Being a Tourist in our Hometown

July 12, 2018

Many of us can agree that there is no better place to be on a sunny summer day than this little corner of the Pacific Northwest! We are so lucky to live in such a beautiful setting; from the tidepools to the mountain tops and everything in between! One of my favorite things to do with a surprise long weekend is a “staycation.” Port Angeles has so much to offer and saves the time and hassle of planning a trip away! Here is a short guide to being a tourist at home! 🙂

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK

First on the docket has to be the National Park! So, get in line with the tourists and enjoy the amazing views to be offered! If you make your way to the top of Hurricane Ridge consider taking the short climb up Sunrise Point. While somewhat steep this is a short walk and the trail is well maintained. From this vantage point you will be able to take in views of both Sequim and Port Angeles below and also be able to really soak up the Olympic Mountain Range. If you’re up for a longer trail, Hurricane Hill is a must. Along the trail you’ll see all the amazing wildflowers in bloom, walk at eye level with the mountains in clear sight, most likely a marmot will pop around some rocks, and if you’re lucky you might just see some black bears in the distance. I’ve noticed some pretty heavy mosquitos up there this year so don’t forget the bug repellent!

ALL THAT BLUE

The coast line and the lakes that are available to us are simply breathtaking, especially if you decide to go for a plunge! You don’t have to travel far to see how fortunate we are to have a community that truly cares for its natural surroundings. There are very few places I’ve been where the water is so clean and blue!

We have access to amazing tidepools at Salt Creek which also offers multiple activities for a day trip. You can either enjoy the sandy beach or head to the tidepools for some fun discoveries! There is also a great playground, a covered picnic area that is free to reserve, thrilling walks through the bunkers, or a lovely climb to the top of Striped Peak. If you’re looking for oceanside camping this is one of the great options! But let’s not forget the incredible possibilities we have out West! This drive is definitely worth your time, and you might as well take a visit to the Hoh Rain Forest if you can! Things move a little slower out by Forks and you won’t have to deal with too much hustle and bustle of the tourist season. There are great options for camping and exploring seems limitless on this coast line!

Lake Crescent Lodge is one of my favorite places to visit in the summer. The view is absolutely stunning, and if it happens to be a rainy summer day than there’s the option of sitting inside and still being able to take it all in from the sunroom. If you don’t mind busy trails, Marymere Falls is a delightful walk through the rainforest with a short climb to the falls. When looking for a challenge and incredibly satisfying views, Storm King is the hike to do. Make sure you’re dressed for the occasion and prepared to use some ropes to reach the summit!

When you’re ready for a great work out, a refreshing swim in an alpine lake, with not too many people in sight, I highly recommend hiking up to Lake Angeles. This is a healthy uphill climb and you will get to cross over some log bridges while really embracing your surroundings in the forest. As soon as the trail levels out a bit you’ll know that you are almost to the lake and to start getting ready to rinse that sweat off! This trail is about 7 miles round trip. If you’re feeling ambitious, and time is on your side, continue the climb where you can reach Klahhane Ridge and even all the way to Hurricane Ridge!

SMALL TOWN EXPERIENCE

Personally, it seems the only time I make it downtown is when I’m running a quick errand or meeting up with friends for dinner. I am always delighted when I have the time to actually just meander through town and to really get to know all the shops we have available to us! I have always had positive experiences with all of our amazing local shop owners and absolutely love when I can make it to our Farmer’s Market! Supporting our local economy is a great way to spend that “staycation” budget! Check out our towns downtown association website for a full guide of the shops and to check out any upcoming events too!

If you haven’t made it to a Lefties Game at Civic Field yet, you best be making your way this summer! This is such a fun way to get to experience and support your community. At Saturday games AvailFit even hosts a group work out experience at 5pm before the game. Your entry price will include a ticket for the game, a great work out, and even a cocktail to enjoy during the game! The Next Door hosts a food truck, and you’ll also find Fog Town Coffee, don’t worry your classic hot dogs are available too! Check out the teams schedule and enjoy a night out with your town!

I hope this short guide inspires you to enjoy our amazing little corner of the map! There’s so much to do and so little sunshine! So, invest in a raincoat and do it anyways! Don’t forget while you’re out in nature or even downtown, to continue playing a part in taking care of our home! Make sure you’re leaving no trace and if you can help with picking up trash or recycling, do it! Let’s keeps this place beautiful and healthy! Happy exploring everyone!


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