With the glowing Olympic Mountains on one side and the electric blue of the Strait of Juan de Fuca on the other (and views of Canada on clear days), this quaint but surprisingly cosmopolitan little town on the Northwest tip of the USA may just take your breath away. This is small town America at its best, with a vibrant community arts scene, lots of local artisans, farmers markets and other places to sample local produce and delicacies (oh the seafood!), with all sorts of things happening year round, from "Duck Derbies" to the Esprit Transgender Conference. The town center, which is mostly walkable but also serviced by a fairly extensive bus system, has a good smattering of restaurants of all sorts: dive bars, classic diners, Thai restaurants, seafood on the waterfront, cottage tea houses, Mexican hole-in-the-walls, family pizzerias, as well as all the usual chains that can be found everywhere. Try the burgers at the airstream-traileresque Frugal's for a great meal on a budget.
Although it does have some areas of ugly sprawl, cute and historic old buildings abound and give Port Angeles a definite charm. For even more cuteness (as well as a larger town and a completely different country) Victoria, BC can be reached by a short but picturesque ferry ride from the docks downtown.
But the real star attraction in Port Angeles is the breathtaking nature all around it. It's a great jumping off point for the Olympic National Park, which boasts huge swathes of temperate rainforest, impressive coastline, and rugged snowy mountains. The pristine waters of Lake Crescent and the skiing or hiking of Hurricane Ridge are less than a half hour drive away. The number of recreational opportunities and the magnificence of the nature around here simply cannot be described.
Unfortunately, hostels in Port Angeles are few and far between. They also tend to be very small, so booking ahead is essential. There are also quite a few budget hotels, motels and campgrounds in the area that may fit a backpacker budget if hostel beds are too hard to find.
Hi, I'm Cam,
the Hostelz.com local expert for Port Angeles hostels. Welcome.