This post should be equipped with a automatic counter for the amount of times I’ve about to write the words “breath taking” and “magical” but there’s really no other words that best describe the Olympic Peninsula and well, #SorryNotSorry! The Olympic Peninsula is located in western Washington and home to the Olympic National Park, a legit rainforest, the most northern point of the contiguous (look it up!) United States, and of course a few vampires and werewolves (obvi). Both Bekah and I have been lucky enough to visit the Olympic Peninsula annually since 2015 when we went originally went for work and thereafter have described it as probably the most beautiful place in the United States. So if you’re planning a trip to Seattle, Portland, or even Vancouver, a side trip to the Olympic Peninsula is super, highly, really, really, recommended!
Kalaloch Beach / Lodge
The Tree of Life
We had heard of Kalaloch and arguably it’s most well-known resident the “Tree of Life” but we actually happened upon the Kalaloch Lodge on accident. Knowing that we would probably arrive too late into Forks (our destination, #ETGBTT after all), we saw a restaurant and pulled out quick. It turned out to be one of the magical places I’ve seen on the Olympic Peninsula which is saying something since the whole thing is pretty high on magic to begin with. Kalaloch lodge is home to a pretty darn good restaurant that overlooks the Pacific Ocean along with some very charming looking cabins that are literally on a bluff overlooking the ocean. Put your name in at the restaurant and then walk down to the beach because it was breathtaking. The tide was out so far it seemed almost as if we were talking on water. Otherworldly, indeed.
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Our super friendly waiter found out we were on our way to Forks and this was on our bill. Unicorn!
Aberdeen / Kurt Cobain’s Home Town
Well, Aberdeen isn’t exactly a resort town but it is home to a few places worth a stop including a super weird Star Wars store and a memorial to Kurt Cobain and of course the “Come As You Are” sign. We headed down to Riverfront park to sit near the river Kurt wrote about and to see first hand just how much Nirvana’s music touched so many people.
Forks and La Push (it’s LA PUSH, baby)
Ok, I’ll go if you stop saying that.
Home to Twilight, a guy named Mick Dodge, and… well some more Twilight! Bekah covers off on Forks in her post about our most recent trip there, but it is not to be missed. Not only is it the home to our favorite fictional vampires but it’s the gateway to the Olympic National Park and nearby La Push which truly deserves it’s own post. Jacob really was the lucky one because La Push’s beaches are beyond description and yes… breathtaking AND magical.
Head to First Beach for views like this:
Or Rialto Beach for views like this:
Stop at Three Rivers for a shake or a GOOD burger amongst kitschy Twilight memorabilia and check out the “treaty line”… or if you’re feeling a tiny bit more fancy, the River’s Edge restaurant is a nice place to watch the sun go down.
Sequim (pronounced Skwim)
The Olympic Peninsula may be known as one of the rainiest places in the US but Sequim is called Sunny Sequim for a reason, because of some interesting geological stuff we won’t bore you with, Sequim enjoys tons of sun year around, which means lots of retirees BUT it also means the it’s the perfect place to grow lavender (say what?!) yes, Sequim is North America’s largest producer of lavender and it is so gorgeous they created a whole annual festival just to celebrate it.
Hurricane Coffee Company
While in Sequim head to the Hurricane Coffee Shop for a Turmeric Chai Latte and pay it forward by buying a drink for someone else and adding it to their register for people to pick up and use as needed.
Not only is Port Angeles home to the thugs who cornered Bella in what’s been “affectionately” coined “rapist alley,” we’re happy to report it’s a very nice city with no actually rapist alley and full of shops to hit up before you head out into the “wilderness” (essentially) of the western part of the Olympic Peninsula. Cause honey, there’s no Target in the rainforest.
Stock up on provisions and by provisions we mean WINE at the Harbinger Winery, a local award-winning winery creating yummy Washington grown vino! Stop in for a tasting or one of their fun events and grab some wine for the road!
So what are you waiting for? Plan your trip now! And we’ll probably see you there next fall!