“WHERE are you heading?” asked the winemaker as I sampled yet another stunning red out in the wilds of Washington State.

“Back to Seattle,” I replied.

“Well, I hope you like coffee and hippies,” he said, a smile spreading across his face.

And that rather neatly sums up Washington. No, not the one where President Obama operates the levers of power but the state of Washington on the beautiful Pacific coastline just below Canada.

Every US state has its little tag line and Washington’s is the Evergreen State.

But the public relations people really need to get to work on that. It really should be the State of Contrasts or the State of Choices.

For there are definitely two, possibly three or maybe even four, Washingtons to be discovered.

What we have here is a land of infinite options – a destination to suit everyone.

Do you stick close to Seattle and follow its musical story of Jimi Hendrix and Nirvana, its stunning art characterised by Dale Chihuly’s breathtaking glass sculptures and the deeply satisfying food and shopping?

Or do you head for the staggeringly beautiful scenery of the Olympic peninsula complete with its national park and the stunning Pacific coastline?

Would you tempted by the majestic Cascade Mountains and the extraordinary story of natural violence that is the 1980 eruption of Mount St Helens? In the unlikely scenario that none of these appeals, there is always the aforementioned wine.

Or you could do what I did and attempt to cram it all into one trip.

I started in Seattle, America’s fastest growing city, and all the more accessible for us Brits now Delta Airlines has begun regular flights from Heathrow in competition with British Airways.

So what do we know about Seattle aside from it being home to those behemoths of capitalism Microsoft, Amazon and Starbucks? Well, its most recognisable landmark is the Space Needle, that relic of the 1962 World’s Fair that will be familiar to all fans of the sitcom Frasier.

It really is a must to get the classic view of the city and the waters and islands of the Puget Sound; I took the 41-second elevator ride both at night and during the day for the full experience. There is even a revolving restaurant at the top – it takes 47 minutes to go right round so it’s quite sedate.

It means you can make a day of it along with a ride on the monorail that links it to downtown hotels.

In the shadow of the Space Needle is the Museum of Glass, an extraordinary collection of works from hometown hero – well, he’s from nearby Tacoma actually – and glass art pioneer Dale Chihuly, which has to be seen to be believed.

Next door is another rather special museum. The Frank O Gehry designed EMP is the brainchild of Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen and pays homage to Hendrix, Nirvana, the guitar, science fiction and horror films. As you would expect, it’s packed with the latest multimedia technology and has some great interactive features. It’s a really fun way to spend a few hours – the time flies by.

The Seattle City Pass means you can enjoy all these and many more attractions at reduced prices and avoid the queues, too.

When it’s time to kick back and relax, you are spoiled for choice. This is a city that prides itself on its food and drink when you look past the 70-plus branches of Starbucks and Subway.

Pacific seafood like oysters and lobster are abundant and affordable but this is a cosmopolitan place with the cuisine to match. Get a taste of what is on offer by browsing and sampling at Pike Place Market where highlights are clam chowder, chocolate-covered cherries and the sight of stall holders throwing huge salmon around. Don’t worry though, it’s all for show.

After a couple of days exploring the city, I was in the mood for the Great Outdoors.

Heading south from Seattle on Interstate 5 gives you the option of Olympic National Park with its hot springs, coastal towns and hundreds of miles of beaches.

It’s hiking and cycling country for those of all abilities, but also a place for standing and staring in wonder at the natural beauty of it all.

Further east, there are the volcanoes where all those school geography lessons come to life before your eyes. Mount St Helens is the main draw and I could not pass up the chance to get up close and personal with the mountain that caused such utter devastation when it blew its top 35 years ago. It’s a sobering experience.

But when it comes to gorgeous sights, the Columbia River Gorge – where Washington meets Oregon – is tough to beat. Skamania Lodge makes a great base from which to explore this 80-mile stretch of jagged cliffs, river views and waterfalls. Simply breathtaking.

Then it is on to wine country. Washington is the USA’s second biggest producer after California and every winemaker I meet is keen to tell me how their vineyard is on the same latitude as Bordeaux.

Red is what they do best and during a two-day tour of wineries with an excellent guide from Evergreen Escapes, I am treated to many a delightful Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Syrah. I even get a chance to eat the grapes straight off the vine, which is a new experience for me but not as much fun as when they are fermented and bottled.

Not much of what they produce makes it as far as our shores, and when you taste how it is perhaps it’s no surprise.

Let’s just a keep it a secret between us.

Our odyssey takes us to far-flung settlements like Walla Walla, where the landmark Marcus Whitman Hotel is a grand place to stay with an awardwinning restaurant to boot.

After this surfeit of sipping and supping, the long road back to Seattle features stops at the Native American reservation town of Toppenish with its 75 murals that tell the history of the settlement, and Yakima, around which 75 per cent of America’s hops are grown.

There is just time for a pit stop at the coffee shop in North Bend that was the inspiration for the surreal TV series Twin Peaks and a photo opportunity at the spectacular Snoqualmie Falls, one of the highest in the US.

Just thinking about how much ground I covered makes me feel tired.

Now, where did I put that bottle of red?

• David Brine flew Delta Airlines (delta.com) to Seattle from London Heathrow. In Seattle he stayed at the Mayflower Park Hotel (mayflowerpark.com) and Hotel Max (hotelmaxseattle.com).

He also stayed at Skamania Lodge (Skamania.com) in Columbia Gorge, the Marcus Whitman Hotel (marcuswhitmanhotel.com) in Walla Walla and the Garden Hilton Hotel (hiltongardeninn3.hilton.com).

Escorted tours were with Evergreen Escapes (evergreenescapes.com).