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Lake Quinault Area

IL
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115 posts
269 reviews
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Lake Quinault Area

We will be arriving in Seattle next weekend renting a car and driving to Lake Quinault for one night followed by one night at Kalaloch, then heading to Port Angeles for a couple of nights. After that, we don't have any reservations for the remainder of our week.

I have booked tours of Lake Quinault via boat and the Hoh Rain Forest. Any recommendations for other things to do while we are in that area are appreciated. We would be willing to hike for a few miles, but not half a day hike. Beaches, side trips, restaurants, ferry trips, rafting or kayak tours...any ideas from anyone who has recently traveled or lives in this beautiful area of our country.

6 replies to this topic
Davie, Florida
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1. Re: Lake Quinault Area

Port Townsend is a historic victorian town with an old fort at the north edge of town. The fort "An Officer and a Gentleman" was filmed at.

http://www.enjoypt.com/

IL
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2. Re: Lake Quinault Area

Thanks...I had wondered if we should be staying at PT instead of PA? Looking forward to visiting the coastal towns.

Poulsbo, Washington
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3. Re: Lake Quinault Area

Not sure why you are spending so little time at Quinault and Kalaloch unless that is all you could get. Quinault deserves at least two nights IMO. The Lake is beautiful, but the best part of Quinault is its incredible Rainforest. There are plenty of options for easy day hikes. My favorite short hike is to Pony Bridge at the end of the South Shore Road. I would send you a link, but you will have little time for exploring the Valley. Near Kalaloch is also beautiful Ruby Beach and incredible Giant Old Growth Cedar just off the Hwy. Maybe more than one tree, but and incredible sight! I love Port Townsend. If you get good weather I would go on an Orca Cruise to the San Juan Islands. If the weather is good there are so many things to see on the Penninsula plus a daytrip to Victoria. Kayak tours on the Hoh and out of Port Townsend and Port Angeles. Lake Crescent and Sol Duc Falls, Rialto and Second Beach, Dungeness Spit. Also if you are going first to Quinault, I hope you are going by way of Olympia and Aberdeen.

IL
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4. Re: Lake Quinault Area

Booking late so we could only get one night each at Quinault and Kalaloch:( We are driving from SeaTac via Olympia and Abderdeen like you suggest...looking forward to our trip! Thanks for the sugggestions...we will defintely try to do all of them as time allows. There just never seems to be enough!

IL
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5. Re: Lake Quinault Area

We made it back safely from our vacation, not rested because there was so much to see and do...but loved every minute we spent in the Olympic Peninsula....what a beautiful area of our country. Definitely will have this place on my list of future vacations. Not sure what our favorite little excursion was, but we went on as many as possible. Traveled from SeaTac to Olympica then on to Aberdeen and Lake Quinault where we spend our first night at the lodge. So glad we went via this route...took the evening sunset cruise on Lake Quinault the night we arrived, followed by a 5 hour tour of the Quinault rainforest the following morning with one of the park guides and 4 other tourists. What an informative tour with lots of short walks through rainforest, to waterfalls, and a stream to see the salmon spawning. All of the beaches along the western coast are worth a look...some have long hikes down, so you will want to make sure you have time and check into the tides. We spent one night at Kalaloch....had to stay in a lodge room as there were no cabins available. It was fine...nothing special, but clean enough. Breakfast in Forks, world's largest cedar tree, drove all the way to Neah Bay. So glad we did that, mainly to say we went as far as we possibly could to the tip of the northwest coast. Nice little hike to a platform at Cape Flattery, where we were treated to another look at the ocean, surf, beach, island and lighthouse. Backtracking along the northern coast, we stopped at a couple of little villages where we had seen signs which people had made themselves for smoked salmon and fish. Now let me just say, that back home I probably would never eat anything coming from these homes/buildings just from the unkept appearance of the outside of the properties. Well....we chose to give a couple of places a try and hoped that we hadn't made a mistake, as I don't think the local health departments were checking. I can honestly say all of the smoked salmon we tried was absolutely delicious and we didn't have any ill effects from our decision. Those people know how to smoke fish is all I can say. Traveled east along the north coast and took a detour to the Dungeneous Spit...well worth seeing that long piece of real estate that juts along for 5 miles or so....amazing place. I forgot to mention that we loved walking through the rainforest....made me think that I should be seeing some dinosours around every corner. Not a reader of any Twilight or vampire books, but it sure was an area where your imagination could go wild and make you think there just might be some vampires living in the misty fog which surrounded us as we walked and drove through all of those forests of tall, tall trees. We were lucky to spend a couple of nights at the Red Lion Inn in Port Angeles..not that the hotel was so wonderful, but it's location was the best in town, right alongside the waterfront, resaurants, and ferry terminal. We took a one day ferry trip over to Victoria on Vancouver Island...that is someplace everyone needs to visit at least once. We had been there before, but it was a real treat to see all of the beautiful flowers and got a chance to tour the castle there Craigiddore (that's not how it's spelled, but if you want to go, look up the correct spelling for more info). At lunch at a little hole in the wall that has been in business for 81 years, Vics....wonderful halibut fish and chips (wish I had some right now). Rode the open air step on, step off bus. We didn't have to board the 90 minute ferry ride back to Port Angeles until 7:30, so we found a neat little bistro type restaurant with a few outdoor seating spots across the street from the Empress Hotel. The place was called Oysters or something like that....and that's a perfect name because their menu consisted mainly of oysters...and boy were they ever good. We had some oysters on the half shell with 3 of the best sauces we had ever tasted...not the typical seafood cockail sauce. Also got some ahi tuna appetizer and fish taco appetizer with a cup of soup. Our next two nights were spent at the Harborside Inn in Port Townsend. It was an okay motel....with a location which was not within walking distance of the downtown shops and restaurants...unless you like to hike up a really, really high hill. Our room had a small balcony which faced the marina behind it, but the rooms are not air conditioned. If it's hot like it was when we were there, the front desk had a few fans for people to use in their rooms. Even with our second floor sliding balcony door open all night, it was still rather muggy without AC. It was unusual to be in the mid to high 80s in September with no breeze. We took an all day excursion via boat to Friday Harbor around the San Juan Islands....another beautiful day with scenery to match. Our last night was spent at the airport Holiday Inn Express near SeaTac. A perfect vacation week, except it was way too short and went way too fast.

Poulsbo, Washington
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6. Re: Lake Quinault Area

Glad you had a good visit. Just for your info when you share your photos with people back home. The giant cedar by Kalaloch is not the world's largest. It was called that at one time. It is believed to be more than one tree. Still a magnificent speciman. The record tree hopefully you saw is off the North Shore Road at Quinault.

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