The Olympic Peninsula is a place of beauty, culture and outdoor recreational opportunities you won’t want to miss. What a perfect trip for this summer! The valleys, peaks and wildlife provide scenery that will take your breath away momentarily, until you get the idea that your days here will be filled with these lovely views. You still will never get used to the beauty, however.
Stop and drive through the major attraction on the Olympic Peninsula, Olympic National Park. There are numerous things to do for the whole family, including heading for Hurricane Ridge for the incredible views. You can look out over the Strait of Juan de Fuca and drive all the way up to the summit, approximately 18 miles. Lake Crescent is also a lovely place to stop and enjoy the blue waters in many ways, from paddling to hiking around the lake. A whole gamut of trails is available from this spot.
You will certainly love the views of the Olympic Mountains as you tour this amazing peninsula. The Pacific Ocean is nearby and the fresh sea breezes highlight your visit to the magnificent peaks. Nature will take you by surprise here in this Washington region, as the wildlife is abundant and birds flock everywhere.
While in Olympic National Park, visit the Hoh Rainforest where the rain falls in high quantities each year. The lush green, the mosses and the pure enchantment will have you at the get-go. Another popular rainforest is the Quinault Rain Forest with its Quinault Rain Forest Loop Drive that will enthrall you with more gorgeous scenery. You will also get glimpses of bald eagles, cougars and perhaps a black bear if you keep a sharp eye. It is a 31-mile loop and an opportunity for a terrific drive you should not pass up.
On the east of the Olympic Peninsula you’ll find Hood Canal, the variety of outdoor fun almost endless. Here in Mason County you’ll find scuba diving, hiking, kayaking and more. Perhaps you would like to fish a bit before moving on. Well, you can fish in the Hood Canal as well as do some crabbing or shrimping if you can find the time.
To the north is the Strait of Juan de Fuca which provides the chance to fit in some whale watching. Take a boat charter and get out on the water. You will also see more stunning views surrounding you. Off in the distance is Vancouver Island, inviting you to come see some of Canada.
You can start off in Port Angeles, Washington by enjoying the fresh air and some wonderful eateries, and then take a side-trip to Canada aboard a ferry. When you reach Vancouver Island, you will have the opportunity to do a little shopping and sightseeing in Victoria, British Columbia. Discover the mildest climate in the entire country. Victoria is a premiere destination for those wishing to go home and tell their friends that they visited another country. And the charm and ambience are such that you will feel completely at home. Salt Spring Island is also in British Columbia and worth a visit! Besides a lot of people, this island is the home of a few thousand sheep and many deer. Bears even make their way here. Enjoy this very artistic community!
Back in the States, make time for a trip to Dungeness National Wildlife Preserve to explore the tide flats and relax by the bay. This became a national refuge way back in 1915 and people have come here ever since to view the wide array of wildlife. Birders find a wealth of bird species here too! Don’t neglect to bring your camera and binoculars.
Now hit the Olympic Discovery Trail, go biking or hiking for as long as you like. This is a long, long trail, but you don’t have to cover all 130 miles of it. You can take it in sections. The forests, views of the Pacific, rivers and lakes you come upon as you move along this trail will have you wishing to spend more time here.
With so much to do and see on and nearby the Olympic Peninsula, you should plan your trip so you have time to take it all in. The diverse landscapes and natural beauty everywhere you look inspire you as no other place. Before you return home, make plans to come again to experience the best of the Pacific Northwest.