360 degrees in 36 hours: A jaunt around the Olympic Peninsula

  • Thu Jul 31st, 2014 4:04pm
  • Life

By Andrea Brown Herald Writer

Fill up the tank. Grab an overnight bag. Grab the family.

You’re good to go on a 360-degree road trip through the Olympic Peninsula.

It’s an adventure for all ages, with something new and different at every turn.

Lavender fields. Sand. Surf. Nuts. Mountains. Tibetan yaks. Kurt Cobain. A Holiday Inn Express. Dairy Queen.

All in 36 hours and never at a rushed pace.

Starting from the 10 a.m. Edmonds-Kingston ferry:

1. CB’s Nuts: Brake at the “Nut Tasting” sign by the road in Kingston. There’s a free tasting room with a baseball dugout and beer (it’s not free). CB’s was started by a former Everett man selling peanuts at Mariners games a dozen years ago. The nuts, seeds and butters are now sold nationwide. Stock up for the trip. www.cbsnuts.com

2. Port Townsend: A historic, artsy town where it’s no big deal if you have to step over a snoozing 90-pound bulldog blocking the door of a main-street boutique. Stroll the avenues of Victorian buildings. It was once called “City of Dreams” from speculation it’d be the grand harbor. Seattle won that bet. Port Townsend wins in other ways. www.cityofpt.us

3. Sequim’s Olympic Game Farm: Part retro film set from Disney’s heyday and part safari with big roaming mammals that nose your car window for handouts of bread (sold at the gate). Begging bovids and bison. Waving ex-show bears. Tigers in small enclosures. Oh, my. Some online reviewers scold the bread diet. www.olygamefarm.com

4. Purple Haze Lavender Farm: Stop and smell the lavender and bring home a bottle to spray. Raise a cup of lavender ice cream to toast Jimi Hendrix. Meander the lavender fields. Light up some herb — lavender incense, that is. There are lots of lavender farms in Sequim. This one’s on Bell Bottom Road. www.purplehazelavender.com

5. Port Angeles: The town where Edward and Bella had their first date in “Twilight.” Friendly waterfront perfect for watching big ships and sunsets. Across the strait is Victoria and up the mountain is Hurricane Ridge. Then there’s Swain’s General Store, which is about as general as it gets, with socks and flyswatters, earrings and bullets.

6. Lake Crescent: Bluest. Lakewater. Ever. The glacially carved lake will take your breath away. Dip your feet in. Hike. Picnic. Rent a rowboat. Bring your own boat. The Sequim Holiday Inn Express where we stayed overnight was nice, but Historic Lake Crescent Lodge might be where we rest our heads next time around. www.nps.gov/olym

7. Ruby Beach: Hike along a short path and behold the mighty Pacific. The beach is flat and fabulous. Kids don’t need sand toys. Adults don’t need toys, either, other than a smartphone to snap photos. The beach has fun, round rocks to play with and stack. Curl up on a giant piece of driftwood and nap to a lullaby of waves. www.nps.gov/olym

8. Aberdeen: Pay homage to native son Kurt Cobain at a tiny park by the river where the rock star’s ashes were scattered. There’s a concrete guitar statue and graffiti messages. If you can’t find it, ask directions at Dairy Queen. Worth it to hear the teen cashier say, “Who’s Kurt Cobain?” And what better way to cap a road trip than a Blizzard?

Andrea Brown: 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com. Twitter: @reporterbrown.