The Olympic Peninsula and Washington Coast: Places to Explore


  • Aberdeen

    The pretty town of Aberdeen, on Grays Harbor at the mouth of the Chehalis River, was settled in 1867 by farmers. Some of the earliest residents were Scottish immigrants who named it after their own city... Read more

  • Chinook

    The pleasant Columbia River fishing village of Chinook (shi-nook) takes its name from the tribe that once controlled the river from its mouth to Celilo Falls. The same group encountered Lewis and Clark... Read more

  • Copalis Beach

    A Native American village for several thousand years, this small coastal town at the mouth of the Copalis (pronounced coh-pah-liss) River was settled by European-Americans in the 1890s. The beach here... Read more

  • Forks

    The former logging town of Forks is named for two nearby river junctions: the Bogachiel and Calawah rivers merge west of town, and a few miles farther they are joined by the Soleduck to form the Quileute... Read more

  • Hoquiam

    Hoquiam (pronounced hoh-quee-ahm) is a historic lumber town near Aberdeen and the mouth of the Hoquiam River. Both river and town were named with the Chehalis word meaning "hungry for wood." The town was... Read more

  • Ilwaco

    Ilwaco (ill-wah-co) has been a fishing port for thousands of years, first as a Native American village and later as an American settlement. A 3-mile scenic loop winds past Ft. Canby State Park to North... Read more

  • Long Beach

    Long Beach bears a striking resemblance to Brooklyn's Coney Island in the 1950s. Along its main drag, which stretches southwest from 10th Street to Bolstadt Street, you'll find everything from cotton candy... Read more

  • Montesano

    Montesano was settled in 1852 at the confluence of the Chehalis, Satsop, and Wynoochee rivers. Log-toting team boats churned through the river passages from 1859 until railroad tracks arrived in 1885... Read more

  • Neah Bay

    One of the oldest villages in Washington, Neah (pronounced nee-ah) Bay is surrounded by the Makah Reservation at the northwestern tip of the Olympic Peninsula. Today it's still a quiet, seldom-visited... Read more

  • Ocean Park

    Ocean Park is the commercial center of the peninsula's quieter north end. It was founded as a camp for the Methodist Episcopal Church of Portland in 1883. Although the law that prohibited the establishment... Read more

  • Ocean Shores

    Ocean Shores, a long stretch of resorts, restaurants, shops, and attractions, sits on the northern spit that encloses Grays Harbor. The whole area was planned by housing developers in the 1960s, and with... Read more

  • Oysterville

    Oysterville is a 19th-century waterfront village, with houses set in gardens or surrounded by greenswards. Signs posted on the fence of each building tell when it was built and who lived in it. You can... Read more

  • Port Angeles

    Sprawling along the hills above the deep-blue Strait of San Juan de Fuca, Port Angeles is the crux of the Olympic Peninsula's air, sea, and land links. The town is capped off at the water's edge by a gathering... Read more

  • Port Townsend

    Ship captains from around the world once sailed into this port, known for its parlors of ill repute, saloons, shanghaiing, and other mid-19th century waterfront shenanigans. In fact, it was developed into... Read more

  • Seaview

    Seaview, an unincorporated town, has 750 year-round residents and several homes that date from the 1800s. The Shelburne Inn, built in 1896, is on the National Register of Historic Places. In 1892 U.S... Read more

  • Sekiu

    The village of Sekiu (pronounced see-kyu) rests on the peninsula's northern shore, a rocky and roiling stretch of coastline inhabited for centuries by the Makah (ma-kah), Ozette, and S'Klallam tribes... Read more

  • Sequim

    Sequim (pronounced skwim), incorporated in 1913, is a pleasant old mill town and farming center between the northern foothills of the Olympic Mountains and the southeastern stretch of the Strait of Juan... Read more

  • Westport

    Westport is a bay-front fishing village on the southern spit that helps protect the entrance to Grays Harbor from the fury of the Pacific Ocean. Numerous charter companies based here offer salmon, lingcod... Read more