Ten Free Things to do on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula

Thanks to the Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau for these 10 free things to do on the beautiful Olympic Peninsula in the State of Washington.

  1. OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK. While there is a National Park entrance fee, nearly one million acres of playground in rain forest valleys, alpine meadows and 60 miles of unmatched wilderness coastline are yours to explore. Hurricane Ridge with vistas revealing glacier-covered peaks and steep river valleys; Lake Crescent with 12 miles of pristine, idyllic water; and the ocean beaches with rocky headlands and fascinating tide pools are three popular locations to entertain the whole family.
  2. Take a Twilight tour in Forks to look for vampires. There are organized tours to see places from the popular Stephenie Meyers book series, but you can simply stop by the Forks Chamber of Commerce to pick up a free Twilight map for your own self-guided tour. While at the Chamber you can see a replica of Bella’s truck!
  3. Check out really BIG TREES. The Quinault Valley has some really big living trees. The largest in world of their species are Western Red Cedar, Douglas Fir, Sitka Spruce and Mountain Hemlock. The Yellow Cedar and Western Hemlock are the largest in the United States. The trails to get to these big trees offer something for everyone. The largest Hemlocks are in an area called Enchanted Valley, a 15-mile, one-way backpack trip. The Western Red Cedar is found after a short walk. You can climb inside the trunk of this largest tree in the world outside California. (They have Sequoias and Redwoods, after all.) On an easy, five minute walk you can see the Sitka Spruce that is estimated to be over 1,000 years old. For more information see Quinault Rain Forest.
  4. Travel the “Magical Misty Tour” on the Olympic Peninsula Waterfall Trail. A delightful way to explore the Olympic Peninsula, the Waterfall Trail offers year-round adventures and dramatic beauty. From the cliffs of Cape Flattery to the glacial fjord of the Hood Canal, waterfalls of all sizes and shapes abound. A sweet little summer trickle can be a thundering torrent during spring run off. There is a falls for every level of adventure. One waterfall can be seen from a paved, wheelchair accessible path, one can only be reached by kayak or raft, others require a short hikes, some can be seen from the car, while others require route finding skills or a backpack trip.
  5. Walk the fragrant lavender fields in the Lavender Capital of North America™ Sequim, Washington. Visit the many colorful lavender farms in the Sequim Valley. With over 40 farms, lavender is one of the most fragrant and useful herbs. The weather conditions in Sequim are perfect for lavender. The U-pick season typically lasts from July to the first of October. America’s largest lavender festival is always held the third weekend in July.
  6. Explore World War II forts. Three forts offer history buffs in your family an opportunity to see where guns were located to protect Hood Canal, to check out the still-in-place bunkers or visit the museum at Fort Worden in Port Townsend. Hiking, camping, tide pooling and other activities are also in the areas of these historic reminders of our past. See:
  7. Speaking of tide pools! Check out mysterious critters in the tide pool areas around the Olympic Peninsula. Salt Creek with its stunning views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Victoria, British Columbia, is the perfect setting to explore some of the most exceptional tide pools in the Northwest. Come during low tide, and you’ll see starfish, sea cucumbers, crabs, sea anemones, and urchins among the plentiful sea life on display. Many of these tide pools are located at the Tongue Point Marine Life Sanctuary, which is under water at high tide. Slip Point near Clallam Bay and areas in Port Townsend also have great tide pools.
  8. Take a hike to the ocean in search of petroglyphs. A nine-mile triangle hike (three miles into the beach, three miles along the beach, and three miles back to the trailhead) can be customized to your hiking level. Do the complete nine-plus mile triangle or opt to walk the northern trail to Cape Alava to see come ancient petroglyphs of humans and whales.
  9. We have a 5-acre woods outdoor art gallery in Port Angeles. Part of the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, the Webster’s Woods Art Park features art in many mediums from metal sculptured ferns to a small field of knit sweaters to a large labyrinth. The Woods are open all daylight hours year round and have recently added a Saturday, 3pm tour start with an art ranger. Port Angeles also has an 11am start free Art on the Town guided sculpture walk through downtown with its award-winning Avenue of the People.
  10. Experience our wonderful native cultures. Each Tribal community offers places and/or activities for respectful visitors. In late winter and spring in La Push watch the migrating gray whales or join in traditional song with the Wednesday night drumming group. To learn more about the Olympic Peninsula’s native people and cultures visit the web site Pacific Northwest Tribes.

To find more information or more free things to do on the Olympic Peninsula (such as world-class birding, festivals, museums, theater, music and Olympic Coastal Cuisine!) call Olympic Peninsula Visitor Bureau at 360-452-8552 or 800-942-4042. They will be happy to help you make your visit a special event for your family!

Some additional resources:

If you need an RV rental for your Olympic Peninsula vacation, see the El Monte RV Ferndale / Bellingham RV Rentals location.

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