Port Angeles and the nearby community of Sequim make up the major population center on Washington's Olympic Peninsula. Located on the shores of the Strait of Juan de Fuca, these cities have access to all the amazing water, forest, river, lake, and mountain activities available on the peninsula, particularly Olympic National Park.
Port Angeles and Sequim also offer a long list of fun things to see and do right in town. Most attractions and activities focus on the region's nature and beauty. You can learn about local marine life and experience it in its own wild environs. There are outdoor activities aplenty, from biking and golfing to sea kayaking and beach combing. Local attractions include a marine science center, a history museum, and art galleries.
Here are my top picks for fun things to do in Port Angeles and Sequim:
Dungeness Recreation Area
Long, flat, and narrow, with sand-and-pebble beaches and abundant shorebirds, the Dungeness Spit provides a truly unique experience. You can hike the length of the spit, exploring and enjoying Strait of Juan de Fuca and San Juan Islands views from all directions. Hardy individuals can trek all the way to the New Dungeness Lighthouse (a 11-mile round trip), one of the Northwest's oldest lighthouses. You can also have fun picnicking, hiking, and exploring Dungeness Recreation Area, located at the base of Dungeness Spit.
Olympic National Park Visitor Center
The Olympic National Park Visitor Center, south and east of Port Angeles, sits at the park entrance along the road up to popular and scenic Hurricane Ridge. A variety of exhibits and a great film provide an orientation to all the things you can see and experience inside Olympic National Park. Rangers are available to advise you on in-park activities, road and trail conditions, and backcountry requirements. Two nature trails can be accessed from the visitor center.
With access to miles of coastline, rivers, and forests, the Port Angeles area is packed with opportunities for outdoor play.
Local bays and the Dungeness Spit provide great waters for sea kayaking. You can head out on your own or take a tour with a local outfitter.
Peninsula Golf Club and The Cedars at Dungeness are among the challenging local courses.
- Hike or Bike the Waterfront Trail
Port Angeles' 6.5-mile Waterfront Trail is part of the longer Olympic Discovery Trail system that will eventually run from Port Townsend to Forks.
- Scenic Cruising
Enjoy a scenic water cruise out of Port Angeles with Expeditions Northwest (360-452-6210) or other local charters.
Special Events & Festivals
The communities of Port Angeles and Sequim both host a number of fun annual festivals throughout the seasons, giving you one more reason to plan that Olympic Peninsula getaway.
- Juan de Fuca Festival of the Arts in Port Angeles (May)
- Port Angeles 4th of July Celebration (July)
- Sequim Celebrate Lavender Festival (July)
- Clallum County Fair in Port Angeles (August)
The Olympic Coast Discovery Center is the official visitor center for the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary, which extends along the north and west sides of the Olympic Peninssula. This is the place to learn about all the things you can see and do within the marine sanctuary, as well as the science and history of this stretch of coastline. The Olympic Coast Discovery Center is located in Port Angeles.
Northwest Native Expressions Gallery
With inspiration found in every direction you look, the Olympic Peninsula is home to a thriving artist community. Their work is showcased in a number of local galleries, including:
- Northwest Native Expressions Gallery (Sequim)
Fine crafts, art prints, carvings, and gift items created by the S'Klallam peoples.
- Blue Whole Gallery (Sequim)
Watercolors, art jewelry, home decor items, personal accessories, and more.
- The Landings Art Gallery (Port Angeles)
Fine woodwork, art prints, bronze sculpture, and ceramics are just some of the items you'll find at this popular gallery.
Feiro Marine Life Center
The Feiro Marine Life Center provides a fun opportunity to learn about marine science and local marine life through exhibits and special programs. Visitors who stop by can see live specimens of a number of the critters who call the Strait of Juan de Fuca home, from a giant Pacific octopus to colorful sea stars. Educational programs are available for kids from grade school to high school age. The Feiro Marine Life Center is located on the Port Angeles City Pier.
There are a handful of wineries and wine cellars on the Olympic Peninsula. Many offer tours, tastings, and special events throughout the year. Harbinger Winery, Eaglemount Wine & Cider, and Sorensen Cellars are among those that have tasting rooms and wine shops.
You can't miss the charming old Dungeness Schoolhouse, white with red trim and a cupola, that houses Sequim's local history museum. The highlight of the museum's collection is the Manis Mastodon, a significant local archaeological find. In addition to tusks and bones, visitors can see cool murals and photo/video documentation of the 1977 discovery. The arts activity at Sequim's MAC includes art shows, classes, and programs.
This privately-owned wildlife facility in Sequim can be experienced on a driving tour or a self-paced walking tour. The driving tour, which you take in your own enclosed vehicle, provides you a chance to see elk, bison, yak, rhinoceros, and yes... lions and tigers and bears. And a whole lot more. On the walking tour, you can see a section of the farm as well as the petting zoo. The Olympic Game Farm began in the 1950s as a compound for animal actors that appeared in Disney movies; it is now a home for animals from a range of sources, including retired actors, rescues, and zoo overflow.