Road Trip down Washington's Wild Coast
Washington's coast is one of many beautiful destinations in the state. From amazing, craggy beaches to quaint beachside towns, this coast has something for everyone. While traveling down the coast there are plenty of opportunities for recreation year-round. This is one road trip that all travelers should try.
Most people start their trip in Seattle, the largest city in the state. Seattle is filled with attractions, including the fun Pike Place Market, the Seattle Art Museum and more. Visitors should be sure to take in the fine dining and more while exploring the city. After having fun in Seattle, travelers can take they ferry boat across the Puget Sound to Bainbridge Island.
Bainbridge Island is a nice little community, with a wonderful walkable downtown. Visitors should be sure to enjoy the restaurants serving locally grown foods, and fun bakeries. Once visitors have had their fill of Bainbridge Island, they can continue on towards the coast, heading to Port Townsend. This little coastal town is filled with Victorian houses and sail boats.
Continuing along the coast visitors can stop to hike out on the Dungeness Spit. This is the longest natural sand spit in the country, it extends five miles into the Strait of Juan de Fuca and grows about 15 feet each year. After spending a day exploring the spit, travelers can stop at the town of Sequim. Sequim has a great downtown area to explore, and breakfast or lunch at the amazing Oak Table Cafe is not to be missed. The Olympic Game Farm is another great destination in Sequim, where visitors can see bears, elk, zebra and even feed buffalo during the drive through the park.
As travelers continue west along the coast travelers should be sure to explore than many wonders of the Olympic National Park. Sol Duck hot springs has wonderful warm pools to relax in after a hike up to see Sol Duck Falls, or a walk on the Ancient Groves Nature Trail. Olympic National Park preserves much of the wild beauty of the Washington coast and is a great destination for all sorts of recreation.
Travelers can hike out to Shi Shi Beach in the park. Shi Shi is one of the longest stretches of undeveloped shoreline in the lower 48 states. This two-mile, crescent shaped beach features sandstone bluffs, fringed by forests, and the beach is a wild mix of sand and stones. The trail to reach Shi Shi is often rough, muddy and very rugged, but the scenes of the spectacular beach are worth the hike.
Also within Olympic National Park, visitors will find the Hoh Rain Forest, in the southern part of the park. This is the only temperate rain forest in the U.S. Travelers can also recreate on Quinault Lake, within the rain forest. On the lake there is a fantastic lodge for travelers to relax at. The alpine Lake Crescent is another fantastic destination within the Olympic National Park.
Travelers on the Washington coast should also stop at Neah Bay. This windswept point leading into the Pacific Ocean is the northwestern-most point in the contiguous United States. Neah Bay is home to the Makah tribe, one of only a few groups allowed to hunt whales using traditional methods. Visitors can learn all about the culture at the museum.
Rialto Beach is another great road trip destination. It is an untouched sandy beach that stretches for miles, but also has craggy rock islands that sit off the coast. Visitors can admire the views of the rock islands or hike up to the Hole in the Wall, which is an amazing cavern. Visitors can only pass through the cavern when the tide is low.
Washington's coast has many fun ocean communities. One of these is Ocean Shores, a great resort village located on a huge stretch of sand flats. This community has a long history of shipwrecks, which makes it a fun historic destination. Travelers can also cross Grays Harbor by ferry, Ocean Shores is located at the mouth of the harbor. On the other side is the town of Westport. Grays Harbor, Ocean Shores and Westport are great destinations for birdwatching, beachcombing and just enjoying the beautiful coastal landscape.