Often times, couples who come to the With These Rings studio in Port Townsend to create their rings, choose to make a weekend (or week!) of the trip. And one of the many, many treasures of the Olympic Peninsula are the beautiful parks - both state and national.
Many couples venture out of town to explore the beauty of the rugged Pacific Coast shoreline, hike trails leading to waterfalls or through a temperate rainforest, and gaze at epic mountain views and crazy, beautiful panoramas encapsulating the awe-inspiring feeling that is the Olympic Peninsula.
In my humble opinion, these are six of the must see destinations on the Olympic Peninsula.
Hurricane Ridge is one of the most easily accessible locations in the park offering awe-inspiring views of the Olympic Mountains year round. Located in Port Angeles, Hurricane Ridge is less than two hours from Port Townsend.
During the summer months, a clear day can provide panoramic views across the Straits of Juan de Fuca to Victoria, Canada. And during the winter, bundle up and enjoy a romantic afternoon of snowshoeing - breathe in the beauty of the mountain vistas. No matter what time of year you visit, you won’t regret the trip to Hurricane Ridge.
Salt Creek Recreational Area
Salt Creek Recreational Area offers a wide variety of amenities including camping, fishing, hiking, boating, horseback riding, scuba diving, beachcombing, and so much more. Pro tip: go at low tide for tidepool exploration!
This 196-acre Port Angeles gem is full of forest hiking, tidepool exploration, and a beautifully sandy beach perfect for picnicking. Salt Creek offers 360-degree views of Vancouver Island, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Crescent Bay. Salt Creek is a birder’s paradise and is located on the the Whale Trail and the National Audubon Olympic Loop of the Greater Washington State Birding Trail.
Many consider Lake Crescent to be the crown jewel of Olympic National Park. From mossy lined trails leading to waterfalls, to a vibrantly blue, seemingly bottomless, 10-acre natural lake - the opportunities for exploration and enjoyment are endless. Lake Crescent is located approximately an hour and a half from Port Townsend.
Whether you choose to go on a day hike or bike to Marymere Falls, view the native Olympic Mountain Goats, fish for trout at the lake, or simply relish in the beauty of Lake Crescent, you’ll create long-lasting memories of Olympic National Park. Looking to make it an overnight? The property hosts a beautiful, historic 55-room lodge with a delicious restaurant built in 1915 as a basecamp for exploring Lake Crescent and beyond.
Soak in Mother Nature at Sol Duc Hot Springs. The Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort offers three mineral hot spring pools (and one freshwater pool) to relax and rejuvenate within. Sol Duc Hot Springs is just over two hours from the With These Rings studio and if you’re looking to make it an overnight - cozy up in a cabin or guest room the rustic Sol Duc Springs Resort.
The hot springs receive part of their water source from rain and melting snow. The water seeps through sedimentary rocks combining with gasses from volcanic rock. After your relaxing soak, head out on a beautiful hike, under three miles, to witness the beauty of the Sol Duc Falls. This waterfall is open year-round and you won’t want to miss it.
Looking to put your toes in the Pacific Ocean? You better head to La Push. Just 14 miles outside the town of Forks (yes, the one that sounds sort of familiar...the Twilight series took place in Forks, WA), is one of Washington’s most popular beaches. La Push lies on the south side of where the Quileute River meets the Pacific Ocean on the Quileute Indian Reservation.
This is an amazing place to watch whales and surfing-sized waves. The village of La Push offers First, Second, and Third Beach. These three numerical beaches offer giant waves, forested trails, and amazing bird watching. Important to note, La Push is approximately two and a half hours from the With These Rings studio.
One hour outside of Forks, lies the World Heritage Site and Biosphere Reserve - the Hoh Rainforest. This temperate rainforest receives up to 14 feet of rain a year, by comparison Seattle only receives 36 inches! Expect to see trees like the Stika Spruce and the Western Hemlock (the official state tree), luscious and hanging mosses, and Roosevelt Elk.
Fall is a beautiful time to visit the Hoh Rainforest, because the rainy weather makes the forest even more lush and green than you can imagine. It is truly magic. One of the best activities at the Hoh is to hike the Hall of Mosses. This less than 1 mile hike sums up the majestic rainforest with interpretive signs as you wander through groves of trees and mosses.