Dog-Friendly Adventures · Travel

2 SUVs. 9 People. 3 Dogs. 2 Coolers. 3 Ferries. 16 Hours.

I stole that title from my Aunt. She text me that a couple days ago. That was all.
She was writing with endearment about our recent family vacation to the coast of Washington. It was truly a blessed day. With my family living in various parts of the country, it isn’t often that we are able to get together anymore. We can’t simply walk down the street for dinner, or meet in the morning for coffee.
It doesn’t happen.
Lives are hectic. People work and have their own interests. People move. Before we know it, 10 months have gone by and we’ve barely spoken to family over the phone.
So last week, some very important people in my life came to visit. My grandmother, my aunt and my cousin flew out to Seattle for vacation. So all of them, and all of us (me and Lance, my sister and her wife, and my niece) had a 2 night sleep-over at a my sisters house. Since my cousin had never seen the ocean before, the 9 of us, ranging in ages from 2 to 72, braved the 4 hour journey to the coast.
We packed up the Yukon and the Outback. We loaded coolers, chairs, beach towels and soccer balls. The Olympic Peninsula is HUGE and there is so much beautiful things to be seen, so I think we did pretty well considering the vast range of interests 9 people can have.
1. Take a Ferry Ride. Or 3. 
  • The views are gorgeous and make for great photo ops! Plus, its a Seattle right-of-passage and seems totally necessary
  • Pups have to stay in the car, but its typically cool enough to leave them for a bit.
  • Living north of the city, we took the Mukilteo Ferry to Whidbey Island. If you get there when the tide is low, there is a couple of dog-friendly areas to do some tide-pooling. We were able to see some jelly-fish at the ferry docks, but Double Bluff Dog Beach is a win if you have the time.
  • Ferry #2. Whidbey Island to Port Townsend has beautiful mountain views, and one of the boats has puzzles to work on! A nice touch to bring a sense of community to the boats. PROTIP: You can reserve spots on this ferry until 2 hours before it departs. It is a smaller ferry, so this is probably a good idea. This ferry also doesn’t depart if the tide is low, so check the ferry webpage for updates!

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2. Check out a Lavender Farm
  • Follow Highway 20 West from Port Townsend to Highway 101 toward Port Angeles.
  • Sunshine Herb and Lavender Farm is along the highway. You can’t miss it. Dogs can’t get out at this stop, but its quick to walk around and check out the gift shop. Plus, it smells amaaaazing. 
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3. Picnic Lunch at Sequim State Park
  • The beach is rocky, but it is dog-friendly and the little ones can do some crab-hunting.
  • There are several areas to have a picnic. If you’re in our family, we just unload the entire cooler and have a buffet of whatever we can find.
  • If you’re a coffee-lover like me, Port Angeles is a great place to stop. I’m sure there are several coffee-shops, but we stopped at Common Grounds Cafe. It is a house-turned-coffee shop. There is a nice patio area, they have a full food menu and beer. We just got coffee, but the food looked delicious and it would be a great lunch spot if you’re not into cooler-packing like we are.

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4. Lake Crescent
  • Highway 101 is again, beautiful. There are several turn-outs for photos and scenery.
  • The lake is deep, clear blue. It reminded me of Lake Tahoe in California. I am very excited to plan a weekend there.
  • If scenery isn’t your thing, this is a great time for a nap.
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5. Rialto Beach.
  • Continue on Highway 101 until Forks where you will pick up Highway 110 West toward the beach.
  • This is another rocky beach, but it is dog-friendly. We played catch with all the boys and let them enjoy the water a bit. But please be careful. It is the ocean and we must respect the water.
  • The family read, played football and made some sand castles.
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We crammed a lot in to a short amount of time, but it was a pretty perfect day. There was singing, dancing, musical chairs, good food and great conversation. No better way I can think of to spend a gorgeous summer day with my family.

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