331 Things to Do in Port Angeles, Washington – #88 Family Frolics
Follow a Frolicking Family of Four As They Explore Port Angeles and the Olympic National Park for the First Time.
Check out the Knott Family’s list of tips and recommendations for kids activities and family fun!
Meet the Knott Family. This adventurous family of four was seeking a new place to call home, so they set out on an exploratory pilgrimage in 2018 to several new cities and states across the U.S. in search of a place to settle in and put down new roots.
Visit Port Angeles invited them to the North Olympic Peninsula to check out Port Angeles for a long weekend … and here’s what they thought of it.
Meet the Knott Family
Kileigh (mom): A hippy at heart, loving all things nature. She is very driven to succeed and also a dreamer, planning out every step along the way.
Levi (dad): A laid back realist who oozes calm energy and is most at home in the outdoors and away from the concrete jungle.
Claire (daughter, age 5): To know her is to love her. She has never met a stranger and wants to be a rockstar princess when she grows up. She is a 5 year old with the soul of a grandmother. She loves to invent and create and can often be found thumbing through the recycling bin looking for just the right material for her latest creation.
Henry (son, age 2): He is your prototypical momma’s boy. A sensitive little guy with a bit of a loud and rowdy side. He loves his dinosaurs and to cut loose and dance anywhere, anytime. This toe-headed boy will do anything for a sugary treat.
Activities to Do with Kids: Where They Went & What They Did
Sun Up Seaside Strolls
For family strolls, the Olympic Discovery Trail (ODT) — a paved walking and biking path — runs right in front of the Red Lion Hotel and continues along the downtown Port Angeles waterfront all the way out to Ediz Hook, a scenic sandspit with some of the best views of the City, Victoria, B.C. and the Olympic mountains. Head east towards Sequim along the ODT for more sea views, creeks and secret beaches. This trail is ideal for family time walks, runs and biking. The Red Lion Hotel has a couple of cruiser bikes you can use, or rent bikes at nearby Sound Bikes & Kayaks. They even have e-bikes (electric bikes) available so you can tackle longer distances in a cinch.
Feiro Marine Life Center
This little marine life aquarium in downtown Port Angeles lets you look and touch local sea life. The Feiro Marine Life Center is always fun and educational for all ages. All of the marine life is from the Strait of Juan de Fuca — they are not brought in from elsewhere like most aquariums. You can also meet their resident Octopus!
Beach Front Play
From their hotel room at the Red Lion Hotel, they were able to romp and roam at Hollywood Beach in the sand, swing from the playground equipment, and even climb an artsy Octopus.
Shopping in Downtown Port Angeles
Port Angeles’ downtown area is chock full of fun shops. The Knott Family shopped for souvenirs and toys. Henry might’ve had a treat at a candy bar, too.
“Henry picked out a little dinosaur truck toy. He was very close to buying a bag of fake roaches but changed his mind at the last minute. A choice he is not impressed by today as he still talks about going back there to get his roaches. Claire picked out a beach toy set to play in the sand: bucket, shovels, molds, and sand sifter. She also was able to get an adorable pink and cream sun hat with a large flower stitched to it.”
Refueling was necessary in between family fun activities. And it’s easy to do in downtown Port Angeles. There are plenty of restaurants and cafes to grab a delicious meal or healthy snack. The Knott Family noshes at Bada NW on freshly baked chocolate chips cookies, a hot ham and cheese pocket, yogurt parfait with homemade granola, and a couple of caffeinated coffee beverages for mom and dad.
Sunset at Hurricane Ridge
Before heading to dinner, the Knott Family went up to Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park to watch the sun sink into the Strait of Juan de Fuca. There are a number of short walks and hikes from the Hurricane Ridge Lodge area perfect for little kids. There’s a good chance you’ll spot wildlife like deer and marmots, too. After a long day, dinner was grabbing a pizza to-go from Westside Pizza (cheese for the kiddos and BBQ Chicken for mom and dad) to take back to the hotel for a good night’s sleep.
According to the Knott Family (In their Words)
1) What was your favorite thing to do in Port Angeles?
Claire: “I Liked the beach that we could walk to from the hotel, obviously.”
Henry: “The yellow, orange, brown, purple leaves. The big leaves that are on the road, in the grass, and on the sidewalk that we pick up and give to mom.”
Kileigh: “My favorite hike was around Crescent Lake up to Marymere Falls. It was a rainy day but under the trees we stayed plenty dry. The terrain is an easy hike, until the very end where you climb stairs to get to the falls overlook. We spent about two hours hiking around collecting HUGE leaves, splashing in puddles, and enjoying nature.”
Levi: “Ediz Hook. It is calming to drive out there (5 minute drive) and watch the seals, sea otters, look for crabs under the rocks, watch the ships, and just comb the beach for random treasures. You can see the mountains and Victoria B.C. across the water on a clear day all while relaxing by the water.”
2) What was your favorite place to eat at in Port Angeles?
Claire: “You know that breakfast place, that had the bar seats.” (LaBelle Creperie)
Henry: “My alligator donut store.”
(Kileigh explains … “We ate donuts one morning from Num Num Donuts. They have a little kids table and toy area, where Henry found an alligator. He played with it while we were there and then hid it when it was time for us to leave so that other kids wouldn’t steal it while he was not there to play.”
3) What Were Your Favorite Views?
“Levi’s favorite view was hands down the incredible view from the visitors center at Hurricane Ridge. Seemed like you could see forever. It is an area you can see elk, deer, bears, goats, etc. at any given moment. He cannot wait to go back and spend the day exploring the area.”
Kileigh says her “…favorite view was the Elwha River Valley by Madison Creek Falls. The drive is just right out of town, maybe 10 miles if that. When you turn the corner to park at the trailhead the river comes into view and it really is just gorgeous.”
4) What’s Your Advice for a First Time Visit to Port Angeles?
“Come visit! The Red Lion is a wonderful central place to stay and walk around to explore the downtown area. Make sure to plan enough time to explore everything. At least one full day for Hurricane Ridge is a must. Treat yourself to a waterfront eatery for dinner to enjoy the sunset over the water. Hikes are endless, pick a few! Check out the Dungeness Spit. Dress in layers, the breeze off the water and the temperature dips a bit as the sun goes down. Shop the farmers market on Saturday morning. It is full of local produce options to snack on throughout your stay.”
5) And Where Did You Choose to Relocate To?
Port Angeles, Washington!
Kileigh says “It (Port Angeles) is very much a small town feel here. Very friendly people. No matter where you are, you have a view of the water and/or the mountains, it just can’t be beat. The food scene is pretty impressive, organic vegan options and quite the variety. Port Angeles just has a good feel, a calming energy, which is a huge reason we have chosen this town to be our home. From the moment we arrived here, it has just felt right for us.”
You can read all about the rest of their Port Angeles and Olympic National Park adventures on their blog. And here’s the blog post where the Knott Family unveils their big announcement about moving to Port Angeles.
6) What’s Next on the Exploration List for Port Angeles?
“We are looking forward to attending the Dungeness Crab Festival. Getting outside and hiking more around the area. Levi is looking forward to hunting and fishing and sharing his love of nature with the kids.”
Photos by Visit Port Angeles / M. Krueger Photography