Except for Alaska, there is no state in the Union farther north and west than Washington. Located just south of the Canadian province of British Columbia and to the north of Oregon and California, Washington has a population in excess of six million, more than half of whom live in and around the state's largest city, Seattle. One of the most popular tourist attractions in that city is the Space Needle, a landmark observation tower built for the 1962 World's Fair. Tourists can take an elevator to the top to enjoy the view or have a bite to eat in the restaurant at the top.
Another attraction near Seattle is the Puget Sound, a region of the Pacific coastline characterized by islands, fjords, and bays, many of them formed during the last Ice Age due to the movement of glaciers. Away from the coast, visitors staying in vacation rentals in Washington State can enjoy western coniferous rain forests as well as mountainous territory dotted with dormant volcanoes.
Washington is the only state named in honor of a president and is often referred to as "Washington state" in order to avoid confusion with the capital city of the nation. Like 17 other states in the U.S., Washington liquor laws include a government monopoly on the sale of alcoholic beverages, but this prohibition only applies to beverages with more than 20% alcohol by volume. Beer and wine can usually be purchased in supermarkets as well as state-run liquor stores.