Port Angeles Things to Do With or Without a Car on the Olympic Peninsula

View from the air of Port Angeles, Ediz Hook, and the Olympic Mountains

Why visit Port Angeles attractions?

Port Angeles is a national park and international gateway city, providing easy driving and arduous biking access to the Olympic Mountains, and receives less rain annually than nearby locations. 

Port Angeles is the hub for Olympic National Park, provides ferry access to Victoria BC, and offers many choices in things to do, restaurants, and lodging.

Fountain with water surrounding by spring flowers like daffodils, with a mural of Olympic National Park in the background

Port Angeles offers nearby access to world-class outdoor activities in Olympic National Park.  Paved road access to Hurricane Ridge starts on Race Street in Port Angeles and within 20 miles you can view Mount Olympus.  Port Angeles receives 25.57 inches of rainfall annually while Seattle and Forks, Washington receive 38.09 and 118.83 inches respectively. 

Learn more about transit options from Seattle to Port Angeles.

Return to Planning Your Olympic National Park Vacation

A couple casually lean against one another as they enjoy the romantic view of a tall shimmering Olympic National Park waterfall

Port Angeles things to do:  guided tours

Olympic National Park Tours with ExperienceOlympic out of Port Angeles, Washington 98362 pick you up at your downtown Port Angeles accommodation (within two miles) or you can arrange to have professional naturalist guide meet you if you prefer to drive.  ExperienceOlympic offers hiking and wildlife-viewing tours from March to October as well as tidepooling during the spring and summer. 

If hiking, wildlife-viewing, birding, tidepooling, or sightseeing is not your thing, then other Port Angeles guide services offer a diversity of Port Angeles things to do.  You may choose to embark on a walking tour of Port Angeles or whale watching tour out of Port Angeles.  Additionally, you may choose to hire a Port Angeles naturalist guide, alpine guide, backpacking guide, fishing guide, kayaking guide, or mountain biking guide.  

The Port Angeles Visitor Center in front of the Landing Mall

The Port Angeles Visitor Center, at 121 E Railroad Ave, Port Angeles, WA 98362, provides maps and information about Olympic Peninsula things to do.  You should be able to walk away with ideas for things to do near Port Angeles, maps of the Olympic Discovery Trail (including a paved trail for road biking), Olympic National Park map, and various transit schedules.  For example, you could plan a Clallam Transit hiking adventure on Barnes Point (Lake Crescent) including Marymere Falls and Storm King or a Clallam Transit bike adventure on the Lake Crescent portion of the Olympic Discovery trail. 

A mural on the city pier in Port Angeles depicts Klallam people in traditional garb, depicting the importance of their canoes, with wood long houses and a healthy forest and shoreline in the background

Lower Elwha Klallam Carnegie Museum in Port Angeles

A two block walk uphill on Lincoln Street takes you to the Carnegie Musuem, located at  207 S Lincoln St, Port Angeles, WA 98362.  This redesigned Port Angeles attraction displays cultural and historical artifacts related to the history of the Lower Elwha Klallam People and other First Nations on the Olympic Peninsula.  Make sure to check out the artifacts from Tse-whit-zen, one of the many Klallam village sites that lined the Port Angeles harbor before the Klallam people became homeless in their own homeland.

A line of orange, purple, and brown starfish with red, brown, and green seaweed bordering a rock

Feiro Marine Life Center and Olympic Coast Discovery Center

The Feiro Marine Life Center is a Port Angeles attraction located on the Port Angeles City Pier at 315 N Lincoln St Port Angeles, WA 98362.  The Olympic Coast Discovery Center offers another thing to do in Port Angeles and is located on the 2nd floor of the nearby Landing Mall at 115 E Railroad Ave #301, Port Angeles, WA 98362.  The Feiro Marine Life Center is a smaller version of the Port Townsend Marine Science Center and a mini version of the Seattle Aquarium.  The Olympic Coast Discovery Center is run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and is focused on providing information about things to do in the Olympic Coast National Marine Sanctuary.  The Feiro Marine Life Center operates all year while the Discovery Center is mainly open during the summer peak season.

View of the Olympic Mountains from the road up to Hurricane Ridge

Bike to Hurricane Ridge

Once a year for the first half the day (until noon), the road to Hurricane Ridge is only open to those on bikes for Ride the Hurricane.  The ride is scheduled at the beginning of August on a yearly basis and the Hurricane Ridge road is open only to bikes from 6 AM until noon.  The bike ride to Hurricane Ridge is considered, "the best climb in Washington."  If you are willing to share the road with vehicles, try this Port Angeles bike attraction during the summer on a clear sunny day at sunrise.  From downtown Port Angeles, bike up Lincoln Street, take a left onto 5th Street, and a right onto Race Street.  Continue straight on Race Street, veer right onto Hurricane Ridge Road and continue the next 18 miles (29 km) up to the Hurricane Ridge Visitor Center at 5,242 feet (1,598 m).  If you are interested in a guided ecotour to the Olympic Mountains, check out ExperienceOlympic's Hurricane Ridge hiking and wildlife viewing tours.

A view of Port Angles, Ediz Hook, and the harbor is bordered by tree leaves and vegetation as seen from Webster Woods

Olympic Discovery Trail:  east to the Dungeness Spit and Sequim

A great option for things to do in Port Angeles is to walk or ride a bike on the Olympic Discovery Trail along the Port Angeles harbor east towards Ennis and Morse Creeks.  The most accessible portion of the Olympic Discovery trail from downtown Port Angeles is a mostly paved trail along the Port Angeles harbor that starts between the Port Angeles City Pier and the Red Lion Hotel, just east of the intersection of Lincoln Street and Railroad Avenue.  It is not uncommon to watch river otters, harbor seals, and many Olympic Peninsula birds on the Port Angeles harbor portion of the Olympic Discovery trail.

View of the Port Angeles City Pier at dusk taken from the Olympic Discovery Trail

You can continue east on the Olympic Discovery trail all the way to Sequim, Washington, on about 19 miles (31 km) one-way of trail.  Clallam Transit Route 30 Commuter bus runs frequently between Port Angeles and Sequim, so you can easily ride a bike one direction and ride the bus back.  However, bike racks can fill up, so catching the bus at the transit terminal where the route starts helps ensure you get space for your bike. 

You can detour from the Olympic Discovery trail between Port Angeles and Sequim to explore the Dungeness Spit at 554 Voice of America Rd W, Sequim, WA 98382, the longest sand spit in the world and a wildlife refuge.  There are campgrounds either directly on or near the Discovery Trail for a biking and camping combination, including a nice campground at Dungeness Spit. 

A woman sits smiling on her bike with sunglasses and bike helmet with a blurred background of green shrubs

Olympic Discovery Trail:  west to the Ediz Hook, the sand spit that forms the Port Angeles harbor

If you are not planning to visit Dungeness Spit or First Beach from La Push, then Ediz Hook is a must-see with regard to Port Angeles attractions because it exposes you to marine wildlife, especially Harbor Seals.  You can access Ediz Hook as a long walk from downtown Port Angeles towards the industrial west-side of the Port Angeles harbor or you can ride your bike.  In order to reach Ediz Hook, you pass through an old paper mill, which was built around the same time as the historic Elwha Dams

The walk or bike from downtown Port Angeles is 2 miles (3 km) one-way on a sidewalk/trail adjacent to Marine Drive.  You can not reach the very end of Ediz Hook because of the Port Angeles Coast Guard Station so you can continue from the mill another 2 miles (3 km) one-way on the shoulder of Ediz Hook Road, which provides a beautiful view of the Olympic Mountains on a clear day.

View from the Lake Crescent Lodge at Barnes Point looking west

Olympic Discovery Trail:  west to the Elwha River and beyond

You can also connect with the Discovery Trail to the west of downtown Port Angeles, although it requires navigating some streets with cars.  The trail is not well defined as it departs downtown, and parallels Marine Drive past the industrial shipyard.  As you continue on Marine Drive past the boat marina, take a left up Hill Street, then continue to stay right until you get to Milwaukee Drive.  The trail picks up where Milwaukee Drive ends, and continues separate from traffic for about 5 miles (8 km) one-way until meeting the Elwha River at Elwha River Road, a nice destination for a morning or afternoon ride. 

Further west of Port Angeles, you can use a bike and bus combination, using Clallam Transit Route 14 toward Forks, to ride to the Sol Duc hot springs in the Sol Duc Valley on Sol Duc Road, or you may choose to bike Lake Crescent, which are both great options for Olympic National Park things to do.

Two Clallam Transit Buses pull out from the Gateway Transit Center onto Railroad Avenue in Port Angeles, Washington

Transit from Port Angeles (except on Sundays)

The number of Olympic Peninsula and Olympic National Park things to do without a car expands greatly if you use Clallam Transit Route 20 in Port Angeles, Clallam Transit Route 14 west towards Forks, and Clallam Transit Route 30 east towards Sequim.

Olympic National Park Visitor's Center and Port Angeles Fine Arts

Lake Crescent and Marymere Falls in Olympic National Park

Forks, Sol Duc, and Lake Crescent Portion of the Discovery Trail

La Push and Olympic National Park coastal beaches

Neah Bay and the Makah Museum

Port Townsend

Two kids looking through a spotting scope and binoculars and standing in front of the Olympic National Park Visitor Center

Clallam Transit buses originate at the Gateway Transit Center at 123 E Front Street Port Angeles, WA 98362.  Bring small bills and quarters as drivers can not make change.  Buses come equipped with a bike rack (most have space for 3 bikes). 

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Clallam Transit does NOT offer Sunday service (with the exception of the Strait Shot that services Seattle through the Bainbridge Island Ferry every day of the week), service on most nationally-recognized holidays, and there is reduced service on Saturdays.

Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, Webster Woods, and the Olympic National Park Visitor Center

Two seniors point to a tree with artwork as seen from the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center

The downtown Port Angeles Visitor Center can be confused with the Olympic National Park Visitor Center located uphill of the intersection of Race Street and Lauridsen Boulevard, at 3002 Mount Angeles Road, Port Angeles, WA 98362.  Using the Clallam Transit Route 20 College bus, you will be directed to a stop that is only a few blocks from either destination.  Be sure to describe to the Clallam Transit driver exactly where you want to go when you get on the bus and they can help you with the best stops for one or both locations. 

The Peabody Creek trail provides a hiking trail and is adjacent to the Olympic National Park Visitor’s Center.  Webster Woods provides a walking trail in order to observe outdoor art at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center.  The Fine Arts Center is a Port Angeles attraction located at 1203 E Lauridsen Blvd, Port Angeles, WA 98362.  The Arts Center also has an indoor portion. You can walk from the Fine Arts Center to the Visitor's Center and the distance is .6 miles (1 km) one-way.  At the end of your visit, you may choose to walk downhill to the Olympic Discovery Trail as accessed from Francis Street and then west to downtown Port Angeles.

Map of Barnes Point that includes the Storm King Ranger Station, Olympic National Park Environmental Education Center, Lake Crescent Lodge, Barnes Creek, and Highway 101

Lake Crescent, Marymere Falls, Storm King, and Barnes Creek

The Clallam Transit Route 14 Forks bus originates from the Gateway Transit Center in downtown Port Angeles and has a stop at Barnes Point on Highway 101 on Lake Crescent, which is only a .5 hour drive one-way.  When you depart from the bus, you will either be dropped off on Lake Crescent Road (at the 4-way stop sign take a right to the Marymere Falls trailhead) or a hiking trail near the Barnes Creek overpass (upstream on Barnes Creek leads to the Marymere Falls trail and downstream on Barnes Creek leads to the Lake Crescent Lodge). 

You can also hike portions of Storm King or the Barnes Creek trail that are signed from the more popular Marymere Falls trail.  The Marymere Falls Trail is about 1.5 mile (2.5 km) one-way, the Barnes Creek trail branches off for about 3 miles (5 km) one-way, and Storm King trail branches off and immediately starts uphill for about 4 miles (6 km) one-way and has an elevation change of 1700 ft (320 m). 

The Lake Crescent Lodge is a popular Olympic National Park attraction located at 416 Lake Crescent Rd, Port Angeles, WA 98363.  This Olympic National Park lodge often has a toasty fire on cool days, bathrooms, full bar and restaurant and is open from roughly May to New Years Day.  Barnes Creek on Lake Crescent is the most accessible hiking destination when considering Olympic National Park things to do on foot.

Two teenage girls wearing the same outfit and standing in the same manner on either side of the now famous Welcome to Forks sign from Twilight

Sol Duc, Forks and Twilight

If you take Clallam Transit Route 14 bus to Forks with a bike, you may disembark the bus at the road to Sol Duc on highway 101.  On the north side of highway 101, where the bus would pull over for Sol Duc road if traveling west, you can alternatively access the Olympic Discovery Trail.  If you head east, back down towards Lake Crescent, you have an amazing paved bike trail that uses the former Spruce Railroad line that hugs the north side of Lake Crescent and extends about 10 miles (16 km) one-way.  If you head further west, you can access some of the newest stretches of the Discovery Trail, getting you closer and closer to Forks and eventually the famous wild coastal beaches of La Push.

The Sol Duc road is one of the most scenic of Olympic National Park roads because you remain inside the border of the park for almost the entire length.  Huge old growth conifers abound as well as views of the beautiful Sol Duc river, and a number of pull-outs allow for safe areas to break and have a picnic.  You can also continue on to Sol Duc falls which is only another 2 miles (3 sm) one-way up the Sol Duc Road and about a 1 mile (2 km) one-way walk from trailhead parking area.  You may alternatively choose to park your bike at the hot springs resort and take the Lover's Lane trail to the Sol Duc Falls and back, which is about 3 miles (5 km) one-way.

A view of a rocky beach and sea stacks as seen close to the shoreline during a low tide on the Olympic coastIf you instead look to the south side of highway 101 when the bus pull over for Sol Duc road, you can venture on an uphill bike ride to the Sol Duc resort that is 11 miles (18 km) one-way.  Although the road is windy and often does not have a shoulder, the road also has a low speed limit.

La Push, First Beach, Second Beach, Third Beach, and Rialto Beach

When considering Oympic National Park things to do without a car, you don’t want to miss access to the wild Olympic coastline, famous for its huge old-growth beach logs, impressive headlands, and sea stacks teeming with marine life.  When you take the Clallam Transit Route 14 Forks bus out of the Gateway Transit Center in Port Angeles to its conclusion in Forks, you can continue on to La Push, Washington.  From the Forks Transit Center, you will transfer to the Quileute Community Shuttle.  If you plan your buses appropriately and get an early start (5:50 AM for example), you may visit First and Second Beach as a day trip. 

The Quileute River mouth, seen best from First Beach, is an excellent location to observe marine mammals like sea lions and Gray Whales as well as Bald Eagles.  There is a nice paved trail from First Beach to the Second Beach trailhead (separate from the road), which is an excellent beach for tidepool exploration during a low tide.  Once you reach the Second Beach trailhead, which is about 1 mile (2 km) one-way from the Oceanside Resort on a paved trail, the hike to Second Beach involves another 1 mile (2 km) one-way forested path.

A boy sits smiling in a huge old-growth tree with the offshore islands near First Beach visible in the background

You could also choose to spend a night in La Push at the Quileute Oceanside Resort at 330 Ocean Drive La Push, WA 98350, which is located directly on First Beach.  Lonesome Creek Store is a small convenience store next door at 490 Ocean Dr La Push, WA 98350.  If spending the night, you might want to consider bringing your own food as the cabins have full kitchens. 

You can use the Quileute Community Shuttle to further access the Third Beach trailhead, which provides a longer hike of about 2 miles (3 km) one-way through coastal forest out to Third beach and continuous Olympic National Park coastal hiking trails that continue south.  Rialto Beach is on the opposite side of the mouth of the Quileute River as First Beach. 

If you bring a bike on the bus with you, you could depart at Three Rivers before you reach La Push and bike 5 miles (8 km) one-way on the shoulder of Mora Road.  However, each beach is stunning and has huge beach logs, offshore islands, and a long stretch of beach for walking barefoot during fine weather.

Silhouettes of wind-blown stunted trees in the foreground and a view of offshore islands in the background during sunset

Neah Bay, Makah Museum, Hobuck Beach, and Cape Flattery

When further considering Olympic Peninsula things to do by bike or on foot, an option that allows for outstanding native cultural education is a visit to Neah Bay, Washington.  You again take Clallam Transit Route 14 Forks bus out of the Gateway Transit Center in Port Angeles. 

However, you may or may not continue to the Forks Transit Center as a closer transfer point is in Sappho, Washington.  Keep in mind there is just an outhouse, parking lot, and covered bench at the Sappho stop.  You will transfer to the Clallam Transit Route 16 Clallam Bay bus at either Sappho or the Forks Transit Station.  Due to the distance you will be traveling from Port Angeles and the sparse bus service, it is prudent to spend at least one night in Neah Bay at the Cape Resort at 1510 Bayview Ave, Neah Bay, WA 98357.

Large Full Moon gleaming over beach vegetation on a clear night at Hobuck Beach in Neah Bay, Washington

Neah Bay is similar to Port Angeles in that it is located in a harbor so you have to travel farther to Hobuck Beach in order to experience the famous wild Olympic coastline.  However, there is more tourist infrastructure in Neah Bay when compared to La Push, Washington.  The main attraction in Neah Bay that is within walking distance from the Cape Resort is the Makah Museum at 1880 Bayview Ave, Neah Bay, WA 98357, open daily from 10 AM to 5 PM. The Makah museum houses amazing artifacts from a landslide at Ozette, one of the five former Makah village sites, and is considered by some to be the Pompeii of North America.  Makah Museum guided tours leave from the Makah Museum to Ozette, Hobuck Beach, and Cape Flattery. 

When walking the shoreline and Neah Bay marina, it is not uncommon to observe numerous Bald Eagles as well as marine mammals like California Sea Lions and Gray Whales.  Another popular activity out of Neah Bay includes fishing or pelagic birding charters.  Neah Bay is home to outstanding bird diversity, especially during spring and fall bird migration, and is therefore a must see for Olympic Peninsula birds

If you are open to a bus/bike combination, this would allow you access to Hobuck Beach, which is a 3 mile (5 km) one-way ride, and Cape Flattery, which is an 8 miles (13 km) one-way ride from Neah Bay.  Although you are biking on the shoulder of roads, quite a few local people are also on bikes.  Be prepared for variable weather, including rain, and bring a map because not all roads are well marked.

You can recognize this tall ship because of the horizontal yards on its rigging

Port Townsend, Washington

The Clallam Transit Route 30 Commuter bus that originates from the Gateway Transit Center in downtown Port Angeles, takes you to the Sequim Transit Center in downtown Sequim.  To reach Port Townsend, you will continue on the Jefferson Transit Route 8 bus, which has much fewer daily runs.  However, with an early start, you can still make this a day trip from Port Angeles. 

The terminus for Jefferson Route 8 is at the Haines Park in Ride, which is not in downtown Port Townsend.  However, the Port Townsend Visitor Center at 440 12th St, Port Townsend, WA 98368 is next door.  The Rose Theatre at 235 Taylor St, Port Townsend, WA 98368 features excellent documentaries and independent films.  With regards to things to do, Port Townsend boasts too many great restaurants, pubs, and shops to list here and they are located both downtown and uptown.  You may choose to take the Port Townsend ferry as a foot passenger to Coopville on Whidbey Island (look for birds on the way, great alcids!) and then walk around Fort Casey State Park. 

A girl on her bike wearing a helmet smiles with the Empress Hotel in Victoria, Canada in the background

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

If you bring your passport with you on your travels (and, for international travelers, meet visa requirements), you may take a ferry to Victoria from downtown Port Angeles.  The Blackball Ferry Terminal  at 101 E Railroad Ave, Port Angeles, WA 98362, is across from the Gateway Transit Center.  You may board the Coho Ferry as a foot passenger or with a bicycle. 

The Blackball Ferry Terminal in Victoria is at 430 Belleville St, Victoria, BC V8V 1W9, Canada.  Keep in mind that the ferry-ride is 1.5 hours one-way so visiting more distant locations on the Olympic Peninsula by Clallam Transit is a comparable journey time-wise.  You can visit the Port Angeles Victoria Tourist Bureau for ideas of things to do and it is located next to the Port Angeles Visitor Center at 115 E Railroad Ave, Port Angeles, WA 98362

The Royal BC Museum at 675 Belleville St, Victoria, BC V8W 9W2, Canada highlights natural and cultural history.  Noon tea time is taken quite seriously in Victoria, with some tea rooms requesting that you make a reservation.  You can get more information about things to do in Victoria at Tourism Victoria, which is nearby at 812 Wharf St, Victoria, BC V8W 1T3, Canada

Lodging without Wheels:  Downtown Port Angeles Lodging

Port Angeles Hotel Name(s) Downtown Address Information about Hotel Nearby Grocery Store(s) with Deli and Coffee Nearby Coffee Shop(s) Nearby Downtown Port Angeles Restaurant(s)
Red Lion Hotel 221 N Lincoln St, Port Angeles, WA 98362 on waterfront, some rooms have views, large hotel, space for conventions Safeway (uphill) or Country Aire Natural Foods Bada Bean NW or Easy Street Coffee and Teahouse Crabhouse (attached to Red Lion) or your choice of Thai, Crepes, or Bistro across the street
Port Angeles Inn and Quality Inn Uptown (hotels are adjacent) 101 and 111 E 2nd St, Port Angeles, WA 98362 both hotels are perched above downtown with a nearby pedestrian stairway or ramp access to downtown, both are small and quiet, some rooms have views Country Aire Natural Foods (downtown) or Safeway Bada Bean NW (downtown) or Bella Rosa Many nearby downtown options, especially if you can navigate the stairs

Meals without Wheels:  Downtown Port Angeles Restaurants

The Strait Slice Pizza, 121 W 1st St, Port Angeles, WA 98362, Lunch and Dinner (Excellent!)

First Street Haven, 107 E 1st St, Port Angeles, WA 98362, Breakfast and Brunch, Baked Goods (Cinnamon Rolls!)

Spruce, 128 E Front St, Port Angeles, WA 98362, Dinner, Vegetarian Options and Locally-Sourced (Best Grilled Cheese!)

New Day Eatery, 102 W Front St, Port Angeles, WA 98362, Breakfast and Lunch, Gluten-Free, Vegan, and Vegetarian Options

Turnip the Beet, 130 E Front Street, Port Angeles, WA 98362, Lunch and Dinner, Locally-Sourced

Kokopeli Grill and Coyote BBQ Pub, 201 & 203 E Front St, Port Angeles, WA 98362, Lunch and Dinner, Seafood and Steakhouse

Bella Italia, 118 E 1st St, Port Angeles, WA 98362, Dinner, Italian Bistro

Michael's Seafood and Steakhouse, 117 E 1st St, Port Angeles, WA 98362, Dinner, Family-Friendly

Jasmine Bistro, 222 N Lincoln St, Port Angeles, WA 98362, Lunch and Dinner, Thai

Next Door Gastropub, 113 W 1st St, Port Angeles, WA 98362, Lunch and Dinner, Pub and Restaurant

La Belle Creperie, 222 N Lincoln St, Port Angeles, WA 98362, Breakfast and Lunch, French

DownRigger's Waterfront Restaurant, The Landing Mall, 115 E Railroad Ave, Port Angeles, WA 98362, Lunch and Dinner, Seafood

H2O Waterfront Bistro, 222 N Lincoln St, Port Angeles, WA 98362, Lunch and Dinner, Pub-Style Food

Dynasty Chinese, 136 E 1st St, Port Angeles, WA 98362, Lunch and Dinner, Chinese

Crabhouse Red Lion Hotel Port Angeles, 221 N Lincoln St, Port Angeles, WA 98362, All Meals, Seafood

Smugglers Landing Restaurant, The Landing Mall, 115 E Railroad Ave, Port Angeles, WA 98362, All Meals, Seafood

Port Angeles, Seattle, and Forks, Washington climate citation

Western Regional Climate Center (Accessed February 22, 2014).