Top-Rated Things to Do in Port Angeles, WA


By Erica Silverstein

Welcome to Port Angeles, Washington! This charming coastal town has a lot to offer visitors, from stunning natural beauty to a rich history and vibrant arts scene. Whether you’re an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, or a lover of the arts, there’s something here for everyone.

One of the top attractions in Port Angeles is Olympic National Park. Covering over 900,000 acres, this diverse and breathtaking park offers a wide range of activities for nature lovers. Hike through lush rainforests, explore rugged mountain peaks, or relax by crystal-clear lakes. Don’t forget to keep an eye out for the park’s diverse wildlife, including black bears, mountain goats, and bald eagles.

If you’re interested in the history of the area, be sure to visit the Museum at the Carnegie. Housed in a beautiful historic building, this museum showcases the rich history and culture of the Olympic Peninsula. Learn about the Native American tribes that have called this region home for thousands of years, discover the fascinating maritime history of the area, and explore exhibits on the region’s logging industry.

For art enthusiasts, Port Angeles is home to numerous galleries and studios showcasing the work of local artists. Take a stroll through downtown and discover a vibrant arts scene, with everything from traditional paintings and sculptures to contemporary installations and performance art. Don’t miss the monthly First Friday Art Walk, where galleries stay open late and artists showcase their latest work.

Whether you’re seeking outdoor adventure, historical exploration, or artistic inspiration, Port Angeles has it all. Discover the top-rated things to do in this charming coastal town and create lasting memories in the heart of the Pacific Northwest.

Hiking Trails with Breathtaking Views

Port Angeles, Washington is a hiker’s paradise, offering a variety of trails that lead to breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains, forests, and coastline. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, there’s a trail for everyone to enjoy. Here are some of the top-rated hiking trails with breathtaking views in Port Angeles:

  • Hurricane Ridge Trail: This popular trail offers stunning panoramic views of the Olympic Mountain range. As you hike through alpine meadows, you’ll encounter wildflowers in the spring and possibly even deer or mountain goats. The trail is well-maintained and offers options for both shorter and longer hikes.
  • Mount Angeles Trail: For more experienced hikers, the Mount Angeles Trail is a challenging but rewarding option. The steep ascent leads to a summit with incredible views of the city, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the surrounding Olympic National Park. Be prepared for a strenuous hike, but the views at the top are well worth it.
  • Elwha River Trail: This scenic trail follows the course of the Elwha River and offers stunning views of waterfalls, forests, and the surrounding mountains. The trail is relatively flat and is great for hikers of all skill levels. Keep an eye out for wildlife like birds and deer along the way.
  • Sol Duc Falls Trail: This beautiful trail takes you through old-growth forests to a stunning waterfall. The trail is well-maintained and offers opportunities for bird-watching and photography. The waterfall itself is a sight to behold and is a must-visit for nature lovers.
  • Strait of Juan de Fuca Trail: For hikers looking for a coastal adventure, the Strait of Juan de Fuca Trail is the perfect choice. This rugged trail follows the coastline and offers breathtaking views of the ocean, sea stacks, and rocky cliffs. Keep an eye out for tide pools and marine life along the way.

These are just a few of the many hiking trails that Port Angeles has to offer. Whether you’re looking for mountain views, waterfalls, or coastal scenery, you’re sure to find a trail that suits your preferences. So grab your hiking boots and explore the natural beauty of Port Angeles!

Exploring the Olympic National Park

When visiting Port Angeles, Washington, exploring the Olympic National Park is an absolute must. This vast and diverse national park covers nearly one million acres and offers visitors a wide range of activities and sights to explore.

With its rugged mountains, lush rainforests, and stunning coastline, the Olympic National Park is a nature lover’s paradise. Here are some of the top-rated things to do in the park:


The Olympic National Park has over 600 miles of trails, ranging from easy walks to challenging multi-day hikes. One popular trail is the Hurricane Hill Trail, which offers panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca.


Camping in the Olympic National Park is an incredible experience. There are several campground options available, whether you prefer to pitch a tent or park an RV. Wake up surrounded by nature and enjoy the peacefulness of the park.

Wildlife Viewing

The Olympic National Park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including black bears, elk, and bald eagles. Keep your eyes open and your camera ready as you explore the park’s trails and meadows.


With its miles of rugged coastline, the Olympic National Park offers fantastic opportunities for beachcombing. Explore tide pools, collect seashells, and enjoy the sound of crashing waves as you stroll along the beach.

Scenic Drives

If you prefer a more leisurely way to explore the park, there are several scenic drives that offer stunning views. One popular drive is the 17-mile Hurricane Ridge Road, which takes you through alpine meadows and offers incredible views of the surrounding mountains.

No matter how you choose to explore the Olympic National Park, you are sure to be amazed by its natural beauty and diverse ecosystems. Make sure to bring your camera, binoculars, and a sense of adventure!

Whale Watching Tours in the Strait of Juan de Fuca

If you’re looking for a thrilling adventure on the waters of Port Angeles, a whale watching tour in the Strait of Juan de Fuca should be at the top of your list. This popular activity allows you to get up close and personal with majestic whales in their natural habitat.

The Strait of Juan de Fuca is known for its rich marine life, making it the perfect location for whale watching. You’ll have the opportunity to spot a variety of whale species, including orcas, humpbacks, and gray whales. These magnificent creatures migrate through the strait, providing nature enthusiasts with a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Whale watching tours in the Strait of Juan de Fuca are typically led by experienced guides who are knowledgeable about the local wildlife. They’ll share fascinating information about the whales you encounter, including their behavior, feeding habits, and migration patterns. Some tours even offer hydrophones, allowing you to listen to the enchanting whale calls.

These tours take place on sturdy and comfortable boats specifically designed for whale watching. The boats are equipped with observation decks and large windows, providing you with panoramic views of the surrounding waters. With the guidance of your experienced captain and crew, you’ll navigate the strait and follow the path of these magnificent creatures.

Aside from whales, you may also have the opportunity to spot other wildlife during your tour. From seals and sea lions to bald eagles and seabirds, the Strait of Juan de Fuca is teeming with various marine and avian species. It’s a nature lover’s paradise!

Whether you’re a seasoned whale watching enthusiast or a first-time visitor, a tour in the Strait of Juan de Fuca offers an unforgettable experience. So grab your camera, binoculars, and a sense of adventure, and embark on a whale watching tour that will leave you in awe of the natural wonders found in Port Angeles.

Discovering the Charm of Sequim Lavender Farms

When visiting Port Angeles, one of the top-rated things to do is to explore the nearby Sequim Lavender Farms. Known as the “Lavender Capital of North America,” Sequim is home to beautiful fields of fragrant lavender that attract visitors from all over the world.

Walking through the lavender fields is a sensory experience like no other. The vibrant colors and soothing scent of lavender create a peaceful and serene atmosphere, making it the perfect place to relax and unwind. Whether you enjoy strolling through the fields, taking in the beauty of the lavender, or simply sitting down and enjoying the view, a visit to the Sequim Lavender Farms is a must-do for nature lovers.

Aside from the breathtaking scenery, the farms also offer a variety of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Many farms provide guided tours, allowing visitors to learn about the history of lavender farming in the area and gain insight into the cultivation and production process.

In addition to the tours, visitors can also shop for a wide range of lavender-related products at the farms. From essential oils and bath products to culinary treats and home decor, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Many farms also host events and festivals throughout the year, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the world of lavender and celebrate its beauty.

Farm Location Website
Purple Haze Lavender Farm 180 Bell Bottom Rd, Sequim, WA
Victor’s Lavender Farm 3743 Old Olympic Hwy, Sequim, WA
Jardin du Soleil Lavender Farm 3932 Sequim-Dungeness Way, Sequim, WA

Whether you’re a lavender enthusiast or simply looking for a unique and picturesque experience, a visit to the Sequim Lavender Farms is sure to leave you feeling inspired and rejuvenated. Don’t miss out on the charm and beauty that this lavender-filled paradise has to offer.

Kayaking Adventures on Lake Crescent

Lake Crescent is a stunningly beautiful lake located near Port Angeles, Washington. With crystal clear waters and surrounded by lush green forests, it is the perfect destination for kayaking enthusiasts.

Whether you are a beginner or an experienced kayaker, Lake Crescent offers a variety of opportunities for all skill levels. The calm and peaceful waters of the lake provide a serene and tranquil environment for kayaking.

One of the top kayaking adventures on Lake Crescent is paddling to the famous Marymere Falls. Starting from the Storm King Ranger Station, you can paddle along the shores of the lake, taking in the breathtaking views of the Olympic Mountains. As you approach Marymere Falls, you can dock your kayak and take a short hike to the falls, where you will be rewarded with a spectacular view.

For those looking for a longer kayak adventure, you can paddle from the Fairholme Campground to the Log Cabin Resort. This route offers a longer distance and more challenging waters, but also provides stunning views of the surrounding landscapes. Along the way, you can stop at various beaches and picnic spots to take a break and enjoy the scenery.

If you’re interested in wildlife, Lake Crescent is also home to a variety of bird species and other wildlife. Keep an eye out for bald eagles, ospreys, and herons as you paddle along the lake.

Before heading out on your kayaking adventure, make sure to check the weather conditions and wear appropriate gear, such as a life jacket. It’s also important to respect the natural environment and leave no trace behind.

Overall, kayaking on Lake Crescent is an unforgettable experience. The combination of stunning scenery, calm waters, and the opportunity to explore hidden gems like Marymere Falls make it a must-do activity for nature lovers visiting Port Angeles.

Visiting the Historic Port Angeles City Pier

The historic Port Angeles City Pier is a must-visit attraction for anyone visiting the area. This iconic landmark, located on the picturesque waterfront, offers visitors a glimpse into the city’s rich maritime history.

Originally built in , the Port Angeles City Pier has served as a hub for fishing and shipping activities for over a century. Today, it is a popular destination for locals and tourists alike, offering a range of activities and attractions.

One of the main highlights of the pier is the opportunity to take a leisurely stroll along its expansive length. As you walk, you’ll be treated to stunning views of the Olympic Mountains, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the surrounding coastline. It’s the perfect place to capture some incredible photos and soak in the natural beauty of the area.

In addition to its scenic views, the pier is also home to several shops, restaurants, and attractions. Browse through the unique boutiques and art galleries, where you can find locally-made crafts and souvenirs. Enjoy a delicious meal at one of the waterfront restaurants, which offer a variety of cuisines ranging from fresh seafood to international fare.

If you’re interested in learning more about the history of the area, make sure to visit the Port Angeles City Pier Museum. Here, you can explore interactive exhibits and displays that showcase the city’s maritime heritage. From artifacts to photographs, the museum provides a fascinating insight into the lives of the early settlers and the development of the port.

For those looking for outdoor activities, the pier offers opportunities for fishing and crabbing. Cast a line into the water and try your luck at catching salmon, halibut, or lingcod. Alternatively, rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the surrounding waters at your own pace.

Whether you’re interested in history, scenic views, or outdoor activities, a visit to the historic Port Angeles City Pier is sure to be a memorable experience.

Fine Dining with Fresh Seafood and Local Produce

Port Angeles, WA is known for its stunning natural beauty and bountiful seafood. When it comes to fine dining, the city does not disappoint. There are several top-rated restaurants that offer fresh seafood and locally sourced produce, providing visitors with a memorable culinary experience.

One standout restaurant is The Next Level, located in the heart of downtown Port Angeles. This elegant eatery offers a menu that highlights the best of the region’s seafood and produce. Diners can enjoy dishes such as Pacific Northwest salmon topped with a lemon dill sauce, or a perfectly grilled halibut served with seasonal vegetables. The restaurant’s commitment to using local ingredients ensures that every dish is bursting with flavor.

The Dockside Grill is another must-visit restaurant for seafood lovers. Situated right on the waterfront, this establishment offers stunning views of the harbor alongside its delicious menu. Guests can enjoy fresh oysters harvested from the nearby beds, or indulge in a plate of Alaskan king crab legs. The Dockside Grill also offers a variety of vegetarian options for those who prefer a plant-based meal.

If you’re looking for a more casual dining experience, The Side Street Cafe is the perfect choice. This cozy cafe serves up delicious comfort food made with fresh, local ingredients. Their seafood chowder is a customer favorite – loaded with clams, salmon, and shrimp, it’s a hearty and satisfying dish that captures the essence of the region. The cafe also offers a selection of creative sandwiches and salads, making it a great spot for a quick lunch or dinner.

In addition to these top-rated restaurants, Port Angeles is home to numerous seafood markets and specialty shops where visitors can purchase fresh seafood and local produce to enjoy in the comfort of their own accommodations. Whether you’re looking to dine in style or cook up a seafood feast at home, Port Angeles has you covered.

So, if you find yourself in Port Angeles, be sure to treat yourself to a fine dining experience featuring fresh seafood and local produce. Your taste buds will thank you.

Shopping for Unique Souvenirs in Downtown Port Angeles

If you’re looking for one-of-a-kind keepsakes to remember your trip to Port Angeles, the downtown area is the perfect place to shop. With a variety of boutique shops and locally owned businesses, you’ll find something special for everyone on your list.

One popular spot for unique souvenirs is the Port Angeles Farmers Market. Open on Saturdays from 10 AM to 2 PM, this market offers a wide selection of handmade crafts, local artwork, and fresh produce. Support local vendors while picking up a one-of-a-kind souvenir to take home.

Another must-visit store is The Northwest Collective, a curated boutique that showcases the best of the Pacific Northwest. From handcrafted jewelry to locally made candles, you’ll find a range of items that capture the essence of the region. The knowledgeable staff can also provide recommendations on other local shops and artisans to check out.

If you’re a fan of books, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Port Book and News. This independent bookstore has been serving the community since 1975 and offers a wide selection of new and used books, including a section dedicated to local authors. Browse through the shelves and find a literary treasure to remember your time in Port Angeles.

If you’re looking for something to spruce up your home, consider paying a visit to Vintage Hardware & Lighting. This unique store specializes in vintage hardware and offers a range of items such as antique doorknobs, light fixtures, and furniture. Whether you’re searching for a unique piece to add to your collection or looking for a special gift, this store has plenty to offer.

Shop Address Hours
Port Angeles Farmers Market Centennial Park, 225 E 5th St, Port Angeles, WA 98362 Saturdays, 10 AM – 2 PM
The Northwest Collective 120 W 1st St, Port Angeles, WA 98362 Monday – Saturday, 10 AM – 5:30 PM
Port Book and News 104 E 1st St, Port Angeles, WA 98362 Monday – Saturday, 9 AM – 6 PM; Sunday, 11 AM – 4 PM
Vintage Hardware & Lighting 756 Front St, Port Angeles, WA 98362 Tuesday – Saturday, 10 AM – 5 PM

When shopping for souvenirs in downtown Port Angeles, you’ll find a unique blend of local charm and creativity. Soak in the vibrant atmosphere while exploring the various shops and support local businesses in the process.

Enjoying the Stunning Views from Hurricane Ridge

One of the top-rated activities in Port Angeles, Washington is visiting Hurricane Ridge. Situated within Olympic National Park, Hurricane Ridge offers breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys. Whether you’re an avid hiker or simply want to take in the splendor of nature, a trip to Hurricane Ridge is a must-do experience.

As you ascend to the ridge, you’ll be treated to panoramic views of the Olympic Mountains and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. The journey itself is an adventure, with winding roads and glimpses of wildlife along the way. Once you reach the top, you’ll be rewarded with expansive vistas that stretch for miles.

There are several hiking trails to explore at Hurricane Ridge, ranging from easy walks to more challenging treks. The Cirque Rim Trail offers a moderate hike that takes you along the ridge and offers stunning views of the surrounding peaks. For a more leisurely stroll, the Big Meadow Trail is a great option, offering wildflower meadows and stunning views of the Olympic Mountains.

If you’re visiting during the winter months, you can also enjoy snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and sledding at Hurricane Ridge. The area receives ample snowfall, creating a winter wonderland for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re a seasoned snowshoer or trying it for the first time, you’ll love exploring the snowy trails and taking in the peaceful beauty of the winter landscape.

After a day of adventure, you can relax and take in the views at the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center. The center offers educational exhibits about the park’s ecology and wildlife, as well as a gift shop where you can find unique souvenirs to remember your visit.

Don’t forget to bring your camera when visiting Hurricane Ridge – the stunning views and picturesque landscapes are a photographer’s dream. Whether you capture a breathtaking sunrise or a wildlife sighting, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to create amazing memories during your visit.

Overall, exploring Hurricane Ridge is a highlight of any visit to Port Angeles. From the stunning views to the variety of outdoor activities, there’s something for everyone to enjoy. So lace up your hiking boots, pack a picnic, and get ready to immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Hurricane Ridge.

Learning about Native American Culture at the Makah Museum

Immerse yourself in the rich history and vibrant culture of the Native American people at the Makah Museum in Port Angeles. This top-rated attraction offers visitors an opportunity to learn about the Makah Tribe and their customs, traditions, and way of life.

The Makah Museum showcases a stunning collection of artifacts, artwork, and historical objects that are of great significance to the Makah people. From intricately carved totem poles to beautifully woven baskets, each piece tells a story and offers a glimpse into the past.

One of the main highlights of the museum is the impressive display of First Nations artwork. Admire the intricate designs and learn about the symbolism behind each piece as you explore the gallery. From wood carvings and masks to textiles and ceramics, the artwork represents the artistic heritage of the Makah Tribe.

In addition to the extensive collection, the museum also offers interactive exhibits and educational programs. Engage in hands-on activities, such as basket weaving or mask making, and gain a deeper understanding of the Makah culture. The knowledgeable museum staff is always available to answer questions and provide further insight into the exhibits.

As you make your way through the museum, take the time to read the informative displays and signage that accompany each exhibit. Learn about the history of the Makah Tribe, their traditional hunting practices, and their deep connection to the natural world. Gain a new perspective on the importance of preserving and honoring indigenous cultures.

Visiting the Makah Museum is not only an educational experience but a chance to support the local community. The museum plays a vital role in preserving and sharing the history and culture of the Makah Tribe, and your visit contributes to their ongoing efforts.

Whether you have a deep interest in Native American history or simply want to learn something new, a visit to the Makah Museum is a must. Discover the rich tapestry of Native American culture and gain a greater appreciation for the diverse heritage of the Port Angeles area.

Frequently asked questions:

What are some top-rated outdoor activities in Port Angeles?

Some top-rated outdoor activities in Port Angeles include hiking in Olympic National Park, exploring the Dungeness Spit, visiting Hurricane Ridge, and kayaking in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

Are there any notable museums or historical sites in Port Angeles?

Yes, there are several notable museums and historical sites in Port Angeles. Some popular options include the Olympic Coast Discovery Center, the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, and the Port Angeles Underground Heritage Tours.

What are some recommended places to eat in Port Angeles?

There are many great places to eat in Port Angeles. Some recommendations include Bella Italia for Italian cuisine, Next Door Gastropub for a casual dining experience, and Kokopelli Grill for a delicious steak or seafood meal.

Is Port Angeles a good destination for whale watching?

Yes, Port Angeles is a great destination for whale watching. There are several companies that offer whale watching tours, where you can see orcas, humpback whales, and other marine wildlife in their natural habitat.


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Erica Silverstein

Erica, a seasoned travel writer with 20+ years of experience, started her career as a Let's Go guidebook editor in college. As the head of Cruise Critic's features team for a decade, she gained extensive knowledge. Her adventurous nature has taken her to Edinburgh, Australia, the Serengeti, and on luxury cruises in Europe and the Caribbean. During her journeys, she enjoys savoring local chocolates and conquering various summits.

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