Port Angeles Journals

Going Local in Port Angeles, The Olympic Peninsula

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A travel journal to Port Angeles by lcampbell

Port Angeles Photo, Port Angeles, Washington More Photos
Quote: How exciting to move to a new city! I was eager to explore the nooks and crannies. Find out everything! Here are my adventures where the ocean meets the mountains, and friendly people abound. The Olympic Peninsula "has it all" as a vacation destination (and home, but don’t tell anyone!)

Going Local in Port Angeles, The Olympic Peninsula

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Overview

Port Angeles Photo, Port Angeles, Washington
Quote:
I have written a previous journal about the Olympic Peninsula, and in it I mentioned that my visit was "way too short." The solution? Move there! Port Angeles is located on the Straight of Juan de Fuca, on the north-central coast of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington. It is sandwiched between the sea and the Olympic Mountains--the best of both worlds! It is a great "home base" to explore Olympic National Park, the coastal beaches, hot springs, and Vancouver Island in Canada is just a short ferry ride away. And don’t forget the antiques, wineries, breweries, and yummy seafood. The list of activities is endless...fishin...Read More

Thor Town Hostel

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Hotel

Thor Town Hostel Photo, Port Angeles, Washington
Quote:
When my husband and I moved to Port Angeles, we hadn’t found a house or apartment yet. So we needed an affordable place to stay that would be friendly and accommodate our two cats. We found such a place at Thor Town Hostel. Because we stayed during weekdays in April, we were the only guests. The owners, Kurt and Michelle, plus new baby (2 weeks old, still unnamed at the time) were great hosts. While pets are not allowed in the house, they allowed us to stay in the building they are converting to living quarters for themselves. We still had full use of the kitchen, bathroom, phone (a huge selling point for us, since we were scouring the classified ads to find a home), and internet. Thor Town Host...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 4, 2002

Thor Town Hostel
316 North Race Street
Port Angeles, Washington 98362
(360) 452-0931

Port Angeles Restaurants

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Restaurant

Quote:
I have definitely not tried out all of the restaurants in the Port Angeles and Sequim area, but so far I have decided that I have 3 favorites for dinner: Thai Peppers: This is a family-owned Thai restaurant in the main downtown/waterfront area of Port Angeles, on Lincoln Street almost directly across from the Visitor Center. The prices are great (under $10 for many of the entrees) and the food is very good. My husband’s favorite is Masaman Curry, a coconutty/peanutty curry that we first tried in Thailand, but we also like this local version. I thought the service was excellent. Bella Italia: You can tell that a restaurant is fabulous when it is ALWAYS packed, even o...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 4, 2002

Port Angeles Restaurants
Throughout Port Angeles
Port Angeles, Washington

Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge

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Attraction

Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge Photo, Port Angeles, Washington
Quote:
A hike on Dungeness Spit is definitely not to be missed. The Spit consists of a natural sand and rock arm curving five miles out into the ocean, with a scenic lighthouse at the end. A haven of wildlife and sweet smelling breezes, complete with ocean and mountain views, I can only describe it as heavenly. Start the hike at the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, which is located easily by driving east out of Port Angeles on Highway 101 for about 10 miles, and then following the brown signs north to the parking area. There is a $3 fee at the trailhead. The hike is a beach hike and is best done at low tide (check the local telephone book ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 4, 2002

Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge
Dungees Harbor
Port Angeles, Washington

Outdoor Activities

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Attraction | "Around Town"

Outdoor Activities Photo, Port Angeles, Washington
Quote:
I wake up and look out the window. The sun is shining, and I don’t have to work and have no responsibilities today. This sounds like a job for my bicycle, my backpack, and my leg muscles! I get my trusty $8 Huffy bicycle out of the garage, ignoring the thoughts that I should get a "real" bike. My first stop? The thrift stores. I love these shops. The search, the discovery of hidden treasures. Funky sweaters, retro lamps, wild scarves. How about that time I got a brand new gortex jacket for $3. What fun! There are the normal standbys--Goodwill, Salvation Army, and St. Vincent's. But my absolute favorite for furniture and home décor is Grandma’s Attic--a sort of antique/thrift combin...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 4, 2002

Outdoor Activities
Throughout Port Angeles
Port Angeles, Washington

Rafting the Elwha River

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Attraction | "Rafting down the Elwha River"

Rafting the Elwha River Photo, Port Angeles, Washington
Quote:
"You will get wet," the owner said when we arrived at Olympic Raft and Kayak at 9am on a Wednesday morning. Good! We were having an unusually hot day on the Olympic Peninsula...definitely a rarity. And a perfect time to go on a rafting trip down the Elwha River, with its astonishingly blue-green water that is COLD. "This wetsuit makes me feel sexy" I said to my friend Mike. He just looked at me like he sometimes does when he thinks I’m crazy. Just then, our fellow raftmate walked up. Seems he is a reporter from the local paper...I hope he doesn’t print that feeling sexy part in his article. There would be two guides, Charlie and...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 4, 2002

Rafting the Elwha River
Olympic Raft and Kayak
Port Angeles, Washington 98363
(360) 452-1443

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort

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Attraction | "Sol Duc Hot Springs"

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort Photo, Port Angeles, Washington
Quote:
I had told myself that I would not go to Sol Duc Hot Springs--it’s too commercial, it’s too busy, it’s too expensive, and besides all that, there must be heebie jeebies growing in the pools with all those people sharing them. Then my family visited from Wisconsin, and after a long day of driving combined with some short hikes, we happened to pull into the Sol Duc Resort to take a peak around, and a long soak seemed in order. Too expensive? The prices weren’t as bad as I thought--$10 for a whole day. You are given a plastic "bracelet" which allows you to come and go as you please. I would recommend slipping a hike to Sol Duc Falls into your d...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 4, 2002

Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort
Sol Duc Hot Spgs
Port Angeles, Washington 98305
(360) 327-3583

Waterfront Trail and Ediz Hook

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Attraction

Waterfront Trail and Ediz Hook Photo, Port Angeles, Washington
Quote:
The Waterfront Trail is excellent, which I will talk about, but first I want to mention the really exciting part. The Waterfront Trail is a wonder of community cooperation, which is part of a bigger effort to build the Olympic Discovery Trail which will eventually go from Port Townsend about 100 miles to the Washington coast. Right now it is only completed in sections. And if that isn’t enough, the Olympic Discovery Trail is planned to be part of a large scale trail system starting at Glacier National Park. Fantastic! So, now back to our modest portion of this grand trail of all trails. Right now it stretches more or less from Port Angeles ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 4, 2002

Waterfront Trail and Ediz Hook
Port Angeles
Port Angeles, Washington

A Season at Kalaloch

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Attraction | "A Season at Kalaloch - Part 1"

A Season at Kalaloch Photo, Port Angeles, Washington
Quote:
Although I live in Port Angeles, I work for Olympic National Park which is almost a million acres--a very large place. So my work station is 2 hours away from Port Angeles on the Pacific Coast. I am a wildland firefighter for the park, which is ironic because my duty station is a beach--with a rainforest on the other side! But who am I to argue? Anyway, during the summer when I am not on fires in other states, I live and work at Kalaloch, one of the many areas of "wilderness coast" on the Olympic Peninsula. There are long strips of undeveloped coastline in Washington which are part of Olympic National Park. What a beautiful sight--no hotels, no condos, no motor boat tours! Nothing! Just g...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 5, 2002

A Season at Kalaloch
157151 Highway 101
Port Angeles, Washington 98331
(866) 525-2562

A Season at Kalaloch

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Attraction | "A Season at Kalaloch - Part 2"

A Season at Kalaloch Photo, Port Angeles, Washington
Quote:
.... continued from Part 1..... A great long hike for those who are ambitious is to hike from Ruby Beach (get someone to drop you off) back to Kalaloch, approximately 7 miles. You will need to time this hike with the low tide, but you will be rewarded with seastacks, seacaves, seastars, and hopefully some wildlife. My friend Mike and I did this hike and saw a seal swimming in the surf and four bald eagles, one of which flew directly over our heads. The stretch between Ruby Beach and Beach 4 was especially scenic and peaceful. There are no beach access trails between the two, and we never saw another person. Looking for more things to do around Kalaloch? I loved watching the famili...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 5, 2002

A Season at Kalaloch
157151 Highway 101
Port Angeles, Washington 98331
(866) 525-2562

Olympic National Park

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Attraction | "Olympic National Park - Part 1, Intro and PA area"

Olympic National Park Photo, Olympic National Park, Washington
Quote:
In my career with the National Park Service, I have worked at three different National Parks and have visited tons more. While all of "my" parks have been astoundingly beautiful places with a special place in my heart, Olympic National Park by far is the one that blows me away. At almost a million acres, it is a huge wilderness, and GET THIS--NO roads going through the middle of it! But the really amazing part is the incredible diversity found here. Because it ranges from the Olympic Mountains (complete with 8000+-foot Mount Olympus, glaciers and all) to Washington’s wilderness coast, and everything in between, it has anything and everything to offer a visitor, including temperate rainfore...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 5, 2002

Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Olympic Peninsula, Washington 98362
(360) 565-3130

Olympic National Park

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Attraction | "Olympic National Park - Part 2, SE and Rainforests"

Olympic National Park Photo, Olympic National Park, Washington
Quote:
SOUTHEAST – The southeast part of the park includes Dosewallips and Staircase. I have not explored these areas, but they are primarily jumping off points for long backpacking trips. It is quite a long drive to reach these areas from Port Angeles. RAINFOREST VALLEYS – There are three main rainforest valleys at Olympic National Park. Each gets more than 140 inches of rain per year--that is more than 12 feet! You will be amazed at the ability of vegetation and moss to grow on every surface of everything, not an inch left uncovered. Keep your eyes peeled for elk in these valleys as well. These areas are more readily accessible from a "base camp" of Forks or Kalaloch rather than P...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 5, 2002

Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Olympic Peninsula, Washington 98362
(360) 565-3130

Olympic National Park

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Attraction | "Olympic National Park - Part 3, Coast and NW area"

Olympic National Park Photo, Olympic National Park, Washington
Quote:
COAST – Olympic has more than 60 miles of wilderness coast, which is interspersed with numerous Native American reservations. All of the coastal areas are different and each has their own charm, but all remain virtually unchanged by time or man. Again, best to have a "home base" in Forks or Kalaloch. Lake Ozette – This is a large freshwater lake near the coast that is perfect for kayaks or canoes, with a boat-in campsite, as well as a drive-in campground. This is also the trailhead for a great 9-mile loop trail to the coast. From the trailhead, a 3-mile boardwalk goes to Cape Alava, then follow the beach about 3 miles to the Sandpoint Trail, and then another 3-mile boardwalk back to ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 5, 2002

Olympic National Park
600 East Park Avenue
Olympic Peninsula, Washington 98362
(360) 565-3130

Visiting Victoria, Canada

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Attraction | "Across the pond to Victoria, Canada"

Visiting Victoria, Canada Photo, Port Angeles, Washington
Quote:
I have taken two trips across the 18-mile Straight of Juan de Fuca to Victoria, Canada. Both trips had these things in common: beautiful weather, easy travelling on the ferry and around Victoria, interesting sights, and that very annoying seasick feeling I always get on the ferry crossing--ugh. There are two private ferry services that go to Victoria. The MV Coho ferry is the least expensive of the two, and is the one that takes both cars and people. The crossing is 1.5 hours, and prices are currently $8 one way for passengers, and $30 one way for vehicles 18 feet and under. The Victoria Express is t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on November 5, 2002

Visiting Victoria, Canada
Port Angeles to Victoria, Canada
Port Angeles, Washington

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival

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Attraction

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival Photo, Mount Vernon, Washington
Quote:
The full title for this journal entry is actually "Skagit Valley Tulip Festival – A Day of Bad Decisions." OK, OK, so this isn’t actually a "day trip" from Port Angeles, but the truth is that we thought it was, which turned out to be our first mistake. After a one hour drive, we arrived 15 minutes early for the Port Townsend ferry, only to find the ferry completely full and a long line already forming for the next ferry in 2 hours! We decided to drive to Kingston to try that ferry, which we boarded without a problem. When we disembarked, there wasn’t much further to go, so we thought maybe we could meet our friends on time after all. BUT OF COURSE there was an accident on the highway and tr...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on November 5, 2002

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival
Port Angeles Waterfront
Port Angeles, Washington
(360) 452-8088