Located in the southwest region of the Olympic Peninsula, you’ll find Grays Harbor County. In this special corner of the Pacific Northwest, you can stick your toe in the Pacific Ocean then after a 45-minute, scenic drive, take in the beauty of the Quinault rain forest, one of four temperate rain forest locations on the West End of the Olympic Peninsula.
1. Lake Quinault
There you’ll find majestic glacier-carved and fed Lake Quinault, surrounded by the mossy, old-growth trees of the Quinault Rain Forest.
The rustic Lake Quinault Lodge, built in 1926, was constructed in the same style as the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park and Sun Valley Resort in Idaho. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Lake Quinault Lodge has long been a favorite destination of tourists and area residents alike.
Miles of trails, swimming and fishing are easily accessible from the campgrounds and resorts around the lake and through the old-growth forest.
2. Wildlife and Waterfalls
Rest and relax at the lake, or head out for a hike to explore the natural beauty and wildlife of the rain forest, including The Quinault Giant Sitka Spruce, considered the largest Spruce tree in the world. Or take a leisurely 30-mile drive around the lake to experience scenic waterfalls, which are part of the Olympic Peninsula Waterfall Trail. Bring a camera, hiking shoes and maybe some rain gear, depending on the time of year you visit. This will be a trip full of natural beauty that you will never forget!
3. Beautiful Beaches
When you are ready for a change of scenery, the magnificent Pacific Ocean is less than a one-hour drive away.
Copalis Beach, Moclips, Ocean City, Ocean Shores, Pacific Beach, and Seabrook make up “The North Beach” area of Grays Harbor County providing the perfect coastal escape at this favorite destination.
If you crave adventure, have some fun surf fishing, surfing, golfing, beach-combing, digging for Washington’s famous razor clams, kite flying, horseback riding, or ride a bike on the beach.
The coastal community of Seabrook is a walking and biking paradise set on a scenic bluff, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. In addition to neighborhood promenades and walking trails, Seabrook features 18 parks, outdoor games and playgrounds, along with an abundance of shopping and dining choices, all within a 5-minute walk to one of the finest beaches in the area.
Indulge in the area’s incredible, coastal cuisine with its locally and sustainably raised, grown and harvested culinary delights.
Imaginative local restaurants bring together the best of the best to create inspired menus unique to each season, featuring ocean-fresh seafood, grass-fed beef and in-season locally grown fruits and vegetables.
If time allows, venture to the south into the port cities of Aberdeen, Hoquiam and Cosmopolis to enjoy craft breweries, local wineries and distilleries.
With fabulous places to stay, eat and play, Grays Harbor truly is unforgettable and a favorite destination for everyone.
Written by Guest Blogger Steve Lawson on behalf of Grays Harbor Tourism