This past Saturday, Berty and I decided to take a one day road trip and drive the Olympic Peninsula Loop.
To those who aren’t familiar with Washington State, the Olympic Loop is a scenic highway that circles the entire perimeter of the Olympic National Forest. This is a unique drive because in the span of 300+ miles, you can see breath-taking ocean shores, pristine lakes, captivating mountain ranges, and even a temperate rain forest! Talk about getting your mile’s worth. 😉
We took this trip because it’s totally do-able in a day. Berty and I didn’t have a whole weekend to commit to an adventure, but we still wanted to get out an explore new places. The Olympic Loop was the perfect choice because it checked off some long-standing bucket list spots! Our friends were free (yay!) so we invited them along and spent the whole day catching up on life.
Our first stop, naturally. We began our trip going south, passing through Olympia. While in the state’s capitol, it’s impossible to not stop at Olympia Coffee Roasters! This place won countless awards thanks to their talented Barista’s and killer skills. With coffee and pastries in hand, it was a perfect morning to catch us with one another and begin our day’s adventure.
On our way to Ruby Beach, we drove north on Highway 101. This is such an exciting road to drive on because as you near the water, between colossal evergreen trees are pockets of jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean. We couldn’t wait to get out of the car and soak in our first view of the day!
After a 3.5 hour car ride, we finally arrived at Ruby Beach. Crashing waves rhythmically hit the shore, and driftwood swelled back and forth in its wake. Looking back, we will return when the tide is out. We definitely came during high tide, which prevented us from going farther north and exploring the rock formations. However, we spent the rest of the morning climbing over piled logs, taking pictures and enjoying each other’s company, so it was time well spent. The ocean is so captivating!
We watched the weather forecast all week and we were CERTAIN that it was going to be a rainy, cloudy day. Fortunately, we were pleasantly surprised with on and off again sun breaks and just a few showers. We packed Berty’s Ona bag with our raincoats and a Woolrich blanket juuuuust in case. This bag is perfect for the unpredictable Pacific Northwest weather. Its leather exterior lets water run right off the top, keeping your essentials dry! And hellooooo, it’s uber stylish.
Berty and I were stoked that our friends Kate and Matt could join us. They have been in our lives for quite some time now! Kate and Matt both are patient, loving individuals who care a lot about each other! We first met them in college, and have been friends through job searches, life transitions, and so much more. Whenever we get together with these two it’s always a blast.
Traveling with friends, in my opinion, is one of the best things you can do to create lasting relationships. It allows you to see one another in vulnerable spots, experience new places together, and helps you connect on a deeper level. Before you plan you next trip, try to think of who you would enjoy spending a day with. Do you want to know someone better? Invite them! Rekindle old friendships? Give them a call!
After a couple hours at the beach, we needed to find a place to each lunch. All of us were craving greasy diner food and coffee, so we did a quick google search and found the perfect spot in Twilight…I mean, Forks, WA. BUT, our trip is long from over. Stay tuned in a few days to see the rest of this photo set! In the meantime, read below for some more places that you can check out right off the Olympic Loop Highway…
OLYMPIC LOOP HIGHWAY ESSENTIALS:
This time, we weren’t able to fit this beach in – but it’s definitely a must-see! Rialto Beach is similar to Ruby Beach, except that it has 10x the driftwood and it’s practically all bleached white. On its shore, it also has a walking trail called Hole In The Wall that I reallllllly want to hike someday!
An iconic stop for anyone wanting to soak in the best of the Northwest. At First Beach, there is easy access to the waterfront. Second beach requires a short hike, and Third beach is only for the people who really want to commit. (1.2 miles). Similar to Ruby and Rialto beach, rock formations stand out proudly in the water.
Inside the rainforest, there are two short hikes (which are beautiful) and a big 17.3 backpacking trail for summer adventures. This stop is definitely recommended for nature buffs.
Here, you can find the most northwest point of the continental U.S.! It’s a short hike and the views are totally worth it.
READ MORE PACIFIC NORTHWEST ADVENTURES
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