Due to the U.S. Government Shutdown, admittance into both the Olympic National Forest and Olympic National Park has been ceased. Calls to the ranger stations must go unanswered and websites now display a "not operating" message like this http://www.nps.gov/shutdown/index.html. So what are visitors supposed to do? Don't worry! There is still a plethora of things to do and see on the 5,316 square miles of the Olympic Peninsula outside of governmental lands. This weekend, October 5 & 6, is the 32nd Annual Shelton Oysterfest http://www.oysterfest.org/. Enjoy wonderful seafood and watch the West Coast Oyster Shucking Championship. Then travel north up Hwy 101 to enjoy the Kinetic Sculpture race and events in Port Townsend http://www.ptkineticrace.org/. Afterwards, warm up from watching those crazy-geniuses enduring the race's frigid waters at the North Olympic Fiber Arts Festival, just 30 miles west in downtown Sequim http://www.fiberartsfestival.org/. See beautifully hand-crafted woven arts and get in the cozy, Fall spirit! Even though camping and hiking in the National Park and Forests might not be an option, there are still plenty of beautiful areas to explore. We're using this time to visit coastal grounds and towns as well as our beautiful State and County Parks that are located throughout the Olympic Peninsula. On the east along the Hood Canal is the Dosewallips State Park http://www.parks.wa.gov/parks/?selectedpark=Dosewallips and the Dungeness Recreation Area in the North http://www.clallam.net/Parks/Dungeness.html. Both are open year-round with spectacular water views. Travel along the Hwy 112 Scenic Byway to take in the Autumn splendor over looking the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Stop at the Salt Creek Recreation Area near Joyce http://www.clallam.net/Parks/Dungeness.html. Explore the tide pools in Sekiu (watch for the giant red jellyfish this time of year, but don't touch.) and listen for the last of the migrating birds as they make their way south. This is also an excellent time to visit the Makah Indian Reservation at Neah Bay. Spending an afternoon at the amazing Makah Museum would not be regretted. Enjoy the boardwalk along Cape Flattery and scan the vistas for whales. Also happening this weekend on the West coast is the La Push Last Chance Salmon Derby http://forkswa.com/salmonderby/. Fisherman don't want to miss out on our record high salmon run this year! Hopefully these tips can replaces a few disappointments with inspirations as we endure these changes that out of our control. For more information planning your trip or for a free travel planner, call us! (360) 452-8552. Our complimentary travel planner can also be downloaded from www.olympicpeninsula.org.
"Fall into the Olympic Peninsula" this season by entering our Pin-It to Win-It sweepstakes for a chance to win a different prize package all season-long! Up to five (5) Winners will receive weekend getaway packages, to be drawn on or around September 27, October 2, October 16, October 30 and November 27. The packages are listed as follows: Art Lover’s Dream Weekend (to be drawn on or around September 27, 2013, for the weekend of October 4, 5 and 6, 2013). Total approximate retail value: 450.00 USD. In Sequim, the town that's the Queen of Lavender, you'll soak up the local art of the North Olympic Fiber Arts Festival and First Friday Art Walk and Nourish yourself in the rainshadow of the Dungeness Valley. Take in the views of the snow-capped Olympic Mountains as you relax at the Holiday Inn Express. Then head on over to the Victorian seaport town of Port Townsend for the mechanical fun of the Kinetic Sculpture Race and events and a stay in the charming Ravenscroft Inn.
- One (1) double-queen guest room for one (1) night, including Express Start Breakfast for two, at the Holiday Inn Express in Sequim, Washington
- Explore the North Olympic Fiber Arts Festival, the First Friday Art Walk, and the Saturday Sequim Farmers Market.
- One (1) $50 gift certificate for meal service at Nourish Restaurant in Sequim, Washington (valid October 30, 2014).
- One (1) room for one (1) night at Ravenscroft Inn in Port Townsend, including dinner for two at Doc's Marina Grill ($50). Valid through March 31, 2014, excluding November 28, 29, 30, 2013; December 24, 25, 31, 2013 and January 1, 2014.
- Two (2) tickets to the Great Port Townsend Kinetic Sculpture events in Port Townsend, Washington, valid for October 5 and 6, 2013.
- One (1) room for one (1) night at the Red Lion Hotel in Port Angeles, Washington. Valid October 11, 2013
- Two (2) tickets to the 12th Annual Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival – Peninsula Daily News Community Crab Feed in Port Angeles, Washington, which takes place the first night of the festival, Friday October 11.
- One (1) two-person room for one (1) night at Winters Summer Inn Bed & Breakfast, including gourmet breakfast, in Clallam Bay, Washington. Valid through March 31, 2014.
- One (1) two-person room for one (1) night at Elk Meadows Bed and Breakfast, including breakfast, in Hood Canal, Washington. No pets, children over 14 are welcome. Valid through March 31, 2014.
- One (1) room for one (1) night at the Robin Hood Village Resort in Union, Washington.
- Two (2) tickets to Union PumpkinFest (weekend of October 25 and 26, 2013) plus participation in pumpkin catapult contest.
- One (1) two-person room for one (1) night at Quinault River Inn in Amanda Park, Washington. Valid through May 31, 2014.
- Dinner for two at Lake Quinault Lodge in Quinault, Washington. Valid through March 31, 2014. (Up to $100 value, excluding alcohol, must be used in one sitting.)
- One (1) room for one (1) night at Kalaloch Lodge in an Oceanside cabin, plus breakfast for two, in Quinault, Washington. Valid through June 30, 2014.
- One (1) view room for two people for one (1) night, including breakfast, at the Inn at Port Ludlow in Port Ludlow, Washington. Valid through Valid through March 31, based on availability.
- 18 holes of golf with a cart at The Resort at Port Ludlow in Port Ludlow, Washington.
- One (1) kayak rental for two at the Port Ludlow Resort Marina in Port Ludlow, Washington.
- One (1) room for one (1) night at Miller Tree Inn Bed and Breakfast in Forks, Washington Valid through March 31 excluding Feb 14 & 15 and March 15, 22 and 29.
- One (1) $30 Gift certificate for two at Golden Gate Chinese Restaurant in Forks, Washington (no expiration).
As the air cools and the leaves begin to change everyone is invited to sample the best of the Pacific Northwest. Below are a few ways to taste the autumn bounty of the Olympic Peninsula. September: The growth in popularity of hard cider led to the creation of the Cider Route by three Jefferson County cideries: Finnriver Farm and Cidery, Alpenfire Cider, and Eaglemount Wine and Cider. A combination of organic and homestead apples are used to create a variety of flavors. A few nontraditional options include Eaglemount's Ginger Cider made from Hawaiian Ginger Root and Finnriver's Botanically Infused-Cider. Visitors can learn about the cider making process and sample the finished products at each cidery's tasting room. To confirm current hours and offerings, visitors are encouraged to check the Finnriver, Alpenfire, and Eaglemount websites. Continue reading
Fall is a fantastic time to camp on the Olympic Peninsula. Depending on your campsite, you can see the leaves changing from green to gold, birds on their migration journey, and even salmon making their annual pilgrimage. Between Olympic National Park, Olympic National Forest, state and county parks there are many campsite options. Below are five of our favorite fall campsites on the Olympic Peninsula. Since there are many types of camping- RVing, car camping, backpacking, etc- we've tried to include options for everyone. Sol Duc - On the western side of Olympic National Park is the Sol Duc Valley. Home to Salmon Cascades, Sol Duc Falls, hot spring pools, and dramatic old growth forests, the Sol Duc Valley has much for visitors to explore year round. Campers can pitch their tents beneath the canopy of towering, moss covered trees. In late October and early November visitors can watch coho salmon leap through the air on their journey to spawn up the Sol Duc River. Continue reading