Tag Archives: Port Angeles

Whales, Whales and More Whales!

The Strait of Juan de Fuca has had extraordinary numbers of humpback whales and sightings of a rare-to-these-waters fin whale. Orcas are active and part of the viewing spectacular! Definitely, local attention has been focused on the waters and the whales. On a recent whale-watching tour out of Port Angeles, we saw the trifecta! All three species - humpbacks, fin and Orcas. It was an astounding feeling to have possibly two dozen humpbacks surrounding the boat, breaching, and spouting. With the engines off we could hear them nearby when they were spouting. The fin whale looked rather like a very large brown log floating in the water, until it moved! It was a huge animal. The fin is the second largest whale after the blue whale. The Orcas were feeding, so we missed their usual playful behavior. But, again with the engines off, the Captain lowered a microphone into the water. We heard them talking to one another. Phenomenal! Here's what the naturalist aboard the ship the day we went had to say about our viewings:

Humpbacks and Orcas and a Fin, Oh My!

Port Angeles Highlights: Dozens of Humpbacks L-Pod Resident Orcas "The" Fin Whale Mt. Baker What happens when you mix sunny skies, flat seas, snow-capped peaks, and three species of whale?  Just another great day at the office with Port Angeles Whale Watch! The visibility today was phenomenal providing views of both the Olympic mountain range and Mt. Baker of the North Cascades. The humpbacks were up first, with many of the dozens of whales we spotted yesterday still feeding in the area.  Notable individuals that could be identified included BCX0298 "Split Fin", BCX1068 "Split Fluke", BCX1193 "Zig Zag", and CS631, but there were many, many more whales spouting and fluking in the distance. We next got a call of possible killer whales to the northeast so decided to investigate.  Sure enough, we arrived to see several members of the Southern Resident L-Pod spread out foraging for salmon.  While many of the whales were quite scattered, mom L77 "Matia" and her 4-year old calf, L119 "Joy" stayed nearby for a while.  Because it was so calm today, we were able to turn off the engines and drop in the hydrophone to eavesdrop on an orca conversation of whistles and squeals! It was time to return home, but luckily the route took us right back through humpback territory for an encore presentation.  Much to our delight, however, we were treated to our third whale species of the day - the rare fin whale that's been in the area for the last week or two!  It doesn't get much better than that!  Check out some of the gorgeous photos from today: Erin
Port Angeles: PA Whale Watching, 360.293.4215, whales@islandadventurecruises.com Port Angeles Whale Watch Company is owned and operated by Island Adventures based out of Anacortes, WA. Island Adventures Whale Watching has been in business since 1992 and has carried hundreds of thousands of satisfied passengers.

Port Townsend:  Puget Sound Express,  360-385-5288. https://www.pugetsoundexpress.com/

Three generations of our family have helped visitors have life-changing experiences with some of the most majestic creatures on the planet. Puget Sound Express has been a family business for 31 years!

Whales

Whales

Humpbacks

Humpbacks

Whales in Strait of Juan de Fuca

Whales in Strait of Juan de Fuca

Hummingbirds in the winter? Yes!

Anna's hummingbirdIf you are a birder, young or old, you'll add to your life list on the Olympic Peninsula. I'm interested in them, but I'm not a birder - YET. I know that this area almost always leads Washington State in high counts of species during spring migration. The Christmas bird count a big annual event for the Dungeness River Audubon Center at Railroad Bridge Park along the Olympic Peninsula Discovery Trail. The reason for my investigation?  I've noticed hummers hanging around my house for the last few days. My curiosity was up. So I started some research about these lovely little guys that chose to stay here in the winter. Boy, was I surprised.     In looking for bird information, I found listings for over 350 species that visit the Olympic Peninsula. We have three different types of hummers. Anna's, Calliope and Rufous Hummingbirds all have been reported. Maybe on examination, I think I know which one I saw. Anna's like to live in the forests, brush areas and in town. It is a permanent resident along the West Coast from British Columbia to northern Mexico. Calliope's like to live in the forests and have only been seen on the Olympic Peninsula a few times. They are the smallest - about three inches long. (The ones I saw seemed more robust!) That leaves the Rufous hummingbirds. They live in forest, brush areas and in town. They are rarely seen in the winter. They are common in the spring and early summer, and fairly common in the fall. So I probably am not seeing Calliope's or Rufous. But, I want more information. An email to my birder friend says that Anna's should be the only ones hanging around at this time of year. According to ebird.org, there was a registered siting in Neah Bay on February 1. And, Anna's have been seen on Ediz Hook in Port Angeles within the last couple weeks. Conclusion: Anna's Hummingbirds are at my house! All this is fascinating to me. Think how far birds travel during their life times. Much farther than many of us do over the course of our life times. This graphic from Cornell Labs totally mesmerized me. Be sure to watch the animated migration.
Watch the animated version to see how far birds actually travel

Watch the animated version to see how far birds actually travel

Farmers Markets

farmers markets

Beautiful rutabaga at the Jefferson County Farmers Market

It's that time again to revel in the bounty of the Olympic Peninsula. This is a blog that we posted a couple years ago and have updated. Things have changed, but not our love of these markets. The Olympic Peninsula is home to an incredible bounty of fruits, vegetables, grains, seeds, fish, meat, flowers, herbs, and locally produced products. Farmers markets are great ways to support local producers and create your own Olympic Coast Cuisine dishes. There are numerous famers markets to choose from, a couple are even award-winning. Many are open primarily during the summer and early fall while a few markets stay open year round. The Olympic Peninsula is also home to bakers, cheese makers, honey producers, and chefs many of whom are represented at the farmers markets. In addition to edible products, many of the farmers markets offer local artisan wares such as jewelry, lotions, pottery, fiber arts, garden decor, and even toys. Below is a list of some of the farmers markets around the Olympic Peninsula. Chimacum Farmers Market - Sundays 10-3, June-October, 9122 Rhody Dr.

A colorful display at the Sequim Farmers Market

Forks Open Aire Market- Saturdays 10-3, Mid-May-September, 1421 S. Forks Ave. Jefferson County Farmers Markets- Saturdays 9-2 April-December, Wednesday Summer Market 2-6, 650 Tyler St. Port Townsend Quilcene Farmers Market-April through Sept at Hwy. 101 & Center   Port Angeles Farmers Markets - Saturdays 10-2 Year Round, Wednesday Summer Market 10-2, Downtown at Gateway Transit Center Sequim Farmers Market - Saturdays 9-3, May-October, 2nd & Cedar St.

Baskets at the Chimacum Corner Farmstand

Shelton Farmers Market - Saturdays 9-3, May-September, Franklin St. Farm fresh produce and products can also be found year round at farm stands and stores. Chimacum Corner Farmstand- Open daily 9 am - 7 pm. 9122 Rhody Drive, Chimacum, WA.  360-732-0107 Nash's Farm Store - Open daily 9 am - 7 pm.  4681 Sequim-Dungeness Way, Sequim, WA.  360-683-4642 Sunsets West Co-op - Open daily 10 am - 7 pm, longer in the summer. 16795 Hwy 112, Clallam Bay, WA.  360-963-2189

ONP Spotlight: Hurricane Ridge and Lake Crescent

Two of Olympic National Park's biggest attractions, Hurricane Ridge and Lake Crescent, are a short drive from Port Angeles in the heart of the Olympic Peninsula.stormking-crescent.jpg

Hurricane Ridge is one of Olympic National Park's most iconic destinations and the easiest place to access the Olympic Mountains. On your way up to Hurricane Ridge you pass the Olympic National Park Visitor Center. We suggest you stop in and take a look. There are park rangers happy to answer your questions. You can also pick up information about the Junior Ranger program, find out about interpretive programs, and learn about conditions around the park.

Hurricane Ridge and Lake Crescent On your way up the mountain there are a lot of pullouts where you can see the spectacular view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. On a clear day you can see Victoria, British Columbia. (*Helpful hint, It is a lot easier to get into the pullouts on your way back down the mountain.) When you get to the top there is a lodge with information, gift shop, and café. There are many hikes accessible from Hurricane Ridge but if you are looking for something a little less active the top is a great place to have a picnic and just take in the mountain vistas.
Lake Crescent

Lake Crescent Lodge

Lake Crescent is an easy 30 minute drive from downtown Port Angeles and well worth it! It is officially the second deepest lake in Washington State. Carved from glaciers, Lake Crescent is known for its brilliant blue waters and exceptional clarity. Lake Crescent is a popular place for kayaking, canoeing, stand-up paddle boarding, and swimming. Many hiking trails surround the lake. If you are looking for something a little more mellow or a good place to eat after your adventures, stop at the historic Lake Crescent Lodge. Take a seat on one of the many adirondack chairs and enjoy the view or head into the lodge where you will find a gift shop and a fantastic restaurant with Olympic Coast Cuisine.

Fall into the Olympic Peninsula Pin-It to Win-It Weekend Getaway Sweepstakes

"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.
Port Townsend

Port Townsend Waterfront by Anne Norup

  • 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.
Port Angeles Dungeness Crab Festival and a Northwest Coast Adventure (to be drawn on or around October 2, 2013 for the weekend of October 11 and 12, 2013). Total approximate retail value: 322.00 USD.  Soak up some color with orange leaves and orange crab.  Indulge yourself in the biggest crab celebration of the year where the mountains meet the sea in beautiful Port Angeles, WA.  Relax at the Red Lion on the waterfront and spend an afternoon taking in the autumn sights along one of the newest National Scenic Byway of Highway 112.crabdetail
  • 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.
The Great Hood Canal and PumpkinFest Quest (to be drawn on or around October 15, 2013, for the weekend of October 25 and 26, 2013). Total approximate retail value: 300 USD Well, maybe not the type of "quest" from medieval legends but you will find yourself in several enchanted places this weekend.  Discover the secrets of the historic Elk Meadows Bed & Breakfast and Farm tucked away in the valley of the Dosewallips River.  Then journey south along the ancient glacial fjord of Hood Canal for a stay at the Robin Hood Village Resort.  There you can celebrate the season while honing your catapult skills at the Union PumpkinFest.
Elk in the Dosewallips River by Joy Baisch

Elk in the Dosewallips River by Joy Baisch

  • 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.
Beach and Forest Fireside Weekend (to be drawn on or around October 24, 2013, for the weekend of November 9 and 10, 2013). Total approximate retail value: $300 USD.  Play catch with the surf, race the banana slugs, and relax your pace on the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Listen to the soothing sounds of the Quinault River just outside your room at the Quinault River Inn.  Enjoy dinner at the Lake Quinault Lodge.   Sit long enough around a fire on the beach while staying at the Kalaloch Lodge Oceanside Cabin and you might even find yourself roasting a s'more or two.
beach

Kalaloch Beach by Dave Logan

  • 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.
Holiday on the Peninsula (to be drawn on or around November 18, 2013, for the weekend of December 6 and 7, 2013). Total approximate retail value: $709 Value Welcome the 2013 holiday season in luxury at the Port Ludlow Resort.  Take a break from your holiday plans to enjoy 18 holes of golf and a leisurely kayak tour around the water inlets.  Then travel west to the temperate rainforest for a stay at the Miller Tree Inn in mysterious Forks.  Delight in the Festival of Trees and Twinkle Light Parade.  You'll return home feeling rejuvenated and ready to ring in the new year.IMG_0537
  • 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).
Elwha River Hike Photo by John Gussman

Elwha River Hike Photo by John Gussman

Visit the Olympic Peninsula facebook page for more information and to register. Get started PINNING!  Check out our Olympic Peninsula Pinterest board for inspiration.

Summer Concerts

summer concerts

Music in the Park at Sequim's James Center Amphitheater

As the days heat up, summer concert series pop up around the Olympic Peninsula. There are community concerts planned most days of the week. Venues range from waterfront piers to forested parks. Some are alcohol free while others have local beer and wine for sale. In Port Angeles there are bubbles and sidewalk chalk for the kids and Port Townsend's concert series has a beer, cider, and wine garden. Grab your lawn chair or picnic blanket and head to a venue near you. Free Community Concert Series: Concerts on the Pier  presented by the Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce WHEN: Wednesdays 6-8, June- September WHERE: Port Angeles City Pier Music in the Park  WHEN: Tuesdays 6-8 pm, June- August WHERE: James Center Amphitheater in Sequim Water Reuse Park Continue reading

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

Twilight on the Peninsula

Bella's Truck at Forks Visitor Center- Photo Courtesy Chris Cook

Bella's Truck at Forks Visitor Center- Photo Courtesy Chris Cook

Ever wanted to search for vampires and werewolves? Fans of the Twilight series can retrace the footsteps of their favorite characters in the Olympic Peninsula’s towns, rainforests, and beaches. Visitors can take a self-guided tour to some of the major sites from the books. Continue reading