The small part of Washington State we roamed, offered a lot of diversity. We traveled from rugged beaches, to snowy mountains and via the quaint, laid-back San Juan Island to the bustling city of Seattle. We moved by camper van (RV), ferry, bicycles, water trikes, train… and on foot, of course. Along the way, we discovered some intriguing wildlife: Orange and purple starfish on the beach, cheeky marmots on Hurricane Ridge, playful porpoises and seals at Deception State Park, a very pretty yellow bird, bald eagles galore, five transient orcas in the distance – and then there always was that spooky feeling of a cougar watching you. We learned about nature (Olympic National Park Visitor Center on Hurricane Ridge), animals (whale museum in Friday Harbour) and impressive technology (Boeing Factory in Everett). And to add a sweet touch to Washington’s diversity, we stopped at the Donut House in Anacortes where the Donuts come in all imaginable flavours. Yummy! With so much diversity to offer, it is no surprise that people fall in love with this part of the Pacific North West. We definitely left with a crush as well.
Some of our highlights:
- Ruby Beach (Olympic National Park) with its grand sea stacks, countless starfish and tons of driftwood. Should you ever visit, make sure you come at low tide to make the most of the rock pooling.
- Second Beach (Olympic National Park): A short, pretty walk through a temperate rain forest brings you down to Second Beach where there’s more sea stacks, driftwood and a vast sandy beach (at low tide!) to explore. And the odd pipe sticking out of the sand.
- Another easy and attractive walk brings you to the Sol Duc Falls (Olympic National Park) with its lush green surroundings.
- Even though I was terrified for two hours of running into a bear or cougar, we all loved the two-hours return hike off the beaten track to Mink Lake (Olympic National Park).
- On Hurricane Hill Trail (Olympic National Park), we took delight in the wonderful view of the snow-covered mountain range in the distance and in spotting some shy deer and playful marmots.
- All the campgrounds in Olympic National Park we stayed on offered camping surrounded by nature at its best: Kalaloch Campground, Mora Campground, Sol Duc Campground and Heart O’ the Hills Campground.
- Walking over the Deception Pass Bridge and exploring the North shore of Deception Pass State Park. On our little loop on enjoyable paths (starting from Bowman Bay), we got a perfect view of the bridge and discovered porpoises, seals and this tiny bright yellow bird.
- Our stop at the Donut House in Anacortes. What would a trip to the United States of America be without indulging in donuts!
- Sailing in between the San Juan Islands from Anacortes to Friday Harbour.
- Sitting on the picturesque west coast of San Juan Island, staring at the sea for six days in the hope to see some orcas from shore. On day two, we saw five transient orcas in the distance, but unfortunately, the resident orcas were absent trying to find some food somewhere else. Yes, we were a little bit disappointed that our patience didn’t totally pay off – but we also have to say that we truly enjoyed just slowing down, reading books, playing games… and gazing at the sea.
- Doing handicrafts, riding bicycles, playing table tennis, cruising on water trikes and feasting on SMOREs on scenic Lakedale Resort.
- Strolling through quaint Friday Harbour. Definitely our favourite village we have seen in the United States.
- Exploring Seattle on foot (my phone counted 17’762 steps!). Our self-guided tour looked as follows: Fremont Troll – playground at Seattle center – Space Needle (we didn’t queue to go up though) – ride on the monorail – Pike Place Market – Gum Wall – waterfront – Pike St. Press (I would love to own this shop!) – Olympic Sculpture Park – Queen Anne neighbourhood (great vibe)
- Witnessing how aircrafts are produced while joining a tour at the Boeing Factory in Everett.
We were traveling in Washington State from the 28th of May to the 14th of June 2018.