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My wife and I are planning a trip there this summer and would like folks’ thoughts about things to do and see.

 

Which lodges in the park are best?

 

A good BnB in Port Angeles or Port Townsend?

 

Restaurants?

 

Nice day hikes?

 

I appreciate any insights the Saloon can share.

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Bring winter clothes- or at least what passes for winter clothes in the South.  It was in the 40's over night- in August.  You know that clammy, damp cold we in the South get after a winter rain storm that's brought 3 straight days of rian?  They call that Tuesday.

 

You ever notice that folks will miss type 'Pacific North West' as 'Pacific North Wet'?  It's not an accident. 

 

Everything out there once you get west of the mountains is wet because it rains- often.  Bring a rain coat.

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Charlie,

 

The Sequim area and some places around it are in the Banana Belt of the state where it is much dryer and you will notice when visiting.  Lavender fields are popular around there, as are a lot of local restaurants like Nourish...but check what day of the week you are there and what nights they are open.  They have some good bakeries as well in their downtown area.  In general there is much less rain in the state in the summer....my first one here went 2 months without rain, beautiful temps with low humidity but can get cool at night, and very few bugs.  Casinos are there as well if into that.

 

Port Angeles has more of a "traveling" crowd and semi homeless/homeless.  You will notice its not as clean or upscale....I would say Sequim is a retirement community and kind of blue collar compared to a lot of the trendier and tourist towns like Port Townsend, and Port Angeles is not as nice as Sequim.  Locals talk about Crescent Lodge a lot as far as in the park but I haven't stayed there.

 

Salt Creek recreational area is excellent near Port Angeles....shallow enough to walk out a long ways with gentle waves, a lot of people teach kids to surf and such there, but water temps not tropical :)  Beautiful area.  Dungeness spit in Sequim is pretty cool as well, can hike out a little ways or I think maybe 5 miles to a lighthouse.  I would highly suggest downloading the "Alltrails" app and you can find hikes near you...tons of beautiful places up that way. 

 

Port Townsend is pretty cool, there is a ferry terminal there that will take you over to Coupeville and Fort Casey (old battery and military area to guard the sound, there are 3 of them that are similar) and could go into Deception Pass park, Anacortes, or even catch another ride up to the San Juans.  Poulsbo and downtown area would be a nice place to stop on the way up, have to hit Sluys bakery there.

 

The San Juans are pricey....last time I took ferry it was 100 bucks a round trip, but man was it worth it.  Ive only been to San Juan island and it was awesome, hear Orcas Island is great as well.  Great place to relax, experience local bakeries/breweries, see Orcas, kayak, etc.

 

On the way there or back if you took hwy 20 through the North Cascades park I think you would like that.  Very few people compared to the rest, absolutely beautiful areas.  As you go across and come out on the east side towns like Winthrop (Sun Mountain Lodge is really nice) and Twisp are a bit more rodeo like rural areas but still with plenty of charm and scenery.  Obviously Mount Rainier is there, can drive up to Paradise and have lunch there and hike at the base of the mountain if you haven't yet.

 

 

 

 

Edited by JD Lud
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A great destination. Crescent Lake Lodge very fancy and not cheap. There'd be lots of B&Bs around the peninsula.

 

I've hike a lot in the Olympic over the decades, and in recent years have done several short backpack trips up the rivers on the Hood Canal side; Duckabush and Skokomish in particular. There would be many good day hikes up the rivers on the ocean side, into the rainforest; not to be missed. Sol Duc Hotsprings-- check the status re access and accomodations. 

 

Hurricane Ridge in the Park on the north side is drive in; a must see. Full panoramas of Pt. Angeles, Strait of Juan De Fuca, and Victoria on Vancouver Is.

 

Lots to see and do there.

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If you have the budget, this is one of the nicest b&b's I've ever stayed in.

Domaine Madeleine

Some good info on their site as to what to see and do.

Summers here are usually very nice, minimal rain (contrary to what Smuteye John says above), temps around 70 to 75.

Visited here often over the years, and finally moved to Sequim in 2018.

Feel free to PM me with questions, and would be happy to meet up with you when you come over.

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Check out Kalaloch Lodge on the beach just outside the park. Once there you can venture into the Ho Rain Forest and find LOTS of stuff to do.

 

Also check out the lodge at Lake Quinault.

 

.

Edited by Sixgun Sheridan
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Unfortunately, if it's summertime you'll miss the April Skagit Valley Tulip Festival ~ but the growers shops would still be worth visiting.  I discovered this event quite by accident on a road trip 24 years ago and it was impressive enough that I've been back twice.  Literally miles of fields full of tulips, daffodils, and jonquils is breathtaking   Pictures

 

If you make it as far as La Conner, nearby Oak Harbor on Whidbey Island is the home of the small but neat Pacific Northwest Naval Museum, featuring the humble but OH so cool PBY Catalina.  

 

JD Lud mentioned the San Juans... the ferry ride is relaxing.  If you land at Friday Harbor and if you happen to dine at Friday's Crabhouse, be sure to say "Howdy!" to owner Jerry Gordon.  Jerry was one of my Kappa Phi Delta frat brothers, and a key participant in the Great Catfish Caper and the Night Fred Shot the Cook.  :rolleyes:

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Prepare for all types of weather. Out on the peninsula it can change rather rapidly and a nice day can turn life threatening in the blink of an eye. When out hiking be sure to leave a detailed itinerary of where you are going and resist the urge to deviate from it.

The weather patterns for the entire region are rather interesting. The San Juan's and other mountains create rain shadows. Moving 5 miles can be the difference between getting 1 inch of rain or 5 inches.

 

If you plan on taking any of the ferries be sure to verify the schedules. Certain runs of the The Port Townsend ferry to Coupeville and back are subject to cancellation due to strong tides. 99.99% of the time the cancellations are published well in advance. However occasionally they miss the mark.  If you do ride the ferry from Coupeville to Port Townsend Be sure to be up front as you make the approach to the dock. 

 

If you are driving The North Cascades Highway is a worthy detour. Just check and be sure the road is open. One 4th of July trip the road was open but snow was still 12 feet deep in the passes.

 

Unfortunately Pike Street and down town Seattle have become a cesspool and I would avoid the area. 

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19 hours ago, Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967 said:

Unfortunately, if it's summertime you'll miss the April Skagit Valley Tulip Festival ~ but the growers shops would still be worth visiting.  I discovered this event quite by accident on a road trip 24 years ago and it was impressive enough that I've been back twice.  Literally miles of fields full of tulips, daffodils, and jonquils is breathtaking   Pictures

 

I don't remember miles of tulip fields so much as miles of traffic on tiny two-lane roads just trying to get there. <_<

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29 minutes ago, Sixgun Sheridan said:

 

I don't remember miles of tulip fields so much as miles of traffic on tiny two-lane roads just trying to get there. <_<

 

Wasn't bad at all on the days we went ~ definitely not Saturday!  ^_^

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They literally had news announcements to ask people stuck in traffic not to poop in the fields....I sh#t you not...pun intended....

 

I will say the WSDOT app is extremely helpful for monitoring the passes and any closures and making ferry reservations.  As long as you are at the ferry 20 minutes or so early it’s no problem with reservations.  They have shut the snack bar down and closed off the open fresh air deck for some reason....but hopefully open by this summer.  It’s great in the summer just to enjoy the scenery and doesn’t get old...

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53 minutes ago, Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967 said:

Wasn't bad at all on the days we went ~ definitely not Saturday!  ^_^

 

Well that's true... as long as you venture out on a rainy Tuesday when its 45 degrees out it's not hard to get around up here. Sunny weekends? Good luck.

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Should mention that the locals will be wearing shorts, t-shirts and flip flops even though the temps are in the low 50's. So don't look out the window and judge what you should wear by what you see

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