Uncategorized

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

Museum, Port Gamble, History, Lifestyle
Traveling Back in Time in Port Gamble

Port Gamble, less than 20 minutes from Port Ludlow, is a U.S. National Historic Landmark and a fantastic place to spend an afternoon.

On a warm August day, I explored the quaint town full of historical buildings, quirky shops, and beautiful scenery – including a gorgeous dahlia garden outside the old post office now converted to a community center. Everywhere you looked kids were biking, tourists were exploring, and beauty was everywhere from the architecture to the dahlia garden to the views of Puget Sound.

DahliaGardenPG

I started my afternoon adventure at the Port Gamble Museum. The museum which opened in the 1970s was originally an office for the Port Gamble mill. The museum features artifacts and creative vignettes providing the interesting and unique history of the area. One of my favorite vignettes was of Admiralty Hall.

PGMuseum

Admiralty Hall was a mansion that later became a hotel in Port Ludlow. The building was constructed by Cyrus Walker, manager of the Port Gamble mill. Admiralty Hall was built in 1887 and was approximately a block long. Admiralty Hall sat approximately where the Beach Club resides today. In 1914, the building was remodeled as a hotel. During the early stages of WWII, the Admiralty Hotel was sold for scrap and demolished.

AdmiraltyHallMBPG

Many of the historic homes you see in Port Gamble were originally built in Port Ludlow and were barged over to Port Gamble, including the Morrill Pope House which was barged to Port Gamble in 1929. As you stroll through the town, there are signs out front of the historic homes now converted into businesses that detail the history of the residence.

HistoricPGHome

After window shopping at Mrs. Muir’s, Tango Zulu Imports, and a variety eclectic shops, I found myself in the Port Gamble General Store. The General Store has been a staple in Port Gamble since 1916. The current building is the 5th version of the store .The original building was constructed in 1853 on the mill site. Mill employees could pick up their paychecks or purchase coffee, groceries, clothing, toys, and tools. The store was serviced by settlers, sailors, loggers, and the S’Klallam tribe. After perusing the store I had worked up an appetite and headed into the restaurant. I enjoyed a delicious black bean burger and fries before leaving Port Gamble for the day.

BBBurgerPG

Visiting Port Gamble is a memorable excursion that will enhance you knowledge of the region while you eat, explore, and enjoy your way through this U.S. National Historic Landmark.

Written by: Kaitlin Chester

Anchor, Historical, Marina, Olympic Peninsula
Historical Anchor at the Port Ludlow Marina

In July 2016, the Black family kindly donated a ten foot high anchor to the Port Ludlow community. The historical anchor comes from one of the notorious hell ships – the Reaper.

thereaper

The Reaper caught fire and burned out in Ludlow Bay almost 110 years to the day – July 21, 1906. The boat had caught fire at the Port Ludlow mill dock and after burning overnight, her lines were cut and she was taken to the other side of the bay and burned out. At low tide you can see glimpses of the Reaper’s remains.

In the late 1800s, Port Ludlow was known for its excellent ship building facilities. The Puget Sound Mill Company was in charge of construction of three masters, ten two-masted schooners, and the Kitsap barkentine. The Hall Brothers built approximately 31 vessels in Port Ludlow, many for the Puget Sound Mill Company.

Hell ships, like the Reaper, were known as ships with poor living conditions or had a reputation of treating the crew callously. During this time in Port Ludlow and Port Townsend “shanghaiing” was somewhat routine. When a ship was lacking in crew members, the merchants would send runners to brothels and bars along the waterfront and force them to work upon the boat.

Flash forward to the 1960s, when two members of the Black family were scuba diving in Ludlow Bay, discovered the Reaper’s anchor and retrieved it. It sat as an amazing historical relic at their family home prior to the family donating this unique piece of Port Ludlow history to the community.

The anchor is now displayed at the Port Ludlow Marina for visitors and locals alike to enjoy and learn more about the history of the hell ships and boat building in Port Ludlow.

anchor

Concerts on the Dock

Last Thursday, July 14th marked the beginning of the free, all-ages Concerts on the Dock series in Port Townsend at Pope Marine Park Plaza, about a 30 minute drive from the Inn. Each week from July 14th through September 1st a different band entertains a large crowd and I had the chance to enjoy the musical stylings to Kevin Mason & The PT All Stars.

CODKevinMasonPTAllStarsThe weather was beautiful and people were out strolling the streets of Port Townsend shopping, eating, walking dogs, and enjoying a sunny July afternoon.

I brought my mom with me to the concert and on the way we stopped by the deli at the Port Townsend Food Co-Op’s deli for picnic supplies. With our to-go boxes full of potatoes au gratin, kale & beet salad, tabbouleh, and coleslaw we headed to the Pope Marine Park Plaza to set up our picnic and listen to the music.

CODPicnicAt the park, there were beautiful views of Puget Sound and watercrafts of all types, shapes, and sizes floated by. Dogs walked through the park with tails wagging. Children sang, danced and played. Adults mingled among one another. With an eclectic photo booth, henna tattoos, massage therapy from the talented James Jackson, several food & vendor booths, and a beer/wine/cider garden – there was something for everyone.

CODBoatsAs the band played up-beat songs like “Play That Funky Music” by James Brown and a funky version of “Proud Mary”, children and adults sang and danced and clearly were having a fantastic time. And with slower songs it was touching to watch couples slow dance celebrating the warm, sunny weather and great music.

CODSlowDancing

When we left the music was still rocking and I heard children yelling “tag you’re it!” and running through the park. Dogs sat peacefully with their owners, picnics and picnic blankets were scattered across the lawn as far as the eye could see, and the music could be heard all the way to the car.

I highly recommend attending one of the Concerts on the Dock. It is a unique way to enjoy the historic seaport of Port Townsend and make memories that will last long past the music ends for the evening.

Written by: Kaitlin Chester

Fort Worden, Water, Beach, Hiking
Low Tide Walk with the Port Townsend Marine Science Center

There isn’t much you can get with just five dollars these days but somehow, someway a mere five dollars gave me an experience I won’t soon forget –a Low Tide Beach Walk followed by a visit to the Port Townsend Marine Science Center. The science center is located at Fort Worden in Port Townsend, just a 30 minute drive from Port Ludlow.

PTMarineSciCenter3

On a sunny June afternoon my mother and I headed to the science center to go on the Low Tide Walk, guided by volunteers of the science center. Our large group, around 40 people, broke the record for the most attendees to date! The kind volunteers rounded us up and we headed out to Kinzie Beach where children and adults alike were excited to explore and discover marine life.

PTMarineSciCenter5

As my mother and I perused the beach, soaked up the sun, watched birds soar overhead, and heard eagles caw in the distance, we saw many varieties of seaweed, crabs, anemones, snails, barnacles, beach glass, and more. The guides brought clear plastic cups so we could gently pick up the small sea creatures and see them up close and charts to help us identify what type of crab, seaweed, or anemone we were looking at.

PTMarineSciCenter7

PTMarineSciCenter6

 

 

 

 

 

After we headed back from the walk, my mom and I visited the science center’s newest exhibit, Learning from the Orcas – the story of Hope. Hope was a female orca that beached and died near Dungeness Spit in the early 2000s. Her skeleton is hung from the ceiling of the Natural History Building of the science center and the exhibit was extremely informative on how toxic chemicals affect marine species.

PTMarineSciCenter2

We crossed the street and headed to the pier which hosts the Marine Exhibit with touch pools and aquariums filled with native marine life. I mentioned we had been on the low tide walk and a friendly employee and I looked through my photos and helped me figure out which species I had seen on the beach.

It was so cool to be able to see the creatures on the beach and then have the ability to have a literal hand-on experience in the touch tanks in the Marine Exhibit. My favorites were the texture of the starfish and anemones.

PTMarineSciCenter

It was a special day to spend with my mom and one I won’t forget anytime soon. I highly recommend heading out to the Port Townsend Marine Science Center for a day of fun. The next Low Tide Walk is on Saturday, July 23rd and the science center is open Wednesday – Monday from 11am to 5pm (closed Tuesdays).

Written by: Kaitlin Chester

Cider, Farms, Olympic Peninsula
Olympic Peninsula Cider Route

“I’m not sure what Napa Valley felt like in the days before the world really discovered California wines, but I’m pretty sure it’s close to the vibe that hard-cider lovers are feeling these days in Port Townsend, Washington.” – David Volk, USA Today.

And it’s not just in Port Townsend, hard cider is now an Olympic Peninsula staple. Cue the Olympic Peninsula Cider Route – the key to tasting, discovering, and exploring all things cider with three cideries located within 10 miles of each other.

Each cidery and tasting room on the route is unique & distinctive and well worth the visit. The three cideries are Alpenfire, Eaglemount, and Finnriver. I recently traveled the Olympic Peninsula Cider Route and had a fantastic time.

I began my trip at the Finnriver Cider Orchard in Chimacum. The orchard has over 5,000 organic apple trees and the historic feed trough has been turned into a gathering place for locals and tourists alike to enjoy the views of the Chimacum Valley and quite literally enjoy the fruits of their labor. The rustic and charming tasting room is inviting and a great place to learn about cider and the historic property.

OPCR Finnriver Tasting Room

I had the chance to taste Finnriver’s Artisan Sparking Cider, Golden Russet, Farmstead, Barrel Berry, Spirited Apple, and Pear Wine. Each cider and the pear wine were distinctive and delicious. And when you’re finished with your tasting, one of the kind and helpful employees will allow you to try tastes of what are currently on tap and you can enjoy your glass of cider in the historic trough.

OPCR Finnriver Ciders

While at the Finnriver Orchard, I highly recommend taking the self-guided walking tour through the orchard – it is absolutely beautiful! Finnriver also has kombucha on tap so your designated driver can also enjoy a cold and tasty beverage before you head onto the next cidery.

Next on the list was, Alpenfire, the first organic cidery in Washington State. Alpenfire is in their sixth year of production and also produces vinegars. The drive from Finnriver to Alpenfire was breathtakingly beautiful, it was scattered with small farms, water views, and bright green foliage. I recommend taking your time and enjoying the scenic drive. Nancy, the owner of Alpenfire, greeted my other half and me when we arrived and was a gracious host.

OPCR Alpenfire Tasting Room

Nancy guided me through a tasting of six ciders in the intimate tasting room. Starting with Dungeness – a non-carbonated cider made with over 200 varieties of apples, then Spark! – a semi-sweet cider that is a customer favorite, followed by Ember – made of tannic & astringent apples including Vilberie, Dabinett, Yarlington Mill, Brown Snout and more, then Pirates Plank – described as bold, brash & tannic, then Glow – a single variety rosé that gets its color from the flesh of the Hidden Rose apple, and last and most certainly my favorite…Calypso – a blackberry cider distilled in rum barrels.

OPCR Alpenfire Outside

I couldn’t leave without a bottle of the limited run of the Calypso and my other half was drawn to the vinegars. He loved the Incendiary vinegar. This vinegar is hand crafted with additional herbs including garlic, ginger, turmeric, horseradish, lemons, onions, honey, rosemary, and peppercorns. Included in the tasting is your glass – a unique keepsake that is now proudly placed in my kitchen cabinet waiting for a glass of the Calypso.

Last, but certainly not least, was Eaglemount Wine & Cider. Eaglemount is a family-owned winery & cidery located on a beautiful 12-acre property in Port Townsend with an apple orchard. The relaxing and comfortable tasting room allows you to select five ciders or wines to try.

OPCR EaglemountOPCR Eaglemount Tasting_Room

 

 

 

 

 

I chose to taste the Rhubarb, Raspberry, Quince, Raspberry Hopped, and Ginger ciders. I truly enjoyed all the ciders, especially the unique Quince, but the Raspberry was my favorite. The semisweet cider with a slight sparkle was dry and delicious and I couldn’t leave without purchasing a bottle.

OPCR Eaglemount Raspberry

It’s worth noting that Finnriver is open daily whereas Alpenfire and Eaglemount are only open Friday through Sunday. But not to worry, the award-winning wine list at The Fireside offers ciders from all three cideries.

The Olympic Peninsula Cider Route is to be enjoyed at your leisure, whether you make it to all three in a day or a weekend, it doesn’t matter. It’s all about the journey and experience, but the destinations sure make the trip worthwhile.

Written by: Kaitlin Chester

Animals, Nature, Game Park, Sequim
An Excursion to the Olympic Game Farm

On the Olympic Peninsula, we are so lucky to be surrounded by wildlife. I have the pleasure of seeing deer, rabbits, and eagles soaring overhead outside my office window regularly – it is truly magical. But rarely, does the chance arise to interact with wild animals.

My other half, Jake, and I are both HUGE animal lovers, so I decided was time to make a trip out to the Olympic Game Farm. The Olympic Game Farm is located in Sequim, a 40 minute drive from Port Ludlow. All of the animals at the Game Farm, including bears, bison, elk, peacocks, yaks, lions, llamas, and more are either rescue animals or overflow from other licensed animal facilities.

OGF FoodOGF Animal

The Olympic Game Farm is owned by the Beebe family and in 1942, Lloyd Beebe bought the land that is now the game farm for dairy farming. Around the same time, Walt Disney Studios began producing nature films as the family began taking in wild animal orphans and filming short movies of their own.

Disney Studios invited the Bebees to Hollywood to discuss filming nature movies on the Olympic Peninsula and thus began the relationship between the Olympic Game Farm and Disney Studios which lasted for many years. After Walt Disney’s passing in 1965, Disney Studios slowly began to phase out nature films and in 1972, the Beebees opened the Olympic Game Farm to the public.

Jake and I headed out to the Game Farm on a Saturday morning for the driving tour of the farm. The driving tour takes about an hour, but on a busy summer weekend, it can take a bit longer. When we arrived we were greeted by a friendly staff member who provided us with a map of the Game Farm and we were able to purchase whole wheat bread to feed the animals. Both Jake and I were so excited and our enthusiasm was palpable.

OGF Yak

The tour started with views of ravens, prairie dogs, peacocks and assortment of birds. As I looked out at the animals on at the Game Park it is hard to not be overwhelmed by both spectacular views of the Peninsula and the sights of different animals everywhere you look.

OFG Views

Deer and yaks visited us at the car as we happily greeted them with the whole wheat bread and it Jake and I were both laughing as we saw several llamas that seemed to be very uninterested in the food.

OGF Llamas OGF Llama

We drove over to the bear fields where some bears were snuggling (so cute!), others were relaxing, and the rest were ready for you to give them some bread. As we left the bear fields we headed into the predator area with wolves, foxes, and tigers.

OGF Bear

The most wild and exciting part of our tour took place in the “High Risk Areas”. As long as you abide by the Game Park’s rules, I would say the High Risk stands for a High Risk of hysterical laughter. Buffalo would poke their heads into the car and one slobbered all over Jake and as deer chased the car begging for us bread. Jake and I laughed until our stomachs hurt and we were blue in the face.OGF Buffalo

After finishing our tour, I had some of the most fun I have had in a long time. I rode a camel! As I waited turn to ride the camel I enjoyed the beautiful views of the Olympic Mountains. It was finally my turn. I mounted the camel and to my excitement and surprise the camel’s name was Chester – my last name! Thankfully, my enthusiasm was matched by the camel handler’s as he has worked with camels for over three years and was incredibly informative. He told me that camels are more like elephants than horses and that their memories are fantastic. I had a new respect and understanding of this majestic beast.

OGF Camel

It isn’t every day that you can get slobbered on by a buffalo, feed yaks, and ride a camel. This unique experience is not only fun but informative and gives you a deep respect for the animals.  The Olympic Game Farm is a great activity for adults and children alike.

The Olympic Game Farm is open every day of the year except Thanksgiving and Christmas Day and your ticket into the Game Farm is valid for the entire day – so take your time and drive through the farm as many times as you please. You will make memories that will surely last long after your time at the farm is done.

Written by: Kaitlin Chester

Cider, Farm, Olympic Peninsula
Foodie Heaven on the Olympic Peninsula

Over Memorial Day Weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the Port Townsend Artisan Food Festival at the Port Townsend Farmers Market.

The festival was a great addition to the eclectic and fun market atmosphere. As I perused the market for veggies, goodies, and snacks, I had the chance to try some of Mt. Townsend’s cheeses and enjoy music by the Unexpected Brass Band/Rhythm Planet.

Artisan Food Festival cheese

Throughout the day, food and beverage classes were offered for $20, including Seasonal Cooking, The Art of Pickling, Cheese & Yogurt Making Basics, Hard Cider Demo, and Fermented Foods. The courses were put on by CedarRoot Folk School and taught by local farmers, chefs, and artisans. There was something for everyone. The festival even included children’s activities such as story time, craft activities, and food juggling.

Around 2pm, The Fireside’s Executive Chef Dan Ratigan gave an excellent cooking demo that was not to be missed. Chef Dan created a delectable dish for the crowd – Moonlight Farm Pork Braised with Eaglemount Ginger Cider. It was a hit! Both children and adults flocked to Chef Dan to try a taste and get their copy of the recipe.

Artisan Food Festival Hayley

Artisan Food Festival Pork

After I finished up shopping and watching the cooking demos, I headed over to the grand opening of the Finnriver Orchard. Oh. My. Gosh. It was beautiful. With cider and kombucha on tap, delicious pizzas from Dented Buoy, and the stunning views of the Chimacum Valley – I was in foodie heaven.

Artisan Food Festival cider

Artisan Food Festival pizza

I sat in the Cider Garden enjoying my Garden Fresh pizza and glass of Black Currant cider and thought about how grateful we are to be on the Olympic Peninsula surrounded by not just amazing produce and artisan meats and cheeses, but for the unique foodie culture created by the farmers, chefs, and foragers. I look forward to see what remarkable delicacies and events the Olympic Peninsula brings next.

Until then, there’s always the farmers market…

Written by: Kaitlin Chester

Book Now
Contact Us