I wasn’t sure how to title todays post. I grappled with, “Full Itinerary for One Week in the Pacific Northwest”… “Why the Pacific Northwest is One of the Best Travels You will Experience in the U.S”… “Runaway and Live in the Forests of Washington“… there was just so many ideas to ponder.
Gahhh… (*That’s excited exuberance for those unsure) there is truly a lot to say about the Pacific Northwest. One strong descriptor, depression. Leaving the forest gave me mad depression, but not the type I am running to avoid. This depression was more like, a place engraved itself into my soul and leaving felt like I was leaving apart of me – I know, I know… how poetically dramatic.
(Obviously) I can’t promise this will be the reaction of all visitors. I realize my empathic soul gives me this Shakespearian battle of emotion; things that would not otherwise cause people to blink twice. I get it, I get it.
Still, follow my advice, and while I can’t say your experience will be quite as emotionally dramatic, I can promise you will have a great time.
You know Stars Hollow in Gilmore Girls? Uh yeah, those places are real; They aren’t just Hollywood sets. You can find them in Washington, swears.
So what I’m saying is, towns in Washington are what Hallmark movies are made of, and Port Townsend is just one example of this observation.
The Path Less Traveled But Also Definitely The Way:
When traveling from Whidbey Island (a.k.a “the way”) to Forks, Washington you will take the ferry from Coupeville to Port Townsend. The ferry runs about every hour, but I strongly recommend reserving a spot on the ferry.
You can find the schedule and reserve your spot on the Coupeville – Port Townsend ferry – HERE!
If you are traveling from Seattle (which is probably the more common route) Port Townsend is just a short distance off the main route.
Stop and grab coffee because that is what travel life is made of and I will always, always, always preach this to you. Plus, if you arrive as early as we did (7am) not much else is open.
Go to Nifty Fifty’s, located along the main strip and get yourself some fish tacos, because damn those boys are delicious. Also, this place is freakin’ adorable, has waterfront views and patio seating – you just can’t go wrong.
Purple Haze Lavender Fields
Shoutout to Aaron for this one!
Purple Haze Lavender Field is a 12-acre certified organic lavender field located in Sequim, Washington. The fields have so much to offer their visitors, including lodging, shopping – but what they encourage most, exploration and the wondering visitor.
The fields offer “u-pick” lavender opportunities during the months of July- August. They also have a store on-site which sells an array of lavender scented products; including – hand soaps, lotions, spritzers, soy candles, and even lavender plants!
If you love lavender as much as I do, but don’t see yourself visiting WA anytime in the near future, shop their online store – Here!
Lavender is one of my most favorite scents in the world. When I was little, my Grandma would plan trips to the lavender fields in California. I would load up on smelly souvenirs – almost always to include a satchel of lavender flower buds. I would keep my little bag of lavender flowers for so long that their herbaceous floral scent would be replaced with the smell of dust, haha..
One thing I enjoyed most about Purple Haze was their chill mentality around exploring the fields. Their encouraging signs, and “take it all in” mind-set, made the experience far more relaxed.
We spend most of our time just exploring the grounds, taking big whifs, and lots of pictures.
Purple Haze Lavender Fields had more than just lavender to explore. They also home chickens, a few peacocks, an herb garden, tons of towering sunflowers, an array tree’s and other botanicals.
What is the polar opposite of shattering disappointment? Because Port Angeles was anything but disappointing. We went every day while in the area. Here are some of my recommendations:
Recycle Your Money Back Into the Economy
That is my obnoxious way of saying, shop! There is a plethora of really great local shops on 1st street and E Front street. Most favored shops:
Port Books and News – Always love a good local bookshop.
Moxie Boutique – This is the shop I purchased my camo style “baby French terry fabric” (which makes it so freakin’ soft) overalls. *pictured above in the Port Townsend section* I love these overalls so much, I can’t even tell you!
Olympic Stationers Inc Great shop for all things stationary! Their prices on writing journals were seriously unbeatable.
MOSS – Diana and I found our Adventure Hats in this shop. They also carry fun stickers.
Wild Spirit Herbals – An herbalism store that carries a range of products from organic tea blends to educational literature around herbalism. Personally, I started my first collection of healing crystals from Wild Spirit Herbals.
New Day Eatery highlights their focus on healthy, made from scratch, meals. I want to highlight the fact New Day serves vegan and vegetarian options made fun and delicious – menu linked in the title card.
We had one purpose when eating Bella Italia – The Bella and Edward first date meal! However, I would be nothing but truthful if the meal was not tasty or worth the hype; but damn it was feakin’ phenomenal! Learn more around our time at Bella Italia – Here!
Located 18-miles west of Port Angeles, Crescent Lake is a naturally occurring glacially carved lake.
The natural beauty makes for an absolute gorgeous drive to Sol Duc Hot Springs Campgrounds (our next stop). Plan your perfect trip to Lake Crescent, including hiking and lodging with the National Party Service site.
Sol Duc Hot springs Resort & (more importantly) Campsite
Shoutout to the book Hidden Life of Trees – the forest will never be the same to me again.
You know, I get it, not everyone (probably most) is here to learn about the Twilight experience, but like… hello sparkling vampires and all the wolf-y feels – the Olympic Peninsula has all of the magic, whether you’re a Twi-heart or not!
Camping at Sol Duc
Sleep in the woods because that is where it’s all at.
I love sleeping outside for many reasons – it’s the prefect way to hit the reset button on life; forget all of the drama and toxic hate being spread around the world; just completely disconnect and be present within the moment.
Hiking in the Area
One thing I need to highlight about Sol Duc is the many hiking options that are located right on site. I hate when I find a really good campsite, but then there’s little in the way of trail exploration. You could easily spend a week here surveying the area, and never having to leave.
The waterfall trail was just a few steps away from our tent. The whole trail was quite beautiful.
Forks | The Twilight Experience
Let’s be honest, if you find yourself in Forks, Washington it’s most likely to try and join the Cullen clan or attempt to spot a werewolf.
If you are not a Twilight fan, and are merely passing through Forks I suggest at least:
Stopping at the visitors center – they are helpful in directing you to all the cool outdoors activities in the area.
Grab coffee from one of four drive up coffee spots – I’m serious, some of the most satisfying cups of coffee I’ve had.
La Push Beach | Or Something Like That…
This is a bitter sweet share. I want to hoard this information for myself, and…. I’m going to (partially).
There are three beaches near La Push and the reservation. Diana and I went to one of these beaches.
For the sake of exploration I am not going to disclose which beach we chose.
I know, I know… breaking the rules of a travel blog, but here’s the thing… if I tell you which beach to go to it won’t encourage you to talk to the locals in Forks. You should do that. The people working at the Visitors Center are very friendly and helpful. They can provide you with some great information about the beaches.
Plus, in some cases, you need to let the experience speak to you – go off of your instincts.
The drive from our campsite to the HOH Rainforest (pronounced “Hoe”) took about an hour and forty-minutes; but it is a gorgeous drive. The environment is lush. So take some deep breaths, the air is pure and clean as f*ck.
There are numerous trails in the forest ranging from .9 miles to 18.5 miles. You can easily spend multiple days here.
Learn more about the HOH Rainforest – HERE.
A Maps Perspective
Why Four Days is Not Enough
There is a lot to do in the Pacific Northwest.
We enjoyed everything that we did, and there was just not enough time to fit everything in. The P.N.W is a road-trippers dream.
I will be back very soon, but never soon enough.
Until next time,
P.S I am sharing these incredible outdoor locations with the understanding that you are a good person, and will treat the environment as if it was your baby. Remember, clean up after yourself. Do not leave trash in the forest(s) or anywhere other than the designated trash dispensaries. *No Karen, not even a banana peel; I get it you think its good for the forest because its “compostable” but it’s not! So, just don’t*
With that, happy Travels.