The Herald of Everett, Washington
HeraldNet on Facebook HeraldNet on Twitter HeraldNet RSS feeds HeraldNet Pinterest HeraldNet Google Plus HeraldNet Youtube
HeraldNet Newsletters  Newsletters: Sign up | Manage  Green editions icon Green editions
Go See Do Header

Calendar


Weekend to-do list
HeraldNet Newsletter Delivered to your inbox each week.
Published: Saturday, August 24, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

A weekend in Port Angeles

Peninsula city's more than a pit stop

  • The observation deck at the top of Hurricane Ridge, elevation 5,240 feet, in Olympic National Park is a scenic 17-mile drive from Port Angeles.

    Andrea Brown / The Herald

    The observation deck at the top of Hurricane Ridge, elevation 5,240 feet, in Olympic National Park is a scenic 17-mile drive from Port Angeles.

  • Murals on the City Pier depict local lore.

    Andrea Brown / The Herald

    Murals on the City Pier depict local lore.

  • Swain's General Store opened in 1957 and has it all: guns, ammo, live bait, lip gloss, jewelry, Crocs, cookbooks, self-defense spray and more.

    Andrea Brown / The Herald

    Swain's General Store opened in 1957 and has it all: guns, ammo, live bait, lip gloss, jewelry, Crocs, cookbooks, self-defense spray and more.

  • Port Angeles is a popular place to catch the Black Ball ferry to Victoria, B.C., 21 miles across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

    Andrea Brown / The Herald

    Port Angeles is a popular place to catch the Black Ball ferry to Victoria, B.C., 21 miles across the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

  • "Imagine Door" by Jeffrey Tocher is among the pieces for show and sale at the Landing Art Gallery by City Pier.

    Andrea Brown / The Herald

    "Imagine Door" by Jeffrey Tocher is among the pieces for show and sale at the Landing Art Gallery by City Pier.

  • For people who live and breathe guns, Swain's General Store offers up a way to drink from them.

    Andrea Brown / The Herald

    For people who live and breathe guns, Swain's General Store offers up a way to drink from them.

It's the place where Edward and Bella had their first date in "Twilight."
The port where tourists go to catch the ferry to Victoria, B.C. The pleasant pause before heading up to Hurricane Ridge to hike or ski.
Charming.
That's the word that keeps popping up about Port Angeles, the picturesque community between the Olympic Mountains and the sea that stretches so far it blends in with the sky.
For many people, the remote north Olympic Peninsula town is a pit stop along the way, but Port Angeles is a destination in itself.
Park the car. Spend the day. Or stay the night, as President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his motorcade did in 1937 on the legendary visit that created Olympic National Park.
Stroll by the water or through downtown. There are sculptures, cafes, boutiques and cool stores, but this isn't a tourist trap. It's home to about 20,000 people, with a fine-arts center, two CrossFit gyms, a year-round farmers market and a symphony orchestra that started in 1932.
Streets are wide and traffic is polite with drivers who don't try to run you over, even if you linger too long. (Out-of-town drivers will, though. So don't linger too long.)
The waterfront is a happening place for street fairs, summer concerts and October's Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival. City Pier has colorful murals depicting local lore, art galleries, a marine center and a boardwalk perfect for watching big ships and sunsets.
Explore the logging town's colorful past on a two-hour Heritage Tour led by the city historian through brothels and the underground. In the early 1900s, the downtown area was raised by one story, creating a network of tunnels and store fronts. Rumor has it that it's haunted.
Those with energy to burn on foot or bike can hop on the Olympic Discovery Trail that traverses the peninsula east to the town of Port Townsend or west to the Pacific Ocean.
There's more to Port Angeles than art, outdoor recreation, vampires and a still-talked-about visit by FDR.
There's Swain's General Store, open since 1957.
It's about as general as it gets, with everything from socks and flyswatters to jewelry and bullets.
On the walls are giant antlered animal heads, some possibly felled by the wide selection of ammunition offered at the store.
Glass-front coolers hold drinks and fresh bait. Hot popcorn is a quarter.
The back-to-school flier has rifle scopes, watches, cookbooks and lip gloss on the same page.
Something for everybody.
Andrea Brown; 425-339-3443; abrown@heraldnet.com.

If you go
Port Angeles is about 60 miles from Kingston where the Edmonds ferry drops you.
The Dungeness Crab & Seafood Festival is Oct. 11 to 13: Events include Grab-a-Crab derby, food, crafts, fun run, sand volleyball tournament and U.S. Coast Guard air-sea rescue demonstration. www.crab festival.org
The Black Ball ferry to Victoria, B.C., is a 90-minute voyage across the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Parking is available in Port Angeles for walk-on riders. Passengers get free round-trip fare for travel initiated on their birthdays, but can return any day. www.cohoferry.com
Hurricane Ridge in Olympic National Park: Entrance fee is $15 a car. http://tinyurl.com/HurricaneRidgeInfo
Heritage Tours are year-round, daily except Sunday. The two-hour tours, offered twice a day, start from the Chamber of Commerce Visitor Center, 121 E. Railroad Ave. Cost: $12 adults; $10 seniors and students; $8 ages 6 to 12; children younger than 6 are free. Reservations are recommended. For more information, call 360-452-2363, ext. 0, or go to www.portangeles heritagetours.com.
The Olympic Discovery Trail is for nonmotorized travelers. www.olympicdiscoverytrail.com
Swain's General Store: 602 E. First St., 360-452-2357; www.swainsinc.com
Story tags » TravelPort AngelesGo See Do

Share your comments: Log in using your HeraldNet account or your Facebook, Twitter or Disqus profile. Comments that violate the rules are subject to removal. Please see our terms of use. Please note that you must verify your email address for your comments to appear.

You are logged in using your HeraldNet ID. Click here to update your profile. | Log out.

Our new comment system is not supported in IE 7. Please upgrade your browser here.

comments powered by Disqus
digital subscription promo

Subscribe now

Unlimited digital access starting at 99 cents, or included with any print subscription.

HeraldNet highlights

'The Pinterest of beer'
'The Pinterest of beer': Lynnwood man's iPhone app tracks the beers you drink
Your photos
Your photos: A selection of our favorite reader-submitted photos
Tulips in bloom
Tulips in bloom: Photo gallery: A rainbow of color in Skagit County
He was a devoted family man
He was a devoted family man: Stephen Neal was working in a home when the mudslide hit