The northwestern-most state is the birthplace of Starbucks and home to high-tech giants Microsoft and Amazon. It is renowned for its beautiful scenery, agriculture, and aerospace industry, and is home to the Boeing Company. Washington's diverse landscape includes rugged coastlines with cute towns along the way, deep, dense forests, and wildlife.
Check out one of these charming towns along the Pacific Ocean on your next getaway from the city to escape both mind and body from mundane sights and repetitive work days back home.
Port Angeles is your ideal jumping-off point to the rest of the state and the nearby Olympic National Park. Enjoy quick access to Sequim's lavender fields, located under 20 miles to the east, and just an hour's drive to the Sol Duc Hotsprings. The charming coastal town has plenty of options to stay put along its northeastern reaches of the Olympic Peninsula. There is a little bit of everything for everyone, like the woods and the ocean, which offer varying sights and a unique air blend that works wonders on your city-sooted lungs.
Immerse yourself in the peaceful atmosphere or enjoy fun times at Wine on the Waterfront and the refined First Street Haven in town. The Olympic National Forest just to the south is spliced with hiking trails amid the towering pines. Find the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the north and explore its vast expanse, either by the bay or from the Ediz Hook Reservation beach. Still looking to get out after sunbathing, kayaking, and boating? The beautiful city of Victoria is only an hour and a half away by ferry over to the Canadian side, in British Columbia.
The idyllic coastal town of Port Townsend crowns the tip of the Olympic Peninsula. It is home to around 10,300 residents, Victorian grandeur, and over a century's worth of maritime legacy. Enjoy everything in close proximity to one another, like the beaches, historic districts, and the Olympic National Park. The "Key City" is an entry point to Puget Sound, as it was discovered in the late 18th century by Captain George Vancouver and became a developed seaport by 1851.
With history still ringing amid the quaint downtown area, Port Townsend is also the cultural center for the arts and a hub for independent boatbuilders. Enjoy a plethora of outdoor pursuits in the area, like the popular Fort Worden State Park with a beach and sites equipped for tents and RVs. Visit North Beach County Park and Chetzemoka Park for picnicking, wildlife viewing, sea glass hunting, and beach strolls, and join the active community on a monthly art walk and many annual events.
Escape off the grid and unplug in the charming town of Moclips, where you can truly become one with the Earth. With only a few great establishments in town and cute neighborhoods where you can snag a cozy local B&B stay or a vacation rental, there is no shortage of pursuits and ways to relax in diverse scenery all around. The quiet, tiny town off the beaten path is your ultimate escape from everything to recharge in nature to the melodic sound of waves and calling birds.
Check out the mystically misty beaches and hike amid the towering pines. The fresh forest smell and sea breeze mix for an intoxicating concoction, particularly refreshing after the soot of the city. Plop down along the beach with water views and hunt for some seashells and perhaps a sand dollar. Enjoy fishing, build a bonfire right by the water to cook your catch, and have the best time bonding with your dog, friends, family, or special other.
This charming coastal Washington State town is a quaint beach-lovers dream, perfect for a family escape. Ocean Shores bustling downtown area is bounded by miles of scenic shoreline, with easy access from Ocean Lake Way and Taurus Blvd. Stroll along the sands until you find your spot for the day to build a fire, swim, and clamber on the North Jetty around the tide pools.
Explore around on a bike for coastal views, the Grays Harbor, as well as easy access to Astoria and the Olympic National Forest. This Pacific Northwest area between the famous Olympic Peninsula and southern beaches is great for swimming, sunbathing, and kite-flying in the stable winds. Visit in time for the vibrant music festivals, including Celtic flutes and country riffs, and enjoy year-round arcades and go-kart tracks in town.
This charming town with a name that brings to mind your favorite childhood plush toy is a gateway to the Kitsap National Water Trails System. Choose your favorite way to explore this excellent water system through kayaking, SUP boarding, scuba diving, or even fishing from the shores and beach strolls. The cozy town is the smallest in Kitsap County, with lots of character and the moniker "Little Norway" nodding at deepheritage. Travel to Norway is easy thanks to the town's attractions and a wealth of establishments along pedestrian-friendly streets and the scenic waterfront. With tons of great amenities and accommodations, you will feel right at home, leaving the big city sights out of mind, at least for the time being. Jrgen Eliason established the little community in the 19th century in the region, like his home in Europe, on the Hood Canal.
With more Scandinavians following suit, the town developed a Norwegian identity and official connections between Poulsbo and Norway. Check out the Viking theme, like the sculpture at the entrance, as well as the shops, restaurants, a bakery, and public buildings, and stroll through the downtown marina for its great coastal vibe. Take a scenic hike to the rewarding Kitsap Memorial State Park and Elgon Beach, and reserve some time to learn more about the history at the Poulsbo Historical Society’s museum. The US Naval Underwater Museum delves into life in submarines, the Navy’s underwater missions, and special exhibits. Interact with sea life at the Sea Discovery Center or pet alpacas and llamas at the Sawdust Hill Alpaca Farm.
Perched on a bluff above the ocean, Seabrook is most renowned for its cute cottages and the town square. Choose a stay with ocean-facing windows to fall asleep to the lull of the waves and wake up to the sun-kissed, glittering seascape. You can order right in from the town's renowned restaurants and enjoy sunset dinners with your special someone in complete privacy with the best views.
The charming beach town was established recently, in 2004; it remains a mystery to many and a great little discovery for others, with many scenic surprises. Seabrook does everything with flair and a little extra for those lucky residents and tourists who get to experience the town. This beach town is a master of modernity with a decidedly old-fashioned flair, like biking places and knowing the residents by name. Seabrook is picture-perfect for a unique and quaint coastal destination on a serene getaway for any group.
The town next to Port Angeles to the west, just a short distance away from the strait, is most known for its serene nature and lavender fields. Immerse yourself in natural beauty while strolling or relaxing along the pebbly beaches that separate the John Wayne Marina and Washington Harbor. Sequim Bay State Park, just to the south, boasts a breathtaking waterfront, docks, hiking trails, and sports courts by the ocean. Spend a day amid the lavender fields for a real sensual respite with your loved ones over a picnic, with smells and sights that tingle all your senses.
Visit in time for the Lavender Festival, due this year on the third full weekend in July, and stop by the town's shops anytime. Shop for body and skin care products, or pick up a candle for yourself and as a souvenir to remember and gift the scent of this charming town back home. The charming town does everything scenically and serenely, with no more jaw-dropping sights than in Sequim and the nearby "bottomless" Olympic National Forest when it comes to immersive hikes in nature.
Long Beach Peninsula
You can't miss this town with a big sign stating "World's Longest Beach" even if you try. Long Beach Peninsula, "the LBP," is a quaint little oasis with immense water views and a coastal beach downtown area. Find this delightful seaside escape in Washington, only 3 hours from Seattle, to relax with plenty to do. Explore the entire LBP, with the world’s largest beach of 28 sandy miles with rocky scraps along the Pacific Ocean. Stroll along the wonderful boardwalk and snap a selfie with the world’s longest beach arch before getting your feast on delectable razor clams. You can also try to catch your own early morning with the locals at the beach, visit the World Kite Museum, or attend the International Kite Festival in August.
The nearby Cape Disappointment State Park is your go-to for wild sights and a rugged coastline with a lighthouse overlooking the point where the Columbia River and Pacific Ocean collide. The waves have a tranquil effect as they crash against the cliffs and crush all your worries of the day. There is also the Lewis and Clark Interpretive Center with highlights around the Corps of Discovery in the area and a trail to the Lewis and Clark Carved Tree. Stop by the Scoopers Market for a deserving creamy cone or at the Chowder Stop on a chilly evening, and Dylan’s Cottage Bakery and Delicatessen for breakfast and a picnic lunch for the beach. Check out the colorful local souvenir shops to bring back a little piece of the Long Beach Peninsula.
These charmers, so diverse from one another, from unplugging to varied in-town attractions and close-bound beach parties, will work wonders on your tired body and the blank stare in the eyes of city souls. You will return feeling relaxed, refreshed, and renewed to power through spring cleaning and more weeks of work before your next hoorah.
Escape for a weekend getaway and return during the summer to experience the beach in all its glory through swimming and sunbathing. Explore the area around and enjoy each town's offerings, where you will fit right in amid the beachy vibe and cleansing air from the forested scapes on the other side.