Sequim (pronounced “Skwim” not “See-kwim”) is a small and charming town located at the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula and not far from the Olympic National Park. Sequim is close to Port Townsend, Port Angeles, Olympic National Park, and Hurricane Ridge, making it a great base to explore the wider area, but make no mistake, there’s plenty to see right in town.
Explore the downtown core with its galleries, museums, and shops, get out and enjoy some top-notch nature at the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge, see some wildlife up close and personal at the Olympic Game Farm, or explore the local lavender farms. There are things to do in Sequim year round, but if that part about lavender farms caught your attention, visit in July when half the town turns purple!
Things to do in Sequim
Hike Through the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge
Often colloquially called the Dungeness Spit, the Dungeness National Wildlife Refuge is unique for the 5.5-mile sand spit jutting out into Dungeness Bay with a lighthouse at the very end. You can walk the entire spit (best to do at low tide) and back if you’re up for a hefty hike, but don’t feel like you have to go the distance. There’s a lovely flat trail leading from the parking lot to an overlook where you can look out over the spit. From the overlook, there’s a steeper trail that leads down to the beach. You can also camp, picnic, read the informational plaques, visit the lighthouse (when it’s open and if you walk all the way out to it), and more at the Refuge.
Bond with Some Yaks at the Olympic Game Farm
The Olympic Game Farm is home to more than 200 animals that live mostly in free-roam areas that you can drive through. Buy some wheat bread at the entrance of the park, roll down your windows, and hand pieces of bread to eagerly awaiting yaks, llamas, deer, bison, elk, and more. There are other animals in enclosures (animals you don’t want leaning in your car window like a lion and a tiger). Bring along lots of wipes because you might get some yak drool on your hands or windows, and count on lots of laughs as there’s nothing like a llama sticking its head in your car window.
Relax at Lavender Farms
Sequim is known for its lavender farms and these are simply lovely to visit. There are many farms to choose from, some large, some small, some with shops, some just open lavender fields. Many of the farms are open throughout the season and each has its own vibe. Lavender is at its best and most purple in the month of July, and Lavender Weekend takes place one weekend in July to showcase all things lavender in town.
Stop by the Sequim Visitors Center
Need to know what to do and where to go on the fly? Stop by the Sequim Visitors Center at 1192 E Washington Street and find out what’s going on when you’re in town.
Explore Downtown Sequim
If what you love best is shops and antiquing and cafes and restaurants, don’t miss Sequim’s adorable downtown, which is centered around the intersection of Washington Street and Sequim Avenue. You’ll find a bit of everything, most of it locally owned and operated.
Explore Museums and Galleries
Sequim has several museums and galleries to check out. The Sequim Museum & Arts is housed in a historic schoolhouse, so you can see artwork and learn about local history, but the building itself is also pretty cool. Delve into Native arts and crafts at Northwest Native Expressions. There are several galleries to choose from as well, like the Blue Whole Gallery also in the downtown core.
Olympic Discovery Trail
The Olympic Discovery Trail starts in nearby Port Townsend and travels along the top of the Olympic Peninsula straight through to La Push on the Pacific Ocean. The trail passes right through Sequim and is just one of many trails to explore, but it’s super beautiful year round and an excellent choice if you want to get out your bike and go for a nice, long ride.
Shop at Local Markets
If you are staying in a vacation rental and want to whip up dinner made from fresh, local ingredients, well, you should. It’s just a good idea. And to do just that, you can shop at the Sequim Farmers and Artisans Market, which is open from May through October each year. And any time of year, Sunny Farms is a great place to find local produce, meat and seafood, and more.
Play at Local Parks
Sequim is home to several city and county parks. A fun city park is Carrie Blake Park, a former farm, which has a playground, ponds, sports courts and fields, and more. Or if you want to launch a boat, kayak, or even go windsurfing, Cline Spit County Park is the place for you.
Dungeness River Audubon Center
Learning more about nature is never a bad thing, but especially not a bad thing in this part of the world where nature is just extra awesome (I might be biased as a Northwesterner). View exhibits on native plants and animals at the Dungeness River Audubon Center, or explore the surrounding Dungeness River watershed, which features a historic bridge over the river.
Okay, so this may go without saying, but you can enjoy all kinds of outdoorsy pursuits in Sequim. With the Dungeness Bay right there, you can go boating, fishing, or kayaking. Running, walking, and hiking are always a fine way to go on the area’s trails, or on the Dungeness Spit. You can even take a hot air balloon flight over the area!