Port Angeles is the largest city in the Olympic Peninsula region of Washington, dubbed as the "Center of it All" for the specific part of the state. It is the county seat of Clallam County. It's a great place to start for a day trip to Hurricane Ridge or a vacation to explore all of the Olympic National Park. Outdoor sports like kayaking, biking or hiking are very popular. Many quaint shops attract shoppers downtown and the expansive waterfront provides relaxation. With ferries coming and going all day, Port Angeles is the departure point for a trip to Victoria (British Columbia). Beautiful Pacific beaches are nearby and the lavender fields and berry farms of Sequim beckon all summer. Port Angeles is the place to be when it comes to experiencing all that the Olympic Peninsula has to offer.
Travelers from Seattle or points north can get into the area in just 2 hours using a ferry from Edmonds to Kingston, and then continuing to Washington State Route 104 before merging with Highway 101. Travelers from south of Seattle can take the Interstate 5, exit to Highway 16, before merging with the Highway 101 portion that goes along the Hood Canal. Travelers from Olympia or points south can get off I-5 at Hwy 101 and follow Hwy 101 through Shelton, Brinon and the Hood Canal up to Port Angeles.
The William R. Fairchild International Airport (IATA: CLM) is located on the west side of the city. Currently, the airport is used primarily for charter and general aviation purposes. The next nearest airports for commercial flights are Victoria International Airport (IATA: YYJ) in Sidney, BC, 27km north of Victoria; and Seattle Tacoma International Airport (IATA: SEA) in Seattle. Be sure to have the proper travel documents to cross the border between Canada and the United States if arriving and/or departing through Victoria.
Port Angeles has a direct connection to Victoria, BC at Canada's Vancouver Island. One can also get to the roads towards Port Angeles after using the Washington State Ferries that dock at Port Townsend or Kingston.
- MV Coho by Blackball Transport, 101 E Railroad, Port Angeles WA 98362, ☎ +1 360 457-4491. operates a vehicle service from Victoria (British Columbia), 2 to 4 times a day depending on the season. The Coho itself, being a classic 1959 ferry, practically makes the journey worth it. $63 for car and driver (0-18ft)+$5.25 per lineal ft over 18ft. $18 per adult passenger & $9 per child..
- Washington State Ferries, ☎ +1 206 464-6400, toll-free: +1-800-843-3779. The nearest ferry terminals to Port Angeles are:
Port Angeles Boat Haven is nestled in the nook of Ediz Hook and is a direct route from Victoria (British Columbia). It is a perfect stop over for boaters plying the waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and Puget Sound.
The main bus station is at the downtown Gateway (bus) Transit Center for Clallam Transit and Olympic Bus Lines at 123 E Front St, at Front & Lincoln, a couple blocks SE of the ferry terminal. Buses travel along US Hwy 101 between Forks, Port Angeles & Sequim. They do NOT go into the Olympic National Park itself, up into Hurricane Ridge from town or the Olympic National Forest. They can only drop off along the main road and it is up to the individual to hike into the park or arrange other transportation into the park:
- Clallam Transit provides local bus services in town (Rts #20-26); to Forks (#14), Sequim (#30), Joyce & Lyre River(#10) and Neah Bay (#14 to the US Hwy 101/SR 113 junction in Sappho and the #16 bus to Neah Bay from Sappho). Routes #10, 14 and 30 also make local stops on their way into and out of town.
- Jefferson Transit travels along Hwy 101 between Forks and Amanda Park/Amanda Mercantile on the Olympic Connections line and between Sequim and Port Townsend on Rt #8. To continue to Seattle transfer to the #7 bus in Port Townsend to Poulsbo. In Poulsbo transfer to Kitsap TransitRt#90 to the Bainbridge Island Ferry terminal and take the ferry into downtown Seattle. Take the Link Light Rail to continue from downtown Seattle to the airport. Likewise take the #92 bus from Poulsbo to the Kingston ferry if going to Edmonds, Lynnwood or Everett. Takes longer but also the cheapest and more frequent option to travel between Port Angeles and Seattle without car.
- Dungeness Line operated by Olympic Bus Lines, (bus stop) Gateway Transit Center @ 123 E Front St. Operates the Dungeness Line route from Sea-Tac and Seattle to Port Townsend, Sequim and Port Angeles. The bus goes across the Puget Sound on the Edmonds-Kingston ferry and is the most direct way to travel between Seattle and the Olympic Peninsula by bus. Connections with Amtrak, Greyhound, Sound Transit and other transportation services are in Seattle.
- Rocket Transportation, ☎ +1 877 697-6258 (Monday-Friday 8AM-5PM; Saturday 10AM-2PM). Door to door service in the Olympic Peninsula (Port Angeles, Sequim, Forks) from Sea-Tac From $66 to $150 one way, 30% discount for additional persons with one full fare passenger.
The Olympic Discovery Trail heads west from Port Townsend. As of 2011 it is under construction, but reaches Port Angeles, and beyond to Lake Crescent. The section east of Port Angeles is an well marked car free trail, much of which is paved, and easy to traverse on a loaded touring bicycle. West of Port Angeles is the "adventure" part of the trail, for which a cross-country mountain bike is recommended. The trail is non-technical single track, making it an introductory level XC, challenging but doable on a loaded touring bicycle.
Public transportation is provided by Clallam Transit. The fare for each bus ride is $1 for adults, $0.50 for youth and seniors with a Regional Reduced Fare Permit card. The bus service goes as far as Forks and Sequim!
By & large, most visitors go to and around the town by car, especially those who would venture far out into the Olympic National Park or anywhere off the Hwy 101 corridor. Parking is generally easy to find, but the downtown area only allows 2 hours of street parking. Taking the bus up here (see 'By bus' under 'Getting in' in the above) from Sea-Tac and renting car here may cheaper than renting a car at the airport, especially with the 12% airport surcharge, and driving up here especially. Check the car rental companies' websites for rate differences between renting at the airport, somewhere in Seattle or Port Angeles. Avis & Budget are located next door to the Gateway Bus Transit Center while Enterprise is located several blocks east on E 1st St.
- Avis, 111 E Front St (Next to Gateway Bus Transit Center @ Front & Lincoln), ☎ +1 360 452-4776.
- Budget, 111 E Front St (Next to Gateway Bus Transit Center @ Front & Lincoln), ☎ +1 360 452-4774.
- Enterprise, 902 E 1st St, Unit D (Located behind Capital Advance Cash Checking & Payday Loans at First & S Racine towards alley.). Call for a pick-up at the Gateway bus transit center or the ferry terminal. Otherwise take the #30 bus going out to Sequim to get here. +1 360 417-3083.
- Olympic National Park
- Ediz Hook
- Olympic Discovery Trail
- Hurricane Ridge
- Deer Park
- Rialto Beach
- San Juan Islands
- Strait of Juan de Fuca
Quaint shops located downtown.
Numerous places to dine or to just grab a bite to eat.
- Frugals, 1527 East First St, ☎ +1 360-417-3958. This is a true classic American drive-thru. You will be instantly transported back to your childhood by the sights and most importantly the smells of the great food cooking there.
- Golden Gate Chinese Restaurant, 106 West Front St, ☎ +1 360-457-6944. If you are looking for great American style Chinese then look no further. They have a great feel and atmosphere to them and the food is second to none.
Water and stuff
- Thor Town International Hostel, 316 N Race St, ☎ +1 360 452-0931. Check-in: (May be permanently closed??), check-out: noon.
- George Washington Inn, 939 Finn Hall Rd, ☎ +1 360 452-5207. A replica of George Washington's home located along the Strait of Juan de Fuca between Sequim and Port Angeles. $175-$300.
- Sequim - As one of Port Angeles' next door neighbors, it is a bit more rural and still offers somewhat of a small-town atmosphere.
- Forks - Take the Olympic Loop for a scenic drive around the Olympic Peninsula, including the Hoh Rain Forest and Stephenie Meyers' 'Twilight' town of Forks.
|Routes through Port Angeles|
|Aberdeen ← Forks ←||W E||→ Sequim → Olympia|
|END ← Neah Bay ←||W E||→ END|