Gateway to Olympic National Park...and more
As a kid, I can remember distinctly reading somewhere that Port Angeles, Washington was intended to become the next great city. A New York on the West Coast. However, the railroad never reached the town and it never received the throngs of immigrants that Seattle saw.
This works to the benefit of the visitor though, as Port Angeles is still a beautiful, but still somewhat undiscovered town. This originally attracted me to the town, and it became a quest to eventually visit, which was finally realized in November of 2006.
Surrounded by Olympic National Park to the south, it has become a base point for those visiting the park, but also a layover spot for those wishing to go on to Victoria, BC, just across the San Juan de Fuca on a frequent auto ferry.
When I visited, I stayed Downtown (very much recommended) atop a small diner and across the street from what turned out to be an excellent bar and restaurant. In spite of the drizzle, I walked along the harbor for a while, admiring the public art the town had invested in and the beautiful, rocky seashore.