Be a valentine: Romantic spots abound on North Olympic Peninsula [ *** GALLERY *** ]

When asked to name romantic local spots for Valentine’s Day on Tuesday — or any day, really — the men as well as the women spoke up.

“The end of Ediz Hook at sunset,” said David Rivers of Port Angeles, a newlywed who married his wife, Danielle, in September.

“Pyramid Peak” was the choice of Brian Lewis of Sequim — and a hike up this mountain high over Lake Crescent could certainly set two people’s hearts beating.

So would climbing the stairs above the Haller Fountain at Washington and Taylor streets in Port Townsend.

That’s another loverly place — as is the whole city, according to www.SmarterTravel.com, an Internet travel guide based in Boston.

The website named our Victorian seaport one of the 10 most romantic small towns in the United States and Canada, touting its elegant architecture, coastal views, “artisan bakeries and creameries, a maritime center, kayaking tours and a resident orca population nearby.”

SmarterTravel also mentions Port Townsend as the location for the 1982 movie “An Officer and a Gentleman,” which was filmed at and around Fort Worden State Park.

Other small towns the SmarterTravel people found charming range from Banff, Alberta, B.C., to Taos, N.M., and from Hana, Hawaii, to St. Augustine, Fla.

Back here in Port Townsend, there also is Chetzemoka Park, a popular wedding site with its serene beach, arbor and gazebo.

And over in Clallam County just northwest of Sequim, there’s Railroad Bridge Park, with its leafy canopies providing a natural chapel.

Water key

Water — be it falling, swelling or crashing — is clearly key in the romance recipe.

Rialto Beach near LaPush, Marymere Falls near Lake Crescent and Madison Creek Falls near the Elwha River — all in Olympic National Park — are among favorites listed by romantic locals.

“Shi Shi Beach comes to mind . . . and Second Beach [outside LaPush] isn’t bad either,” added Lynne Roberson, an Olympic National Park wildland firefighter who lives in Port Angeles.

“Port Williams and Salt Creek, for romantic strolls and picnics,” are Sequim resident Katherine Chapa’s suggestions.

Salt Creek is a county park off state Highway 112 west of Port Angeles, while the Port Williams beach fronts Sequim’s Marlyn Nelson Park at the end of Port Williams Road.

Artist Jeff Tocher likes the Dungeness Recreation Area overlook, accessible from Voice of America Road at the north end of Kitchen-Dick Road.

“Better yet,” he added, “[take] the walk on Dungeness Spit.”

Now that could turn into a commitment if the couple walks all 5 miles out to the Spit’s tip. Their reward is a memorable one: the Dungeness Lighthouse, with its staircase to the top of a 63-foot-high tower.

Up there, a sweeping view of the Strait of Juan de Fuca awaits — from a fairly snug space.

For details and directions to various spots, visit www.NewDungenessLighthouse.com, www.OlympicPeninsulaWaterfallTrail.com or PTGuide.com.

And for those who enjoy spontaneity?

Head for a body of salt water. Place feet on sand. Walk hand in hand.

________

Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3550 or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

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