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Hotels and Cabins

11 Unusual Places to Stay on the Olympic Peninsula

You could stay in a nondescript hotel during your Olympic road trip. But step outside your comfort zone to spend the night at fantastic and unusual lodging options along the way. Stay in a tipi, rock to sleep in a sailboat, or bunk in a castle.

Here are our top eleven places to stay on the Olympic Peninsula, if you’re seeking unforgettable, adventurous experiences.

1. Feel Like a King and Queen in a Castle

Manresa Castle Hotel in Port Townsend, Wash.
Manresa Castle Hotel in Port Townsend, Wash. Michael Martin/Flickr

Formerly the 1890s home of Mayor Charles and Kate Eisenbeis, the Manresa Castle became a vacation hangout for Catholic nuns in 1925 and then a Jesuit priest college in 1927. Since 1968 it has been operating as a hotel, and it makes guests feel like royalty in the Victorian, turreted building. The rooms retain their charm with brass or four-poster beds but have been updated with modern conveniences. While the college only had three bathrooms, the hotel now has 43.

For more information:
Manresa Castle Hotel
651 Cleveland St, Port Townsend, WA 98368

2. Snooze in Sherwood Forest

A painting on the pub's wall depicts what the Robin Hood Resort looked like in the 1940s
A painting on the pub’s wall depicts what the Robin Hood Resort looked like in the 1940s Courtesy Robin Hood Resort

At the south end of Hood Canal are cottages created by Don Beckman, a Hollywood movie-set designer for the original black-and-white Robin Hood film starring Errol Flynn. The high gables and pitched roofs of the Robin Hood Village Resort cabins are reminiscent of English cottages. Each is unique and ten cottages include private hot tubs. For fun, glide on the canal to watch wildlife including bald eagles using resort kayaks and go oyster picking and clamming along the beach. You can dine at nearby restaurants, grill a meal at several waterfront gazebos, or eat at the historic Robin Hood Restaurant and Pub.

For more information:
Robin Hood Village Resort
6780 E State Route 106, Union, WA 98592

3. Pretend You’re a Conductor in a Caboose Suite

Red Caboose Getaway B&B in Sequim, Wash.
Red Caboose Getaway B&B in Sequim, Wash. Richard Bauer/Flickr

On the way to Olympic National Park, stop in Sequim to stay in one of six cabooses at the Red Caboose Getaway B&B. Each railcar has a unique theme and is set on a railroad track. Watch a train-themed DVD movie while snuggling in a feather bed beside a fireplace. Then soak in a two-person whirlpool tub. In the morning head to the dining car, the Silver Eagle, for breakfast.

For more information:
Red Caboose Getaway B&B
24 Old Coyote Way, Sequim, WA 98382

4. Stay Beside Hot Spring Pools

The swimming pool at Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort in Olympic National Park.
The swimming pool at Sol Duc Hot Spring Resort in Olympic National Park. Courtesy Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort

Gurgling in the Sol Duc Valley under a moss-covered canopy of evergreens, are naturally-hot mineral springs. The valley is a popular spot in Olympic National Park because of the unique, three-tiered waterfall at the end of Lover’s Lane. After your waterfall hike, head for the spring-fed hot pools at Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort for a soothing soak. A masseuse is available at the spa to knead your warm muscles. Then retreat to one of 32 cabins, or camp in the campground. There are no telephones, televisions or radios in the cabins, so you will sleep undistracted.

For more information:
Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort

5. Sleep on a Sailboat in the San Juan Islands

Sailboats at the marina at Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, Wash.
Sailboats at the marina at Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, Wash.Adobe Stock

Spend the night on a sailboat docked at Friday Harbor in the San Juan Islands. The 60-foot Slow Season has been the only floating bed and breakfast in the San Juans since 1986. Below the deck, hang out in the living area’s antique furnishings and couch. There also are two spacious, private staterooms, and a sky-lit main salon next to the main galley. Wake up to a wonderful European-style breakfast with coffee on deck.

More Information:
Wharfside Bed and Breakfast

6. Watch Winter Storms from a Hot Tub in your Room

Jetted tub with a window view of the waves at Quileute Oceanside Resort
Jetted tub with a window view of the waves at Quileute Oceanside Resort Photo: Courtesy Quileute Oceanside Resort and RV Park

The Quileute Oceanside Resort, completely surrounded by Olympic National Park, is in La Push right on First Beach. Get a deluxe cabin with a jetted tub next to a large window overlooking the beach. You can soak in a steamy bath while watching the drama during the winter storm-watching season, November through February. If you’re brave, don your wetsuit and venture just steps to the beach to experience the battering.

For more information:
Quileute Oceanside Resort

7. Dream Big at a Presidential-Style Estate

The George Washington Inn and its lavender fields.
The George Washington Inn and its lavender fields. Courtesy of Dan Abbott, Owner

Port Angeles is best known as the main gateway to Olympic National Park. Less known is the nearby replica of Mount Vernon (George Washington’s home) built on a lavender farm. The estate’s quirky exterior hints at the luxurious bed and breakfast inside. We’re not boasting – George Washington Inn was voted as the “Best B&B” in Best of the Peninsula in 2013-2016.

Themed suites portray times in George Washington’s life and that of his wife, Martha. The Presidential Suite has a parlor with two private entrances, one off of the veranda. The adjoining Washington Lavender Farm is the home of “Martha’s Own” and “By George” essential oils and lavender products.

For more information:
George Washington Inn & Estate
939 Finn Hall Road, Port Angeles, WA 98362

8. A Camp Just for Travelers on Two Wheels

In Forks, Washington‘s werewolf wilderness is a campground that caters to only travelers on motorcycles or bicycles. Owner Bob Wishon is an active biker who was frustrated by the lack of hospitality many campground offered motorcyclists. That’s why he started Cycle Camp. It’s a place designed specifically for cyclists offering tipis, tent sites, and a group fire pit. What you won’t find is an upcharge for your type of ride, common at traditional campgrounds. And for the gamers, the crazy motorcycle sculpture at the entrance to Cycle Camp is a Pokeman Go stop.

For more information:
Cycle Camp
1071 Mora Rd, Forks, WA 98331

9. Bunk in a Tiny House on the Bay

Tiny-house cabins at the Cape Resort in Neah Bay, Wash.
Tiny-house cabins at the Cape Resort in Neah Bay, Wash. Gloria Wadzinski

Neah Bay is a fisherman’s paradise on the Makah Indian Reservation. As such, much of the area’s lodging involves group sleeping rooms, boat trailer parking, and fish-cleaning facilities. But right across the street from the water are slightly more upscale accommodations. The Cape Resort has a row of 10 modern tiny-house cabins. They may be small, but they are jam-packed with the conveniences of a larger cottage; they sleep four, have a full bathroom, and a mini kitchen and dining area. Kids will love the pocket-doored bunkie alcove. Need more room to stretch your legs? Relax on your cabin’s deck, or lounge at the office’s deck to watch the sun setting over the water and check your email with free WiFi.

NOTE for 2021-22: The Makah Tribal Council has closed the Makah Reservation to visitors in light of COVID-19. Check the Cape Resort website for up-to-date details. 

For more information:
The Cape Resort
1500 Bayview Ave, Neah Bay, Washington 98357

10. Be a Lighthouse Keeper for a Week

The New Dungeness Light Station at the end of the sea spit near Sequim, Wash.
The New Dungeness Light Station at the end of the sea spit near Sequim, Wash. Brian Holsclaw/Flickr

This volunteer vacation comes with responsibility. First you’ll need become a member of the Lighthouse Association and then secure a week of duty. Even though this is a job, it’s popular so you may have to reserve your spot a year in advance. Daily duties include raising and lowering the flag, giving tours, cleaning, and lawn maintenance. The closest lighthouse to Olympic National Park is the New Dungeness Light Station on the sea spit outside of Sequim. On the Hood Canal is another.

For more information:
New Dungeness Light Station

More info around the web:

11. Stay at a Vampire’s House

The Miller Tree Inn in Forks, Wash.
The Miller Tree Inn in Forks, Wash.Ewen Roberts via Flickr

Fans of vampire and werewolf fiction flock to Forks, Wash. to visit real-life inspirations for the Twilight books and movies. Although the Miller Inn doesn’t look like the movie set home for Dr. Carlisle Cullen, readers have noticed that the historic hotel matches the books’ description with the wrap-around porch and the faded white color of the three-story, square home. The inn has become a must-stop for fans as a home base for visits to the high school, hospital, Bella’s house, and Olympic National Park’s rainforests.

For more information:
The Miller Tree Inn aka Cullen’s House
654 East Division Street, Forks, WA 98331