While the many parks within the city limits of Seattle have much to offer, nothing can compare to the UNESCO World Heritage Site just across the water. Covering more than 1 million acres of the Washington State Peninsula, Olympic is home to rare temperate rainforest found almost nowhere else on Earth. 95% of the park is designated as wilderness and is home to stunning coastlines and spectacular wildlife. Get a taste in the video below (Credit: National Geographic).
Most visitors access the park via Port Angeles on U.S. Route 101. It is about a 2 1/2 hour journey from the city: 35 minutes on the ferry, and an hour and 40 minutes of driving. The park's main visitor center is located here, and it serves as an excellent starting point for discovering all the park has to offer. It is usually open 8 AM to 5 PM, though its hours vary by season, so be sure to check before you visit.
Given its vastness, it may be difficult to know where to begin exploring the park. Must-see destinations include the Hoh Rainforest, Hurricane Ridge, Ruby Beach, and Lake Crescent. Trying to decide? Learn more below.