Category: Outdoor Activities

10 Things to do on the Olympic Peninsula This Summer

While Sequim is certainly a charming and wonderful place to visit any time of year, it also makes a great home base for exploring the Olympic Peninsula.  Its location near some of the top things to do on the Olympic Peninsula is also what makes Sequim such a great place to live. From here, it’s easy to explore the nearby towns of Port Townsend and Port Angeles, while still also having easy access to the Olympic National Park and the area’s top attractions.

Whether you’re into hiking, biking, taking scenic drives, fishing, or just relaxing on local beaches and at local parks, Sequim really is the perfect place to relax and unwind this summer.  Whether you’re coming to the area to consider making a move or just want someplace new to visit, we hope you make Sequim a part of your summer plans this year.  If you have any questions about living in the area, reach out to one of our wonderful Sequim Real Estate Agents. Continue Reading

Socially Distant Things to do in Sequim This Summer

Sequim and the greater Clallam County area have fared pretty well when it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic, though we still expect this summer to be a drastically different one than normal. The famous Sequim Lavender Festival has been canceled, as have a number of other events and activities that normally take place in the summer.  Even so, there are still a number of wonderful things to do in Sequim that offer some natural social distancing.  As the threat of the pandemic passes and the state begins to reopen to things like travel, we hope you’ll consider spending some (careful) time in Sequim this summer and supporting the many wonderful small businesses here.

Downtown Sequim is a charming place, with a variety of locally-owned businesses that make it unique.  Without their typical summer crowds, Sequim Lavender farms will be happy to see your smiling faces (behind masks, of course) visiting their beautiful fields, and supporting them in whatever way possible.  Between visits to downtown businesses and lavender farms, we invite you to spend some time staying socially distanced and enjoying the many wonderful things to do in Sequim this summer.

Things to do in Sequim that Support Social Distancing

We hope that, at least in part, we can celebrate the bounty of Sequim with you this summer and fall. Tourism is important to the small town of Sequim, with people visiting here from all over the world to enjoy the variety of things to do in Sequim.  A few of these things include biking the Olympic Discovery Trail, visiting the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, hiking in the Olympic National Forest and Olympic National Park, and visiting the area’s world-famous lavender farms during the annual lavender festival.

Things to do in Sequim that Encourage Social Distancing

We don’t like seeing the town of Sequim closed down to tourism anymore than you do, though for the health and wellbeing of our community it’s been an important part of the process.  As we inch closer to reopening, you can feel the palpable excitement from residents and small business owners.  Luckily, Sequim does have quite a few things going for it when it comes to welcoming visitors and embracing social distancing.

Of all the incredible things to do in Sequim, getting outside and enjoying this exceptionally beautiful area is at the top of the list.  Luckily for us, with so many places to go out and explore, it’s pretty easy to maintain proper social distancing while in Sequim. Whether you’re into hiking, biking, boating, fishing, birdwatching, or soaking up Mother Nature’s beauty in other ways, there are a whole host of exciting and fun things to do in Sequim. Here are just a few of the things we hope to share with you this summer when you do visit.  Of course, always remember to practice social distancing where needed, and bring your mask along with you, too.

  1. Hike out the 5.5 miles (one way) to the Dungeness Lighthouse.  Though there do tend to be a number of visitors to the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, few of them make the 11-mile journey to the lighthouse.  The farther you get away from the start of the trailhead, the fewer people you’ll likely encounter.  There, you can focus on enjoying the resplendent nature around you, and take the time to appreciate this exceptionally beautiful part of the world.
  2. Bike down the Olympic Discovery Trail. Stretching from Port Townsend to La Push, this incredible trail takes you through some of the most magnificent scenery of the Olympic Peninsula.
  3. Take the time to visit one (or more) of Sequim’s Lavender Farms.  Visiting these farms is one of the most popular things to do in Sequim. Though we’re not quite sure what this process will look like quite yet, Sequim’s Lavender Farms are working on a solution that still allows guests to visit and experience the beauty of these rolling purple fields for themselves, all the while keeping themselves and others safe and protected.
  4. There are few better ways to practice social distancing than to get out on the water.  There are miles and miles of open water in the Sequim area, which means it’s the perfect place to go boating or kayaking.
  5. Enjoy a day in the mountains.  From the Olympic National Forest to the Olympic National Park, there are an incredible number of wonderful hiking trails in the area.  They range in distance and difficulty, but each one of them is just as rewarding as the next.

Things to do in Sequim that Encourage Social Distancing

Are you Moving to Sequim?

If you’re moving to Sequim this summer or later this year or next, let us be the first to welcome you to the area.  There are an incredible number of things to do in Sequim, and no shortage of ways to enjoy the scenic beauty of the Pacific Northwest.  If you are still in the market for a new home or need any help settling into the area, our Sequim Real Estate Agents are here to help.  We’re passionate not just about buying and selling real estate, but also about the incredible community we call home.  Sequim truly is a wonderful place to live, and we hope to share it with you. Contact us today!

 

2018 BirdFest Arrives at Sequim

BirdFest bald eagle soaringBirdFest kicks off the brilliant spring birding season in Sequim. The 15th annual Olympic Peninsula BirdFest will attract bird lovers far and wide. The amazing variety of birds found in and around Sequim makes this a very popular event. In fact the National Audubon Society recognized an area of the Dungeness River an Important Bird Area.  Additionally, Sequim’s Dungeness River Audubon Center has been named “Bird Central” for the festival. It is the meeting place for many walks and tours. Plan a weekend in Sequim full of fun birding activities at the 2018 BirdFest, starting April 12th until the 15th, 2018.

2018 BirdFest Activities

Choose from a long list of exciting field trips, walks, talks, and tours during this packed weekend made for bird enthusiasts. Check out the events list for great bird watching and spotting opportunities. Here are a few highlights planned for the weekend:

  • Dungeness River Audubon Center – This nature center is the hub of activity for BirdFest. Gather here for the April 12th BirdFest kick off party. They will also host bird drawing classes and even a live raptor presentation.
  • Sequim Bay – Discover the wonderful variety of shorebirds on this walk that meets Friday and Saturday at John Wayne Marina, in Sequim. The many species include plovers, sandpipers, Rhinoceros Auklets, and Barrow’s Goldeneyes.
  • Dungeness Spit –  Walking this spit is a year-round favoritBirdFest evening owl walkse for bird watchers. Join fellow bird lovers on Friday and Saturday for this 5.5 mile walk along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It’s a spectacular viewing area for inshore and offshore wildlife. Look out for loons, grebes, sea ducks, Red-throated Loons, Northern Harriers and Golden-crowned Sparrows.
  • Early Morning and Evening Walks – There are several walks and bike rides designed to hear early morning bird songs or find elusive owls during evening hikes.
  • Boat Trips to Protection Island – This very popular Sunday cruise is limited to only 50 travelers and fills up quick! The three hour trip to the island preserve offers many seabird and marine mammal viewing opportunities.
  • San Juan Island Cruise – Join this 3-day, 2 night cruise, with an expert naturalist guide. During this exciting trip learn more about the whales, seals and seabirds. The cruise departs from the John Wayne Marina in Sequim.
  • Totem Tour – This fascinating guided tour begins at the 7 Cedars Casino in Sequim, and then explores the history, legends, and folktales of the carved columns.

April marks the departure of winter birds and arrival of the spring migration. This is a perfect time to spot Sequim’s winter and spring avian BirdFest Protection Island Wildlife Refuge, Sequimresidents. This region of western Washington has diverse habitats, and is home to an impressive array of birds. While enjoying the 2018 BirdFest, be sure to explore the charming town of Sequim. It’s easy to see why many bird lovers make their home here. Imagine waking up each morning to beautiful bird songs and the opportunity to add another one to your life list. Contact our wonderful staff at Schwab Realty to find a your perfect sanctuary.

 

Fitness Choices Abound in Sequim

woman running outdoors for fitnessFitness goals are easily met in an active town like Sequim. Residents love living in the “Olympic Rain Shadow” where there is little rain and abundant sunshine. Outdoor activities are enjoyed year round because of this consistently great weather. However, Sequim also has many indoor fitness options such as gyms, pools, and yoga studios. After a day of hiking, biking, or crossfit, visit a relaxing spa for a massage or facial. Staying healthy in Sequim is fun with the variety of exercise options indoors and outside.

Fitness Activities in the Great Outdoors

Outdoor enthusiast choose Sequim as their home because of its ideal weather. Our residents enjoy more sunny days and less rain than any other region in Western Washington. Staying fit is fun and interesting because of the wide range of choices. Bike the Olympic Discovery Trail for a few miles or all the way to the next town, on a safe, well maintained trail. Choose from an endless list of hiking trails in the nearby Olympic National Park with options for all difficulty levels. In the warmer months take a kayak out and explore Sequim’s gorgeous coastline. Not to mention snowy adventures at Hurricane Ridge in the winter months. Or maybe a relaxing game of golf with friends is your perfect afternoon. And of course Sequim’s city parks and quaint downtown make for enjoyable walks. Being outside and active is just the way of life for Sequim locals.

Fitness and Yoga Classes

Sequim also has many indoor fitness options to supplement the outdoors. The local gyms, yoga studios and pools will help build strength, flexibility and improve your overall health. There is a place to meet every fitness preference:

  • Anytime Fitness  – And they mean anytime! Members can workout 24/7, and feel secure with their 24 hour security system. Certified fitness coaches are also available for one-on-one training.
  • 360 Sports – Here they specialize in crossfit, kettlebells classes and personal training.
  • YMCA of Sequim – There are tons of exercise classes for all abilities and ages here. However, this is the place to swim with its six lane lap pool, family pool, and hot tub.
  • Sports Fit Training Center –  Not getting the results you want on your own? Try their yoga and fitness classtrainer-lead system of workout and nutrition goals to reach your full potential.
  • Fit4Life Studio –  This small gym packs a full body workout in a small space. Enjoy smaller classes or work with a personal trainer for a more custom session.
  • Strong Points Fitness – This gym focuses on three points of fitness; flexibility, strength and overall health.
  • Northwest Fitness & Massage – Their personal training, and massage practices are designed to improve mobility, flexibility, posture and strength.
  • Perfect Balance – A combination of pilates, TRX classes, and personal training will help you reach your fitness goals.
  • Via Vita Yoga – Walk into this calm, nurturing atmosphere and improve your health and overall well-being with rejuvenating yoga practices.
  • Bodhi Tree Yoga – Their yoga classes are created to improve flexibility and strength, in addition to increasing a mind-body connection.

Top Off a Day of Fitness with a Spa

Treat yourself to a massage or facial after a day of completing your fitness goals. Loosen muscles with a therapeutic massage after a challenging workout, or maybe a facial or body  fitness and spa candles and hot stoneswrap is your perfect reward. The spas in Sequim have all the service and treatment options:

  • Lavish Day Spa –  This spa, located in the heart of downtown Sequim, helps visitors feel more beautiful and relaxed. They offer facials, waxing and therapeutic massages.
  • Sanctuary Day Spa – Be pampered and renewed with whole body treatments that erase stress and calm the spirit. They offer men and women facials and wraps for all skin types.
  • Skin Envy Studio – The plant and fruit based masks here sound good enough to eat! They have facials, waxing, chemical peels, and even teeth whitening.
  • Health and Harmony Massage – Find the perfect therapeutic massage to reduce your pain, stiffness, or stress.
  • Kami Westfall Massage Therapy – They will bring massage therapy to the comfort of your own home. Offering waxing, facials, body wraps, and couples massages.

Fitness and healthy lifestyles are part of the culture in Sequim. Living here means having a favorite hiking, snowshoeing or biking trail. Friends and neighbors meet up for a round of golf, a crossfit workout or yoga class. Come visit us and meet our wonderful agents to learn more about living in lively Sequim.

 

Winter Adventures at Hurricane Ridge

snowy Hurricane Ridge facing to the southThe Olympic Mountains surrounding Sequim are turning white with snow and nearby Hurricane Ridge offers adventures for an exciting winter. Hurricane Ridge is a popular year-round destination with the amazing views at a 5,242 elevation. In the winter it’s transformed by an annual average snowfall of 400 plus inches. Just an hour’s drive from Sequim, Hurricane Ridge has all the winter sports from downhill skiing to snowshoeing. Be sure to visit Sequim on your way to your winter adventure in the Olympic Mountains.

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Tranquil Winter Hikes Near Sequim

 

hike to Dungeness Spit In WinterAfter the holiday parties and gatherings, peaceful winter hikes are a welcome break that refresh the spirit. Treat visiting family or friends to the natural beauty found near Sequim or escape alone on the quieter winter trails. Discover the charms of early winter hikes that are less crowded but still hold so much seasonal beauty. This time of year adds a dusting of snow to a waterfall hike or a lacework of ice crystals along a forest river. Breathe in the fresh air on these five wonderful winter hikes.

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Family Friendly Sequim

family kayaking at sunset

Sequim has everything that makes a family friendly community. Here you will find the most beautiful surroundings with sunny, mild weather, that creates the perfect setting for active families that love the outdoors. The safe, friendly neighborhoods also include great schools and excellent doctors. And there are many opportunities for kids such as sports, arts and clubs. Sequim has a lively downtown with fun shops and family-friendly dining, and there is a large choice of romantic restaurants for those lovely date nights. In addition to our many festivals, Sequim families celebrate the holidays at the downtown trick-or-treating and tree lighting events. Visit Sequim for a family outing and see all we have to offer.

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See Why Pilots Love Flying in Sequim

Small plane flying against a blue sky sunny day.If flying is your passion, then Sequim is the perfect setting for your next adventure. We have a wealth of natural beauty including: a sparkling coastline, expansive forests and the stunning Olympic Mountains. All these gorgeous sites can be enjoyed by hiking, biking and boating. But some Sequim residents know the best views are from high in the air. Not only is our scenery spectacular, we also have the perfect weather for flying. Afterall pilots gave Sequim its nickname the “Blue Hole”. Our dry weather consistently creates the favorable conditions needed for VFR approaches and this is why Sequim has become a destination for aviators. Here the freedom of flying is a way of life.

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Kayak Around Sequim

A beautiful sunset over the Strait of Juan de Fuca in Sequim Washington.Before summer is over, glide your kayak through the cool waters surrounding Sequim. There are many possibilities to explore our gorgeous coastline. Any choice will have beautiful scenery and a chance to encounter wildlife. One of the best things about living in Sequim is the ability to enjoy mother nature throughout a good majority of the year. Summertime is definitely special, though, as evidenced by the sheer number of people who visit the Olympic Peninsula on a given summer weekend.  Take advantage of our incredible summer weather in Sequim, and plan a kayaking adventure to top off your summer.  Disappointment will be the furthest thing from your mind as you paddle in these beautiful waters. 

The Best Places to Kayak in Sequim

Sequim is a kayaker’s dream. Depending on your relative experience, you can paddle in serene, sheltered bays, or head out to the Strait of Juan de Fuca to tour the Dungeness Spit. There are many options to create your own kayak excursion, but we have a few suggestions to get you started.

Sequim and Discovery Bay are sheltered and peaceful kayaking locations. Launch within Sequim Bay at the John Wayne Marina or the Sequim Bay State Park. North of the bay there is a launch at Port Williams. The Travis Spit protects the entrance to the bay and leaves a narrow channel, so plan to ride the tides Colorful kayaks on the waterthrough it. Explore the bay’s historic landmarks and beautiful cliffs. When leaving the bay consult the tidal charts again, and ride the tide out. Then continue east to Discovery Bay. You will pass the wildlife refuge Protection Island, which is often an incredible place for some distant birdwatching. Violet Spit, on the east end of the island, is a popular sunbathing spot for harbor and elephant seals. Discovery Bay is larger and has 20 miles of shoreline. Since there is only one marina and public boat launch there is very little traffic, and you’ll feel like you have the entire bay to yourself.

The Dungeness Spit is a must-see when kayaking in Sequim. Travel the windswept west side on the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and the sheltered east side harbor. Launch your kayak from the Cline Spit or Dungeness Landing. Explore the Dungeness Harbor and the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge. Avid birdwatchers love this area, which is home to an incredible variety of seabirds. There are several areas that are approved for kayaking in the refuge, and it’s best to get acquainted with their map before you head out on your trip. After enjoying the harbor, head out to the Dungeness Bay and take in the views of the historic lighthouse. Once around to the west side, drift along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. As you pass the windswept beach, look for Bald Eagles perched on driftwood. Continuing down, the spit’s terrain changes to grassy bluffs where many seabirds live. Keep an eye out for orca whales, they also like to visit the pristine waters around Sequim.

Kayak Groups and Rentals

There are many resources to help you plan your next kayaking trip. The Washington State Park website has a list of safety guidelines, as well as local paddling groups. For Colorful kayaks docked - as seen from aboveexample, the Olympic Peninsula Paddler’s Club holds meetings at Sequim’s public library. There are also several Kayak and paddleboard rental businesses that offer lessons and guided tours. If you need to rent equipment, we recommend heading to GoXpeditions, which offers a variety of equipment, including sit-on-top kayaks, regular and extra-wide paddleboards, and pedal equipped kayaks.  They also host paddle camps for kids where they can learn kayaking skills and safety. Given To Glide Paddle Sports sells new and used paddleboards, and their website is a great resource for paddling tips. Check out their extensive guide to traversing Sequim Bay that includes a custom map to help you navigate. For guided tours, consider one of the beginners or expert adventures offered by Adventures Through Kayaking. They also provide all the gear and take care of all the planning for you, which means you get to sit back, relax, and enjoy the adventure before you!

There are few places in the world more beautiful and well-suited to kayaking.  You can spend a lifetime exploring all the treasures found here, which is one of the many reasons so many paddlers call Sequim home. Come out for a visit and see if we have the perfect home for you and your kayak.  Our experienced and dedicated Real Estate Agents will be more than happy to help you make this particular dream a reality!

 

5 Essential Hikes Near Sequim

Enjoy Hikes in the Olympic Mountains Near SequimSequim is nestled in the shadow of the majestic Olympic Mountains. As the temperatures rise, the snow begins to melt from the peaks and hiking season begins. The mountain meadows explode with wildflowers and the forest rivers rush with new, clear water. Summer is the perfect time to explore what these hikes have to offer.  Many of the best hikes on the Olympic Peninsula are an easy drive from Sequim.

Sequim has an abundance of natural beauty, easily hiked from its doorstep. These local hikes can be found in our previous blog posts: Bike the Olympic Discovery Trail and Hike the Dungeness Spit . However, if you’re looking for more adventure with stunning views, here are 5 hikes that may tempt you.

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