How to Enjoy Hood Canal
What to do and where to stay
From Seattle, take the Bainbridge Island ferry across Puget Sound, then follow State 305 13 miles to State 3. Hood Canal Bridge is 7 miles north, Belfair 27 miles south.
For information about attractions around the canal, visit the Kitsap Peninsula Visitor & Convention Bureau (32220 Rainier Ave. N.E., Port Gamble; www.visitkitsap.com or 360/297-8200). 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 for three hours. In front of Hood Canal Marina in Union; www.kayakhoodcanal.com or 360/898-5925. (Call the Alderbrook Resort & Spa for rental fees at that location; see below.)
Rocky Brook Falls. From U.S. 101 north of Brinnon, head west 3 miles on Dosewallips River Rd. Park on the west side of the unmarked bridge and hike north, past pump house, about 100 yards to the falls.
Theler Wetlands Trail. Easy 3-mile round-trip trail marries the end of Hood Canal with the Union River Estuary. Start at Mary E. 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 through mid-May. 306264 U.S. 101, Brinnon; www.whitneygardens.com or 360/796-4411.
Dining and lodging
Alderbrook Resort & Spa. Don’t miss the heated, glassed-in pool or the restaurant, headed by executive chef Tom Black (who was also behind Woodinville’s Barking Frog). 77 rooms from $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. 130 Dulalip Landing, Belfair; www.selahinn.com or 877/232-7941.
Willcox House Bed & Breakfast. 5 rooms from $139. 2390 Tekiu Rd. N.W., Seabeck; www.willcoxhouse.com or 800/725-9477.