Wild Side Explorer Series: The Tasters

Travel Guide: A Foodie Adventure in Hood Canal

What pairs best with local wine, fresh eats, and Olympic National Park? Girlfriends. We sent three best friends out to the wild side of Washington to taste their way through Hood Canal and document it all the way. The result: a weekend to remember.

Hood Canal is just a short ferry ride from Seattle and a quick hop up I-5 from Portland. But it feels like it's a world away. For dreamers, explorers, tasters, bachelorettes, and foodies, it’s an out-of-the-ordinary getaway peppered with amazing views and food to match. Grab the calendar, call up your besties, and hit our lodging page…your adventure awaits.

Day 1: Union and Belfair

Did you know that Hood Canal is one of the most prolific cannabis producers in the western US? The fresh air, temperate climate, and wide open spaces converge to create the perfect habitat for Mary Jane, and some of the nation’s most talented growers are actively taking advantage. That’s why Day 1 of the perfect girls’ weekend itinerary starts in Belfair.

 

Visit The Root Cellar | noon

Cannabis tourism is on the up and up, and we couldn’t be more excited. For snappy customer service, a wide variety of treats from bud to organic sodas to mints, The Root Cellar is tops. Just off of the main drag, this is a must-stop on your way to a wine tasting.

The Root Cellar | 23632 NE State Rte 3 | Open every day 9am-10pm

 

Tasting at Mosquito Fleet Winery | 1:30

This cute, homey winery is situated just on the western edge of town—right before the winding road disappears into a verdant forest. A family owned and operated winery, they lead with complex, intriguing Bordeaux-style wine and the knowledge to match. Pro tip: don’t forget to ask for their port pour into a dark chocolate cup!

Mosquito Fleet Winery | 21 NE Old Belfair Hwy | Saturday 12-5pm

 

Drinks and Dinner at Alderbrook Resort & Spa | 4:30

With Robin Hood Village Resort as a base camp, it’s impossible to resist the quick hop over to Alderbrook to cap the day in tasty, tasty style. Get there before sundown, and you’ll get a chance to wander the gorgeous grounds and enjoy a cocktail with a spectacular sunset.

Alderbrook Resort & Spa | 10 E Alderbrook Drive | Dinner is served daily 5pm-9pm

 

Nightcap at Robin Hood Restaurant & Pub | 9:30

With live music every day and a menu full of tasty late-night treats, there’s no better spot in town to have a last Day 1 cheers. The best part: your room is just steps away.

Robin Hood Restaurant & Pub | 6780 E State Route 106 | Open every day 3pm-close

Day 2: Union and Hoodsport

The views from the eastern shore of Hood Canal, punctuated by the jagged Olympic Mountains across the water might seem hard to part with, but on Day 2 of a girls’ weekend away, it would be a crime to not drive around the southern edge of Hood Canal and back up to the quaint town of Hoodsport on the toe of Olympic National Park. But before you make the drive, indulge in the soft lighting and relaxing vibes of yoga at Alderbrook Resort.

 

Spa & Yoga at Alderbrook Resort | 9:00

After a party day, there’s hardly anything better than hitting the reset button with a spa treatment and some yoga. Michelle Pugh of Joonbug Yoga leads restorative, aqua, and full moon yoga classes monthly on the Alderbrook grounds. Check the schedule here.

Alderbrook Resort & Spa | 6780 E State Route 106 | Steam room, sauna, pool, and hot tub always open to hotel guests 

 

Lunch at Union City Market | noon

For second-to-none views and a carefully curated array of local food, beverages, and gifts, Union City Market is unbeatable. Grab all of the fixins for a picnic (like artisan salami, local cheeses, local ciders, and fresh oysters) and step out onto the back dock for the perfect setting.

Union City Market | 5101 WA-106 | Thurs - Monday, 10am-6pm

 

Tasting at Hardware Distillery | 2:00

The whiskey and spirits crafted at Hardware Distillery have to be the happiest in the world—they’re privy to amazing views of Hood Canal and breathe in fresh saltwater while they barrel age. Jan and Chuck are the owners and only employees, and are fabulous and knowledgeable hosts.

The  Hardware Distillery Co. | 24210 North Highway 101 | Thurs-Sun,  12-5pm & Sat 10-6pm

 

The Grand Finale at Robin Hood Restaurant & Pub | 6:00

Trust us, get the Lemon Drop Prawns and the Hama Hama Steamer Clams then live it up and dance the night away. We’re assuming it’s impossible to get your fill of live music and down home vibes, so a round two at the Robin Hood Pub is just the right thing to send off the girls weekend in style.

Robin Hood Restaurant & Pub | 6780 E State Route 106 | Open every day 3pm-close

The Hardest Part: Making. It. Happen.

You ever see those groups of girlfriends who always manage to get together and your FOMO goes wild when you see their adventures prettying up your Instagram feed? Here are our top 3 tips to making your girl’s actually trip happen.

  1. Carve dates in stone on your calendar (pick three date options, send the email, demand RSVP).
  2. Find accommodations and share with your group. (We make that part easy).
  3. Collect non-refundable money. Our favorites are Paypal, Venmo, and Tilt.

Ta-da! You’re on for the best trip in ages. One of the most important aspects? DOCUMENTATION. Always share with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram with #wildsideWA.