Visit Olympic Peninsula Region
From snow-capped peaks and magnificent mountains to rugged coastlines and ocean beaches to temperate rain forests, get ready to explore the natural beauty of the Olympic Peninsula. Here you’ll also find charming small towns and fascinating communities plus culinary and cultural delights > OlympicPeninsula.org
Olympic National Park is the crown jewel of the peninsula and the third most visited of the western US national parks with nearly a million acres and 900 miles of hiking trails. Renowned for the diversity of its ecosystems, the park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and International Biosphere Reserve. In the center of the peninsula are the Olympic Mountains with 60 glaciers. To the west are dense rainforest valleys where rainfall can approach 200 inches a year and along the pristine Pacific coastline are 73 miles of beaches you can walk and explore, only accessible by car in a few places. The park is surrounded by the Olympic National Forest with hundreds of wilderness trails to wander.
When you’re visiting Olympic National Park, don’t miss the Hoh Rain Forest, visit the wild, rugged ocean beaches, be amazed at gorgeous Lake Crescent and Hurricane Ridge with their spectacular views.
In addition to the national park, there are 13 state parks and nearly 100 counties, city and privately operated parks for outdoor recreation, offering opportunities for biking, walking, fishing, boating, beachcombing, and camping. It’s a perfect area for wildlife viewing of Roosevelt elk, deer, an array of birds including eagles, falcons and hawks, whales, marmots, fishers, and salmon.
While you’re visiting, immerse yourself in the small communities around the Olympic Peninsula. Each town has its own personality and unique history. Enjoy the local culinary scene at farmers' markets, restaurants, cafes, wineries, cideries, and distilleries. Visit nearby farms, art galleries, and boutique shops.
Discover the rich native heritage on the peninsula. Local tribes share their history and culture at tribal centers, museums, art galleries, and events. Take the opportunity to experience stories of their past and learn about the entrepreneurial endeavors of the present and future. Visit any of the tribes’ five casinos.
Walk or bicycle the Olympic Discovery Trail, spanning 130 miles from Port Townsend to the Pacific Ocean, where 80 miles of trails are in place. Golf at one of the dozen courses scattered across the peninsula. Take a magical misty tour of the Olympic Peninsula Waterfall Trail, boasting two dozen exciting waterfalls.
Best Places to Visit on the Olympic Peninsula
Cities and Communities
LAKE QUINAULT AREA: Explore the “Valley of the Rain Forest Giants” with record-setting trees. Access to wild backcountry hiking, birdwatching, and camping. Waterfalls and scenic ocean beaches are nearby.
FORKS/WEST END: Brought to life in the fictional “Twilight” books and movies. Camping, hiking, wildlife, and photography can be enjoyed. The historical logging industry is fascinating. Pacific Ocean beaches and Hoh Rain Forest are nearby.
CLALLAM BAY/SEIKU: Highway 112 Scenic Byway ends and Cape Flattery Tribal Scenic Byway begins, concluding at the most northwestern tip of the contiguous US. Beaches, hiking, birding, kayaking, surfing and tide-pooling are highlights of the area.
PORT ANGELES/LAKE CRESCENT AREA: Check out the Olympic National Park Visitor Center and the historic Port Angeles waterfront. Enjoy art, theater, and music as cultural activities in the city. Salt Creek Recreation Area is nearby as well as tide-pooling, kayaking, hiking, and the Sol Duc Hot Springs. A ferry runs between Port Angeles and Victoria, BC, Canada.
SEQUIM/DUNGENESS VALLEY: Considered the Lavender Capital of North America, fields bloom in late June. The charming downtown celebrates the arts, music, eateries, and wines. Explore the Dungeness Wildlife Refuge and Dungeness Audubon Center as well as the family-favorite Olympic Game Farm.
PORT TOWNSEND/CHIMACUM VALLEY: Wander through this Victorian seaport to see historic architecture with shops, restaurants, and galleries along the waterfront. The Larry Scott Trail is the beginning of the Olympic Discovery Trail. Festivals occur year-round, including the Wooden Boat Festival. Check out the cideries, wineries, and farms in Chimacum Valley.
HOOD CANAL: This 63-mile, the glacier-carved fjord is home to world-class shellfish beds of oysters, clams, and geoducks. It’s the scenic route to waterfalls, beautiful viewpoints, and the eastern side of Olympic National Park at Staircase Rapids Nature Trail, 15 miles northwest of Hoodsport.
SHELTON/SOUTH HOOD CANAL: World-class SCUBA and skydiving can be found here, along with a vibrant culinary scene celebrating locally sourced and wild-caught fare. A variety of festivals and community events offer live music and opportunities to enjoy the beauty and bounty of the area.
THE STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA SCENIC BYWAY: STATE HIGHWAY 112: This dramatic coastline extends farther into the North Pacific than any other mainland point in the lower 48 states.
CAPE FLATTERY TRIBAL SCENIC STATE BYWAY: This is the first tribal road in the nation to be awarded scenic status.
PACIFIC COAST SCENIC BYWAY: 350-mile byway outlines the entire Olympic Peninsula with spectacular scenery.
The state parks on the Olympic Peninsula are breathtakingly beautiful, often thickly forested with many located on saltwater or freshwater shorelines. Some are day-use parks and others offer camping, some year-round.
ANDERSON LAKE STATE PARK: Near Chimacum, remote day-use park with forests and wildlife
BELFAIR STATE PARK: 63-acre camping park on the saltwater shoreline at the southern end of Hood Canal
BOGACHIEL STATE PARK: 123-acre camping park on the river in the remote northwestern tip of the state
DOSEWALIPS STATE PARK: 425-acre year-round camping park with shoreline and trails
FORT FLAGLER STATE PARK: 784-acre marine camping park with three sides of shoreline on Puget Sound
FORT WORDEN STATE PARK: 434-acre marine and forest camping park with shoreline beach and trails
MILLER PENINSULA STATE PARK: 2,800-acre day-use park with forests, shoreline beach, and trails
MYSTERY BAY STATE PARK: 10-acre marine park with the saltwater shoreline, dock, and mooring buoys
OLD FORT TOWNSEND STATE PARK: 367-acre marine camping park heavily wooded on the shoreline
POTLATCH STATE PARK: 57-acre camping park with saltwater beachfront on Hood Canal
SEQUIM BAY STATE PARK: 92-acre marine camping park on the saltwater shoreline in the rain shadow
SHINE TIDELANDS STATE PARK: 249-acres day use marine park with tideland north of Hood Canal Bridge
TWANOH STATE PARK: 182-acre marine campaign park with saltwater shoreline on Hood Canal
National Wildlife Refuges
WASHINGTON MARITIME NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE COMPLEX
This complex received its status in 1907 and includes about 800 islands, reefs, and rocks that can be found along the shoreline from Cape Flattery to Copalis Head and includes the three following locations.
COPALIS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE: Southernmost refuge, located within the ancestral lands of the Quinault Reservation in Grays Harbor County.
FLATTERY ROCKS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE: Northernmost of the three, located in Clallam County at the northwest tip of the peninsula.
QUILLAVUTE NEEDLES NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE: Located between the other two, spanning both Clallam and Jefferson Counties.
PROTECTION ISLAND NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE: Located near the entrance to Discovery Bay outside of Port Townsend, a refuge for burrow-nesting seabirds.
DUNGENESS WILDLIFE REFUGE: Near Sequim, established in 1915, this 772.52-acre refuge is on a 5.5-mile long Dungeness Spit.
GRAYS HARBOR NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE: Established in 1990, one of four stopover sites for shorebirds.
BELFAIR SATURDAY MARKET: May – September
CHIMACUM FARMERS MARKET: June – October
HARSTINEISLAND FARMERS MARKET: May – September
PORT ANGELES FARMERS MARKET: Year-round
PORT TOWNSEND FARMERS MARKET: April – December
SEABROOK FARMERS MARKET: June – August
SEQUIM FARMERS MARKET: May – October
SHELTON FARMERS MARKET: May – September
CAMARADERIE CELLARS: Port Angeles
EAGLEMOUNT WINE AND CIDER: Port Townsend
FAIRWINDS WINERY: Port Townsend
HARBINGER WINERY: Port Angeles
HOODSPORT WINERY: Hoodsport
MARROWSTONE VINEYARDS: Nordland
OLYMPIC CELLARS: Port Angeles
PORT TOWNSEND VINEYARDS: Port Townsend
WINE ROSE CELLARS: Sequim
Cideries, Distilleries, and Meadery
FINNRIVER FARM AND CIDERY: Chimacum
ALPENFIRE CIDER: Port Townsend
ADMIRALTY DISTILLERS: Port Townsend
HARDWARE DISTILLERY: Hoodsport
OLYMPIC DISTILLERS: Port Angeles
WILDERBEE FARM MEAD WERKS: Port Townsend
PENINSULA GOLF CLUB: Port Angeles
SUNLAND GOLFAND COUNTRY CLUB: Sequim
CEDARS AT DUNGENESS GOLF COURSE: Sequim
SKYRIDGE GOLF COURSE: Sequim
DISCOVERY BAY GOLF CLUB: Port Townsend
PORT LUDLOW GOLF COURSE: Port Ludlow
ALDERBROOK GOLF CLUB: Union
LAKELAND VILLAGE GOLF COURSE: Allyn
SALISH CLIFFS GOLF CLUB: Shelton
OAKRIDGE GOLF COURSE: Elma
HIGHLAND GOLF COURSE: Aberdeen
OCEAN SHORES GOLF COURSE: Ocean Shores
ELWHA RIVER CASINO: 15 minutes west of Port Angeles
7 CEDARS CASINO: Five miles east of Sequim
LITTLE CREEK CASINO RESORT: Five minutes south of Shelton
LUCKY DOG CASINO: Near Hoodsport
QUINAULT BEACH RESORT AND CASINO: 30 minutes west of Aberdeen