Nestled at the foot of the Olympic Mountains in Washington State is Port Angeles, a picturesque town known by many as the Gateway to Olympic National Park. Visitors and residents alike appreciate the natural, serene environment that combines the evergreen mountain air with fresh, salty seawater from the Strait of Juan de Fuca truly making this destination a breath of fresh air.
(Photo via Port Angeles Downtown)
What you may not know is the Olympic Peninsula is also home to at least 8 wineries open to the public. In other words, you can ski or hike Hurricane Ridge in the morning and enjoy a glass of wine at Camaraderie Cellars in the afternoon! Or, if you’re up for it, take a long weekend and visit all 8 wineries!
Port Angeles is home to Harbinger Winery, Camaraderie Cellars, Black Diamond Winery, and Olympic Cellars. Located an hour east is Port Townsend, known for its restored Victorian homes and beautiful downtown. There you’ll find Eaglemount Wine & Cider, Sorensen Cellars, FairWinds Winery, and Finnriver Farm & Cidery.
We personally recommend a visit to Camaraderie Cellars in Port Angeles and Sorenson Cellars in Port Townsend. And for fellow cider fans… a visit to Alpenfire Cider (formerly Wildfire Cider), also near Port Townsend, is a definitive MUST.
If you only have 3 days for your wine adventure on the Olympic Peninsula, we suggest spending 2 in Port Angeles and the last day in Port Townsend before heading back to Seattle or your next destination. This will give you an opportunity to do some sightseeing between wineries. Because these are small, family-run wineries, don’t forget to call the wineries ahead of time to be sure they’ll be open during your visit.
Other things to do/see in Port Angeles:
Olympic National Park: Drive up to Hurricane Ridge for stunning views, skiing, or some of the best hiking in Washington State. Pack a picnic lunch, otherwise there’s an overpriced cafeteria that sells hamburgers, fries, and soup.
Lake Crescent: Also part of Olympic National Park, Lake Crescent lies about 18 miles west of Port Angeles. This lake is another great place for hiking or taking in the natural beauty of Washington State. Check out the Lake Crescent Lodge or The Log Cabin Resort if you’re interested in spending more time in the area. In the summertime, this is a popular swim spot for locals.
Salt Creek State Park: Whether you’re into camping or just want to explore the tide pools, this is a fun family-friendly spot where the kids can roam free.
Great eats in Port Angeles:
Michael’s Seafood & Steakhouse: One of the best restaurants in Port Angeles, Michael offers a gourmet selections and a great Happy Hour menu from 4-6pm daily. The Gnocchi and Baked Brie are personal favorites. As a bonus, there’s local wine on the list! This is always a great option if you can’t make it to a winery but really want to taste the fruits of their labor.
Toga’s Soup House: Once a fancy reservations-only restaurant perfect for an intimate dinner, Toga’s has reinvented itself as a popular lunch spot for soups, salads, and sandwiches. If you’re headed to Camaraderie Cellars, this is a great stopping point along the way.
Frugals: If you’re in the mood for a burger and fries to-go, Frugals is a small retro double drive-in fast food joint that has been an institution in Port Angeles since… well, forever. Their milkshakes are very popular, so check the flavor of the month!
Port Townsend recommendations:
(photo via Puget Sound Express)
The Rose Theater: This unique independent cinema is a must-see if you love beautiful theaters and foreign films. The popcorn is delicious and you can grab a glass of wine!
Fort Worden: A state park and conference center perfect for walks along the two-mile shore line. A lot of weekend art workshops are hosted here, so check local listings for dates.
Great eats in Port Townsend:
The Pizza Factory: This is where you’ll find the best pizza on the Olympic Peninsula. Grab a slice and people watch from a bench on the street.
Alchemy Bistro & Wine Bar: Is a description really necessary? The menu is great (pasta, lamb, seafood), but just remember the wine bar doesn’t open until 4pm. It’s also a nice place to hit up for appetizers and a glass of vino before a movie.
Port Angeles is an easy 2.5 hour drive from Seattle. Or, get there in 20 minutes with a direct flight from Boeing Field with Kenmore Air.
And now off to walk the plank to pop open a bottle of Pirate’s Plank Bone Dry from Alpenfire Cider! I challenge you to find a cider that we’d enjoy more…