Washington's Bountiful Harvest

Washington's diverse climate produces an abundance of world-class crops. Discover the best places in the state to experience the harvest season.

You’ve heard about our apples and cherries, but Washington state is also responsible fora huge number of the country’s cranberries—the Long Beach Peninsula on the coast boasts just the right conditions for it. Learn all about the history and process at the Pacific Coast Cranberry Research Foundation in Long Beach, where you can take a walking tour of a working cranberry farm. In October, pick your own tangy berries at Cranguyma Farms for just 50 cents a pound, or sample some Starvation Alley cranberry juice at local restaurants and bars.

From cranberries, turn to the artisan cheese scene at Port Townsend’s Mt. Townsend Creamery, which was founded to revive the cheese-making tradition that began on the Olympic Peninsula in the 1850s. Each cheese is created with milk from a herd of cows in Sequim. Varieties include Campfire, a smoked Jack; Seastack, an earthy soft-ripened cheese; and Cirrus, a creamy Camembert.

On the beverage side, it’s tough to beat the experience at Finnriver in Chimacum, where the family-friendly Cider Garden is a popular gathering spot. Try a tasting, get a flight, or sip a creative cocktail mixed with the cider of your choice. On weekends, enjoy live music, wood-fired pizza (Saturday only), and rotating treats like crêpes, oysters, and bratwurst plates. Just across the road, stop by Chimacum Corner Farm stand to pick up local goods, from honey sticks to handmade bagels.

For sips of the vino variety, look to Bainbridge Island, where winemaking started int he 1970s. There are now seven wineries serving their handcrafted blends, including Rolling Bay Winery and Bainbridge Vineyards. While you’re in town, cap off your culinary exploration with dinner at Hitchcock, renowned for its micro seasonal tasting menu from James Beard Award–winning chef Brendan McGill.

By Haley Shaple

Photo courtesy Long Beach Peninsula Visitors Burea