I had previously posted on the Seattle board and got some great feedback from glaciermeadows and kaleberg. So as not to try to fit in too much, we deleted San Juan Island and took glaciermeadows' suggestion to head to Ranier/St Helens before attending a wedding in Seattle 8/2.
On 8/3/14 we will leave Seattle in the am, head to Port Townsend and take a whale watch trip with Puget Sound Express. What time do we need to leave in order to make the 10am half day trip? The whale watch should finish by 2:30. After that, we plan to make a counterclockwise loop through Olympic National Park ending at a hotel near Seatac in the evening of 8/6 for our flight out the next morning. So I'm looking for itinerary suggestions. We will have 3 nights where we need lodging.
We're looking for a combination of activity during the day with relaxation in a beautiful setting in the late afternoon (ie after checking in). We enjoy moderate hikes of 5-6 miles max, would love to see waterfalls, scenic vistas and wildlife. We also enjoy flat water kayaking and biking but would need to rent (not high priorities). We want to have a coastal experience, a rainforest experience and a mountain experience. We were thinking of staying in the national park hotels (Lake Crescent, Quinault, Kalaloch) because they seem to be located in gorgeous spots. I had previously mentioned fly fishing but my husband will be doing that in the first part of the trip.
Any further suggestions about accomodations, itinerary, things not to miss, things we don't know we should know, etc would be very much appreciated. We're a little crowd phobic and I know that August is peak tourist season but any tips for lesser known but still great locations, hikes, etc would be great. You've all been so helpful this far. Thanks in advance.