Neah Bay — Photo courtesy of Sam Beebe, Ecotrust
Washington's Olympic Peninsula was virtually unmapped up until 1965, leaving it as one of America's least populated and most natural areas. The beauty of the peninsula can be enjoyed throughout the year and during the off-season you may find that you've got a little more of it to yourself to explore.
If you've got a car, you can easily fill an entire day or three driving the 329 miles of the Olympic Peninsula Loop. You will start in Seattle and cross the Hood Canal Bridge, making your way to the Olympic Mountains and to the Olympic National Forests after that. Your final destinations will be the Pacific Ocean and the Olympic Rainforest. The loop takes about eight hours to drive, but we would suggest you explore the areas where you will find trails, beaches, museums, towns and wildlife.
Early on into your drive, you will come across the Olympic National Park. Depending on the weather, you may wish to get out and enjoy a hike on one of the trails, or head down to the rugged beach to see what ocean life you can see. The drive is scenic and can also be appreciated from the comfort of your car.
Even if you don't have kids on your road trip, make a stop at Sequim's Olympic Game Farm. Get up close and personal with llamas, yaks, goats, bison, Grizzly bears, tigers, zebras, elks, peacocks and more. This park is open all year and is more likely to be less crowded during the off season.
A buffalo in Sequim — Photo courtesy of jesswebb
Further along on your drive you will stumble across Neah Bay. This town home of the well known Makah Cultural Center that houses items from the "Ozette Dig". Back in the 1500s there was a massive landslide that covered Makah village and this dig uncovered many artifacts. In fact, the Makah Cultural Center has the largest collection of pre-contact Northwest Coast Indian archeological pieces in the country.
Near Neah Bay, Washington — Photo courtesy of snowpeak
We think you're going to love Washington's Olympic Peninsula!