Hi guys! It’s been a minute since my last post! I’ve missed everyone and I wanted to jump on to share the most perfect (and budget friendly) road trip itinerary for one of my best trips yet- Olympic National Park (ONP). Only a few hours outside of Seattle, this Olympic is one of my favorites for so many reasons- hiking, landscape diversity, and WATERFALLS….need I say more?!!?
The first stop on this road trip is Port Townsend, which is the best place to start this national park road trip, IMO. Sitting directly on the Pudget Sound and right outside of ONP, Port Townsend really has it all. Due to the history and amount of victorian houses, we opt to stay in a bed and breakfast for 2 nights to start off our trip, specifically Old Consulate Inn. When I booked this bed and breakfast I had no idea just how special this place was. The Inn Keepers, Cindy and Nathan, are extremely welcoming, the food is to die for, and the landscaping and decor make is so cozy you may contemplate staying forever. Each night Cindy will even bring chocolate to each guest room in a cute little basket and hang it on your door…..how can you not love that?!
Besides enjoying Old Consulate Inn, there are tons of activities to take advantage of while in Port Townsend. I recommend spending day 2 on the Pudget Sound. The best way to do that is by taking the Pudget Sound Express on the Whale Watching Tour to San Juan Island. Your are sure to see wildlife sometime during the day and you also have the opportunity to get lunch, go shopping and explore San Juan Island. Be sure to book this tour early though as it historically sells out fast!
In addition to the boat tour, I also recommend hiking to Glass Beach, walking/shopping downtown, and checking out some of the amazing Port Townsend restaurants- Fountain Cafe, Finistère, and Alchemy Bistro and Wine Bar were my favorite.
On day three, wake up early and head straight for Hurricane Ridge in ONP. When you reach the top, check out the visitor’s center- chances are you will be able to see some wildlife right from the deck. Next I recommend taking at least one hike while up there. If you are looking for a quick and easy one, go with sunrise point via high ridge nature trail (less than 1 mile) where you will have some great photo ops for not much work. 🙂 For a little longer, more rewarding hike, check out Hurricane Hill (3 miles) or Mount Angeles (about 5 miles).
Pro Tip: The road to Hurricane Ridge is a bit lengthy so grab some drinks and snacks to take up with you in nearby Port Angeles.
From Hurricane Ridge, head West and check into the Lake Crescent Lodge. This is probably one of my favorite lodges of all time, mostly because of the amazing view, but you also can’t beat the nearby hiking trails, bar in the lobby, and clam chowder at the lodge restaurant. Don’t get my wrong, this lodge is rustic but it’s the perfect place to get away from it all.
Savings Tip: Book the Historic Lodge Room at Crescent Lake Lodge. Average cost is $158 per night and while it only includes a common bath (shared), it’s still incredibly cozy and the view is hard to beat. Be sure to book as far in advance as possible.
While staying at Lake Crescent lodge, be sure to hike Marymere Falls and maybe even Mt. Storm King. If you hike Mt. Storm King, plan on coming back to the lodge afterwards to celebrate with a cold beer.
Night 5 I suggest staying at Kalaloch Lodge. On the way there, make a few stops: Sol Duc Falls (1.6 mile hike), grab lunch in Forks, check out Rialto Beach, and then bask in the beauty of the Hoh Rainforest – you will thank me later as these are all amazing stops.
Once you arrive at Kalaloch, relax in your cabin or grab dinner at Creekside Restaurant. After dinner, make some hot chocolate and take a walk on the beach. If you walk north, you will see the tree of life. 🙂
Finally, on day 7 we headed back to Seattle to spend a few days. If you have time on the trip back, stop at Lake Quinault Lodge. This is also a great place to stay if you want to add on another night.
And that’s it for one of the epic road trips ever. I hope you this guide made it easier to plan your trip. Feel free to comment on your favorites parts of Olympic National Park – I want to hear from you! 🙂