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PNW Tour with 11, 9, 5 yr olds

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
15 posts
13 reviews
PNW Tour with 11, 9, 5 yr olds

So we lived in Seattle prior to kids, but want to do a mini tour with them Summer 2019. Would like to spend a few days in Seattle, a few in the San Juans, and maybe a couple nights on the peninsula. We used to live in Ballard, but open to ideas. Thoughts on staying in these places: Air B&B, Hotel, etc in Seattle and San Juans? Thanks!!!

23 replies to this topic
Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
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11,728 posts
20 reviews
1. Re: PNW Tour with 11, 9, 5 yr olds

ONP is, as you know, huge. What would you like to do there? And will this trip be in June, July, or August?

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
15 posts
13 reviews
2. Re: PNW Tour with 11, 9, 5 yr olds

probably July. as they used to say summer starts July 5th in Seattle. We can do downtown, Ballard locks, etc. in 1-2 days or so, probably want to head down to Paradise for the day, hit up the San Juans for a few days, head over to the peninsula and do some hiking on Hurricane Ridge, hit up a beach or 2 for exploring. Guessing we would stay in Port Angeles or somewhere that we can hit a few places up on the peninsula- suggestions of other things on the peninsula?? We still have friends in the area (Seattle) and want to be able to see them, as well.

Edited: 11 September 2018, 20:23
Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
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11,728 posts
20 reviews
3. Re: PNW Tour with 11, 9, 5 yr olds

The reason I asked is that the trails on Hurricane Ridge could be under some snow in June. If you go in July, the Hurricane Hill Trail, at least, should be accessible. That is the only mountain trail suitable for your five year old. All the others, with the exception of the short strolls in the meadows across from the parking lot, are too hard. Now, for the wrinkle: it is possible that Hurricane Hill Trail will be closed next summer. The park is completely rebuilding the trail, which is bad shape, partly due to irresponsible visitors who have gone off trail and degraded the fragile alpine areas around it. Keep checking the park's website for the Hurricane Hill Trail's status next year.

If HHT is open, one to two nights in Port Angeles would be a good idea. You could visit Lake Crescent and Sol Duc Falls in addition to hiking HHT, and you could go for a day trip to Victoria if you liked. You could also do a whale watch from Port Angeles Harbor, but if you are spending time in the San Juans, you should do your whale watch there. If your youngest were older, I would suggest a sea kayaking trip with Adventures through Kayaking, but they may not take children younger than six. I know they take six year olds.

After one to two days based in PA, consider a night or two in a rental near Forks. You can use this as a base for Rialto Beach, Second Beach and the Hoh Rain Forest. Finish up with a night or two at Lake Quinault Lodge.

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
15 posts
13 reviews
4. Re: PNW Tour with 11, 9, 5 yr olds

Great info- thanks! Where might you recommend in PA? Would prefer not a hotel, but could figure it out. How about over in Forks?

Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
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11,728 posts
20 reviews
5. Re: PNW Tour with 11, 9, 5 yr olds

In Port Angeles, I recommend the Olympic Lodge, by far the best hotel in town It's not charming; in fact, it's in a strip mall, but it is very comfortable and well run. There are some developments on the hotel front here, so by next year I may be able to recommend another place. The long abused Red Lion, which had badly deteriorated, has been bought by an owner who plans to put much needed money and effort into the place. We will see.

Glaciermeadows is the man to ask about Forks. You need a rental as there are no good places to eat in town, and only one acceptable little grill run out of a general store near LaPush. I know Glaciermeadows likes Cozy River House, Manitou Lodge, and The Cabins at Beaver Creek.

Poulsbo, Washington
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for Olympic National Park
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11,697 posts
8 reviews
6. Re: PNW Tour with 11, 9, 5 yr olds

Those are just a few of the places that I like. Five is a little tougher in Forks if not a rental. They are in the 300 plus Range in High Season. Depending on how many nights you decide on I would not rule out Lake Quinault and the Quinault Rainforest. The after the fourth is not what it used to be. Our Summers are longer then they used to be. Grey and rain is always possible, but like just about everywhere our weather has changed. I am currently in Europe and everyone is saying the same here.

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
15 posts
13 reviews
7. Re: PNW Tour with 11, 9, 5 yr olds

Ah, yes, I remember the Red Lion Inn from 10 yrs ago... it needed some help then. Maybe we'll consider staying in PA 3-4 nights and just driving out to the coast...

Thank you!

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
15 posts
13 reviews
8. Re: PNW Tour with 11, 9, 5 yr olds

Good insights. Thank you!

Port Angeles, WA
Destination Expert
for Olympic National Park
Level Contributor
11,728 posts
20 reviews
9. Re: PNW Tour with 11, 9, 5 yr olds

No, don't plan on 3 to 4 nights in PA. You need to take into account the fact that the three year Lake Crescent road project will be in its last year during your visit. This will result in long delays in any drives between the coast and Port Angeles. It is even possible that the road could be shut down for a full day, here and there. You should plan on staying in the Forks area for at least part of your trip.

Philadelphia...
Level Contributor
15 posts
13 reviews
10. Re: PNW Tour with 11, 9, 5 yr olds

anyone have recommendations for staying in the San Juans? Again, 3 young folks with us, but we are looking to explore. Which island do you think offers the best options to explore nature and the town(s)?

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