Boston Honeymooners need on-the-road advice
I'm coming to the Pacific Northwest for the first time on my honeymoon and I would love any suggestions for the road trip portions of the vacation. We're doing Portland-Seattle-Vancouver and I think I've done enough research to eat for days in each city but any help on the parts in between would be great.
We'll be going from Portland up to the Olympic Peninsula likely staying at the Kalaloch Lodge. From there we'll continue around the park on 101 through Port Angeles then to Bainbridge Island and Seattle.
From Seattle we're going to the San Juan Islands and then to Vancouver.
Any advice on places to eat along 101 up by Olympic National Park? How does this road trip sound? Any glaring faults in the plan? Will we starve? For food we're not too picky but definitely want to eat some oysters and other local cuisine. We also love good bars with above average pub grub.
Thanks so much for any advice!
Some replys correctly point out that the coast has lost lots of its logging and fishing and many of its jobs. It remains a great part of the state with many interesting areas to explore...More important, people still eat there and there are some fine meals to be had. There are a few restaurants trying to attract the tourist trade, some all-you-can-stomach buffets at the various casinos, and a nice scattering of working-mans' cafes. Some of the latter employ some fine local cooks who, along with the standard fare, put out some really tasty daily or weekly specials. On my last visit to Astoria I had dinner at the local cafe(I think it was the only place serving dinner in town.) Nice old fashioned cafe, good service with adult waitresses. Had some really fine cabbage rolls. Some of the locals that came in later were a bit upset that they had sold out because they had counted on the cabbage rolls.
On up the coast in Washington, and out on the spit is Tokeland and the old Tokeland hotel. I've had some pleasant breakfasts there. The dinner menu features a cranberry pot roast which is apparently a big favorite with the locals. I haven't had it because its only served for Sunday dinner. I may have to plan a trip there on sunday just to try it, my mouth waters just thinking about it. Needless to say Tokeland and the Grayland area is big cranberry country.
The other replys cover the center part of the coast. On up at Pt Angeles I've had some good Hearty breakfasts at a fishermans joint ot the east end of the marina -- there is a dinner place at the west end of the marina that wasn't all that great.
Lots of restaurants come and go year by year, it real tough place to make it go. There is suprisingly little seafood. I think the fish and crab and oysters get boxed up and sent off to the bigger markets. if the locals want some fish for dinner they take it home and cook it rather than going to a restaurant.
Also, in Montesano, ther is a nice family restaurant at the intersection, south east corner. Good basic food, good cooks and an owner with respect for food and running a restaurant, I usually have breakfast there, but there are probably some interesting daily specials.
General stuff: Take a look at the road map and you'll see a long part of highway 101 is miles inland from the ocean and you spend hours on winding, two lane highways traveling through logged over second growth timber..the most scenic thing you may see all day is the backside of a huge motorhome lumbering along at 25--35 mph. no place to pass, no place to pull out. Watch for suicidal deer and elk wanting to end their life on the hood of your car. Campgrounds are sometimes closed due to problems with bears or cougars. The weather can be wet and gray a lot..spent a week on the coast and never saw the sun..and that was in july...There is a reason its called the rain forest.
No you won't starve, you'll find some fine home cooking and friendly restaurants, less local seafood that you'd expect or hope for. Take your sweater, umbrella and boots, drive slow and enjoy the road.
If your visit to the San Juans includes Orcas Island, go to Allium on Orcas. Former French Laundry chef owns it and cooks there.