From Seattle, take the Bainbridge Island ferry across PugetSound, then follow State 305 13 miles to State 3. Hood Canal Bridgeis 7 miles north, Belfair 27 miles south.
For information about attractions around the canal, visit theKitsap Peninsula Visitor & Convention Bureau (32220 RainierAve. N.E., Port Gamble; www.visitkitsap.com or360/297-8200). For more information and maps, contact the U.S.Forest Service office in Quilcene (295142 U.S. 101 S.;360/765-2200).
Kayak Hood Canal. Rentals $15 per hour, guided tours $55 forthree hours. In front of Hood Canal Marina in Union; www.kayakhoodcanal.com or360/898-5925. (Call the Alderbrook Resort & Spa for rental feesat that location; see right.)
Rocky Brook Falls. From U.S. 101 north of Brinnon, head west3 miles on Dosewallips River Rd. Park on the west side of theunmarked bridge and hike north, past pump house, about 100 yards tothe falls.
Theler Wetlands Trail. Easy 3-mile round-trip trail marriesthe end of Hood Canal with the Union River Estuary. Start at MaryE. Theler Community Center, 22871 N.E. State 3, Belfair;360/275-0721.
Whitney Gardens & Nursery. The 6 3/4-acre show garden,heavy on rhododendrons and azaleas, peaks from mid-April throughmid-May. 306264 U.S. 101, Brinnon; www.whitneygardens.com or360/796-4411.
Dining and lodging
Alderbrook Resort & Spa. Don't miss the heated,glassed-in pool or the restaurant, headed by executive chef TomBlack (who was also behind Woodinville's Barking Frog). 77 roomsfrom $170, 16 cottages from $260. 10 E. Alderbrook Dr., Union; www.alderbrookresort.com,800/622-9370, or 360/898-2200.
Hama Hama Oyster Company. 9:30-5:30 daily. 35846 U.S. 101 N.(on the south side of the Hamma Hamma River); 360/877-5811.
Selah Inn. 7 rooms from $95, 2 cottages from $160;five-course dinner from $30, reservations required. N.E. 130Dulalip Landing, Belfair; www.selahinn.com or877/232-7941.
Willcox House Bed & Breakfast. 5 rooms from $139. 2390Tekiu Rd. N.W., Seabeck; www.willcoxhouse.com or800/725-9477.