Where is your retreat? That place that brings you grounding and resets your mind for the weeks ahead? For Berty and I, this place is the Olympic Peninsula. We love taking day trips out here and re-connecting with one another and our friends. The OP has a little bit of everything: ocean shores, rainforest, lakes, mountains, waterfalls…you can’t go wrong! If you are interested in going there yourself, we’ve put together this post of our favorite locations (and even a road trip route to see it all here!) Enjoy!
11 Places to See on the Olympic Peninsula
1. Port Angeles
Port Angeles is usually the first stop on our trips to the Olympic Peninsula. We regularly pass through and grab a bite to eat at their many delicious mom & pop restaurants. However, if you want to stay longer, check out the City Pier or the WA Lavender Farms on a sunny summer day. You can even catch a ferry up to Victoria, BC (passport required!).
Other Olympic Towns: 7 Fun Things To Do In Ocean Shores, WA
2. Lake Crescent
Located about 30 minutes west of Port Angeles, this lake has beautiful public docks and trails for you to enjoy. At the iconic Mt. Storm King Ranger Station is the trailhead to Marymere Falls and the more challenging Storm King. We recommend coming early in the morning for a quiet trail and peaceful, glassy lake view!
Read More: Lake Crescent in the Fall
3. Clallam Bay
We found this place by accident! We were on our way to Cape Flattery when Jacob and Esther (Bloggers at the Local Adventurer) spotted a rock formation free-standing off the shore. We pulled our car over and spent a while checking out the marine life on the beach and taking pictures of this beautiful rock! If you are brave and willing to get wet, you could probably make your way out to it.
Read More: A Day at Cape Flattery, Washington
4. Cape Flattery
This place really exceeded my expectations. After a short 10 minute hike, there were several boardwalks to discover, each with it’s own breathtaking views of the cape in all directions. There were many places to sit down and enjoy the view too. I’ve seen and heard that there are some pretty beautiful caves at the base of these formations, so I’m excited for a return trip this summer. Maybe with some kayaks…? 🙂
READ MORE: Photo Journal: Cape Flattery
5. Ruby Beach
Similar to La Push Beaches, this piece of the coast has many places to explore and several beautiful rock formations. It’s a very easy hike down to the water so if you’re looking for a great view for little to no effort, this is your beach. To get the most out of your trip here, make sure to check these tide charts and schedule a visit during low tide.
Read More: A Morning At Ruby Beach
6. Rialto Beach
If you’re looking for a moody beach, look no further than Rialto. The washed-up, skeleton-like trees give it a somber vibe and it’s a perfect space for some personal reflection. You can also do a fairly easy hike along the beach here – Hole In The Wall (a 4-mile out and back trail) gives you scenic views of the Pacific Ocean and gorgeous rock formations.
7. La Push Beaches
On this part of the Washington coast, there are 3 iconic beaches, consecutively named First, Second, and Third Beach. First Beach is easy to get to (a parking lot right on the water – see picture below), Second Beach has a parking lot and a hike, and Third Beach has a parking lot and an even longer hike.
Read More: La Push and Beach Camping Tips
Our favorite – Second Beach requires s quick 15 minute hike down a forest path before you head to the shore. It’s iconic rock formations are a must see (especially during summer sunsets) and *bonus* you can actually camp here! Read this post for more information about permits and this one about beach camping tips.
READ MORE: Beach Camping At La Push
READ MORE: Photo Journal: La Push
8. Ocean Shores, WA
This little town on the coast of Washington is the perfect weekend getaway location. You can enjoy their miles of pristine beaches, explore the jetty, and maybe even see some sea lion pups on the shore! Ocean Shores has a lot of activities as well, everything from riding mopeds on the beach to boogie boarding in the ocean to tasting their many delicious (and local!) seafood restaurants!
9. Hoh Rainforest Hike
We walked the Spruce Nature Trail, which is an easy 1.2-mile loop that showcases all the beautiful diversity of the Hoh Rainforest! There are many trails here in this area, but if you are looking for an easy one (say with kids, or you just want a quick hike) this trail is definitely worth your time. You can also camp here and take multiple-day hikes – read this blog post to learn more!
10. Hurricane Ridge Hike
This place is worth the drive any time of year. We’ve come up to snowshoe in the winter as well as a quick picnic in the summertime. Whatever activity you choose, we recommend coming for sunrise or sunset. The uninhibited sky will light up with pinks, oranges and blues! The view of the Olympics is one you won’t forget. Come with a blanket or a jacket….all year round. It gets cold very quickly!
Read More: Hurricane Ridge: The Ultimate Sunset Trip
11. Lake Cushman
If you’re looking for some classic R&R, grab a picnic basket, a good book, and a lawn chair to come and hang out on Lake Cushman. Being surrounded by so many trees and greenery, you’ll forget you’re only an hour away from Olympia!
Read More: The Ultimate Olympic Peninsula Road Trip
There are so many other beautiful places to see on the Olympic Peninsula! Where would you suggest we go next? Let us know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading!
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