Washington Coast

Old Jan 21st, 2015, 06:54 AM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Washington Coast

My husband and I travel for three weeks each summer by car with our four children ages 9-16. We have traveled to 46 of 48 states and this August we plan to finish the last two, Utah and Washington. Each trip we take our time getting to our "destination", where we rent a house for a week. We think that we would like to rent a house on or near the Washington coast, but are very unsure of where we should look. Our perfect destination, would be someplace with a small town within in walking distance to go to eat and shop, but not too commercial. We like to do outdoor activities like kayaking, hiking, bike riding, but we don't want to be secluded. For example, we loved Bar Harbor, ME, with the small town, but then the National Park only minutes away. If there is place with similar amenities in the west we would love to hear about it.
kkyllo is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2015, 07:21 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 11,364
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
Check out Port Townsend and Port Angeles. Bring everyone's passport and take the ferry over to Victoria BC. If you don't want to take the car into Canada, you can go as foot passengers and return on the ferry.
Olympic NP does not have "through" roads so you have a few choices to see the interior of the park.
As for kayaking in Washington, I'd try Lake Washington in Seattle. It's a lot safer than ocean kayaking. The world headquarters of Groundspeak is in the Fremont section of Seattle. Groundspeak will have a "Block Party" in August where geocachers from all over the world will gather.
As a geocacher geocaching.com I've found many interesting places I never would have seen otherwise.
Going from Washington to Utah make sure to see Crater Lake NP.
tomfuller is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2015, 07:35 AM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 18,725
Received 79 Likes on 8 Posts
Washington has a lot of coastline, so you'll need to be a bit more specific.

On the actual Pacific coast a good portion of the shore is within a strip of Olympic National Park, and commercial facilities are extremely scarce, and in August those facilities are simply overwhelmed.

To the south of the park strip (between the national park and the mouth of the Columbia River) there are a number of "resort" towns - Ocean Shores, etc. - which (just my opinion) are pretty blah and in some cases, rather depressing.

At the north end of the national park strip are a couple of small towns like La Push and Forks that have some rental properties and tourist facilities, but, again, speaking personally, are rather depressing little places.

Then there's the north end of the Olympic Peninsula. Here, facilities are much more plentiful, you have decent access to the national park coastline and the amazing Hoh rain forest valley, but also to Hurricane Ridge with its alpine views of the Olympic mountains. Outside the national park, the towns of Port Angeles, Sequim ("Skwim") and Port Townsend offer plenty of opportunities for activities; Port Townsend is a lovely little town with plenty of Victorian architecture. From Port Angeles you can take a ferry for a day or longer to Victoria on Vancouver Island, British Columbia's picturesque capital city.

From Port Townsend to the east, you have another series of coastlines, by far the most extensive in the state - the San Juan Islands, Whidbey Island, Hood Canal and the whole perimeter of Puget Sound.

Here you have a wide variety of places to stay - the San Juans with miles and miles of empty roads for cycling, picturesque Roche Harbor and Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, with whale watching or sea kayaking available...

Or stunning Deception Pass and the lovely little towns of Coupeville and Langley, along with historic Fort Casey on Whidbey Island, or numerous little towns like Port Gamble, or La Conner, or Gig Harbor on the two "coasts" of Puget Sound, or even beautiful (and relatively little known by visitors) Vashon Island, available by ferry 15 minutes from Seattle itself.

So I'd recommend you do some serious research on your choices. From your description (Bar Harbor etc.) I have to think the San Juans might be your best bet, but it's all about choices; you can kayak but can't walk through the lupines at Hurricane Ridge, or see the Roosevelt Elk in the eerie beauty of the Hoh Valley, or gawk at the beauty of Rialto Beach, with waves crashing against the rocks. Tough choices indeed.
Gardyloo is online now  
Old Jan 21st, 2015, 08:59 AM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 109
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'd also recommend Port Townsend as a base. It's a nice town, and allows for day trips to Olympic NP (Hurricane Ridge & the Hoh) and the ocean, Victoria BC, Seattle, and the San Juan Islands. All of which are definitely worth visiting.
usroadman is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2015, 11:45 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 10,966
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Cannon Beach, in Oregon, and Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands are the only two places in this vicinity that give me a bit of the feel of Bar Harbor.

I think you would love San Juan Island--possibly going to Lopez Island for a day for biking. This summer, for the first time, it will be possible to reserve places on Washington State ferries.

HTtY
happytrailstoyou is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2015, 12:43 PM
  #6  
mms
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 17,675
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
With wanting to not be isolated, I agree with Port Townsend and Port Angeles. They are very different towns, with PT usually described as "charming" and PA being described as a working town. Both are great though, IME. In Port Townsend, we like to rent cottages through Morgan Hill Getaways. They have close to a dozen rentals, but we have always rented the Guest Cottage. I would not recommend that one for the ages of your kids though, as with 4 it would be tight. A few of their others would be ideal though. From PT, you could easily take the ferry over to Whidbey Island and explore that for a day.

If you decide to be closed to ONP and all it offers, then stay closer to PA. You could get a rental around Lake Crescent, which is a great jumping off point for hiking, kayaking, etc. Plus you are in easy driving distance of some of the beautiful rugged beaches.
mms is offline  
Old Jan 21st, 2015, 01:05 PM
  #7  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jan 2015
Posts: 10
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
All of these responses have been invaluable. When you know what you want, but have never been to a certain part of the country, it is overwhelming as to where to start. I may check back when more questions arise, but for now, the search begins for a rental! Thank You again!
kkyllo is offline  
Old Jan 23rd, 2015, 09:54 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 11,364
Likes: 0
Received 17 Likes on 4 Posts
For anyone coming to Seattle in August, the Block Party is on August 15 with smaller events before and after.
http://www.geocaching.com/geocache/G...0-dbe64a7cb1a6
Stop by and say hi to Jeremy Irish.
tomfuller is offline  
Related Topics
Thread
Original Poster
Forum
Replies
Last Post
Florie
United States
4
Mar 31st, 2019 10:46 PM
bamafam
United States
8
Oct 8th, 2017 12:46 PM
atregg
United States
9
Jan 6th, 2016 10:05 AM
kcapuani
United States
6
Feb 20th, 2015 05:13 PM
jlbartley
United States
15
May 17th, 2012 03:25 PM

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are On


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Do Not Sell My Personal Information