Olympic Peninsula Loop, 5 days 4 nights
Olympic Peninsula is located roughly a 3 hours drive from Seattle metropolitan area. I’ve been there many times – first exploring myself, when I just arrived to Pacific Northwest, and later with visiting relatives – but it always felt rushed, because we were always squeezing the trip into one night and two days. The result was too much time spent behind the wheel instead of enjoying the nature, with everyone getting tired, and I’ve always told myself afterwards: I’ll come back later, alone, and stay for as many days as I want. The time has come in 2020 (eleven years since we moved to PNW), in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic, when all the international and out-of-state destinations were off-limits. Indeed, the perfect time.
I decided to make it a loop – driving from one end of the peninsula to the other and back to Seattle without using any ferries. I drove clockwise, from Ocean Shores to Tacoma, spending 5 days and 4 nights on the peninsula. For me it (finally!) was a very relaxed, slow pace trip – I skipped some major sites altogether because I’ve seen them too many times, and went for lesser known, new-to-me locations. If you haven’t been to Olympic before, with the same amount of time available your days will be pretty packed, but you will be able to visit the majority of sites.
My itinerary (5 days 4 nights):
- Day 1 – Ocean Shores (Ocean Shores North Jetty, the night at Collins Inn & Seaside Cottages)
- Day 2 – From Ocean Shores to Lake Quinault (Lake Quinault and around, the night at Lake Quinault Lodge)
- Day 3 – From Lake Quinault to Port Townsend (Kalaloch beach and Lake Crescent)
- Day 4 – From Port Townsend to Union
- Day 5 – Going home via Tacoma