Designed for the kind of small-beach-community experience that we remember from our youth, Seabrook is a place where kids roam freely and neighbors borrow sugar, even when they've only just met. The architects who created it nine years ago embraced a philosophy called New Urbanism, which encourages tight-knit, pedestrian-friendly communities. Backyards are virtually nonexistent, nudging people to gather on front porches; homes are close together; and shared services, like fire pits and an indoor swimming pool, abound. A well-curated store, a restaurant, and a bike-rental shop complete the village, and the vast Seabrook beach, a place for razor-clamming, kite-flying, and sand-dollar-combing, is never out of earshot. The stunning rain forests and beaches of Olympic National Park are a short (and scenic) drive north.
There's a walk for everyone here, from loops under a half-mile to marathon-length treks. Visit some of the country's largest trees in the Valley of the Rain Forest Giants, including a Sitka spruce that's 58 feet around and 191 feet tall, and a western red cedar that's 63.5 feet around and 174 feet tall.
You don't have to stay here to take a swim in the lake, rent a canoe, or meander the grounds of this historic lodge, which was built in 1926 (by the same architect who did the Old Faithful Inn). FDR once made a stop here for lunch, and nine months later signed a bill that created Olympic National Park.
345 South Shore Road, Quinault, olympicnationalparks.com.
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