Looking for a serene retreat where you are surrounded by mountains with evergreen and cedar trees along pristine waters? Two hours southwest of Seattle, you’ll discover Alderbrook Resort & Spa, a great Pacific Northwest getaway on the Hood Canal. There are so many things to do here are the Top things to do in Hood Canal during your stay at Alderbrook.
History of Hood Canal
The Canal was named by Captain George Vancouver in 1792, when he charted the channel of one of the largest glacier-carved fjords in the United States. Today, vacationers consider Alderbrook their home when visiting this area.
The Alderbrook Resort
When we entered the lobby, “Alder & Brook” the two resident cats greeted us. Guests are drawn to the giant fireplace and sitting area under the high ceilings, where warm interior tones create a cozy atmosphere and inviting atmosphere.
When Alderbrook was first established in 1913, visitors could get here by steamship, and would stay in cabins, teepees, and tents. At 100 years old, Alderbrook Resort & Spa is steeped with history and traditions, and families keep coming back to Alderbrook for generations, while new guests discover this idyllic retreat.
Today the resort’s cabins have been restored into 16 cottages with modern amenities and comforts, and the lodge offers 77 luxurious rooms. Over the years, many traditions live on, including a skipping stones competition with 5 to 95 yr olds testing out their skills across the flat seawater. Upon check-in, you receive your first “skipper stone” where you can carry on the tradition on Alderbrook’s south shores.
Guests come to Alderbrook to relax and have adventures from kayaking, boating, cycling, hiking, to clam digging. Some of the most amazing sunsets can be seen from the resort’s waterfront, where the Olympic Mountains majestically tower above the waterway.
Kathryn Kamin, Marketing Director, Alderbrook Resort & Spa shares guests highlights, “Walking hand in hand, you see an eagle soar overhead. A perfect moment suspended in time. This is the place where memories are made, where families come back year after year. Like having your own waterfront cottage, only better. Cartwheels on the grass. A game of badminton at sunset. Leather couches and a glass of Washington state Syrah. Rooms that make you say “wow” when you open the door. Can this hotel be only two hours from Seattle? It can.”
Families, couples, friends come to visit Alderbrook to getaway, celebrate anniversaries, gather for family reunions, or have weddings. We were here for a weekend and tried out some of these Top 10 Recommendations on what to do while you’re staying at Alderbrook.
Top 10 things to do in Hood Canal!
1. Alderbrook Spa:
After a long week, I was ready to be pampered at the resort’s spa with the Alderbrook’s Signature massage. My therapist integrated lavender aromatherapy, relaxation and deep tissue techniques, along with applying deeply penetrating hot stones, to harmonize body and soul. Afterwards, you can continue to relax in the sauna, steam room, or relaxation room at the spa.
2. Board Lady Alderbrook for a Hood Canal Beach Tour:
From Alderbrook’s waterfront beach, explore Hood Canal and all of its natural beauty on the resort boat named “Lady Alderbrook”. Check with the resort’s reception for the schedule of guided tours.
3. Play Golf:
A short drive from the resort is the Alderbrook Golf & Yacht Club. The golf course is well maintained with evergreen lined fairways and greens that run true. This is a classic northwest design with five sets of tees that at their longest, stretch the course to 6,280 yards. A very enjoyable test of your golfing skills!
4. Take a Swim & Kayak:
Jump into the canal or plunge into the resort’s glass-enclosed salt water heated swimming pool or dip into the Jacuzzi and look out to the Hood Canal and Olympic Mountains. Head to the dock, where you’ll find kayaks and paddle boats to glide through the still waters.
5. Dig for Clams or Shuck an Oyster:
No top ten for Hood canal would be complete with out some seafood! Walk along the resort’s long dock to watch how the oysters are collected, bagged, and kept fresh for the resort’s restaurant. The chef will even demonstrate how to shuck oysters! Or ask the resort to arrange for some clam digging in the area.
6. Take a Class – Learn how to fish and/or cook!
The resort offers a range of classes and experiences, from teaching children and adults how to fish and catch flounder, perch, or bullhead fish, to cooking classes. Jake Geist, Guest Experience Manager looks for ways to customize and create unique experiences during their stay.
7. Hike Nearby Trails:
There are several miles of groomed nature trails and they all could be their own adventure among our Top Ten things to do in Hood Canal. Some options include:
o Mt. Ellinor
o Staircase National Park (various hikes)
8. Dine at the Resort’s Restaurant:
Executive Chef Lucas Sautter and his team bring local and seasonal ingredients to the resort’s menu. Our favorite lunch dish – Grand Marnier Prawns on a local mizuna green salad with citrus vinaigrette!
And a breakfast favorite, Alderbrook Crab Benedict on top of rock crab cakes dressed in hollandaise, or a Fried Oysters Rock Omelette. And don’t leave without savoring the succulent Pacific Oysters, and steamed Hood Canal clams for a dinner appetizer.
9. Paint & Draw:
Let your creative energy out and paint at one of the resort’s easels, or draw in the guest drawing book. Check with the resort to join plein air classes with local artists, where you can learn about the resort town Union, and its history as an art colony.
10. Other Nearby Attractions – Farms, Labyrinths, Beaches, Wetlands, and a Bug Museum!
o Walk the labyrinths & tour the gardens at Harmony Hill Retreat Center
o Enjoy Hunter Farms Produce Market & Nursery
o Walk the beaches at Twanoh State Park or Potlatch State Park
o Take a walk thru the Theler Wetlands
o Take the family to the Bremerton Bug Museum & Nature Gift Shop
How to Get to Alderbrook?
From Seattle, Portland, and Vancouver B.C., you can reach Alderbrook by ferry, by car, and by seaplane.
Ferry & Car:
We traveled by ferry and car from Seattle. There are several ferries that depart Seattle for Bremerton (check the ferry schedule). From Bremerton, drive Southwest along the Hood Canal to the town Union.
Contact Kenmore Air to book a flight and arrive by seaplane in front of the resort.
From Seattle, travel South to Tacoma and take the Narrows Bridge to the Olympic Peninsula. From there, head towards the Hood Canal, and you’ll find Alderbrook Resort in the town Union.
Make Your Reservation Today!
Contact Alderbrook Resort & Spa
By Patricia Stone, travel writer and consultant
We would like to thank Alderbrook Resort & Spa and Alderbrook Golf & Yacht Club for hosting us during our stay.