This former logging community is a short drive from Silverdale hotels, but its serene beauty, stunning mountain views and water access will make you feel like you’re at a resort whether you stay for an afternoon or a mini-vacation.

Take time to explore the area by car, bike or boat, look for resident bald eagles at Big Beef Creek and stop at the old-fashioned general store for homemade sandwiches and picnic supplies. There’s plenty of on-street parking near the store and this is a good place to explore the waterfront or launch a kayak. During fishing and shellfishing seasons, this is a great place to watch boats ply the waters of the Hood Canal.

Other highlights:

Guillemot Cove Nature Reserve – With a pristine beach and network of woodland trails, this peaceful preserve is a favorite with birders, families and nature lovers. You won’t find crowds here, but you will find a delightful Stump House, a hollowed-out cedar stump with a roof that is said to have been an old-time hideout for the colorfully named “Dirty Thompson.” Look closely to see remnants of logging history – cedar stumps with springboard notches from the late 1800s, when loggers would insert a board into a notch in the base of a tree and stand on it in order to extend their reach when felling trees by hand. This is a walk-in, walk-out park with no restrooms, so plan accordingly. Details here.

Scenic Beach State Park – This jewel of a park is known for its wild rhododendrons, huge conifers, rocky, oyster-filled beach and amazing views of the Olympic Mountains. A popular camping destination from May 1 to Oct. 1, it accommodates 52 tents and 18 RVs, and has a spacious kitchen shelter and numerous picnic tables. It’s also a popular wedding venue, with a country garden, gazebo and quaint 1911 Emel House. A Washington Discover Pass is required for day use. Click here for park info.

Dining optionsSeabeck Pizza is as popular with the locals as it is with visitors and the restaurant has been known to deliver by boat. Seabeck also has an espresso stand. And just down the road is Smokin’ Robinsons Café, which serves St. Louis-style barbecue, including house-smoked spare ribs, pulled pork and brisket.

For lodging options and to plan your trip, go to the Visit Kitsap Peninsula website.