by modern development. Historic buildings like the Cutter Theatre reflect its early 20th-century boom years. Despite its scenic beauty, Metaline Falls has seen a population decline, leaving its delightful streets quieter than ever.

South Bend

Onasill – Bill Badzo/Openverse

South Bend is situated along the serene Willapa River. It is famous for its oyster industry and historical significance. The imposing Pacific County Courthouse, built in 1910, is proof of the town’s once-thriving economic status. However, as industries have changed, the city has struggled to attract new businesses and residents. 


Washington Trust/Openverse

Sprague, located in Lincoln County, has a main street with historic buildings that point back to its days as a railway hub. The once-bustling town has seen many storefronts shuttered, giving it a ghostly, nostalgic air. Local landmarks like the Sprague Historical Museum keep the town’s rich history alive. Economic hardships have significantly impacted the city, but it remains a fascinating place for history enthusiasts.


Steven Pavlov/Openverse

This former coal mining town is a gateway to Mount Rainier National Park and retains much of its historic character. The Wilkeson Coke Ovens, remnants of the town’s industrial past, provide a glimpse into its once-thriving economy. Today, with fewer than 500 residents, Wilkeson has turned into a quiet community that attracts visitors seeking a slower pace of life. Its proximity to outdoor adventures makes it a pleasant place worth visiting.

Kettle Falls

Neil Hodges/Openverse

Kettle Falls, near the Columbia River, is an overlooked gem with deep historical roots, particularly significant to indigenous tribes. The town’s serene environment, coupled with access to Lake Roosevelt for outdoor activities, makes it a worthwhile destination for those seeking history and natural beauty.



Situated in the heart of the Palouse region, Rosalia is a quaint town enveloped by rolling hills and expansive wheat fields. This small community is notable for its historic sites, such as the Steptoe Battlefield, which commemorates a noteworthy conflict between Native American tribes and the U.S. Army. Despite its rich historical heritage, Rosalia has faced challenges in sustaining a robust economy and growing its population. Nevertheless, visitors are charmed by the town’s serene ambiance and natural beauty.


John Gateley/Openverse

You can find Washtucna in Adams County. It is a small town that embodies the quiet rural life of Washington. With a population of just a few hundred, this sleepy town is easy to overlook. The surrounding area is characterized by vast, rolling wheat fields that stretch to the horizon. Although often bypassed by travelers, Washtucna is a peaceful retreat from modern life’s bustle.


Warren LeMay/Openverse

Garfield, another small town in the Palouse, is deeply rooted in agriculture. Over the years, its population has reduced, leaving behind a community that values its peace. The town’s historic buildings and friendly locals make it a pleasant destination. Garfield’s agricultural heritage and rural landscape offer a snapshot of Washington’s farming history.



Lind is best known for its unique annual event, the Combine Demolition Derby, which draws visitors from far and wide. Beyond this quirky attraction, Lind is a small agricultural town with a rich history. Its old buildings and quiet streets reflect a simpler time. Despite the annual influx of visitors to the derby, Lind remains a largely unnoticed gem.


Ken Lund/Openverse

With fewer than 200 residents, Starbucks is one of the smallest towns in Washington. It is located near the Tucannon River and offers excellent fishing and outdoor recreation opportunities. The town’s historic buildings and peaceful surroundings make it a perfect getaway for those looking to escape the modern world. Starbuck’s charm lies in its simplicity and the unspoiled beauty of its natural surroundings.



Mansfield sits atop the expansive Waterville Plateau, offering sweeping views of the surrounding farmland. Its history is deeply intertwined with agriculture, which remains the town’s primary industry. The remote location has kept Mansfield small and relatively unknown. Visitors here can enjoy the wide-open spaces and the town’s slow, rural pace.


Onasill – Bill Badzo/Openverse

Just a stone’s throw from the Idaho border, Rockford is a small town with a long history. Its downtown is littered with historic buildings that tell the story of its past. Each year, the city comes alive for the Southeast Spokane County Fair, drawing visitors from around the region. Despite these moments of activity, Rockford remains a quiet, unassuming place most of the year.


Richard Bauer/Openverse

Reardan is a small town with a strong sense of community and deep agricultural roots. Located in Lincoln County, it has seen many young residents move away in search of better opportunities. Reardan maintains its charm with historic buildings and a close-knit community despite this. The town’s rural landscape and tranquil atmosphere provide a refreshing escape from urban life.


Ian Sane/Openverse

Perched at the mouth of the Columbia River, Ilwaco is a town with a rich maritime heritage. Coastal nearby cities like Long Beach often overshadow it, but Ilwaco offers unique attractions, such as the nearby Cape Disappointment State Park and the Ilwaco Heritage Museum. The town’s historic waterfront is a quiet spot perfect for enjoying the local fishing culture. 



Darrington is nestled in the North Cascades and surrounded by breathtaking mountains and forests. The town has a rich logging history, reflected in its local museum and community events. Visitors can enjoy hiking, fishing, and exploring the scenic trails that make Darrington a gateway to wilderness adventures.


Leave a Comment