Category Archives: Towns of the Peninsula

Town Spotlight: Port Hadlock

Port Hadlock

Port Hadlock 1903

The Port Hadlock, Irondale area is steeped in a strong industrial, maritime heritage. Samuel Hadlock, the founder of Port Hadlock, moved west in the 1850s, landing in the area that would become Port Hadlock in1870. He built a large lumber mill on a spit of and off the Bay, with deep enough waters for tall ships to moor and load nearby. The lumber from the thriving mill was shipped mainly to San Francisco.

The next industry to the area was what would became the first iron producing blast furnace in what is now Washington State. When this iron mill was completed the new boom town near Port Hadlock, Irondale, was born in 1881. The initial hope was for Irondale to become a major iron and steel producer for the western United States. About 1200 tons of pig iron was produced during its first year of operation, with ore obtained from the nearby Chimacum valley, This dream was not to be, the iron mill was closed during the depression and bank panic of 1889, and, with the lumber mill fire the Hadlock, and, Irondale residents were looking for new hope. Continue reading

Town Spotlight: Port Townsend

Port Townsend

Port Townsend Waterfront by Anne Norup

Port Townsend was named one of the “Top 10 Coolest Small Towns in America” recently by Budget Travel, FOX News, NBC News and Yahoo Travel, gaining a national reputation for its authentic charm as a Victorian seaport and its maritime heritage, with a touch of urban chic. Make a lifetime memory and treat yourself to an unforgettable experience in this beautiful city. Explore Port Townsend’s parks, beaches and trails on foot or by bike. Meander through a museum, dance up a storm, enjoy live music, attend a festival or just saunter through town.

Dubbed the “Paris of the Pacific Northwest” by Sunset Magazine, the city’s restaurants, bistros and cafes prepare delicious, local fare at its finest, fresh from the farm, field or sea.

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Lavender Weekend

Lavender Fields by Val Henschel

Summer is flower season on the Olympic Peninsula. Mountain fields are covered with wildflowers and blossoms accentuate scenery in North Olympic Peninsula towns. Sequim, known as the Lavender Capitol of North America, fills with the delicate scent of this fragrant herb. The surrounding farms and fields are covered in bright purple blooms. The third weekend of July is the annual Sequim Lavender Weekend. The three day event includes the Sequim Lavender Festival and Sequim Lavender Farm Faire.

Lavender Weekend is a family-friendly celebration with farm tours, U-pick opportunities, street fairs, juried art show, live music, kids games, and more. A handful of farms are open to the public for free, self-guided tours. There’s also the Heritage Lavender Farm Tour which includes six farms. Each of these farms has its own mini-festival with live music, workshops on growing and using lavender, crafts, and more. Tickets for this tour are available at the farms, in local retail outlets and online HERE.  The Olympic Peninsula’s incredible culinary bounty is showcased in the delicious food, wine, beer, and ciders available at both events. Detailed information with dates, times, and locations is available HERE.

There are many options for overnight accommodations- though it’s best to plan early as this is one of the biggest events of the year. There are bed and breakfasts, quaint inns, hotels, campsites, even converted train cabooses to stay in. The nearby towns of Port Angeles and Port Townsend have additional accommodation and restaurant options.

2013 Lavender Weekend Maps


Town Spotlight: Port Angeles

Pier in PADesignated the nation’s second capital city by Abraham Lincoln, Port Angeles is a beautiful sea port with nearly limitless outdoor recreation possibilities, a vibrant art scene, an award-winning farmers market, and easy access to Canada.

As the gateway to Olympic National Park’s Hurricane Ridge, Lake Crescent, and Sol Duc hot springs, Port Angeles is a popular destination for lovers of the outdoors. From here visitors can travel on the Discovery Trail to the nearby towns of Sequim and Port Townsend or head into the park on the Adventure Route.  Continue reading