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Bird Watching on the Olympic Peninsula

If there was ever a place to go bird watching, it is on the Olympic Peninsula.

Just a few nights ago I was enjoying an evening walk as I observed a bald eagle perched on a rooftop and blue herons majestically soaring overhead. And as I make my daily commute, I see Trumpeter Swans foraging in the Chimacum Valley farm fields. These gifts of Mother Nature are amazing sights, to say the least.

In addition to bald eagles and blue herons, expect to spot loons, ring-billed gulls, belted kingfishers, and northwestern crows to name a few. Over 300 species of birds live on the Olympic Peninsula and with so many birding opportunities available – here are a few of our favorites.

Get a new perspective out on Ludlow Bay

Ludlow Bay is the perfect place to kayak, paddleboard, birdwatch and enjoy Port Ludlow from a new perspective. From the comfort of your watercraft, enjoy Mother Nature at her finest. Relax and breathe in the fresh air as you watch the eagles soar and blue herons dive headfirst into the water in search for food.

Port Ludlow is also home to Purple Martins aka Pronge subis arboricola. Purple Martins are the largest member of the swallow family in the United States and nest in trees or gourds placed near the water to protect the species. Purple Martins west of the Rocky Mountains rely on human-supplied housing for survival. Keep your eyes out at the Port Ludlow Marina for gourds specifically placed for Purple Martins. A community member and Purple Martin enthusiast puts the gourds out yearly to protect the mosquito eating bird species.

BirdFest

The 14th annual Olympic Peninsula BirdFest is coming up in just a few weeks during the weekend of April 7th – 9th. The festival provides an opportunity for residents and visitors alike to see firsthand the variety of birds that live on the Olympic Peninsula. The festival features field trips to Sequim Bay, Port Angeles Harbor, Dungeness Spit, and more as well as presentations and workshops.

Mt. Walker

Mt. Walker is a fantastic place to birdwatch. Expect to see birds including Hermit and Townsend’s Warblers, Sooty Grouse, Gray and Steller’s Jays, Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Northern Pygmy Owls, and more. And as a bonus – enjoy the panoramic views of Mt. Rainier, the Puget Sound, and even Seattle!

Bird Migration Cuise

Join Puget Sound Express for a bird migration cruise. The three-hour cruise will take you just outside of Port Townsend to Protection Island – a National Wildlife Refuge. Almost 70% of the nesting seabird population of Puget Sound and the Straits are located on the island. Protection Island also has one of the last two nesting colonies of tufted puffins in the Puget Sound area.

Wednesday Morning Bird Walks

Enjoy a Wednesday Morning Bird Walk at the Dungeness River Audubon Center in Sequim. These guided and informative walks teach visitors about the annual cycle of birds in the area. All ages and exercise levels are invited to attend.

Where is your favorite place to bird watch on the Olympic Peninsula? We would love to hear your stories and see your photos! Share with us on social media: Facebook: @portludlow and Instagram: @theresortatportludlow.

Written by: Kaitlin Chester

7 Reasons to Host your Group Event in Port Ludlow
'Spring Forward' in Port Ludlow

Package & Booking Information

The Experience begins with the Journey

There are numerous ways to arrive in Port Ludlow. Your group may choose a leisurely ride aboard the Washington State Ferries, a seaplane excursion landing in the beautiful Port Ludlow Marina, or a scenic drive through Kitsap County.


Warm and Authentic Staff

Groups are welcomed upon arrival and cared for during their stay. Our staff is committed to the success of your event. The Resort provides a high level of service and hospitality that keeps our guests returning year after year. Ask our Group Sales Team about customizing your meeting to highlight the best of our region and to ensure your team’s experience is memorable.


Meeting Spaces

All of our meeting spaces feature floor-to-ceiling windows that showcase the natural light and beautiful scenery of the Olympic Peninsula.


Farm-to-Table

The Resort’s Executive Chef Dan Ratigan and the culinary team have created fresh and sophisticated menus around the bounty of the local farms. Savor customized banquet menus featuring local, in-season ingredients from farms including Finnriver, Red Dog Farm, Mystery Bay, and more.


Amenities on top of Amenities

The Resort offers complimentary on-site parking and Wi-Fi. You’ll be thrilled to end your day of meetings with a soak in your guest room’s jetted tub or enjoying a glass of local cider or wine by your fireplace.


Activities, Activities, Activities

Begin your day with a round of golf at the Port Ludlow Golf Course, a kayak or stand-up paddle board excursion in Ludlow Bay, or a hike on one of Port Ludlow’s 26 miles of maintained trails. You will be refreshed and ready for your group’s meeting.


Award-Winning Wine
Wine, Waterfront Dining, Resort, Olympic Peninsula

Julie Johnson, The Resort’s Cellar Master, can provide perfectly paired wines and ciders for your group’s custom menus. The Resort’s wine program celebrates the grape and showcases its commitment to its extensive award winning wines. Have the opportunity to venture off-site? Take a few of your fellow group members and explore the Olympic Peninsula Cider Route.

Winter Romance on the Olympic Peninsula
Winter Romance on the Olympic Peninsula

I recently stumbled across a word I had never seen before – apricity. Have you heard it before? It is rather obscure. Miriam Webster defines ‘apricity’ as “the warmth of sun in the winter”.

During this chilly season when the cold lingers and scarves become like a second skin, I find myself searching for the warmth of the sun. I find that warmth in the embrace of my special someone and through adventures with our amazing pup on the Olympic Peninsula.

This winter my fiancé and I have adventured on many, many snowy hikes accompanied by our loyal companion – Chimi the Cattle Dog, made wreaths from foliage foraged from the backyard, enjoyed late nights snuggled up by the fireplace with Finnriver cider and early mornings curled up under the covers with warm cups of coffee, and cooked our favorite comfort foods like tortilla soup and fettuccine alfredo. It has been a beautiful winter season and I look forward to even more winter excursions.

With Valentine’s Day is coming up, here are a few suggestions on how you too can celebrate winter romance and discover your warmth of sun…

  • Adventure to Olympic National Park and enjoy a skiing, snowboarding, or snowshoeing excursion at Hurricane Ridge
  • Celebrate the grape, and cider, during the Wine, Cider, & Chocolate Tour
  • Savor a delicious dinner at The Fireside – enjoy a memorable Valentine’s Day or a make Wednesdays extra special with Dinner For Two Night (every Wednesday in February)
  • Or simply, relax – cozy up with your favorite person next to the fireplace in your guestroom at the Inn at Port Ludlow

How to celebrate winter romance? How do you find the warmth of the sun during the winter? As always, we would love to hear your stories. Connect with us on Instagram (@theresortatportludlow), Facebook (@portludlow), or Twitter (@portludlow) with the hashtag #WinterRomanceinPL

Written by: Kaitlin Chester

Thanksgiving, Pie, Holidays, Resort Dining
Versatile Wines for the Holidays

First, let’s look at your menu. If it’s a buffet-style meal or a table like Thanksgiving, where dishes come in all varieties of savory and sweet with complex herbs and spices, you’ll want to serve lighter-bodied reds and fuller-bodied whites.

Thanksgiving, Pie, Holidays, Resort Dining

The reds should be easy on the tannins and very fruit-forward: think Beaujolais Villages, made from Gamay; an Oregon Pinot Noir or a Burgundy from France; Merlot from Washington state; Nebbiolo from Italy’s Piedmont region; a Bonarda from Argentina; a Dornfelder from Germany.

Wine, Food, Dinner, Olympic Peninsula

For whites, a Kabinett Riesling (or an off-dry style). Riesling is perhaps the most versatile varietal wine out there; it has the weight and complexity to carry any meat-based or highly-flavored main dish, with the acidity to lift dishes heavy in fat, or laden with creamy, cheesy sauces. It plays beautifully with spicy dished, sweet desserts and salty snacks. A dry Gewürztraminer fits the bill beautifully, as well.  I would also reach for Chardonnay, Chenin Blanc, a lilting, fresh Grüner Veltliner , and anything with bubbles, such as an elegant Lambrusco Grasparossa or a Cava from Spain, both inexpensive ways to add some “WOW” to your holiday table.

White Wine, Wine, Dining, Olympic Peninsula

But if the meal calls for a richer, heavier wine- say a beef or lamb roast-seek out a Bordeaux or Côtes du Rhône or a Northwest blend inspired by these French classics. Bordeaux blends feature Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and sometimes Petit Verdot; Côtes du Rhône-styles are often labeled as GSM: a blend of Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre. You cannot go wrong with a Washington state Syrah, a Barolo from Piedmont, Italy, or one of my favorite powerhouses: a Priorat from Spain’s Catalonia region, made from Garnacha (Grenache) and Cariñena (Carignan) grape varieties.

Red Wine, Wine Glass, Dinner, Waterfront Dining

And for dessert, you might want to have some Tawny Port or Pedro Ximénez (PX) Sherry on hand. These are desserts in a bottle in and of themselves (and outrageous with blue cheeses and salty nuts), but also pair gorgeously with holiday treats.

Written by: Julie Johnson

Q&A with Julie Johnson, Cellar Master

The Resort is pleased to announce our new Cellar Master, Julie Johnson.

juliejohnson

Julie grew up in the Pacific Northwest and has a passion for traveling that brought her overseas to teach, learn, and explore abroad. In 2006, she attended culinary school in New Zealand and transitioned into the wine industry. Julie is an author and self-described hiker, yogi, and wine geek. We’re thrilled to welcome Julie as our Cellar Master at The Fireside.

Recently, I had the pleasure of conducting a Q&A with Julie.

Wine, Waterfront Dining, Resort, Olympic Peninsula

What sparked your interest in wine?

Julie: Paris. September 1991. I had just arrived in France to spend my senior year of college at a French university. I was eating dinner with some new friends at a Vietnamese restaurant near the Cité Universitaire and we ordered a bottle of Vouvray to share. I didn’t know that one sip of wine could make my heart soar. Sure, it was a late summer day in the City of Light. Sure, I’d just turned 21 and I was away from home and the United States for the first time. But I’ll never forget that first taste of the sublime.

I’m a writer as well as an oenophile. The stories told in the vineyard and in the bottle never cease to enchant me.

What is your favorite wine? Or, if you could have only one wine for the rest of your life, what would it be and why?

Julie: Believe it or not, that’s an easy one to answer. Pierre Peters Blanc de Blancs. It’s what’s known as a “Grower Champagne”-look for the letters RM or the words Récoltant-Manipulant on the bottle. It means the wine has been created by the grower of the grapes, an unusual occurrence in the Champagne region. These are small batch, hand-crafted Champagnes that are often less expensive than wines from the bigger houses. And always amazing. I never, ever, tire of Champagne.

What is the most versatile wine?

Julie:  See, now I’ll sound like a broken record, but here it is: Sparkling wine goes with everything. Year-round, for any occasion. From nachos to oysters, steak to lamb to fried chicken to chocolate chip cookies to blueberry pie. We don’t drink sparkling wine often enough in the United States- there’s a mistaken notion that it’s for celebrations only. No wine is more food-friendly than wine with bubbles. I’m partial to Cava, Spain’s Méthode Champenoise, and the original sparkling wine, crafted in the Middle Ages in the Languedoc region of southern France­-Blanquette or Crémant de Limoux. But a divine Champagne can make an ordinary meal transcendent.

What are some of your favorite local wines?

Julie: One of my favorite red varietals, hands down, is Cabernet Franc. And one of the best Cabernet Francs I’ve tasted this side of the Loire is the Olympic Peninsula’s own Camaraderie Cellars.

Syncline Cellars in the Columbia Gorge focuses on Rhône varietals such as Grenache, Syrah, Mourvedre, Grenache Blanc, as well as a lovely Pinot Noir. Their wines express a sense of place that takes my breath away. The blend Subduction Red varies every year in variety content, but never in quality. And we’re always thrilled when Scintillation, Syncline’s Blanc de Blancs sparkling wine is released! It’s always in very limited quantities, so it doesn’t last long in our cellars (hint: we’ve got ONE bottle left as we await the next release!).

We’ve just received the latest releases from Washington State’s acclaimed Long Shadows, a winemaker’s dream project. Long Shadows brings together some the world’s top winemakers and gives them access to the best of Washington’s grapes. These winemakers craft unforgettable wines that showcase the diversity and majesty of Washington state terroir.  The wines will cellar for years and we invite you to take a bottle home for your collection, but sharing a bottle over a meal at The Fireside will make for an unforgettable dining experience!

fireside-wine-4

Welcome to the Port Ludlow team, Julie!

Interested in learning more about wine? Make your reservations for the Buty Wine Dinner with winemaker, Nina Buty on January 20th or enjoy a glass of wine at The Fireside from our award-winning wine list and ask Julie your questions firsthand.

For reservations for the Buty Wine Dinner or a meal at The Fireside, contact the restaurant directly at 360.437.7412.

Written by: Julie Johnson & Kaitlin Chester

Olympic Peninsula, Resort, Lodging, Inn, Hotel
6 Reasons Corporate Businesses Love Port Ludlow
1) Complimentary Business Amenities

Enjoy complimentary Wi-Fi, parking, and meeting spaces with floor-to-ceiling windows inviting in the natural light and beautiful scenery of Port Ludlow – the gateway to the Olympic Peninsula.

2) Golf & Marina
Water Sports, Marina, Olympic Peninsula

Wiggle your toes in Ludlow Bay from a kayak or stand-up paddle board or swing into our 18-hole golf course designed by golf course architect Robert Muir Graves with a championship layout, rolling fairways, abundant wildlife, and incredible views of Ludlow Bay and the Olympic Mountains.

3) Hiking

Did you know Port Ludlow is home to 26 miles of maintained hiking trails? Some of our favorites include the Ludlow Falls Interpretive Loop, Timberton Loop, and Teal Lake Loop. “Forest Therapy” (it’s a real thing, trust us…) is a great way of assisting with work-life balance.

4) Farm-to-Table Dining

Treat your senses to a meal at The Fireside and savor the bounty of the local farms, artisan meats and cheeses, and celebrate the best of the Pacific Northwest. The dinner menu changes daily to reflect the best our region has to offer with local, in-season ingredients. Farm-to-Table is not a trend, it is our way of life!

5) Cider & Wine
Cider, Farms, Olympic Peninsula

The Fireside’s award-winning wine list features many of the local wineries and cideries. For those seeking adventure, treat yourself the Olympic Peninsula Cider Loop. Nationally recognized wines and ciders treat the senses regardless of the season.

6) Location, Location, Location
Seaplane, Orca, Marina, Travel

Located at the gateway to the Olympic Peninsula, Port Ludlow is just 45 minutes from the Bainbridge Island Ferry or just 15 minutes via Kenmore Air.

Pet Friendly Paradise on the Olympic Peninsula

No matter where you look in Port Ludlow you are bound to see both guests and residents enjoying the sights of Mother Nature with their canine companions. Whether that is throwing sticks on the beach, hiking some of the 26 miles of maintained trails, out on a watercraft on Ludlow Bay, or taking minute to breathe the beauty of the Olympic Peninsula– we truly love four legged friends.

chimgirlIn fact, 1/3rd of the guest rooms at the Inn at Port Ludlow are pet friendly. Pet guests are welcomed at check-in by having their name placed on our VIP (Very Important Pets) board and given a locally-made, all-natural dog treat – heavy on the bacon…unequivocally a dog’s favorite.

Pet Friendly, Inn, Resort, Lodging, Olympic Peninsula

In fact, dogs and their owners have spoken and have named The Resort a Fido’s Favorite award from BringFido.com. This award recognizes hotels, inns, and bed & breakfast that achieve superior pet-friendliness ratings from BringFido’s 12 million annual reviewers. The Resort has received a “perfect” (5 out of 5 bones) rating!

USA Today’s 10Best teamed up with BringFido to nominated 20 of the top pet-friendly hotels in the U.S. and The Resort is honored to be a nominee. We are the only location in Washington to be nominated for this competition!

We kindly request that you visit this link: http://www.10best.com/awards/travel/best-pet-friendly-hotel-2016/the-resort-at-port-ludlow-port-ludlow-wash/ and vote for Port Ludlow. Feel free to share this link with your friends, family, and neighbors and make The Resort at Port Ludlow the 2016 Best Pet Friendly Hotel! Voting is open now through October 10th.

We love seeing photos of dogs and their owners enjoying all that Port Ludlow and the Olympic Peninsula has to offer, so please send us your pictures of you and your pet on your Port Ludlow adventure to marketing@portludlowresort.com.

Written by: Kaitlin Chester

A Peninsula on the Peninsula

As many of our guests come by car, chances are you experienced the joy of crossing the Hood Canal Bridge. I jokingly call myself a “bridge photographer” as I’ve enjoyed and photographed many sunrises, sunsets, and boat crossings in my time on the Olympic Peninsula.

BridgeSunriseTombolo

When crossing the Hood Canal Bridge from Poulsbo, if you look to your right there is an island just off the shore. Funny thing though, it isn’t actually an island. It is a tombolo. What’s a tombolo, you ask…a tombolo is a peninsula at low tide and an island a high tide.

TombolofromBridge

This particular tombolo is located at the Wolfe Property State Park, just off of Seven Sisters Road in Port Ludlow – about a 5 minute drive from the Inn. This beach is fantastic for beachcombing, exercising your pup, a leisurely stroll, and shellfishing. From the beginning of January to through mid-May, the Wolfe Property State Park is fantastic for harvesting clams and oysters.  I know it’s hard to believe, but see these two land masses? That blank space between the two is the Hood Canal Bridge!

TomboloHoodCanalBridge

Chimi the Cattle Dog, my most trusty companion, and I walked the shoreline at the Wolfe Property and had ridiculous amounts of fun. From the rocky beach terrain to finding a jellyfish to throwing sticks for Chimi to chase – we could have spent hours upon hours at the beach.

ChimiBeachFunTombolo

Driftwood adorns the sand like artwork (is it just me, or does this piece of driftwood look like an elephant?) and the water goes as far out as the eye can see.

TomboloDriftwood

We watched eagles and blue herons soar overhead and listened to the peaceful sounds of Mother Nature as we walked closer and closer to the access point of the tombolo. The tide was high, so we couldn’t cross over to the “island”, but our walk and experience was well worth the visit to the Wolfe Property.

TomboloPanorama

Next time you have a free afternoon or are looking to enjoy a unique geographic feature – head to the Wolfe Property State Park, it is a hidden Port Ludlow gem not to be missed.

Written by: Kaitlin Chester

Marina, Olympic Peninsula, Boating
Four Scenic Spots in Port Ludlow

Scenic, picturesque, and so many other synonyms and adjectives are aptly used to describe Port Ludlow. The dictionary definition for scenic reads “providing or relating to views of impressive or beautiful natural scenery.” But I must disagree. Many “scenic” spots do not have to be traditionally beautiful or even natural for that matter.

One of my favorite ways to remember and celebrate memories and vacations is through photos. They say an image says 1,000 words but for me when looking at my vacation photos I am brought back to a blissful time and place. We all fancy ourselves amateur photographers these days and it is impressive the quality of photos you can take with a smartphone.

Here are four of the most scenic spots in Port Ludlow to practice your photo skills and relish in your Olympic Peninsula vacation long after you leave Port Ludlow. All photos below were taken with a Samsung Galaxy 6.

The Docks at the Port Ludlow Marina

Stroll the Marina docks, especially docks B & E, to find some of the most striking visuals in Port Ludlow. From the beautiful boats to panoramic views of Ludlow Bay, the Inn & The Fireside, and Burner Point – you’re surely going to end up with an #Instaworthy photo.

Scenic_Marina

Burner Point

Just a short walk from the Marina, Burner Point presents a variety of scenic shots. Enjoy water & beach views, the Totem Pole, and historic boom chain. This peaceful setting will inspire your inner creativity.

Scenic_BurnerPoint2

Ludlow Falls

How incredibly amazing is it to have a waterfall right in the heart of Port Ludlow? Enjoy the foliage lined ½ mile loop or just walk straight to the falls for an experience you won’t soon forget. Ludlow Falls is quick a one mile drive from the Inn or 15 minute walk.

Scenic_LudlowFalls

Golf Loop 9/”Trail”

Trust me…this is worth the uphill hike. Walk through the old cart paths and grassy trails with vegetation growing out of old tree stumps to vantage points where views of Olympic Mountains, Ludlow Bay, and the Marina are as far as the eye can see. It’s about the journey, not the destination – right?

Scenic_GolfLoop9

We would love to see your photos from around Port Ludlow, please share with us on social media (Twitter: @portludlow, Instagram: @theresortatportludlow, Facebook: @portludlow) or by email at marketing@portludlowresort.com

Written by: Kaitlin Chester

Water Sports, Marina, Olympic Peninsula
Paddling Ludlow Bay

In the Pacific Northwest when the weather hits 90 degrees, it is time to get in, on, or around the water. On a particularly scorching summer afternoon, my mother and I decided it was time to try paddle boarding. As this was both on our summer “bucket lists” and we needed reprieve from the heat it was time to get paddling.

We rented paddle boards from the Port Ludlow Marina. On a recommendation from the Port Ludlow Marina staff, I purchased a waterproof phone case so I could take pictures while out on the water. I highly recommend purchasing the case, as I was able to take some great shots out on the water.

LudlowBayPaddleboard

We headed down to the docks where the dock attendant gave us some a couple tips including starting out on your knees before standing up. My mom and I wished each other luck and got on our boards. Feeling a bit shaky at first, I stayed on my knees as I began to paddle out into Ludlow Bay and after about five minutes I decided to stand up. What was the worst that could happen? I would fall in the water on a 90 degree day?  I slowly stood up and found myself feeling as sturdy as I would have felt kayaking. It was truly amazing. I turned around to see that my mother was also standing. Balance is an important part of paddle boarding my mother’s daily yoga practice definitely helped her in this new activity. Spoiler alert: neither of us ever fell off our boards!

Paddleboard

Since we were beginners, in the truest sense of the word, we decided to circle the Marina. We enjoyed blue herons flying overhead, the sights and sounds of Mother Nature, the cool water splashing our feet on the board, and the beautiful views of Port Ludlow – picturesque views of the Inn, Totem Pole on Burner Point, and Ludlow Cove Cottages.

ViewofInnPaddleboard

Feeling steady on the board, I slipped the paddle between my feet and took photos of the beautiful August afternoon. As we paddled around the Marina we noticed a boat heading out into Puget Sound called “The Bucket List” – very apropos for our excursion.

FeetonBoard

After about an hour on the water we returned back to the Marina. My mother couldn’t believe it had already been an hour. “It only felt like 20 minutes,” she proclaimed, a statement I completely agreed with. For the next few days I told friends and family about how much fun paddle boarding is. I truly look forward to my next experience paddle boarding Ludlow Bay.

KCPaddleboard

Paddle board, as well as kayak and watercraft, rentals are available at the Marina. Call the Marina Store to make your watercraft reservation at 360.437.0513.

Written by: Kaitlin Chester