Depending on where you’re coming from on the Olympic Peninsula, the trip to Seattle is between 82 to 140 miles and takes anywhere from 2 to 3.5 hours.

From Forks, Port Angeles, or Port Townsend on the northern Olympic Peninsula, follow U.S. 101 east to State Route 104, which runs 14 miles east to the Hood Canal Bridge. Cross the floating bridge and continue east for 9 miles on small, sometimes-winding State Route 104 through Port Gamble and to Kingston.

Brick buildings at the waterfront of Port Townsend, Washington.

Port Townsend, Washington. Photo © Travis Manley/123rf.

Board the Washington State Ferry to Edmonds, a community just north of Seattle’s city boundaries. From the ferry dock in Edmonds, take State Route 104 east for 5 miles to I-5, and then follow I-5 south for 13 miles to Seattle.

From Aberdeen on the southern Olympic Peninsula, follow State Route 8 east for 50 miles to Olympia. In Olympia, merge onto I-5 north and drive 60 miles to Seattle.

Winged Victory, a bronze monument to WW1 in Oympia Washington.

Winged Victory by Alonzo Victor Lewis in Olympia, Washington. Photo © Harvey Barrison, licensed Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike.

Stopping in Olympia

Right on I-5 and sitting at the bottom tip of Puget Sound is the capital city of Olympia, with a thriving downtown district, including the Olympia Farmers Market (700 Capitol Way N, 360/352-9096, 10am-3pm Thurs.-Sun. Apr.-Oct., 10am-3pm Sat.-Sun. Nov.-Dec.), hawking fresh berries and local meats.


Excerpted from the First Edition of Moon Pacific Northwest Road Trip.