It’s a fact: time spent outdoors in nature benefits body, mind and soul. Exposure to green spaces and the natural environment has shown a reduction in stress levels, increased social connectedness, and an overall improved well-being.
Feel like you or your family are spending too much time indoors? Too much time tied to a desk or sitting in traffic? Then NOW is the perfect time to head to the Olympic Peninsula to relax and recharge. The summer crowds are gone, the air is crisp, the light seems golden, and the many trails and beaches beckon. Even a short visit can be just the “refresh” you need.
1) Finding Inspiration in Port Ludlow
Need further inspiration? Getting here is half the fun, whether a road trip via a Washington State ferry, or perhaps a romantic seaplane flight direct to Port Ludlow. Nestled on the shores of Puget Sound, Port Ludlow offers a boutique waterfront inn with an award-winning, farm-to-table restaurant. Plus a 300-slip marina if you choose to arrive by boat. Enjoy a championship, 18-hole golf course, indulge in the inn’s spa services, and explore over 25 miles of nearby hiking and biking trails. Check out these great packages to help you recharge.
2) Exploring Hidden Gems in Jefferson County
Close by, discover more of Jefferson County. Enjoy a self-guided tour of the Chimacum Valley farms and cideries. Explore nearby Fort Flagler or Fort Worden, two of three forts built 100 years ago. They were part of the “Triangle of Fire” coastal defense system to protect the entrance to Puget Sound. Or head down the Hood Canal to Dosewalips State Park for hiking, boating, clamming – and possibly glimpsing the local elk herd.
3) Visiting Western Washington’s “Rain Shadow”
Continuing west on Highway 101, the town of Sequim sits along the Strait of Juan de Fuca in the “rain shadow” of the Olympic Mountains, making it one of the driest places in western Washington. Autumn is a terrific time for beach walking and bird watching along the Dungeness Spit, the nation’s longest natural sand spit. Stop at Nash’s Organic Farm Store to pick up local fresh produce, or sample at Wind Rose Cellars cozy tasting room. Sequim offers a wide array of overnight accommodations, and many feature seasonal discounts.
4) Immersing Yourself in Nature
What better way to recharge than with an invigorating, autumn waterfall hike? Explore trails through deep green forests punctuated with golden, big leaf maples. Some not-to-miss falls include Madison Falls (dog-friendly!), Marymere Falls near Lake Crescent, and breathtaking Sol Duc Falls. Stop at Salmon Cascades along the Sol Duc river to watch the autumn spectacle of the annual salmon migration. Or drive around to the Hoh Rain Forest, near Forks, to explore its magical other-worldliness and moss-draped beauty.
Whether you explore the mystical rain forests, misty waterfalls, tranquil beaches, or just enjoy a scenic drive from here to there, you will leave the Olympic Peninsula refreshed, relaxed and recharged – and just a little healthier for the visit!