Sunny Sequim shines with small town charm. Located under a patch of blue sky, it’s one of the driest places in western Washington (less than 16 inches of annual rainfall). With the Olympic Mountains to the south and the Strait of Juan de Fuca to the North, outdoor enthusiasts are surrounded by natural beauty.
We explored the area and found there’s plenty to do here from hiking, cycling, golfing, sailing, fishing, kayaking, whale and bird watching. With a population of 7,000, this friendly town hosts a weekly Friday Art Walk, Farmer’s Market, Music in the Park and festivals throughout the year including the largest Lavender Festival in North America.
Just two hours from Seattle, Tacoma and Olympia, we’ve added Sequim to our Pacific Northwest Getaway Series. Sharing our favorite places to go, stay and dine in the Sequim and the surrounding area.
Where to Go?
- Dungeness Spit: The longest natural sand spit in the USA, growing 13 ft per year. Walk the 5.5-mile-long Dungeness Spit and visit the new Dungeness Lighthouse.
TIP! Sign up to be a Lighthouse Innkeeper for a week at the New Dungeness Lighthouse where you, your family and friends can have a rare opportunity to spend a week at one of the best restored light stations in the country.
Find out more, click here.
- Lavender Farms: We visited Purple Haze and Jardin du Soleil where we picked a fresh bouquet of lavender, and smelled products infused with this heavenly scent – candles, lotions, etc. North America’s largest Lavender Festival takes place in Sequim during July. Find out dates and dinners, dances, concerts, street fairs & more events – click here.
- Dungeness River: There are birding, cycling and hiking trails, fishing, and natural history exhibits at the Dungeness River Audubon Center.
- Bike the Olympic Discovery Trail: Cyclists can cycle through nature along this trail.
- Take a Hot Air Balloon Ride: Up, up and away for some aerial views of Sequim. On a clear day, you can see the San Juan Islands and even Vancouver Island in Canada across the water.
- Sail from John Wayne Marina: Yes, the actor John Wayne frequently visited Sequim and there’s a marina named after him.
- Join the Weekly Bird Walk: Check the schedule for the weekly walk with the Dungeness River Audubon Society where you’ll see birds, land mammals and marine mammals. Keep a lookout for Roosevelt Elk herd.
Daytrips from Sequim:
- Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center: Visit Hurrican Ridge and hike one of its many trails.
- Lake Crescent and Marymere Falls: Stop at Lake Crescent and hike to Marymere Falls.
- Madison Falls: Just west of Port Angeles, hike to Madison Falls
- Olympic National Park: A Natural UNESCO World Heritage site with diverse ecosystems. Did you know? According to this site, there are 49 peaks over 6,500 feet, 600+ miles of trails, 266 glaciers. 3 temperate rainforests. Iconic rivers, deep lakes, and 22 waterfalls. Rocky, craggy beaches full of sea life. Known for roaming Roosevelt elk and flying squirrels. One of the most isolated places in America. Home to the Quietest Square Inch in the United States. All in one park!
Continue on 101 to the Coast:
- Cape Flattery & the Pacific Ocean: Drive to the northwestern-most point in the contiguous United States. See dramatic sunsets along the coast at Ruby Beach, Rialto Beach. The arches, sea stacks and vistas of the Pacific Ocean are stunning. Or visit the sea stacks at Tongue Point, closer to Sequim.
- Hoh Rain Forest: Visit the Hoh Rain Forest, this lush rainforest has waterfalls, rivers, wildlife.
Find out more about this town at the Sequim tourism site, click here.
Where to Stay?
Visitors can find a range of accommodation choices from bed & breakfasts, hotels and motels, vacation rentals, inns, RV parks, and camping.
We wanted some luxury mixed with adventure and stayed at Lost Mountain Lodge.
Dwight and Sally Hostvedt (owners-operators-innkeepers) lovingly oversee this tranquil 9-acre retreat just a mile from town. This premier 5-star B&B has been the #1 rated B&B for Sequim lodging for the past 10 years.
Guests can choose from romantic suites to private cottages for families who want more privacy.
We stayed in the Creekside Suite, over 900 square ft of comfort with a king-sized bed topped with plush pillows, wood burning fireplace, and spacious bathroom with a tub, shower, relaxation area that looked out to the estate gardens.
Amenities include: complimentary soda, water, coffee, tea. Free use of the DVD Library & popcorn. Each suite has a Smart TV, Free WiFi, hair dryer, luggage racks, botanical toiletries, silky microfiber resort robes & slippers, a mini-refrigerator. Guests have free parking, hot tub & fireplace.
Each morning, there’s a gourmet breakfast served either inside or outside on the patio, with a different menu each day. Our breakfast included Stromboli poached eggs with hollandaise sauce, roasted asparagus, fresh fruit & a crumble berry bar. The owners share recipes on their site, as well as offer gardening and cooking classes.
Owner Dwight welcomed us and shared several of his recommendations – see his local guide, click here. If you’re a Twilight Series fan, ask for a self-guided tour map of the best places to spot vampires and werewolves near Forks.
He added that “Lost Mountain Lodge was named one of Washington State’s Top 40 Special Places to visit, and the Best Weekend Escape in North America! Our Port Angeles area bed and breakfast is relaxed, refined and refreshing with sunny mountain views, idyllic ponds and cottage gardens – a National Wildlife Federation Certified Habitat. As soon as the day-lilies bloom, our gardens are full of hummingbirds and various other local species. Join us to see hundreds of iridescent turquoise dragonflies flitting through the cattails on our ponds. Enjoy our cozy fire pit under the stars.”
Guests come from around the world and many return to stay for family reunions, weddings, anniversaries or a romantic getaway.
The private estate is surrounded by landscaped gardens with a bridge and pond, where wild deer roam.
It’s a prime location to explore the Olympic Peninsula, a 5-min drive to see the sunset from the beach or go beach combing, bird watching at the Dungeness Spit & National Wildlife Refuge. Only 20 miles from Olympic National Park.
Guests can spend the day discovering the area, then return to the comforts of home and nestle in at Lost Mountain Lodge.
Where to Dine?
There’s an array of culinary options to choose from – Mexican, Chinese, Pacific Northwest and more. Checkout the Olympic Culinary Route where you can find fresh, local, seasonal and sustainable dishes.
Here’s our growing list of favorites…
- Nourish: One of the healthiest restaurants we’ve dined at, and the ONLY gluten-free restaurant to date in the state. There are a variety of menu options for Vegetarians, Vegans, as well as Dairy-Free, Meat and Seafood options.
Dave and Tanya Rose moved to Sequim about 6 years ago and opened Nourish. They gathered a team of chefs and staff who are passionate about serving delicious food, growing organic food, sourcing from local growers and providers who care about their products and follow organic processes, while having fun creating a healthy, sustainable, community-fueled environment.
We met Owner & Head Chef Tanya who is giving the gift of nourishment at every meal with fresh, local, organic and gluten-free food. Today, Nourish is Sequim’s Gathering Place for locals and visitors.
From Garden-to-Plate, here are some of the dishes we tried: Dungeness Crab & herb dip leek cream, dijon, lemon, herbs, cheddar cheese, Brazilian cheese bread crostini, Getting Cultured spicy curtido kraut, and Smoked Salmon, roasted Beet & horseradish cream salad pickled onions, capers, celery, spinach, hazelnut & roasted garlic vinaigrette, spicy pumpkin seeds, also Seared Pork Belly Bowl slow braised pork in tamari ginger sauce, seasonal vegetables, chive quinoa, Getting Cultured’s fermented curtido and pickled onions. Each dish was excellent and full of flavors.
- Blondie’s Plate: Rated one of the top restaurants in Sequim, where you’ll find Northwest Contemporary Cuisine. The family operated restaurant serves shared plates of the best the Northwest has to offer with locally sourced, freshly prepared, gourmet food and wonderful Washington State and local wines, fresh local micro-brews, Blondie’s Famous Mules, and the best hand crafted cocktails on the Olympic Peninsula.
The eatery is housed in a former church dating back to 1896 and has since been restored keeping its character with high ceilings, arched windows and wood floors. We admire their efforts to team with local farmers and growers to present locally harvested food. The chefs at Blondie’s Plate add their own twist to northwest dishes with pure flavors.
Our dinner included small plates that we shared – a pickled beet salad with local greens, pumpkin seeds and a goat cheese crouton, local steamer clams in herbed wine sauce with canelli beans, house made focaccia bread, and braised pork with red coconut curry and cucumber salsa topped with cilantro. The local salmon dish was a favorite with seasonal market vegetables, roasted baby potatoes and ginger miso.
Acknowledgements: Global Adventuress thanks those mentioned in this article for hosting us.