Aberdeen (Washington)

'Come as you are' in honor of Kurt Cobain

Aberdeen is a city in the Olympic Peninsula region of Washington. The city is the economic center of Grays Harbor County, bordering the cities of Hoquiam and Cosmopolis. The population was 16,461 according to the 2000 census.


Aberdeen is called the "Gateway to the Olympic Peninsula," because of its proximity to the southern end of the peninsula and to Olympic National Park. In recent history Aberdeen has become more famous as being the "Birthplace of Grunge," and the hometown of Nirvana members Kurt Cobain and Krist Novoselic. A sign welcoming visitors to Aberdeen proclaims "Come As You Are" as a tribute to the band. Although it's hard to imagine today, at one point Aberdeen was a notorious Western outpost at the turn of the 20th century, with a number of saloons, brothels, and gambling halls in and around the town. Because of the wild atmosphere associated with these establishments, Aberdeen was nicknamed "The Hellhole of the Pacific."

Get in

By plane

The nearest major airport for commercial flights is Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (IATA: SEA), which is about 80 miles away. While it's possible to get to Aberdeen via a number of different bus routes, your best bet is to rent a car, especially if you are using Aberdeen as a jumping point into Olympic National Park as public transportation inside the park is unavailable.

By car

From Seattle, Interstate 5 provides access to Olympia, where you can take US Hwy 101, which becomes State Route 8 after passing the Shelton Exit into or along U.S. Route 12 from Exit #88 (especially if coming from south of Olympia) west into the city.

By bus

If traveling into Aberdeen without a car from Sea-Tac take:

The Aberdeen (bus) Station for Grays Harbor Transit and Pacific Transit occupies an entire city block at Wishkah & G Streets, across the street from Rite Aid in downtown Aberdeen:

Get around

By bus


The Lady Washington under sail

Aberdeen is well known for its lovely harbor, spread glittering and gray along the west edge of town, where the bay bobs with sailboats and speed cruisers.



downtown Aberdeen




Go next

Aberdeen has been referred to as the 'Gateway to the Olympic Peninsula' and is a great stop off before venturing into this impressive range. The Olympic Peninsula is home to some of the few temperate rain forests in the world, including the Hoh, Queets, and Quinault. The Olympic mountain range sits in the center of the Olympic Peninsula. This range is the second largest in Washington State. Its highest peak is Mt. Olympus.

Routes through Aberdeen

END  W  E  Montesano Olympia via
Port Angeles Hoquiam  N  S  Jct ERaymond Astoria

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Saturday, March 12, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.