Seasonal Trip Ideas

The Olympic Peninsula is bustling—outdoor recreation and adventure; regional cuisine and craft beverages; attractions and events for all ages—every season. While summer and early fall are peak visitor times, you can experience all the same sites and activities throughout the year.

Something to see for every season
Come in the off-season and beat the crowds and nab some great rates on lodging. No matter when you choose to visit, check out these seasonal trip tips for making the most of your time on the peninsula.

Summer & Fall

With easy access from Seattle, Portland and Victoria B.C., there’s a reason crowds flock to the Olympic Peninsula during summer and fall months. Beautiful weather means prime conditions for touring the region and partaking in nearly every outdoor activity imaginable—biking, hiking, climbing, camping, water sports and more. Toss in popular festivals and events and excellent wildlife viewing on land and water, and things are hopping during fair-weather months. Plan accordingly.

  • Lodging fills up fast for the summer, so make reservations well in advance, especially if you’re planning to visit some of the more iconic Olympic Peninsula destinations. Be sure to check out alternative accommodations, including Airbnb, VRBO and other property-rental services. You’re sure to discover some one-of-a-kind spots, including waterside retreats, cozy cabins and yurts.

 

  • RVing and camping are wildly popular pastimes on the peninsula, and a great way to connect with the area’s great outdoors and natural beauty. There’s always a place to pitch your tent or park your rig, but spaces fill up quickly, especially during warm-weather months. When possible, reserve in advance. All campsites within Olympic National Park (with the exception of Kalaoloch and Sol Duc) are on a first-come, first-served basis. If you’re looking for a backcountry experience, be aware that permits are required for all overnight stays in the park’s wilderness areas. Check out lodging listings for campgrounds and RV parks.

Winter & Spring

Moderate temperatures and smaller crowds make winter and spring the ideal time to visit the Olympic Peninsula. Sure, you’re likely to run into cooler temps and more of the wet stuff, but you’ll be deluged with things to see and do.

  • Cash in on off-season rates. Off-season means lower rates and a wide range of available lodging options. Imagine curling up in a rustic lodge or cabin holding a warm cup of tea or coffee or a glass of Washington wine, dramatic ocean or serene lake views just outside your window. Take a dip in the indoor pool at historic Lake Quinault Lodge. Unwind by a stone fireplace at Kalaloch Lodge. Or find yourself in the cozy lap of luxury at The Resort at Port Ludlow.

  • Outdoors open 24/7: Winter and spring are good times to hit a rainforest trail, take a waterfall tour, or soak up the views or strap on your skis at Hurricane Ridge. There’s nothing quite like being on the rugged Pacific Coast in winter. Storm watchers won’t be disappointed. Typically snow-free Kalaloch Beaches offer many options for walking and discovering some awesome tidepool action.
  • Head to the great indoors. Explore rich native cultures at the Makah Museum in Neah Bay. Enjoy the family-friendly Olympic Coast Discovery Center in Port Angeles. That’s just for starters. Explore Olympic Peninsula destinations for year-round indoor (or under cover) things to do, from art walks, galleries and unique shopping, to farmers’ markets and museums.
  • Take a scenic drive. Quiet roads, stunning scenery and unique stops along the way. Take the winter or spring to drive and discover a scenic byway. The Olympic Peninsula offers three routes, from a short stretch to the full-meal deal. Along your drive, get a taste of the region’s delicious cuisine and farm-fresh fare with frequent stops along the Olympic Peninsula Culinary Loop.

What's Closed In Winter?

Not much. A few Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest roads, campgrounds and facilities are closed or have reduced hours, but you’ll have access to nearly everything these natural wonders have to offer. Just be sure to call ahead for alerts and road conditions.

Plan your fall trip to the Olympic Peninsula.