Dungeness Spit on the Olympic Peninsula... can you see the light house in the distance? Credit: Frank Fujimoto/Flickr CC
Fun in the rain shadow: scenic Sequim
Want to get farther out? Head northwest on Highway 101; about 45 miles from Dosewallips you’ll be in Sequim. (Tip: It's pronounced "skwim".) Located in what is known as the Olympic rain shadow, Sequim enjoys a drier, brighter climate than the rest of the peninsula. Lavender and U-pick berry farms are plentiful out here and offer a great way to spend a lazy day.
For camping, we love Sequim Bay State Park, a prime spot to hop on the Olympic Discovery Trail, a 130-mile bike path stretching from Port Townsend all the way to the Pacific Ocean. A great starter ride is to cycle 5.9 miles on a section of the trail from Sequim Bay to Railroad Bridge Park on the Dungeness River, where you can skip rocks all afternoon.
A few miles north of Sequim, the Dungeness Recreation Area is a 216-acre county park on the Sound with a popular campground. Spend a day hiking the world-famous Dungeness Spit, a 5.5-mile stretch of driftwood-strewn beach that “spits” out from the mainland. If you make it all the way to the end and back — a hefty 11 miles — you’ll be rewarded with a free lighthouse tour and very tired children.
Another Sequim highlight is the Olympic Game Farm. A little like a zoo, a little like Disneyland’s Autopia, the game farm is basically a driving tour of animals. Buy a loaf of bread (or three) with your admission and drive (slowly) though herds of llama, elk, bison, grizzly bears and other intimidatingly fragrant animals. Watch sibling bonding skyrocket as friendly llamas stick their heads through the backseat windows in search of a tasty treat. You may have to wash bison slobber off the car, but this is one adventure your kids will never forget.