I have lived in Washington for nearly a decade. I moved here when I was 22. My children have grown up here and although I am a Colorado native, I consider the Pacific Northwest my home. I have a passion for this place that I have never felt about anything else. We had a longer, darker winter than I am used to (thank you, climate change) but it is finally getting sunny and because of that, I present you with my 5 favorite things to do in Washington State over the summer:
5. Visit Olympic National Forest
The website for the massive Forest is here. The park is huge and encompasses a large portion of the Olympic Peninsula. What I typically do is take the ferry from the island where I live to Port Townsend. Generally, before I leave I have selected a destination and decided upon a hike or day trip. It only takes one day and there are always sights to behold. One of my personal favorites, which I think is a relatively easy hike is the Lover's Lane Loop, located near Sol Duc Hot Springs. I do this several times each summer and I always leave feeling tired, happy, and more in tune with nature.
4. Spend a Day or Two in Port Townsend
I am pretty partial to the Olympic Peninsula. I live a short ferry ride from Port Townsend and it is one of my favorite places to just go and walk around or bum around for the day. Here is a link to a Trip Advisor page regarding spending the day in Port Townsend. My favorite things to do are to go to "Better Living Through Coffee" and get a baked good and a cup of coffee, walk around downtown and checkout the Steampunk Shop, visit the little galleries in the downtown area, and go to Fort Worden State Park. There are several small musuems and cute restaurants in the area as well. There is also a bath house which I have been dying to try but have yet to make time for.
3. Spend the Day on South Whidbey Island
I happen to live on Whidbey Island, which makes this incredibly easy and convenient for me. However, there is a lot to do on South Whidbey including small beachfront parks where I like to take my kids for picnics, great beaches (my favorite is Doublebluff), and really nice restaurants and coffee shops. There are also places that rent out canoes, kayaks, and paddleboards and on a nice day those activities are amazing. I recommend going to lunch at Mukilteo Coffee Roasters and taking home a pound of coffee or going to Doublebluff which is a warm, sandy beach as well as an off-leash, dog-friendly area. There is truly no end to the options if you spend the day in the Greenbank, Freeland, and Langley area on the island.
2. Take a Day Trip to Bellingham
It's been a while since I went to Bellingham, lately I always seem to find myself heading south when I leave the island. However, Bellingham is one of my favorite places in Washington State. Boundary Bay Brewery is one of my favorite places to eat and it used to be one of my favorite places to drink beer. Whatcom Falls and Nooksack Falls are must-sees. There are also distilleries, national parks, and small museums that are worth a look. Overall, it is a great place to walk around and get lost for the day and treat yourself to a hike.
1. Orcas Island
Every summer, I spend a few days camping and hiking on Orcas Island. I love the San Juans. Friday Harbor and Orcas Island are amazing day trips and the ferry ride alone is gorgeous and worth the time. There is no end to the possibilities and I recommend taking a look here and planning either a day or a whole week exploring the islands. On a good day you can see all the way to Canada and the whole surrounding area. There is nothing I can type that will do justice to visiting Orcas.