A few weekends ago was the second time I went on this day trip. It was Adam's first time on the peninsula, and this itinerary was a great way to spend the day.
My number 1 recommendation before heading out on this trip is: Check the Weather! That should be a given when you live in the PNW, but sometimes you get overzealous and excited for your plans and you just jump on the road without checking. We experienced rain, snow, a 20-degree drop in temperature, and sunshine. As long as you're in good company, the trip is still worth it in less than favorable weather. (This step is even more important as we're heading into the colder months, as roads can be closed or difficult to navigate.)
Ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge
One of my favorite parts of this trip is the ferry ride because of the views like the one above. The ferry is a great way to take in the entire Seattle skyline. Although you can buy snacks on board, I like to bring my own to be a bit more cost effective. Be sure to plan accordingly for the departure times!
Breakfast in Poulsbo
Poulsbo is a short 20-minute drive from the Bainbridge ferry terminal. It's a cute port town with a Scandinavian theme. There are plenty of bakeries, coffee shops, and storefronts to check out. Spend an hour or so walking the main street before jumping back on the road!
Places to Visit:
Both times I've been to Hurricane Ridge it's been super foggy at the Visitor Center. Even though we didn't get spectacular views of the Olympics, it was still really beautiful. Each trip was filled with wildlife - the first trip, we saw a bear! During my most recent visit, it was freezing and snowing, which made for amazing scenery (and a very rushed visit). Also, be prepared to pay a fee for entry to the park!
I'm determined to visit on a clear day, so we'll definitely be trying out a (hopefully) extended version of this itinerary in the spring or summer!
Early Dinner in Port Angeles
After exploring around Hurricane Ridge, grabbing dinner in Port Angeles is a great option. You'll have some time to warm up from the much colder temperatures at the visitor center and plan for which ferry you want to take back to the city. Depending on how you're feeling, this is also a good time to grab a coffee or take a stroll by the Marine Life Center. It's good to move around a bit before settling into the approximately three-hour drive back to the ferry terminal.
Places to Visit:
Coyote BBQ Pub (easily the best bbq I've had since moving to the PNW!!)
La Bella Creperie
Return to Seattle
I think this may be one of the only trips where I can say returning home is one of my favorite parts. Some of the best times I can recall since moving to Seattle are with friends waiting in the Bainbridge-Seattle ferry line - standing around the car, sharing snacks, and listening to music. It's the part of the trip where nothing huge or exciting happens, but you have a blast anyway!
What day trips have you taken recently? Where are you going on your next one?