Ahh... road trips –there’s nothing that holds more appeal than the classic road trip – discovering new places, trying new things – Here's a sample itinerary to get you dreaming about discovering your adventures on Hood Canal.
Getting away from it all is as easy as heading to the South Sound via the Tacoma Narrows Bridge or by catching the Bremerton ferry for the drive to Belfair, at the head of Hood Canal.
Belfair, WA ( 22 minutes, 14 miles | Via SR 3 S)
Nestled between the North Bay of the Puget Sound and the southern hook of Hood Canal, Belfair is a great place for road trip supplies or to have lunch before heading off to explore the 130+ acre birder's dream wetlands, Theler Wetlands Nature Preserve. Stop by Casper's Pizza (23730 NE SR 3) or visit the new craft brewery, Bent Bine Brew Co, to try their new brews. Hankering for wine? Check out the award winning Mosquito Fleet Winery, also calling Belfair home.
Twanoh State Park (14 minutes; 9.2 miles | via SR 106 W)
Twanoh State Park's 182 acres include 3,167 feet (965 m) of saltwater shoreline and 2.5 miles of inland hiking trails. Stop by to gather shellfish off the public beaches (when open) or simply take a walk on one of the many trails.
Alderbrook Resort & Spa (7 minutes, 5.2 miles | Via SR 106 W)
Since 1913, generations of visitors have enjoyed the rustic, albeit very luxurious, charm of this canal-side retreat on 88 acres, which include an 18-hole golf course. The 77 guest rooms are ideal for a rejuvenating escape, while the 16 cozy cottages are perfect for family fun. Complete with a waterfront restaurant, dock, and saltwater pool and spa, the Resort also offers access to boating from kayak rentals to schooner tours. Alderbrook Resort & Spa (Union, 10 E Alderbrook Dr, (360) 898-2200).
Union, WA (6 minutes, 2.4 miles | Via SR 106 W)
The spectacular views from Union are not to be taken lightly. Here is definitely the best vantage point to view the Olympic range. On the journey to Union's center, take a moment to admire the historic Dalby Water Wheel and stop in at Cameo Boutique for some great shopping of local items. The restaurant at Robin Hood serves some of the best seafood dishes and hosts live music most weekends. Both Cameo and Robin Hood offer waterside lodging as well. Consider detouring up the hill to Alderbrook Country Store (1031 E McReavy Rd) to grab some of the very best homemade fudge! In Union check out the Union Country Store (5130 SR 106) for fresh bakery goods and all you need to continue on your adventure. Across the road, on the waterside, 2 Margaritas Restaurant serves Mexican food; while the Union City Market stocks everything from gifts and collectables to homemade candy and fresh oysters!
Hunter Farms (5 minutes, 3.4 miles | Via SR 106 W)
The drive along the Skokomish delta is simply perfect. As the road weaves it's path around the shoreline, you are treated to glimpses of the Olympics filtered through patches of arbutus clinging to the beach edge. Before the road forks west, you are greeted by an immense red barn. This is Hunter Farms. Stop and stretch your legs, check out the many animals and fresh produce as well as a selection of locally made products. Visit the onsite information kiosk –but most of all, get a generous cone filled with locally sourced (as in the Skokomish Valley less than 5 miles away!), Olympic Mountain Ice Cream. Amazing.
High Steel Bridge (26 minutes, 13 miles | Via W Skokomish Valley Rd
If you are up for a short diversion from the Hood Canal Loop, consider a trip to the historic High Steel Bridge that spans the gorge and sits a staggering 427’ above the mighty South Fork of the Skokomish River. Built in 1929, the vertigo-inducing Bridge (NF-2340) has an uncontested view of Vincent Creek Falls, and is easily accessed from Hwy 101.
Potlatch, WA ( 5 minutes, 3.7 miles | Via WA-106 W and US-101 N)
Potlatch State Park is a 57-acre camping park with 9,570 feet of saltwater shoreline on Hood Canal. The park's grounds are home to a variety of activities, from interpretive programs for kids to boating and shellfish harvesting. Featuring clear, often calm waters, Potlach is a favorite with divers and kayakers, too.
Hoodsport, WA (5 minutes, 3.3 miles | Via US-101 N)
Hoodsport is a seaside town perched on the western shores of the Hood Canal beneath the shadow of the Olympic Range. Here you will find plenty of shops and dining as well as two wineries: Hoodsport Winery and Stottle Winery; as well as a distillery, The Hardware Distillery. Using water from the Olympic National Forest, The Hardware Distillery offers a variety of delectable hand crafted spirits and gorgeous view to enjoy while sipping away in their ambient tasting room. Hoodsport also serves as the gateway tp the Olympic National Park Staircase Entrance. At the foot of the hill, heading up to Lake Cushman, stop by the Hoodsport Information Center (N 150 Lake Cushman Rd) for great tips on road/trail conditions; permits and maps and friendly guidance.
Lilliwaup, WA ( 7 minutes, 4.5 miles | Via US-101 N)
Situated on the west shore of Hood Canal, Lilliwaup is a small town with a BIG history and a love of shellfish. Peppered with serene beaches and surrounded by endless hiking trails, Lilliwaup is all about relaxation and rejuvenation. Located in the area is Mike's Beach Resort. One of the oldest and most picturesque resorts in Hood Canal with a unique blend of the rustic look of the Northwest and the relaxed, cozy, and charming chalet style. A dock and mooring buoys as well as rowboats, paddleboat, and a ocean kayak are available for rent. Pet friendly. The Lilliwaup Store & Motel is also a great place to get your fill on Olympic Mountain Ice Cream.
Hama Hama Store and Oyster Saloon ( 8 minutes, 7 miles | Via US-101 N)
Family owned and operated, the Hama Hama Company has been harvesting oysters and clams on Hood Canal for four generations. Their store and, recently opened outdoor restaurant, Oyster Saloon are located a shell’s-throw from the tideflats. A visit to the farm is the best way to experience Hood Canal oysters in their native habitat. Come during the week to see the shucking crew in action, and ask for one of their self guided tour maps to better explore the farm. On April 21, be sure to head to Hama Hama for their annual Oyster Rama – the largest tide flat party!