Seattle Travel

18 of the Best Things to Do in Port Angeles: Exploring the Jewel of the Olympic Peninsula

Post created August 28, 2023

Unveiling the splendors and our handpicked selection of 18 things to do in Port Angeles, the crown jewel of the Olympic Peninsula! Delight and captivating coastal town. From invigorating nature excursions to immersing in cultural delights, Port Angeles invites you to savor every moment. Whether you seek panoramic vistas or a taste of local charm, this coastal gem offers it all. Let the adventure unfold and relish the essence of Port Angeles.

1. Hurricane Ridge: A Scenic Summit Adventure

Hurricane Ridge Day Trip from Seattle
Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park (Image Credit: nathaniel gonzales/Shutterstock)

Embrace the great outdoors at Hurricane Ridge, located just 17 miles south of Port Angeles on Hurricane Ridge Road. This majestic destination is open year-round, offering different experiences throughout the seasons. 

During the dry months from June to September, you can enjoy breathtaking views and hiking trails. While in the winter, Hurricane Ridge transforms into a winter wonderland, attracting skiers and snowboarders. But be prepared to pay an entrance fee or have your National Park Pass handy!

If you’re a nature lover, this place will leave you awestruck. Also, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for the native wildlife, including deer, marmots, and even the elusive Olympic marmot. The Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center provides valuable information about the area’s flora and fauna, making your visit both educational and fun.

2. Sol Duc Falls: A Serene Cascade Retreat & Hot Springs

Sol Duc Falls in Olympic National Park (Image Credit: iStock / Jeremy Janus)

A visit to Sol Duc Falls is a must for nature enthusiasts. To get there, drive 35 miles west of Port Angeles on Highway 101 and then turn onto Sol Duc Hot Springs Road for 12 miles. The falls are at their best during spring and summer, surrounded by lush greenery. Avoid the high tourist season in July and August, if you’d like a more tranquil experience.

Once you arrive, take a short and pleasant hike through the old-growth forest, following the well-marked trails. The gentle roar of the cascading waters will draw you nearer to the falls, where you’ll witness the awe-inspiring sight of water tumbling over moss-covered rocks. Don’t forget your camera – this is a picture-perfect spot!

Also, don’t forget your National Park Pass for this one too!

Nestled deep within Olympic National Park, there is also the Sol Duc Hot Spring, which is a hidden oasis of relaxation and rejuvenation. To reach this serene sanctuary, take a scenic drive along Sol Duc Road, following the signs leading to the resort.

As you step into the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, you’ll be transported to a world of tranquility. Immerse yourself in the mineral-rich, geothermal waters that are believed to hold healing properties. The resort features three inviting pools, each offering a unique experience. The large, Olympic-sized pool is perfect for swimming and splashing, while the two smaller mineral pools are ideal for soaking away your worries amidst nature’s soothing embrace.

The hot springs are open year-round, making every season an opportunity to bask in the restorative warmth of the waters. For a quieter experience, consider visiting during weekdays or during the off-peak months. The hot springs are accessible to day visitors and resort guests. Day passes for adults are $20, while children and seniors enjoy discounted rates. The pools are open from morning till evening, allowing you to enjoy both daytime and twilight soaks, for about an hour and a half, each visit.

Also, it’s worth noting that the Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort also offers cozy accommodations, allowing you to extend your stay and fully immerse yourself in the restful ambiance of the hot springs and it’s surroundings.

We’ve got to admit, this is probably one of our favorite things to do in Port Angeles!

3. Port Angeles Waterfront Trail: A Scenic Stroll by the Sea

Port Angeles Waterfront Walkway (Image Credit: iStock / gmc3101)

Take a leisurely stroll along the Port Angeles Waterfront Trail, a picturesque route by the sea. 

The entrance can be found at the intersection of Lincoln Street and Railroad Avenue. Whether you visit during the summer or any other time of the year, this trail promises captivating views of the ocean and passing ships.

The trail is a popular spot for both locals and visitors alike, offering a chance to connect with nature and embrace the refreshing sea breeze. Enjoy the rhythmic sounds of the waves as they kiss the shore while you walk or cycle along the pathway.

But one of the comforting ways to make the most of it is to bring a picnic and bask in the beauty of the setting sun as it paints the sky in vibrant hues over the horizon. 

The best part? It’s free! Enjoy the trail at any time of the day, as it’s accessible 24/7. Which makes this one of the most accessible things to do in the Port Angeles area.

4. Museum at the Carnegie: A Glimpse into the Past

Discover the rich history of Port Angeles at the Museum at the Carnegie, showcasing fascinating artifacts, photographs, and exhibits that trace the city’s development from its early days as a bustling port town to the vibrant community it is today.

Get a glimpse of the Klallam and Makah Native American cultures, learn about the city’s role in the timber industry, and explore the maritime heritage that has shaped Port Angeles. The museum’s warm and inviting atmosphere will leave you with a deeper appreciation for the city’s history.

5. Port Angeles Fine Arts Center: A Creative Oasis

(Image Credit: iStock / T Schofield)

For art enthusiasts, a visit to the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center is a must. This center celebrates creativity and showcases a diverse array of contemporary artworks by local and regional artists.

Begin by strolling through the scenic Webster’s Woods Sculpture Park, where art and nature intertwine to create a truly unique experience. Then wander through the rotating exhibits and maybe even engage in the art events, making it a dynamic hub for any creative.

Immerse yourself in the captivating history and vibrant culture of Port Angeles. The city’s treasures await, offering a perfect blend of education and inspiration. In the next section, we’ll reveal delightful culinary experiences and charming places to shop, making your trip to Port Angeles even more memorable. 

6. Shop Like a Local: Artisan Boutiques

Support the local community by exploring the charming artisan boutiques dotted throughout Port Angeles. Find unique treasures at the Peninsula Taproom, where local crafters display their handmade goods, including jewelry, ceramics, and artwork.

Have you ever noticed that art differs greatly from city to city? Each city seems to have their own unique personal touch. So although we think that this may be one of the small things to do in Port Angeles, it’s still mighty in the heart of the locals.

7. Peninsula Golf Club: Tee Off with a View

For golf enthusiasts, a visit to the Peninsula Golf Club is a must, this 18-hole course offers stunning views of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Enjoy a round of golf in the serene beauty of nature, and perhaps even spot some local wildlife during your game.

8. Ediz Hook Reserve: A Scenic Nature Walk

Another great venture is the Ediz Hook Reserve, a narrow spit of land extending into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. One great way to enjoy is to take a leisurely walk along the waterfront, where you can spot ships passing by and marvel at the picturesque landscape. Be sure to keep an eye out for seabirds and marine life while immersing yourself in the tranquility of the area.

9. Dungeness Spit: Beachcomber’s Paradise

Dungeness Spit Lighthouse (Image Credit: Shutterstock / Danita Delimont)

For a truly unique experience, visit the Dungeness Spit, located just a short drive east of Port Angeles. This natural wonder boasts the longest natural sand spit in the United States, stretching five miles into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. I know what you may be thinking, the name sounds a bit spooky, but I assure you it’s truly not! In fact, this might be one of the more mysterious things to do in Port Angeles.

Embark on a scenic hike along the spit to the New Dungeness Lighthouse. The trek is a favorite among nature enthusiasts, offering stunning views of the coastline and a chance to spot diverse bird species. Remember to check the tide schedule and plan your visit accordingly for a safe and enjoyable journey.

10. Freshwater Bay: Serenity by the Sea

Escape to the tranquility of Freshwater Bay, a hidden gem just west of Port Angeles. This secluded spot offers an ideal setting for picnicking, beachcombing, and relaxing in the serene coastal ambiance.

Take in the breathtaking views of the Olympic Mountains as they reflect on the calm waters of the bay. If you’re lucky, you might even witness playful seals swimming close to the shore or even see a bundle of sea beans to munch on!

11. Feiro Marine Life Center: Dive into Marine Discovery

Discover the wonders of the marine world at the Feiro Marine Life Center, showcasing interactive exhibits, allowing visitors to learn about the diverse marine life of the Olympic Peninsula.

Get up close and personal with fascinating sea creatures in the touch tanks, and participate in informative programs led by marine biologists. It’s an experience that both kids and adults will cherish.

12. Black Ball Ferry Line: Sail to Victoria, Canada

Make your trip to Port Angeles even more memorable by taking a day trip to Victoria, Canada, via the Black Ball Ferry Line. Board the MV Coho at 101 E. Railroad Avenue, and sail across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to explore the charming capital of British Columbia.

Discover the historic architecture, lush gardens, and cultural attractions from the Port to Victoria Don’t forget your passport, as you’ll be crossing the international border and back!

13. Olympic Discovery Trail: Biking Adventure

Calling all cyclists! The Olympic Discovery Trail stretches over 130 miles, connecting Port Angeles to the nearby towns of Sequim and Port Townsend. Rent a bike or bring your own, and embark on an exciting biking adventure through breathtaking landscapes.

Take in the fresh air as you pedal through lush forests, alongside serene lakes, and over picturesque bridges. This trail is perfect for all skill levels, so everyone can enjoy the journey.

Indulge in Local Delicacies and Quaint Cafés

14. Country Aire Natural Foods Market: Organic Oasis

For health-conscious foodies, a visit to Country Aire Natural Foods Market is a must. This family-owned grocery store offers a vast selection of organic produce, bulk items, and specialty products.

Grab a freshly made sandwich or salad from their deli section and enjoy a wholesome picnic at a nearby park. From vegan treats to gluten-free goodies, this market caters to diverse dietary preferences and sustainable hearts too.

15. Bella Italia: A Taste of Italy

Transport yourself to Italy with a delightful dining experience at Bella Italia, a charming Italian restaurant boasting a warm and welcoming ambiance, complemented by authentic dishes prepared with love.

Be sure to slowly savor their traditional pastas, wood-fired pizzas, and delectable desserts, all made with locally sourced ingredients. Of course, you’ll want to also pair your meal with a fine wine from their extensive selection, and enjoy the flavors of Italy in the heart of Port Angeles. 

PS: Sip and eat slow to truly enjoy the flavors longer!

16. Harbinger Winery: Toast to Local Wine

Wine enthusiasts will be delighted to discover Harbinger Winery, offering a range of handcrafted wines, each showcasing the unique flavors of the region’s grapes.

Treat yourself to a tasting flight, and let the friendly staff guide you through the nuances of each wine. Don’t forget to take home a bottle of your favorite wine as a cherished souvenir of your trip.

17. Cherry Hill Drive-In: Nostalgic Eats

Step back in time with a visit to Cherry Hill Drive-In, a vintage-style drive-in serving up classic American comfort food, including burgers, fries, and milkshakes.

Simply, order from your car or enjoy a picnic on their outdoor seating area. The retro charm and mouthwatering flavors will make this dining experience truly unforgettable.

Indulge in the delightful tastes of Port Angeles, where culinary delights and cozy cafés await you. As you savor these local delicacies, you’ll find yourself immersed in the city’s unique culture and spirit, but with a taste of history. 

18. Next Door Gastropub: A Gastronomic Adventure

Welcome to Next Door Gastropub, a culinary gem tucked away offering a gastronomic adventure, showcasing a fusion of flavors and creative dishes. Prepare to be delighted by their ever-changing menu, where the freshest local ingredients take center stage in every mouthwatering creation. 

Explore & Share Your Favorite Things To Do Port Angeles with Us!

I’s now your turn to unveil the quirkiest cafés, historic landmarks, and adrenaline-pumping adventures that Port Angeles has to offer. Let our blog be your trusted companion on this unforgettable journey.

So, put on your explorer’s hat, pack your bags, and let’s set off together to create lasting memories in the jewel of the Olympic Peninsula. Adventure awaits, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way, and we’re here for you. Happy travels!

Ashleigh on ferry Island hopping.

Hi, I'm Ashleigh! Welcome to Seattle Travel, my little piece of beautiful PNW. This is home and I'm here to share all my experiences so visitors and locals alike can find the best experiences this part of the country has to offer. I started Seattle Travel in 2012 as a way to journal my experiences and over the years have been encouraged by family and friends to open up my adventures to everyone. I actively seek out the best food, activities, and day trips and give you a local perspective.  The Pacific Northwest is one of the most beautiful areas in the world and my goal is to let you explore it to the fullest. 

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