Olympic Peninsula road trip

A drive around Washington’s Olympic Peninsula is the greenest road trip in the West

Port Townsend

Photo by Chris Gray Faust

Port Townsend

This graceful gateway to the peninsula will charm with a restored Victorian-era downtown rich in cafes and art galleries. One standout is Gallery 9, whose works include Michael Kenney’s seductive jewelry made with meteorites. gallery-9.com

Colette’s Bed & Breakfast

Photo by Mike Jensen

Colette’s Bed & Breakfast 

Cheap motels dominate Olympic lodging, which makes Colette’s a treat. Luxury suites offer fireplaces, hot tubs, and Strait of Juan de Fuca views. From $195; colettes.com

Hurricane Ridge

Photo by Chris Gray Faust

Hurricane Ridge 

In late spring into early summer, snow still piles high along the shoulders of Hurricane Ridge Road, and some trails may require snowshoes. But even nonhikers can admire views of Mt. Olympus and Bailey Ridge (pictured) from the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. $15/vehicle; nps.gov/olym

Lake Crescent Lodge

Photo by Thomas J. Story

Lake Crescent Lodge

The stretch of U.S. 101 west of Port Angeles passes some of the park’s prettiest forests and lakes. Stop for berry pie (oh, and lunch) at the woodsy lakeside lodge, hosting vacationers since 1916. Lunch $$, rooms from $109; olympicnationalparks.com

Rialto Beach

Photo by Getty Images: Geoffrey Schmid / Visuals Unlimited

Rialto Beach 

The sun doesn’t set until around 9 p.m. in early summer, so you’ll have plenty of time to make it to the Pacific Coast. Check the tides before heading out to Rialto Beach and its sculpturally lovely Hole-in-the-Wall arch. nps.gov/olym

Hoh Rain Forest

Photo by Livio Sinibaldi

Hoh Rain Forest 

Visit Olympic National Park’s most spectacular rain forest, with trees laced by moss so green that it glows neon in certain light. The Hall of Mosses Trail, which starts behind the Hoh Rain Forest Visitor Center, provides lush scenery for little work. nps.gov/olym

Kalaloch Lodge

Photo by Ryan McVay

Kalaloch Lodge 

Twilight-famous Forks averages 3.45 inches of rain in June. Flee the drip with a bowl of clam chowder at Kalaloch, a cozy stop with terrific Pacific views. On the way, hit Ruby Beach with its photogenic sea stacks. $$$, rooms from $149; thekalalochlodge.com

Lake Quinault

Photo by Thomas M. Barwick

Lake Quinault

Thick forests shade this placid lake’s shores. Join a ranger-led hike from Lake Quinault Lodge, or make the 31-mile Quinault Rain Forest Loop Drive; either way, come back to order the cedar-planked salmon in the lodge dining room. $$$; olympicnationalparks.com

Kurt Cobain Memorial

Photo by Bill Dewey

Kurt Cobain Memorial 

No one personified Washington’s grunge movement more than late Nirvana frontman and Aberdeen native Cobain. The memorial features a statue of a Fender guitar bearing these lyrics: “One more special message to go and then I’m done and I can go home.” Kurt Cobain Memorial Park, Aberdeen.

Taylor Shellfish

Photo by Chris Gray Faust

Taylor Shellfish

No trip here would be complete without a stop for freshly harvested oysters at Taylor’s Shelton outpost. The century-old family operation supplies Seattle’s finest restaurants. 130 S.E. Lynch Rd., Shelton; taylorshellfishfarms.com

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