The Olympic Peninsula in Washington State is the perfect getaway and a great place to explore in the summer months. There are beautiful beaches, crystal clear lakes, and plenty of nature trails just waiting for the traveller to enjoy! We did the circle route in a clockwise rotation, beginning and ending in Vancouver, Canada.
On our first day we drove past Seattle and Olympia, and continued onto Aberdeen. We headed north on Hwy 101 to where the Olympic National Park camping area at Kalaloch Beach is located.
We had booked ourselves a camping spot for a couple of nights so we could explore the area. The Kalaloch Lodge is also there with suites in a main lodge, as well as cabins, both with spectacular ocean views.
During our stay here we enjoyed walks along Kalaloch Beach…
…and Ruby Beach, which was a truly spectacular stretch of sand with sea-stacks, driftwood, and sea life.
I would highly recommend a stop at Ruby Beach. We unfortunately only had a short time here, but you could spend hours wandering the beach and enjoying the ocean breeze.
We also took a trip into Forks, which for you Twilight fans is where much of the filming of this movie took place.
After our stay here we headed to Lake Crescent to find a camping spot there. Once again there is a lodge, as well as cabins, where you can stay. Lake Crescent is a deep, glacier-carved lake with glass-like water. The reflections from the surrounding hills make for some stunning photos.
You can go boating or canoeing on the lake, or hike one of the trails nearby. One of the more popular trails is a hike to Marymere Falls which begins near the Lake Crescent Lodge.
Make time for a stop at the lodge to have a coffee and enjoy the lakeview from their sunroom.
Once we left Lake Crescent we drove east toward Port Angeles. You can catch a ferry here which will take you to Victoria on Vancouver Island. Victoria is a bustling city in the summer months with many festivals and tourist sites to see. The parliament buildings for British Columbia are located here, as well as the Royal British Columbia Museum.
If you are continuing along the Olympic Peninsula then make a side trip just outside Port Angeles up to Hurricane Ridge. The road up to Hurricane Ridge can be unpredictable depending on the weather conditions so check at the visitor centre before continuing. If you do make the drive up then you’ll be rewarded with sweeping vistas of mountain peaks and trails to meander along.
After our trip to Hurricane Ridge we stopped in Port Townsend for the night. Port Townsend is a charming, seaport city surrounded by water.
Art galleries, restaurants, pubs, and boutiques can be found in the heritage buildings that line the main street here.
Port Townsend is a great city to either start or end your trip around the peninsula. It is also the place to catch ferries to Whidbey Island, as well as to Seattle. If you only have a couple of days for a road trip in Washington State, a drive around the Olympic Peninsula is the perfect solution.