5 star relaxation - great house in fab location
My family of 5 travelled from Edinburgh, Scotland (3 children aged 10, 7 & 6) on a 3 week holiday to the Pacific Northwest. After a week in an RV along the Oregon coast, we were looking forward to a more comfortable and relaxing home from home after being on the road. The house was everything we hoped it would be and we were not disappointed and had a fabulous time at the Historic Balch Retreat in Brinnon. I was slightly worried before we got there as I had been told by so-called "experts" on trip advisor that there was not much to do around Brinnon and was advised to stay along the north coast of the Olympic Park. I am glad we did not. It is a great location to enjoy what is on offer in the Olympic National Park. The house itself was excellent - very clean and comfortable and well-equipped - but what sets this apart is the location - as you can arrive at the house down a steep and short narrow lane, you can see right through the house onto the Hood Canal. This place is all about the views. If you are after rest and relaxation - this is the place for you. The deck at the back of the house sits above the (tidal) Hood Canal and there are steep steps which take you onto the water. You are virtually floating on the Hood Canal! If wildlife is your thing, you are in for a treat, as In the space of a week we were blessed with seeing bald eagles, kayaked with seals and even got up close and personal to a family of sea otters who were swimming along the shore. The kayak belonging to the house was a big hit and we had several paddles along the still shores with the kids squealing with delight as the seals popped their heads up as they swam around the boat. It was truly magical. If oysters are your thing - you cannot help but find them - there are bucket-loads of the things! Evenings were spent toasting marshmallows and eating ice cream on the fire pit while enjoying a bottle of wine - it was certainly relaxing. As for activities other than kayaking - there is plenty to see and do within a shortish drive. Port Townsend for whale watching (yes - we did see orca!) was about an hour away - and we went to Hurricane Ridge which is well worth a trip. Other excursions to Lake Crescent, Lake Cushman and the Mount Walker viewpoint are all within easy reach and to be recommended. We also went for some walks to some waterfalls - all within 10-15 minutes away. Would I recommend this place to stay? Most definitely. We would love to go back!-- Jake T.