The Olympic Culinary Loop’s 350+ mile trek roughly follows US-Hwy 101 around the Olympic Peninsula for an inviting tour of locally produced food and artisan beverages. Taste the Olympic Culinary Loop by following a four-step recipe: “Eat. Do. Stay. Repeat.” Pick a town as your basecamp. Towns like Port Townsend, Port Ludlow, Sequim, Port Angeles, Ocean Shores, Shelton, or Brinnon, offer lodging hosts who understand the local food scene. They’ll make delicious recommendations that will enhance your stay.
Take a Culinary Side Trip
Add in a culinary side trip off US-Hwy 101 to visit stand-alone destinations such as the fertile Chimacum Valley or Port Townsend, dubbed the “Paris of the Pacific Northwest” by Sunset Magazine. An abundance of fresh delicacies are found on the peninsula’s shorelines and farms. Shellfish beds abound. Fertile soils offer a variety of crops to enjoy. It’s easy to see how the Olympic Culinary Loop is a food lover’s year-round playground dedicated to enjoying every bite of the Olympic Peninsula.
All four counties on the Olympic Peninsula (Mason, Clallam, Jefferson, and Grays Harbor) are home to dozens of farms boasting an abundance of produce, herbs and creamery products from local dairies. While it could be driven non-stop in approximately eight hours, why not travel at a non-fast-food pace? Stop to sample award-winning ciders and the marine terroir of local oysters. Or taste the bounty from bakers, distillers, or chefs who use Farmer Keith’s Certified Organic grains. These are harvested in the Chimacum Valley to produce grains and breads with a hyper-local story of collaboration and commitment.
Even before Betty MacDonald penned her American classic, “The Egg and I,” the fertile farmlands and waters of the Chimacum Valley have been serving up a bounty of delicious crops and foods. Today the valley is one of the most exciting market baskets fueling the Pacific Northwest’s agritourism industry.
Consider teaming up with Chef Dan’s Fireside Restaurant culinary team at the Resort at Port Ludlow. They offer a “Farm Experience” by giving guests a basket to fill when visiting the farms. By the end of the day, it’s overflowing with goodness. The chefs then use the items to create a one-of-a-kind multi-course dinner using the ingredients guests have freshly sourced.
Olympic Peninsula Culinary Celebrations
Looking for some extra motivation? Come experience some of the many seasonal culinary celebrations around the peninsula such as Apple & Cider Festival or the Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival in October; the Ocean Shores Razor Clam & Seafood Festival in March; the Hood Canal Fjord Fest in May; or the Joyce Daze Blackberry Festival in August. Check out our Events Calendar for full list of festivals.
Why Taste the Olympic Culinary Loop?
Some may wonder why a taste of the Olympic Culinary Loop is special. Seasonal food is fresher, tastier and more nutritious than food consumed out of season. Even though we all like to eat strawberries year-round, the best time to eat them is when they can be purchased directly from a local grower shortly after harvest. Seasonal fruits and vegetables produced on local farms are fresher, as they do not require long distances for transport. Crops picked at their peak of ripeness are also better tasting, full of flavor and nutrients. Out-of-season produce is harvested early in order to be shipped and distributed to your local retail store. It’s not nearly as delicious!
Be sure to take breaks between bites to take in an Olympic Peninsula experience. Tour a museum or art gallery. Hike to a waterfall. Get out on the Salish Sea to sail or paddle. Walk along the beach. Click HERE for a suggested tour to eat and enjoy a taste of the Olympic Culinary Loop.
Taste the NE Corner of the Olympic Culinary Loop
Taste fresh farm-to-table fare at:
Old Alcohol Plant Inn and Spirits Bistro, Port Hadlock
Ajax Café, Port Hadlock
Farms Reach Café, Chimacum
The Finnriver Kitchen, Chimacum
Chimacum Farmers Market (Sundays, 10 am – 2 pm, June-October), Chimacum
Cover photo courtesy of Resort at Port Ludlow