Monday, November 28, 2011

Explore: The Olympic Peninsula!

I'm constantly amazed by all of the beauty that surrounds us in Seattle!  Just a couple hours' drive away is the Olympic Peninsula, and WOW is it incredible!  I already posted about our wild encounter with the animals at the Olympic Game Farm, so now it's time to post about the rest of our one-night Olympic Peninsula getaway with the family...

A few years ago we went to the Hoh Rainforest, First Beach, Cape Flattery, and Ruby Beach, so for this trip we decided to focus on the places we hadn't been to before.  There's just SO much to explore on the Peninsula!  We picked a beautiful August weekend for our trip, and hopped on the ferry.  The kids were nuts about the ferry ride, and we headed to our first stop... Hurricane Ridge in the middle of the Olympic Mountains!
There were such stunning views at the Hurricane Ridge visitor's center!  I felt like singing "The hills are alive...!" 
{There's Kirsten, saying, "I don't like the sun!  It's too bright!"  Can't you tell she's from Seattle?}

There were even some beautiful deer!  And just a little bit of snow!
Since this was a pretty quick trip and we only stayed there for one night, we kept just to the northern part of the Olympic Peninsula.  We spent an idylic afternoon at Lake Crescent, and the kids got to go swimming there!  It was a truly gorgeous, peaceful lake and I didn't want to leave!

We ate a picnic lunch there, and the whole afternoon was beautiful.
*Added to my Bucket List: Stay someday at the Lake Crescent Lodge, or the Lake Quinalt Lodge further south!

After we left the lake, we broke out the baby backpack and did a really short little hike to see Madison Falls.  This was really more of a walk than a hike since it was easily accessed from a short, paved road not far at all from the parking lot.  I would have loved to see Marymere Falls or Sol Duc Falls, but those were longer hikes and would have been tough for our 4 year-old and 2 year-old.  Madison Falls was small, but it was cute and very easy to get to, and our kids were amazed by it.  So I'd call it the perfect waterfall to go see with young kids.

Our last stop was Port Townsend, a pretty adorable little naval town, for dinner before taking the ferry back home.  There wasn't a whole lot in the town for kids to do (mostly antique shops, book shops, etc.) but we stumbled upon the perfect family-friendly place for dinner... Pizza Factory!  Everything was really affordable, and they had a huge, casual space with a play kitchen and some other things for the kids to play with while we waited for the food.  They even gave the kids balloons, and the pizza was yummy!  I highly recommend!
 *Memorable kid moment came during dinner at Pizza Factory.  Kirsten (age 4) came back to the table, upset because a boy had taken over what she was "baking" in the play kitchen. 
Me: "Oh no, what should we do?"
Kirsten: (said calmly) "We could kill him."
Stephen: "How would we do that?"
Kirsten: "With a knife."
Where do kids learn this stuff???
All in all, we had a great time on our mini-vacation to the Olympic Peninsula!  I love living so close to such a gorgeous place!


  1. Your pictures are very stunning! What beautiful views! I like that you got to see deer, too. I bet the girls liked that.

    (And that story about Kirsten and the knife is really funny - ha ha ha!)

  2. Your pictures are absolutely beautiful! I love the mountains, vibrant flowers, lake, everything. You are very lucky to have such great places to visit!

  3. I used to live so close to here! I miss the BEAUTIFUL views and places! I love your pictures!! Makes me miss it!

    Christyn Mckenna

  4. Your pictures are beautiful. You're obviously a great photographer and that part of the country is stunning! Thanks for sharing them with us. Your family is beautiful too.

    Hugs...Tracy @ Cotton Pickin Cute

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