Seaside eat and sleep: Enjoy the Pacific view while dining on clam chowder, Dungeness crab mac and cheese, elk burger, salmon BLT or beer-braised clams at Creekside Restaurant in Kalaloch Lodge. The lodge, with weathered siding and bright blue trim, rents cliff-top cabins overlooking the ocean (kalalochlodge.com).
Where else to stay: Other park options include cabins and suites at Sol Duc Loc Hot Springs Resort with the bonus of thermal pools, while the 1915 Lake Crescent Lodge's rooms, cabins and cottages feature serene lake views on the northern side of the park (olympicnationalparks.com/lodging).
Nearby lodging: Stay along the peninsula's northeastern edge in the towns of Port Angeles, which is also home to the park's visitor center (visitportangeles.com), and Sequim (visitsunnysequim.com) if you want to be closer to restaurants and shopping. Check out the Dungeness Spit for an easy hike to reach a 5 1/2-mile sand spit, largest in the nation. The 1857 New Dungeness Lighthouse at its tip can be rented by the week (newdungenesslighthouse.com).
Stop to smell the flowers: Sequim is known as America's best lavender-growing region due to its dry climate. Blooms peak in mid-July, but rows of purple blossoms explode like fireworks from the mounded plants and vibrate with bees for about six weeks every summer. George Washington Inn B&B, a replica of Mount Vernon, rents five guest rooms with fragrant garden strolls and blufftop views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca (georgewashingtoninn.com).
More information: For details on camping, hiking trails and more, go to nps.gov/olym or call 1-360-565-3130.
Lisa Meyers McClintick