Olympic Peninsula - Travel Information

Most out-of-state visitors fly into the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and rent a car for their local transportation. From Seattle, there are four different routes that you can take to get to Forks, Washington. We borrowed this nice little map from the Washington State Ferries. It provides all the ferry routes across Puget Sound and some highway information if you elect to drive to Forks.

The most direct route, although it's not necessarily the shortest in travel time, is to take a Washington State Ferry from either Seattle to Bainbridge Island or, further to the north, from Edmonds to Kingston. Once you are on the other side, follow the road signs to Port Angeles via the Hood Canal Floating Bridge and Hwy 101. Continue on through Port Angeles on Hwy 101 to Forks. The travel time is about three hours not including waiting in the ferry line and the ferry crossing time. To us 'natives', waiting for ferry service is a sore point and we have learned to plan things around the ferry schedules. You should check the ferry schedules before you depend on them to get you across Puget Sound in a timely matter. If you have never been on the ferry, the experience may well be worth your while. Keep an eye out for marine animals including seals and otters. Sometimes you will have the privilege of seeing a pod of Orca (killer whales) as they travel up and down Puget Sound.

For those of you who want to drive, there are three routes to get you to Forks. All three routes start by driving from Seattle to Tacoma on I-5.

The shortest driving route is to take Hwy 16 from Tacoma to Bremerton, Hwy 3 from Bremerton across the Hood Canal Floating Bridge, and Hwy 101 to Port Angeles and, eventually, to Forks. Since you are still driving through 'civilization' this isn't as scenic as the two longer drives, but it is interesting. This is about a 4 hour drive.

For the second route, which is the longest drive, keep driving from Tacoma to Olympia, head for Shelton, and follow Hwy 101 up the west side of Hood Canal to Port Angeles and Forks. Driving the west side of Hood Canal also provides some beautiful scenery. This is about a 5 hour drive.

For the last route, which may be the most scenic, again drive from Tacoma to Olympia, head west on Hwy 12 to Aberdeen, and take Hwy 101 north to Forks. This route will take you through the lush rain forests of the Olympic Peninsula, as well as past some beautiful ocean views, and provides you with some spectacular scenery. It's about a 5 hour drive, but it's well worth it if you have the time!

No matter how you get to Forks, be sure to 'stop and smell the roses' along the way - especially if you are a first time visitor. You might also want to check The Olympic Peninsula Bed & Breakfast Association's website. They are a very good source for bed & breakfasts, restaurants, and sightseeing attractions for the entire Olympic Peninsula.

Alaska Airlines 800-252-7522
America West Airlines 800-235-9292
American Airlines 800-433-7300
Delta Airlines 800-221-1212
Northwest Airlines 800-225-2525
Southwest Airlines 800-435-9792
Rental Cars:
Alamo 800-462-5266
Avis 800-230-4898
Budget 800-527-0700
Hertz 800-654-3131
Enterprise 800-325-8007

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