Hood Canal Real Estate – 7 Reasons to Drive to Hood Canal

Hood Canal Real Estate, Hood Canal Properties, Hood Canal Homes, Hood Canal Lots, http://www.hoodcanalliving.com, Tahuya Real Estate, Union Real Estate, Belfair Real Estate


7 Reasons to Drive to the Hood Canal

By Jackie Varriano | May 24, 2016
Photo by: Hama Hama Oyster Co.
Named for British Admiral Samuel Hood, Washington gem the Hood Canal is not really a canal at all – it’s a fjord. Defined by its narrow inlet and steep sides caused by glacial erosion, the waterway is so secluded it's hard to believe you can reach it after just a short ferry ride from Downtown Seattle to Bremerton.
You can also drive there by way of the Narrows Bridge, and it's a gorgeous trip any time of year — with roads snaking along the shoreline and tiny towns dotted along the way – but go now before the water gets too warm. Not only can you take advantage of the incredibly short spot prawn season (celebrate at the Brinnon Shrimpfest, May 28–29), it’s your last chance for blue pool oysters from Hama Hama. You can also grab a license from the Union gas station and the IGA in Hoodsport to dig for clams and gather seaweed on the beach.
Explore before the summer hoards descend, with seven reasons to drive to Hood Canal now.
Photo courtesy Saboteur Bakery
Technically not in the Hood Canal, this Bremerton bakery is the first stop you should make to get your road trip off on the right foot. Owned and operated by pastry chef Matt Tinder, this is the place to grab everything from ham and Emmentaler scones to mandarin brioche sucre. The bakery closes at 1 PM (and sometimes before, as it's been known to sell out), so make sure you get there early.
245 4th St.; 415-828-0517
Photo by Caven Photo
This impressive Union landmark first got its start in 1913 as an artist’s retreat, accessible only by Seattle’s famous Mosquito Fleet. Now over 100 years later, it’s a full-on foodie destination, resort and spa. Take a foraging tour with one of the chefs, spot oysters off the dock, snack on chocolate-dipped rose petals while sketching with an artist or just sit back in the plush dining room and see what locally sourced delights chef Josh Delgado has created.
Photo by Caven Photo
Inside the Hood Canal Marina, the Union City Market was transformed during the summer of 2015 into a year-round space to pick up everything your picnic basket needs (including coffee from Harstine Island roaster Barking Squirrel), art and gifts. Get there on the third Thursday of the month for a Canal Cookout, offering seasonal bites and cocktails from local chefs and vendors right next to the water.
Photo by Jackie Varriano
You’ve probably eaten oysters from this fifth-generation oyster company at spots like The Walrus and the Carpenter or seen them at farmer's markets across the city, but there's no better spot to slurp a Hama Hama oyster than on the shores of the tideflats at the owners' Oyster Saloon. Eat them fresh or grilled and slathered in butter, but also check out the steamed clams and crab cakes. There’s also a retail shop to grab oysters for the road.
35846 N. US Hwy 101; 360-877-5811
Blink and you’ll miss this tiny craft distillery just off the main drag in Hoodsport, but stopping is well worth it for fans of aquavit, distilled mead, small-batch gin, aged whiskey and vodka. The spirits at Hardware are designed to pair with food, and owner Chuck Morris is happy to give tours, tastings and pairing recommendations.
24120 N. US Hwy 101; 206-300-0877
Kelsey’s All Natural Burgers
For anyone looking to get a bit further off the beaten path, turn off the 101 toward Shelton and make a pit stop at this roadside burger stand. Grab burgers, fish 'n' chips and a natural soda to go, and head to nearby Potlatch State Park for lunch with a view.
21391 N. US Hwy 101, 360-877-5696
Photo courtesty Mosquito Fleet Winery
One of the few wineries on this side of the state, Mosquito Fleet is an award-winning, family-owned producer in Belfair, a small town that serves as the gateway to the canal. Stop here for tastings on Saturdays, private tours and to pick up bottles of vino to drink by the shore.
Hood Canal Real Estate, Hood Canal Properties, Hood Canal Homes, Hood Canal Lots, http://www.hoodcanalliving.com, Tahuya Real Estate, Union Real Estate, Belfair Real Estate

Hood Canal Real Estate – 7 Reasons to Drive to Hood Canal

Hood Canal Real Estate, Hood Canal Properties, Hood Canal Homes, Hood Canal Lots, http://www.hoodcanalliving.com, Tahuya Real Estate, Union Real Estate, Belfair Real Estate


7 Reasons to Drive to the Hood Canal

By Jackie Varriano | May 24, 2016
Photo by: Hama Hama Oyster Co.
Named for British Admiral Samuel Hood, Washington gem the Hood Canal is not really a canal at all – it’s a fjord. Defined by its narrow inlet and steep sides caused by glacial erosion, the waterway is so secluded it's hard to believe you can reach it after just a short ferry ride from Downtown Seattle to Bremerton.
You can also drive there by way of the Narrows Bridge, and it's a gorgeous trip any time of year — with roads snaking along the shoreline and tiny towns dotted along the way – but go now before the water gets too warm. Not only can you take advantage of the incredibly short spot prawn season (celebrate at the Brinnon Shrimpfest, May 28–29), it’s your last chance for blue pool oysters from Hama Hama. You can also grab a license from the Union gas station and the IGA in Hoodsport to dig for clams and gather seaweed on the beach.
Explore before the summer hoards descend, with seven reasons to drive to Hood Canal now.
Photo courtesy Saboteur Bakery
Technically not in the Hood Canal, this Bremerton bakery is the first stop you should make to get your road trip off on the right foot. Owned and operated by pastry chef Matt Tinder, this is the place to grab everything from ham and Emmentaler scones to mandarin brioche sucre. The bakery closes at 1 PM (and sometimes before, as it's been known to sell out), so make sure you get there early.
245 4th St.; 415-828-0517
Photo by Caven Photo
This impressive Union landmark first got its start in 1913 as an artist’s retreat, accessible only by Seattle’s famous Mosquito Fleet. Now over 100 years later, it’s a full-on foodie destination, resort and spa. Take a foraging tour with one of the chefs, spot oysters off the dock, snack on chocolate-dipped rose petals while sketching with an artist or just sit back in the plush dining room and see what locally sourced delights chef Josh Delgado has created.
Photo by Caven Photo
Inside the Hood Canal Marina, the Union City Market was transformed during the summer of 2015 into a year-round space to pick up everything your picnic basket needs (including coffee from Harstine Island roaster Barking Squirrel), art and gifts. Get there on the third Thursday of the month for a Canal Cookout, offering seasonal bites and cocktails from local chefs and vendors right next to the water.
Photo by Jackie Varriano
You’ve probably eaten oysters from this fifth-generation oyster company at spots like The Walrus and the Carpenter or seen them at farmer's markets across the city, but there's no better spot to slurp a Hama Hama oyster than on the shores of the tideflats at the owners' Oyster Saloon. Eat them fresh or grilled and slathered in butter, but also check out the steamed clams and crab cakes. There’s also a retail shop to grab oysters for the road.
35846 N. US Hwy 101; 360-877-5811
Blink and you’ll miss this tiny craft distillery just off the main drag in Hoodsport, but stopping is well worth it for fans of aquavit, distilled mead, small-batch gin, aged whiskey and vodka. The spirits at Hardware are designed to pair with food, and owner Chuck Morris is happy to give tours, tastings and pairing recommendations.
24120 N. US Hwy 101; 206-300-0877
Kelsey’s All Natural Burgers
For anyone looking to get a bit further off the beaten path, turn off the 101 toward Shelton and make a pit stop at this roadside burger stand. Grab burgers, fish 'n' chips and a natural soda to go, and head to nearby Potlatch State Park for lunch with a view.
21391 N. US Hwy 101, 360-877-5696
Photo courtesty Mosquito Fleet Winery
One of the few wineries on this side of the state, Mosquito Fleet is an award-winning, family-owned producer in Belfair, a small town that serves as the gateway to the canal. Stop here for tastings on Saturdays, private tours and to pick up bottles of vino to drink by the shore.
Hood Canal Real Estate, Hood Canal Properties, Hood Canal Homes, Hood Canal Lots, http://www.hoodcanalliving.com, Tahuya Real Estate, Union Real Estate, Belfair Real Estate

Hood Canal Blog 2016-05-02 15:40:00

Hood Canal Real Estate, Hood Canal Properties, Hood Canal Homes, Hood Canal Lots, http://www.hoodcanalliving.com, Tahuya Real Estate, Union Real Estate, Belfair Real Estate

There is something amazing lurking in the cool, deep waters off Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Coming mid-May, Hood Canal will once again be filled by shrimp enthusiasts in search of the tastiest shrimp around. Starting in the early morning along Highway 101, expect to see lines of trucks pulling boats full of shrimp lovers, all hoping to get their limit. The waters will be full and, hopefully, so will your stomachs.
Skokomish Park Lake Cushman lucky dogLocals and visitors alike enjoy the tradition of shrimping weekends, usually capped off by a BBQ in a beautiful place along Hood Canal with family and friends. The communities around the Canal seem to “wake up” from a winter slumber.
For the region, the recreational shrimp opener is a big deal. Many local businesses that shut down for the off-season plan their openings to coincide with the shrimp season opener. Shrimping is huge business for the local economy and an opportunity for residents and visitors to celebrate the return of the warm weather to the region. The season opener is always held in May, making for a timeless tradition out on the waters of Hood Canal.
spot shrimp hood canal
Get in line early, as traffic backs up on Highway 101 during the four day spot shrimp season on Hood Canal. Photo credit: Mathias Eichler.
This year’s spot shrimp season is scheduled to open on May 14, 2016. The season will once again be just four short days – May 14, 18, 28 and 30. To highlight just how competitive and incredible this season is, shrimping on these four days is only allowed to occur between 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. If you plan on shrimping on any of these days, show up to one of the few boat launches along Hood Canal early, as there will be long lines all day.
The most popular destination to launch your boat is at the Skokomish Tribe’s Boat Launch near Potlatch. Be aware that the south end of the park is still under construction while a sockeye hatchery is being built on the premises. Please remember to be respectful to the construction crew and their equipment, as well as make sure all garbage ends up in trash cans. The local crows and gulls can be messy. Also be aware that there will be a small fee to launch.
hood canal spot shrimp
A bucket full of spot shrimp could be yours to enjoy. The season is open for four days on Hood Canal. Photo credit: Chris Eardley.
Another great way place to launch is along State Route 106, east of Highway 101. Located in Union, the boat ramp at Hood Canal Marina is where many shrimpers head out of this area to get to their secret destinations on Hood Canal. This region can also get backed up on spot shrimping days, so show up early to guarantee yourself a chance of getting into the water during the four-hour shrimping time limit. More Hood Canal boat launches can be found here.
Once you are out on the water, there are a few things to remember. Shrimp can be caught throughout Hood Canal, but spot shrimp tend to enjoy deeper waters. Set your pots at depths between 125 – 200 feet. During the May shrimping season, a daily limit of only 80 shrimp is allowed. For more information on daily limits and rules on shrimping season, check out the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife’s website.
hood canal spot shrimp
Enjoy a delicious spot shrimp from Washington’s Hood Canal. Photo credit: Larry Halff.
As soon as you have your haul of spot shrimp, you should follow your desires and start immediately cooking up a few. When you devour these tasty crustacean, most shrimpers agree that the best way to eat them is by either steaming, boiling, or sautéing them and them dipping them in either a lemony mayonnaise or garlic butter sauce.
Spot shrimp are sweeter tasting than their relatives, making the combination of the sauce with their natural flavor mouthwatering. While preferences vary by family and by individual, many locals enjoy the spot shrimp cooked with the heads. This is said to contribute to a flavorful broth and allows them to be eaten whole.
Another favorite way to eat spot shrimp is just as simple: Once you have the shrimp, brush with garlic butter and throw them on the grill. When they are cooked to your liking, squeeze lemon on top, peel the shrimp and enjoy. The grilling makes the entire experience feel like summer is coming, which is exactly what the return of the spot shrimp season means.
hood canal spot shrimp
The recreational spot shrimp season permits you to harvest 80 shrimp per day. Photo credit: Chris Eardley.
For the Skokomish Tribe, the return of the spot shrimp is a reason to celebrate. Spot shrimp are part of the seafood cornucopia that has sustained the Skokomish Tribe for generations and remains important today.
Chris Eardley, a Shellfish Biologist with the Skokomish Tribe explained the importance of spot shrimp. “The Tribe traditionally (and today) followed resources around the Canal throughout the year—harvesting whatever was in season,” said Eardley. “Shrimp have always been, and remain, an important ceremonial and subsistence item, once caught with weaved cedar traps, and popular potlatch fare. They continue to be the seasonal centerpiece of special gatherings and family affairs and when shrimp season approaches, there is a tangible buzz in the air.”
While Eardley enjoys the shrimp any way he can take them, his favorite way to cook them up is by grilling them in a marinade of tequila, hot sauce, cumin, garlic, lime, and cilantro. He also highly recommends placing them in a thai-style curry or in a tomato-based gumbo with some other local seafood such as clams and oysters.
Enjoy your Hood Canal spot shrimp this May.
Article is courtesy of Douglas Scott of the Thurston Talk.
Hood Canal Real Estate, Hood Canal Properties, Hood Canal Homes, Hood Canal Lots, http://www.hoodcanalliving.com, Tahuya Real Estate, Union Real Estate, Belfair Real Estate