Port Angeles, WA

By Isabella Brady

Just 2 and a half hours north west of Seattle, Port Angeles is a hidden gem, boasting breathtaking views and idyllic scenery. Neighboring national parks, beaches and imbued with local culture, the tranquil beauty of the destination attracts travelers . Below are my personal favorite itinerary items to ensure  a memorable stay.

Olympic National Park

Founded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the national park preserves over one million acres of old forests and towering peaks, including Mount Olympus—a popular destination for intrepid climbers. Olympic National Park can fill endless days with adventure, but regardless if you’re passing through or spending a few days, make sure to visit the renowned national park.

  • Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane ridge offers tourists an easily accessed region of the park with over 5,000 feet in elevation and a network of trails to observe the allure of the glacier peaked passes. 

  • Hoh Rainforest 

Among the most expansive rainforests in the United States, Hoh Rainforest is likewise a must to see. In a low elevation valley formed by glaciers thousands of years ago, the picturesque rivers, streams and exotic vegetation are immensely calming and a unique highlight to the trip. 

  • Lake Crescent

With crystal blue 623’ deep water, Lake Crescent is a lovely lakefront and an awesome location for some lake-side activities. 

  • Ruby Beach

Littered with looming and naturally formed stone structures known as “sea stacks”, Ruby Beach holds a beautiful waterfront where nearby forests brush the coast and create dazzling panoramic views. Paired with an ease of accessibility, the shoreline has recently garnered more attention  for its naturally stunning views. I highly recommend staying until sunset if you can, it will take your breath away.

Visit Victoria!

While in many regions of the United States—and even in Washington—Canada is a long car and/or plane ride away, in Port Angeles all you need is a ferry! If you rise early, the 90 minute ferry ride will land you in Victoria with a whole day to explore!

  • Butchart Gardens

Internationally renowned as the city of gardens, the capital of British Columbia offers a myriad of botanical locations, one of which is Butchart Gardens. A brief bus ride from downtown Victoria, the mesmerizing elegance of the gardens can easily be reached without need for a rental car. I can personally attest that the gardens can easily consume three to four hours of time to explore, so I recommend planning accordingly and wholeheartedly enjoying the beauty and diversity of this site. For all of those who tend a garden at home, I recommend bringing some spending money for the handmade (and affordable) garden accessories and seeds available there.

  • Skiing 

I traveled to Victoria in the summer so I do not have personal experience of the winter season, however, there are an abundance of esteemed skiing and snowboarding venues only a few hours north. So for those who are interested it may be worth it to spend a few days in Vancouver Island and experience the famed slopes for yourself.