Northwest Coast

The tip of the Olympic Peninsula, Cape Flattery (named by Captain Cook in 1778), is as far northwest as you can go in the continental United States. The drive along the northwestern coast (Route 112) is one of our favorites - sheltered coves, rocks with trees sprouting on top, wildflowers along the side of the road, deserted beaches.

Makah Cultural Center (Neah Bay) - The Makah Cultural Center is like a Pompeii for the indigenous Makah people. Five hundred years ago, the village at Ozette was buried in mud, preserving wooden and bark artifacts, and their way of life. Inside the museum, step into a full-size replica of a long house, reach out to touch furs, dried fish and woven mats. Check out dugout canoes for whaling, seal and salmon fishing. Display cases are filled with beautifully-worked wooden bows and arrows, spears, furniture, toys. Dolls are dressed in bark capes, blankets, skirts, ponchos and hats, sea otter blankets, all traditional Makah clothing. The museum, open daily, is well worth a visit for a first-hand experience of the "The People Who Live by the Rocks and Seagulls."
Cape Flattery - A well-maintained trail with boardwalks, railings and wooden observation decks makes the hike to the tip of Cape Flattery easy for kids, even younger ones. It's a little more than half a mile out to end of the headland. From the observation decks you'll see the lonely lighthouse on Tatoosh Island, rocky cliffs like fingers reaching into the ocean, mysterious sea caves, and an endless horizon out to sea. There are picnic tables, so bring lunch for a memorable picnic.
Tip: The roads out to Neah Bay and Cape Flattery are slow going, so plan to make a day of it, don't try to squeeze the northwest coast along with other excursions in Olympic National Park.
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