6 minute read

Pacific Coast

Pacific Coast

PACIFIC COAST SCENIC BYWAY

Length: 350 miles, US-101

Driving Time: 10 hours

Local Planning Resources: olympicpeninsula.org

CAPE FLATTERY SCENIC BYWAY

Length: 12 miles, SR-112

Driving Time: 30 minutes (each way)

Local Planning Resources: olympicpeninsula.org

STRAIT OF JUAN DE FUCA SCENIC BYWAY

Length: 61 miles, SR-112

Driving Time: 1.5 hours (each way)

Local Planning Resources: olympicpeninsula.org

At A Glance

1 Long Beach Peninsula

Discover 'the world's longest beach'. Explore 28-miles of continuous sandy beach, two lighthouses, a boardwalk and a paved oceanfront bike path.

2 World-class Fishing in Westport

The seasoned crews of the Westport charter fleet guide guests to fantastic fishing experiences that include Salmon, Halibut, Rock & Ling Cod, Crab, and Albacore Tuna.

3 Waterfall Trail

The Olympic Peninsula receives hundreds of inches of rainfall each year and is home to three temperate rainforests that are full of magical, misty waterfalls to explore!

4 Lake Crescent

Discover the pristine waters of this deep, glacially carved lake. You can camp on the shores or stay at Lake Crescent Lodge - an historic lodge and perfect launching point for your Olympic Peninsula adventure.

5 Cape Flattery

Be amazed by the dramatic headlands, seastacks and hidden coves at Cape Flattery. This is the northwestern most tip of the contiguous United States and is the ancestral home of the Makah people.

6 Hurricane Ridge

A place that makes you feel like you're on top of the world! Located near Port Angeles, Hurricane Ridge is the most easily accessed mountain area within Olympic National Park.

7 Port Townsend

Surrounded on three sides by water, Port Townsend is home to the largest Wooden Boat Festival in North America. Tour marinas and boatyards, or stroll through boutiques and galleries on Water Street.

8 Lake Cushman

Surround yourself in stunning beauty at the east entrance of Olympic National Park. Snow capped peaks, dense forests and mossy solitude await in this gorgeous area near Hoodsport.

9 Hood Canal Shellfish q Thurston Bountiful Byway

Hood Canal offers a bounty from the sea. Many State Parks and DNR beaches are open for public shellfish harvesting; all you need is a license, boots, bucket and a sense of adventure!

This 60-mile route near Olympia offers many unique experiences - from farm fresh products crafted by local makers, to charming small town communities.

CRANBERRY COAST SCENIC BYWAY

Length: 49 miles, SR-105

Driving Time: 2 hours

Local Planning Resources: experiencewestport.com

HIDDEN COAST SCENIC BYWAY

Length: 41 miles, SR-109

Driving Time: 1 hour

Local Planning Resources: visitgraysharbor.com

Boardwalk ©Jason

Hummel Photography

Sequim Lavender

©Jason Hummel Photography

Hood Canal Oysters

©Explore Hood Canal

Pacific Coast Scenic Byway

The 350-mile Pacific Byway epitomizes the Evergreen State. It outlines the entire Olympic Peninsula, meanders through a national park and lush rain forests, along oyster-packed inlets and ocean beaches, then extends south to the border with Oregon. Plan to pack your binoculars and boots and take your time… you’re in for a treat….anytime of the year!

Imagine strolling under the moss-draped canopy of an old-growth rainforest, hiking in alpine meadows with jaw-dropping mountain views, or walking along miles of wild and sandy beaches with sea stacks and tidepools all in the SAME day.

Hood Canal

Enjoy spectacular scenery and world-class activities along the Hood Canal, a majestic saltwater fjord. Get out on the water …start with a dip or a paddle and top it off with a dive. The Canal is known among scuba divers worldwide for its gentle currents and curious rock formations. For guaranteed thrilling mountain and waterfall views, venture into Olympic National Park and Forest. Choose from easy day hikes with the family to overnight excursions.

This natural waterway offers unparalleled shellfish, shrimp, crab and salmon. Stop by a farm retail outlet or head to the beach to gather your own. There’s a thriving culinary scene with farm-to-table dining experiences and some of the best tasting rooms in the Northwest. Oysters, wine, microbrews, live music, the West Coast Oyster Chucking Championship and so much more come together every year at the annual Oysterfest on the first weekend of October in Shelton.

Sequim Lavender & Dungeness Spit

Located in the “rainshadow” behind the Olympic Mountains, Sequim is famous for its endless sunshine and beautiful lavender fields. At local farms you can find lavender plants to take home and plant in your garden as well as all things lavender, including honey, tea, essential oils and more.

Nearby Dungeness Spit is the longest natural sand spit in the United States. Enjoy hiking along this gorgeous 5 mile sandy spit out to the historic lighthouse.

Kitsap Peninsula

Formed by Puget Sound to the west and Hood Canal to the east, the Kitsap Peninsula is home to small welcoming communities like Bainbridge Island, historic Port Gamble, Scandinavian-inspired Poulsbo and the county seat, Port Orchard. Each has its own unique waterfront to explore.

Strait of Juan de Fuca National Scenic Byway

Nestled along the Strait of de Fuca, this 61-mile coastal route begins west of Port Angeles. It’s long on curves (249 all together) and is a favorite among those who love remote places where wild forests meets the sea. The historic fishing villages of Clallam Bay and Sekiu offer an authentic Northwest outdoor experience.

Cape Flattery Tribal Scenic Byway

The only tribal scenic byway in Washington, this 12 mile route leads to the northwest tip of the continent. This is the ancestral home of the Makah; visit the Makah Cultural Research Center to learn more about the tribe’s history and culture. Don’t miss the Cape Flattery Trail. This easy 0.75 hike leads to stunning views of Tatoosh Island with its historic lighthouse and the seemingly endless Pacific.

Olympic National Park

Hurricane Ridge, south of Port Angeles, provides the most popular access to Olympic National Park. A paved road twists and turns 17 miles up to the 5,200 foot summit. There you'll find jaw-dropping 360-degree views of mountain peaks, forested valleys, and the Pacific Ocean all the way to Canada. Hikers can spot marmots and deer, and enjoy alpine meadows full of lupine and glacier lilies.

Lake Crescent & Waterfalls

The drive along Lake Crescent is spectacular year-round. The sparkling sapphire color of the lake itself is worth the trip. Stop by the historic Lake Crescent Lodge, built in 1915. Near the lodge, the Storm King Ranger Station is the starting point for an easy 2-mile round trip hike to beautiful Marymere Falls. Hear the roar and feel the spray as the water drops nearly 90 feet into a small plunge pool. It’s the perfect setting for a photo-op.

If you continue down the road heading west, it’s a 20-mile drive and then easy hike in to Sol Duc Falls. The hike to the falls is beautiful with old growth trees amidst a lush rainforest landscape. Afterwards, enjoy a relaxing soak in the nearby 106-degree mineral pools. Waterfall buffs can find over 20 waterfalls on the Olympic Peninsula. For exact locations, checkout the waterfall trail brochure and map at: olympicpeninsulawaterfalltrail.com

Hoh and Quinault Rainforests

Don’t miss the Hoh Rainforest, one of the last old-growth temperate rainforests in the western hemisphere. This is one of the most remarkable places on the planet! Annual rainfall measures in feet (14 feet a year is the average), so remember your rain gear.

Razor Clams

Razor clams are a Washington delicacy. Some of the best clamming can be found around Grayland and the unpopulated beaches north of Ocean Shores, from Copalis Beachto Moclips. Be sure to check with the WA Department of Fish & Wildlife for open clamming dates and requirements before you go!

Several hikes will lead you through the mossdraped canopy and among the ancient giants. Try the 0.8 mile Hall of Mosses trail for starters and you won’t be disappointed. Wildlife and bird watching opportunities abound too!

In the Quinault Rain Forest you can also see and touch the world’s largest Sitka Spruce. This towering giant is estimated to be roughly 1,000 years old, the tree stands 191 feet tall and 17.7 feet in diameter.

Pacific Beaches

If you’re longing for waves crashing, gulls squawking, salt spray and whales spouting, we recommend checking out these beaches. Washington’s beaches are often the rugged “wear your shoes” kind of beaches. While beautiful in their own right, they're not always the sand between your toes kind. Be mindful of your footwear and the tides.

La Push and nearby First, Second and Rialto Beach offer fantastic rugged wild beach experiences and hikes. Low tides reveal shallow pools and other treasures. Watch for whales, sea lions and otters offshore, and a variety of seabirds gliding overhead.

Ruby Beach is famous for its reddish sand, magnificent sea stacks, driftwood and shallow tidepools. Enjoy hiking along one of the most pristine Pacific Ocean beaches on

Kalaloch pronounced (Clay-lock) is a wide sandy beach, perfect for beachcombing and birdwatching any time of the year. Stay at

Kalaloch Lodge, a legend in its own right, overlooking the ocean. They offer camping and cabins too. Gorgeous sunsets and rainbows add to the magic.

Hidden Coast & Cranberry Coast Scenic Byways

The Hidden Coast Scenic Byway is aptly named as Washington’s coast is not always obvious and hides her treasures in bays and inlets. The North Beach area of Grays Harbor stretches from Ocean City to Moclips. Here you’ll find unpopulated beaches that are perfect for beachcombing, clamming, and lingering over sunsets. This 41 mile route is a birdwatcher’s delight, with thousands of migrating shorebirds stopping here.

Above clockwise: North Head Lighthouse ©Visit Long Beach Peninsula Tidepooling ©Jason Hummel Photography

Cranberry Harvest ©Capture.Share. Repeat