Top 20 Washington State Trips

Port Angeles

Port Angeles

Visit the gateway to the Olympic National Park in Washington State.

Port Angeles is situated on the Strait of Juan De Fuca in the Olympic Peninsula west of Seattle, and is the gateway to the Olympic National Park.  The Olympic Mountains provides a spectacular backdrop to this busy industrial port city. 

Many visitors spend the night in Port Angeles before taking the ferry to Victoria BC, or as the starting point for exploring the Olympic National Park.

However Port Angeles is also a great base to explore other natural attractions in the Olympic Peninsula.  For example, visitors can experience dramatic views of the Olympic Mountains from nearby Hurricane Ridge, walk along the world's longest sand spit at the 5-mile Dungeness Spit, stop for lunch at the historic Lake Crescent Lodge, explore the enchanting Sol Duc Falls and Sol Duc Hot Springs, then drive out to the most northwest point of the Continental US at Cape Flattery.  The Olympic Game Farm near Port Angeles is also a "must-see", enabling visitors a safari-like experience, with free roaming zebras and elk. 

10 BEST things to do in Port Angeles

1. Climb the stairs behind the Memorial Fountain: When visiting Port Angeles, a great starting point is the Conrad Dyar Memorial Fountain in downtown, located at the intersection of Front and Laurel streets.  Climb a long stairway behind the fountain to get great views of the city and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.  The surrounding historic district is also worth exploring. 

2. Walk along the City Pier and climb the tower:  Your next stop is the Port Angeles City Pier by the waterfront, just across from the Red Lion Hotel.  Visitors can walk to the end of the pier, then climb a tower for 360 degree views of the harbor and Olympic Mountains. There's also a small park near the entrance to the pier, with a pebbly beach known as Hollywood Beach, a few picnic tables, and a small play structure. After visiting the pier, walk into downtown for a good selection of restaurants.

3. Explore the touch-pools at the Feiro Marine Life Center:  The Feiro Marine Life Center is at the entrance to the City Pier, with exhibits on the fascinating marine environment in this area [315 North Lincoln Street, Port Angeles].

4. Continue along the Waterfront Trail to the 9/11 Memorial Park:  Walk or bike along the waterfront trail at Port Angeles, part of the 135-mile Olympic Discovery Trail that starts in Port Townsend, passes through Port Angeles, and ends at the Pacific Ocean at La Push. The best section of the trail in Port Angeles, is the 0.7 miles traveling east from the City Pier, to the the 9/11 Memorial Waterfront Park. This park has a steel beam salvaged from the Twin Towers.

3. Enjoy soaring mountain views from the Ediz Hook spit.  Walk, bike or drive along the 3-mile crescent shaped Ediz Hook sandspit for the best views in Port Angeles!  Look back across Port Angeles and the incredible backdrop of the snowcapped Olympic Mountains, or north towards Victoria BC in Canada. There's plenty of parking pull-outs along the way, and a few picnic tables at Harborview Park on the spit.  The spit has open water with a sandy beach on one side, overlooking all the busy shipping traffic on the strait. The calmer waters of the harbor are on the other side, perfect for water sports like kayaking.

5. Visit the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center:  The Port Angeles Fine Arts Center is at the top of Beaver Hill, with sweeping views over Port Angeles and the Strait of Juan to Fuca. It has a semi-circular gallery constructed in 1951 that hosts rotating exhibitions from local artists. The Webster's Woods Sculpture Park is directly outside, and has 100 unique artworks on display in a 5-acre forested area with a series of trails [1203 East Lauridsen Boulevard, Port Angeles].

6. Visit 3 great wineries:  Port Angeles is blessed with three great wineries!  The Olympic Cellars is along Highway 101, inside a historic, 1912 barn that was once a dairy, then later a dance hall. Step inside the huge barn to sample wines at a bar salvaged from the Olympic Hotel in downtown Port Angeles. There's also a gift shop, a lovely outdoor patio with mountain views, and plenty of summer concerts. Next stop is Harbinger Winery also on Highway 101, inside a rustic shed with colorful artwork, and tables and chairs nestled amongst wine barrel racks. This relaxed winery has award winning wines, that you can accompany with cheese plates, charcuterie boards, and yummy chocolate. There's also an eclectic range of gifts, and an outdoor seating area. Your final stop is Camaraderie Cellars, just off Highway 101, with an elegant tasting room and charming garden patio (seasonal only).

7. Drive up to Hurricane Ridge:  Hurricane Ridge is located 17-miles south of Port Angeles, and has spectacular views of the Olympic Mountains.  Hurricane Ridge offers a wide choice of hikes through alpine meadows and mountain lakes.  During winter months, choose from downhill skiing, cross country skiing and guided snowshoe walks.  Click here to check winter road conditions to Hurricane Ridge.

Ferries to Port Angeles

To get to Port Angeles take the Seattle to Bainbridge Island Ferry then drive north-west for 1.5 hours.  If you have more time, visit Bainbridge Island and charming Port Gamble along the way. The total distance from Seattle to Port Angeles is 82-miles.

Port Angeles accommodation

Review the best Lodging, Hotels, Rentals, Inns and B&B's in Port Angeles in the table at the bottom of this page.  For the ultimate in luxury, stay at Colette's Inn or the George Washington Inn.  Both have superb clifftop locations overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Vancouver Island, and the colonial-style George Washington Inn is a replica of the President's mansion in Virginia.

  • Hotel or Inn: Port Angeles Olympic Lodge, Red Lion, or the Inn at Rooster Hill
  • Motel:  Port Angeles Inn
  • Clifftop water views & luxury:  Colettes, George Washington Inn
  • Water garden Cottages:  Hidden Haven
  • Ranch:  Elwha Ranch
  • Romantic B&B's:  Northwest Manner B&B

Port Angeles Restaurants

Try the "First Street Haven Restaurant" for breakfast, and "Bella Italia" or "Michael's Seafood and Steakhouse" for dinner, also on First Street.

Attractions near Port Angeles

  • Hurricane Ridge - 17 miles west of Port Angeles
  • Dungeness Spit -  19 miles east
  • Olympic Game Farm -  18 miles east
  • Lake Crescent & Lake Crescent Lodge -  20 miles west
  • Sol Duc Falls & Sol Duc Hot Springs - 43 miles southwest
  • Port Townsend -  47 miles east
  • Fort Worden - 48 miles east
  • Port Gamble -  53 miles east

Review this attraction