From towering, snow-capped peaks and majestic beaches to lush, green forests and more, an Olympic Peninsula road trip is one that you’ll remember for a lifetime. Explore scenic landscapes, encounter awe-inspiring natural wonders, and embark on outdoor adventures that will leave you feeling reinvigorated. Read on to learn about some of the best stops along the way. Then, take a look at our Romantic Getaway guide for more thoughtful suggestions on how to add a romantic touch to your vacation!
Add a Romantic Touch to Your Getaway!
How Long Is the Olympic Peninsula Loop?
Consider starting your trip in Seattle. If you enter the loop via the junction of Highways 101 and 104, you follow the loop for 330 miles around the peninsula from Port Angeles to Aberdeen. Then, take Highway 12 inland where you can follow Highway 101 North from Olympia to complete the loop around Hood Canal.
10 Stops on the Ultimate Olympic Peninsula Road Trip
The best Olympic National Park drive awaits. Experience some of the most breathtaking vistas in the Pacific Northwest and Washington State. Stop at some of the following destinations to make the most of your trip!
1. Lake Quinault
At the southern edge of Olympic National Park, you will find Lake Quinault in the glacial-carved Quinault Valley. Explore the Quinault Rain Forest and admire ancient trees, old growth, and diverse ecology of this temperate rainforest. Seek out natural wonders such as waterfalls or giant trees. You might also like to see the World’s Largest Sitka Spruce Tree.
2. Ruby Beach
An outdoor adventure you won’t soon forget, a visit to Ruby Beach paints a scene of serene seashore vistas. Dramatic views of the rugged shoreline in combination with the Pacific Ocean roaring its way up the beach greet you upon arrival. Catch an unforgettable sunset casting an orange glow behind the giant rock islands, also known as sea stacks. You won’t want to miss out on this must-see stop during your trip!
3. La Push Beach
La Push Beach is actually a series of three beaches on the Pacific Coast. Take the opportunity to disconnect from the rest of the world and take in the tranquil setting. Comb the beaches for seashells, snap photos of the sea stacks and rock formations against the sky, or catch some waves! The waters at these beaches are strong and make for excellent kayaking and surfing.
4. Rialto Beach
Rialto Beach is another impressive spot to take in the views of the Pacific. It is found adjacent to Mora Campground near the mouth of the Quillayute River. In addition to relaxing on the beach, visitors can explore maritime forests as well.
5. The Hoh Rain Forest
The Hoh Rain Forest is one of the most impressive remaining temperate rainforests in the United States. This makes it the perfect stop along your Olympic Peninsula road trip. Draped moss, towering trees, and crawling ferns paint a picturesque scene of greenery you don’t want to miss out on. You can find this stop on the west side of Olympic National Park. It is also a two-hour drive from Port Angeles and just under an hour from Forks.
6. Cape Flattery
Get out and stretch your legs on the Cape Flattery Trail. Stand at the most northwesterly tip of the continental United States and take in the views of Tatoosh Island, rugged cliffside, various birds, and the Pacific Ocean. Between March and May, there is also a good chance you might spot gray whales migrating from Canada to Mexico.
7. Sol Duc Falls
With everything from cascading waterways, alpine lakes, snow-capped peaks, and lush vegetation, the Sol Duc Valley is another excellent place to stop along the way. As you begin your trek along the Sol Duc Falls trail, you can hear the roaring falls before they even come into view. It’s an excellent place to snap stunning photos to share with your friends and family when you return from your adventure!
8. Lake Crescent
Lake Crescent sits in the northern foothills of the Olympic Mountains just 18 miles west of Port Angeles. Admire the breathtaking reflection of the mountains dancing in the waters of this glacially carved body of water. From here, you can choose to explore other nearby attractions such as Marymere Falls or Barnes Creek. Perhaps you’d prefer spending some time on the water or unpacking a delicious picnic at Bovee’s Meadow.
9. Hurricane Ridge
Stop off at Hurricane Ridge for more great hiking opportunities. Winter, spring, summer, and fall each boast fantastic vistas on a sunny day. You’ll find a variety of trails to explore such as the Cirque Rim, Big Meadow, High Ridge, Klahhane Ridge, and Hurricane Hill. As you take in the scenery, you will begin to notice the ways in which the snowfall shapes the landscape year-round.
10. Port Angeles
Nestled between the coast and the mountains, Port Angeles, Washington is one of the most alluring travel destinations in the US. Upon arrival, you will recognize the influence of various Native American tribes who call the region home. Outdoor enthusiasts will find rest and respite in this charming coastal town between adventuring through distinct ecosystems, including snowy mountains, rugged shorelines, and temperate rainforests.
Visitors will find a wide range of exciting things to do and places to eat in the city. Sit on the Port Angeles City Pier and take in the views of the water. Sample local wines at Harbinger Winery. Learn about local ecology at the Feiro Marine Life Center. Maybe you’d enjoy exploring art galleries and antique stores. Perhaps you’d prefer visiting the Washington Lavender Farm or the famous author, Ramond Carver's resting place in the Ocean View Cemetery. For food, indulge in some of the most delicious local cuisines at establishments such as Sabai Thai, Chestnut Cottage Restaurant, LD’s Woodfired Grill, and Next Door GastroPub.
Port Angeles Lodging
Colette’s Bed & Breakfast
George Washington Inn
More Great Road Trip Ideas & Resources
- 13 of the Best Scenic Road Trips in the USA
- Some of the Best East Coast Road Trip Ideas
- Map out Your Blue Ridge Parkway Road Trip
- A Southern-Fried Guide to the Best Deep South Road Trips
- The Ultimate Cape Cod Road Trip Itinerary
- The Best Savannah to Charleston Road Trip
An Olympic Peninsula road trip is one of many ways to explore the Pacific Northwest, and all of its natural beauty. If you’re planning a trip to Washington or anywhere else in the continental United States, consider staying at a Select Registry property. Our guests can rest assured that, regardless of where they’re going or why, that each of our properties meets an exceptional standard of quality assurance. Choose between hundreds of lodging options that range from charming, historic B&Bs to modern, boutique hotels.
What are you waiting for? Start planning the trip of a lifetime.