Happy Shellfish Week! What a great week to head to Hood Canal and South Puget Sound. We have mostly sunny days ahead after Wednesday – so let us help you plan the ultimate itinerary. How about a Hood Canal "Farm to Table" pop-up dinner at the Marina? An epic intertidal party at Lilliwaup? – it’s a great time to head to the Hood and we’ve got a few ideas to get you shell-e-brating!
Save some Clams and Visit Mid-week
Who doesn't like to save a little money? For great deals on lodging, not to mention more selection, consider heading to the Canal mid-week to enjoy activities you wont find anywhere else. Celebrate Shellfish Week by packing up boots, buckets and license and heading to parks and DNR beaches that are regularly stocked with shellfish for the taking. Yes, taking! Check the tides before you head out. Spring brings a great low tide during the day (rather than o' dark' thirty). Another advantage to mid-week shellfish-gathering is you'll have the beach to yourself! Visit the DFO Shellfish Safety Map as seasons are beach specific. Always Check BEFORE you dig. We've prepared a handy list of area harvesting beaches here.
Alderbrook Resort & Spa is a great place to start a Shellfish Week tradition. April is Oyster Month at the Resort. This means an ever-changing selection of bivalves on the menu all month long! Head to their dock daily at 4:30 for a "shucking good time," as the chef harvests the oysters and serves them raw on the half shell –before your very eyes! Wednesdays, join their naturalists for a tour of the intertidal (April 18, 1:30 – 2:30 PM, April 25, 9:30 – 10:30 AM). Alderbrook Resort still has some room availability for Shellfish Week (fully booked Saturday), and offers great discounts on accommodations Sunday through Thursday.
Want the house all to yourself? Consider snagging one of the great rentals that pepper coastal communities and woodland oases in the area. One of our favorites is the Cedar Hill Cottage in Union. This spacious shake home (two bedrooms) is perched on the hill above Union, and although it is technically not waterfront and nestled in the woods, there are glimpses of the Canal and the snow laden Olympics. Location is everything here. A short drive to Alderbrook Resort and just a quick walk to the heart of Union with coffee and breakfast at the Union Country Store, boutique shops, and waterfront dining at 2 Margaritas. Thursday (April 19), during Shellfish Week, be sure to get tickets for the Canal Cookout hosted by the Union City Market. The unique pop-up menu feature a different local food & drink showcasing the imagination of the culinary geniuses at Alderbrook Resort & Spa. The April Menu is a "Cowboy’s Canal Cookout," preview available here.
There are some fantastic accommodations near Shelton and Allyn that put you right in the heart of South Sound oyster harvesting areas. A perfect location to celebrate Shellfish Week is A Lighthouse on Hammersley. This 10,000 sf low bank bed and breakfast is just ten miles from Shelton. Enjoy spacious guest rooms all with stunning waterfront view and covered decks to enjoy boats and wildlife. See all Shelton area lodging here.
Heading into Shelton, stop in off Hwy 101 past Little Creek Casino & Resort at Taylor Shellfish's Retail Facility to take a look at their home facility and visit their retail store. On April 20th, from 2:00 – 4:00 PM, Taylor Shellfish will be celebrating Shellfish Week with samples and cooking tips. Pick up a few pounds of clams for dinner and learn new recipes and enjoy a few grilled oysters!
Local oysters are also available in Shelton at Smoking Mo's on Railroad Avenue. Here you will find a selection of Southern BBQ dishes as well as fresh oysters served raw in the half shell or cooked to perfection. Head upstairs for their "oyster bar."
One of Smoking Mo's most popular oyster growers is located just 30 minutes away in Lilliwaup, WA. Hama Hama Oyster Company's Store and Oyster Saloon (an outdoor restaurant) are located a shell’s-throw from the tideflats. Visit 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. Stop by the Saloon for some great shellfish but don't miss the divine hand-packed Dungeness crab cakes. And we mean PACKED with crab! The crab cakes are also available the farm store where you can buy them to cook at home. The Oyster Saloon spring hours are Thursday - Monday, 12:00 - 5:30 PM.
Celebrate the Tideflats!
Every year Hama Hama Oysters welcomes the public to the beach to learn about oysters, oyster farming, and life in the Hood Canal, aquatic and otherwise. This year the biggest subtidal one coincides with Shellfish Week – and we're really thrilled about that! Viva shellfish!
The 2018 Rama takes off April 21, from noon until 6:00 PM. The event features intertidal tours with ecologists and oyster growers, u-pick oysters and clams, an oyster-sports competition called the Shuckathalon, Oyster Trivia, a kid-friendly beer and wine garden, children's activities including a marine touch tank, live music, and lots of great fresh local food. Every year, the Rama benefits local Hood Canal charities. Click here for a full schedule of events.
How ever you choose to Shell-e-brate Shellfish Week we know that you will have a blast exploring Hood Canal. Be sure to share your adventures with the bivalves with us! Happy Shellfish Week – see you on the beach!