After spending a few wonderful days around the Portland, OR area, we headed up north towards Seattle for the remainder of the trip. Our first full day was spent exploring Olympic National Park, with the remainder of the trip being spent in Seattle. Luckily we had visited Seattle just last year, so we didn't feel too pressed for time there. Looking back on the second half of the trip, it seemed to go by really fast. Before we knew it, we were already getting ready to head back to Austin. I'll highlight some of the stops we made around the Seattle area with more shots after the jump!
We started early the day we left Portland. We were up and on the road by 6:00 am. We decided to drive around Olympic National Park before we made our way into Seattle. We made excellent timing from Portland to our first stop in Olympic National Park, Ruby Beach. Most of the beaches that are part of the park do not require entrance fees. If you drive along the 101 you'll come across several stops that have access to the beach. It was nice to get out of the car and do a mini hike along the beach for an hour or so. After we finished our walk along the beach we headed back onto the 101 towards the Hoh Rain Forest. The drive from Ruby Beach to the rain forest was about an hour. Once we arrived, we went on a short hike through the rain forest. I highly recommend a hike in the Hoh Rain Forest. They offer a few different hikes at varying degrees of difficulty. Since we were short on time, we opted for the easiest of the hikes. Despite choosing the shortest and easiest hike, we were still offered amazing scenery. After our second hike of the day we stopped for a quick lunch and then made our way towards Lake Crescent. Lake Crescent sits at the northern part of the park just off Highway 101. Lake Crescent was one of the most beautiful spots we had ever visited. We decided to sit along the shore of the lake and enjoy the view for about a half hour or so. After enjoying the views at Lake Crescent we continued on to Quilcene, WA. Quilcene is a tiny town that is not far from the main visitor center of the park. We found a pretty amazing Airbnb listing that sits on the side of a mountain overlooking the Washington countryside. The cottage was super cozy and our host was really great. After the long day we had driving and exploring the park, it was nice to relax the rest of the evening in such a beautiful spot. We didn't see a lot in the park that we wanted to, so a second visit that dedicates some more time to the park will need to be planned.
After spending a day exploring the peninsula, it was time to make our way into Seattle for the last leg of our trip. We started out with a lovely home made breakfast from our Airbnb host, Brian. It was a relaxing start to our morning, enjoying coffee and breakfast as we watched the fog and clouds slowly clear from the mountains. We took the ferry from Bainbridge Island into Seattle. We weren't sure if we were going to take the ferry into Seattle, but we ended up deciding to, and we didn't regret it. It was a short half hour ride into Seattle. Once we arrived we decided to take a visit to the Museum of Pop Culture. Last time we were in Seattle this was a spot that we wanted to visit, but didn't get the chance to. The building was designed by one of my favorite architects, Frank Gehry. Definitely check out this museum when you're in Seattle. They had a great exhibit on Stark Trek, an exhibit on horror films, and a great tribute exhibit to David Bowie. After that we headed to Volunteer Park Cafe for some lunch and a stroll around the park. We finally got checked into our Airbnb and then chilled out for a couple of hours before making our way out again. We headed out to dinner at Marination. This place was one of my favorite food stops on the trip. I opted for the SPAM slider, a ginger chicken taco, and the kimchi fried rice with spicy pork. This is a super casual spot, with open seating and great views of the Seattle skyline. After dinner we walked over to Kerry Park for a beautiful sunset view of the city. We finished up at one of our favorite ice cream shops, Molly Moon's.
The final day of our trip was pretty relaxed and laid back. At this point we had begun to experience a little fatigue so we wanted to take it easy on the last day. We hit up one of our favorite brunch spots, Oddfellow's Cafe + Bar to begin the day. This will probably be a must stop anytime we visit Seattle because they have these pretty amazing gluten free home made biscuits that Courtney loves. Even I have to admit how amazing they are. After brunch we made a stop at the Olympic Sculpture Park to walk off our brunch. After that we just took it easy and explored some parts of downtown Seattle. As I mentioned earlier, the second half of our trip went by extremely fast. We never felt rushed, but we did cram a lot into just a few days to finish up the trip. I wouldn't change a thing about the trip. From our start in Portland to the end in Seattle, it was an amazing trip. We're already looking forward to the next time we will be able to make a trip up to the Pacific Northwest. More photos from the week below!