Awhile back Evergreen Escapes, a travel company that hosts responsible nature tours in the Pacific Northwest, invited me to join them for a day trip to the Olympic Peninsula. Having never been there, I went into the trip with hardly any expectations of the region. I can happily say that at the end of the day I was a total Olympic Peninsula (and Evergreen Escapes) convert! The tour was incredibly informative, exciting and inspiring and I’ve been recommending that people check it out if they’re interested in learning more about what makes the Seattle area so special.
The full-day tours generally start out pretty early but Evergreen makes a number of stops around downtown to pick up tourists at their hotels so it’s super convenient, especially if you’re not familiar with the city. From there, you’ll board the ferry and cross the Sound to begin the trip. I won’t lie – a great deal of the day is spent in the car but the stops along the way make for a phenomenal experience none-the-less. Among our stops was a Native American art museum, a stunning beach spotted with washed-up cedar logs and a hike to an amazing natural waterfall. Perhaps because it was winter, there was only one other person joining my day excursion so we were able to make the most of our time and drive out to the hot springs which was an added bonus!
For me, one of the most exciting parts of the day was spotting and learning about the wildlife. In addition to black-tailed deer, seeing seven bald eagles definitely topped my list of highlights from the tour. Our guide, who was insanely well-versed in the different species of plants and animals, answered all of my questions (of which there were many!) and offered fun insights throughout the day. I have to admit that I stole some of his wisdom and could be heard proudly spouting off nature tips to my boyfriend for weeks afterward. For example, did you know that orcas are actually dolphins? Or that they go through super clumsy “teenage” years when their dorsal fins point in every direction except for straight up? I also learned about native species of trees and plants as well as invasive species that are threatening the eco-systems here in the Northwest. Being from the East Coast, I was completely in awe of the wet forests and heavy moss carpeting the trees. Having never seen anything remotely like that before, I felt like I was in a fairytale.
I’m already planning my next Evergreen Escapes tour for this summer. Though they have a number of half-and full-day trips listed on their website, I’m thinking the Woodinville wine expedition is definitely calling my name. And with Evergreen behind the wheel, my friends and I won’t even have to worry about finding a designated driver!
Ready to plan your getaway? This weekend Evergreen is making it even easier to join them for a tour. In honor of Earth Day, they’re offering 50% off on selected tours! To snag the deal, call 206-650-5795 and mention The Flying Salmon.
Have you ever taken a tour of the Olympic Peninsula? What did you think? Would you recommend it to people visiting Seattle?