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Olympics: Canal to Coast, Washington

48° 7′ 13.08″ N, 122° 47′ 20.4″ W


Jefferson County is a wild place. Split in two by the mighty Olympic Range and flanked by the Puget Sound to the east and the unbridled Pacific to the West, its unique geography makes it one of the most broodingly serene places anywhere. But don’t think it’s all temperate rainforests and imposing mountains—although there is plenty of that. There’s also some pretty spectacular small towns that pepper the wilderness.

The largest of these towns is Port Townsend, a fantastic coastal getaway that was built on dreams of being the largest port on the West Coast. Although things didn’t quite turn out the way they’d hoped, the resulting town ended up with some of the best Victorian Architecture anywhere, and a laid back, hard working vibe that’s attracted folks from all over. You can certainly catch some local bands, grab a craft cocktail, catch a flick at a historic theater (or at a drive in), or even do a bit of yoga if the mood takes you. Oh, and since there’s so much amazing agriculture around, you’ll probably want to head to the farmers market, too.

But with all of that wilderness beckoning, you probably won’t be able to help getting out to explore. The stunning Hoh Rainforest is always a good choice, and those looking to kick back and relax can always head to the Sol Duc Hot Springs or Lake Crescent. That said, there are gobs of hikes to take. You can hike to a beach (or two—or three!), hike to a B-17 crash, hike to an old fishing hole, hike to some alpine lakes, or even drive to the top of a mountain—that you could also hike to! And the history buffs in the group will have a great time romping around Fort Worden and some of the other historic sites, too. All that to say: you’ll be a bit spoiled for choice.

Looking for an escape? Jefferson County should have just what you need. Whether you’re looking for a nice little seaside Victorian town where you can do a whole lot of nothing or you’re more in the mood to conquer a few mountains  (and hope to not see anyone for a day or two), you’ll find what you’re looking for. In fact you may have a hard time leaving, and with all the amazing things to do, we couldn’t blame you if you struggled with the choice.


Hoh Rainforest

Rainy Paradise

Owl Sprit

Don't Fly Away

Jefferson County Saturday Farmers Market

Port Townsend's Giant Outdoor Market

Jefferson County Museum of Art and History

Continuously Evolving Museum

Port Townsend Marine Science Center

The Salish Sea at Your Fingertips

San Juan Taqueria

Tex Mex to the Max

Hudson Point Cafe

Cute Café

Banana Leaf Thai Bistro

Gluten-Free Delights

Farm's Reach Cafe

Morning Mission

Oak Table Cafe

Tie a Yellow Ribbon