Pacific Coast Scenic Byway

This 350-mile byway epitomizes the Evergreen State. It outlines the entire Olympic Peninsula, meanders through a national park and rain forests, along ocean beaches, then extends south to the border with Oregon. It’s way too long to do in one day, so plan to pack a clam shovel and some boots and take your time.

CLICK TO EXPLORE ON MAP to find more things to do, places to stay and eat along this route.

1. Experience Olympia & Beyond

In Olympia, “handcrafted” is a way of life. People are intentional and passionate for their craft. Local makers create one-of-a-kind experiences for visitors to enjoy from artisan cheese and fresh apple cider to handmade soaps and intricate illustrations. And must not forget, the talented chefs as well as skilled roasters of fair trade coffee, brewers of handcrafted ales and makers of some very fine wine.

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2. Squaxin Island Museum

The Squaxin Island Museum Library and Research Center (MLRC) tells the story of the People of the Water through a series of exhibits and displays depicting the relationship between Squaxin Island Tribal members and the seven inlets of South Puget Sound. You may also experience our rich culture by participating in cultural activities and special events.

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3. Hood Canal

Hood Canal is Washington’s wild side. And it’s here for you, when you’re ready to discover yours. Situated between the Puget Sound and Olympic Mountains in Mason County, Hood Canal is filled with world-class activities like SCUBA and sky diving, a thriving culinary scene sampling heavily from locally-sourced and wild-caught fare, an active social calendar packed with live music and community events, and plenty of places to hide away from it all when you just want the world to yourself.

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4. Rocky Brook Falls

One of the tallest waterfalls on the Peninsula, Rocky Brook Falls is also among the prettiest. Follow the trail past a small hydroelectric generating building and come to the base of the stunning towering falls fanning over ledges into a large splash pool surrounded by boulders. This classic horsetail waterfall crashes more than 200 feet from a small hanging valley above.

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5. Port Townsend

Irresistibly charming, Port Townsend is one of only three Victorian Seaports in the United States. As such, it is one of the few cities to have two National Historic Landmark Districts. Originally planned to be the “New York of the West,” the city went through a building frenzy in the late 1880s and early 1890s, only to have the railroad head up the east side of Hood Canal to Seattle instead.

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6. Dungeness Spit

At 5.5 miles in length, the Dungeness Spit is the world's longest naturally occurring sandspit and home to the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. The refuge is a sanctuary for over 250 species of birds, 41 species of land mammals and eight species of water mammals. Its trails and picnic areas offer breathtaking views of the beaches, Dungeness harbor and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

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7. Hurricane Ridge

Hurricane Ridge is the most easily accessed mountain area within Olympic National Park. In clear weather, fantastic views can be enjoyed throughout the year. The Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center is a great place to start. Located just before the end of the road, stop here for brochures, maps, snacks, and tips regarding your stay. It is open daily in the summer, and on Saturday/Sunday when the Hurricane Ridge Road is open during the remainder of the year.

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8. Marymere Falls

Located just off of a busy highway and reached by a wide short nature trail help make Marymere Falls one of the most popular waterfalls on the Olympic Peninsula. But if it was harder to reach, this 90-foot horsetail cascade set in deep mossy timber would still be a well-visited destination.

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9. Hoh Rain Forest

Discover the magic of the Hoh Rain Forest. Throughout the winter season, rain falls frequently in the Hoh Rain Forest, contributing to the yearly total of 140 to 170 inches (or 12 to 14 feet!) of precipitation each year. The result is a lush, green canopy of both coniferous and deciduous species. Mosses and ferns that blanket the surfaces add another dimension to the enchantment of the rainforest.

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10. Ruby Beach

Ruby Beach is one of the most visited areas of Olympic National Park. For thousands of marine species, these coastal waters are a safe haven. The marine environment and offshore islands are protected by three national wildlife refuges and Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.

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11. Lake Quinault Lodge

Built in 1926 and styled after Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone and Sun Valley Lodge in Idaho, the Lake Quinault Lodge reflects the spirit of a bygone era. This cozy getaway offers a serene retreat from the pressures of the outside world.

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12. Westport

Westport, Washington is a cozy little beach town located at the mouth of Grays Harbor, just over 2 hours southwest of Seattle, on the southernmost peninsula known as Point Chehalis. Its proximity to Seattle and Portland makes it an excellent destination for local staycations and out of state visitors.

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13. Grays Harbor Wildlife Refuge

From late April through early May, hundreds of thousands of shorebirds concentrate on the muddy tideflats of this Grays Harbor Estuary. Limited parking is available across from Lana's Hangar Cafe on Airport Way.

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14. Northwest Carriage Museum

You are invited to step back in time and visit one of the finest horse-drawn transportation museums in the entire country. Known for being one of America’s best collections of 19th Century horse-drawn vehicles,  you will see elegant carriages, common day buggies, work wagons, coaches, sleighs and lots of period artifacts and clothing at the Northwest Carriage Museum.

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15. Long Beach Discovery Trail

Walk or bike the Discovery Trail located at Long Beach, Washington. The trail crosses a broad Pacific beach, grassy dunes, seaside forests and ocean bluffs. Both the boardwalk and paved trail offer breathtaking seaside views plus art sculptures and interesting interpretive exhibits along the way.

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16. Long Beach

The town of Long Beach is located on the 28-mile Long Beach Peninsula. This family friendly community, features carnival rides, a full calendar of annual festivals, kite shops, video arcades, the World Kite Museum & Hall of Fame, bumper cars, and many more family-oriented activities.

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17. North Head Lighthouse

Located near Long Beach, Washington, the century-old North Head Lighthouse, completed in 1898, guides mariners approaching from the north. Tours are available.

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