Port Townsend Travel Guide

  • The Railroad Line is now a Bike Path
    The Railroad Line is now a Bike Path
    by glabah
  • Port Townsend
    by rmdw
  • Hundreds of deer roam freely in the town
    Hundreds of deer roam freely in the town
    by rmdw

Port Townsend Things to Do

  • By land or by sea

    Port Townsend has lots of great parks for beachcombing, biking, hiking, picnicking or just having a morning latte along the waterfront. This tiny pocket garden (Water and Adams Street) is right downtown and has picnic tables, gravel paths, flowerbeds and a nice view of the Puget Sound. And the scenic waters of the Sound provide terrific...

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  • Shop, eat, drink, repeat.

    Water Street, which is sort of Port Townsend's Main Street, has lots of shops, galleries, restaurants and a few pubs: great place to fritter away a few hours (and a few $$). The heaviest concentration is the area east of the ferry docks and includes Washington St. (parallel to Water St.) and the little connecting streets in between. A lot of these...

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  • The Architecture

    A walk around Port Townsend's fascinating Victorian architecture is a must. The heaviest concentration is in the old downtown area around Water and Washington streets, and on the high bluff overlooking the harbor: a square roughly defined by Harrison, Tyler, Clay and Washington Streets. You can do this on your own with self-guided information or...

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  • Walking the Waterfront

    The waterfront is a wonderful place explore and there are various pedestrian routes along the shoreline that include parks, marinas, beach access and viewpoints. See the link for where to get walking, biking, bus and driving maps of Port Townsend.

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  • Over the Sound

    When you're exploring the Victorian houses on top of the bluff (or what they appropriately call "Uptown") there are several points along Jefferson Street with nice panoramas of downtown and the sound. Try the one at the old Fire Bell Tower on Jefferson and Tyler streets for starters. Incidentally, the tower was built in 1890 with a 1,500 pound bell...

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  • Old shop on main street (N.D. Hill...

    An old shop building. Everything about the building seems just right, the colour [perhaps I should say 'color' ;-)] of the stones, the arches, the windows and curtains, the glass panel above the door, and even the trash bins on both sides of the entrance. From richiecdisc's page I learned that it is called the N.D. Hill Building.

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Port Townsend Hotels

Port Townsend Restaurants

  • Facing the Water, Not Necessarily...

    While the emblem of Fins is a fish, the fact is that there is a lot here that isn't sea food. While expensive for Port Townsend, Fins has a fine view out the window, and very good food that makes it reasonably worth while to eat here at least once.This is not a suit and tie affair, but at the very least it would be a good idea to wear a button-down...

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  • Sub Sandwhiches to Go or Stay

    Jordini's tries to be a lot of different things, including meet the needs of those who want a quick take-out sandwhich for lunch, plus a place where people can go and linger for a longer time over their food. There is a small balcony overlooking the water.It is very easy for the seating along the wall to become fully occupied, and the balcony isn't...

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  • 1 + 1 = 1 Wonderful Sugar Delight

    While basically decorated and named as one store, there are actually two separate stores here: the Elevated Candy Shop, and the candy store next door to it.The candy store is open more limited hours than the ice cream store. The ice cream store is open until 10 most nights, even in the off season, while the candy store is only open until 10 Fridays...

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  • Makes the Whole southeast end Smell of...

    This pizza establishment seems to be busy at almost all hours. It is split into two sections: the lower section where they make the pizza, and also featuring a very small and tight dining room with very limited seating, and an upstairs room where there is more seating and a fairly small but well equipped bar, and an actual wait staff.However, you...

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  • Probably Some Good Coffee Here

    I stopped by for a little something to eat before the ferry trip over to Fort Casey State Park. From Water Street, this little place is hidden behind another eating place, but Better Living Through Coffee sits on the edge of the water and therefore has a much better view than would be offered by those places facing Water Street.The place seems to...

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  • Award Winning Mexican Food in Downtown...

    The first item of note about this restaurant that although it has the same name as a small regional chain of restaurants in the Olympia and southern Puget Sound area, this restaurant is not part of that chain according to any source I have been able to find.Located in one of the historic buildings in downtown Port Townsend, this little restaurant...

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Port Townsend Nightlife

  • Downtown Movie Theatre w/ Culture...

    This little theatre is tucked behind a larger building, and the entrance is from Taylor Street. While you will find a few general purpose movies happening here, you will also find a few special events. For example, this year on certain nights they are showing the live broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera that are available.I never went in here...

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  • Assorted Evening Live Music

    I never ate at this restaurant, and I never set foot in the door. However, I did manage to walk past it several times, and they have a full set of events listed at the top of the staircase that drops down to the next level of the city. It looks like it might be an interesting place for those seeking some night time activity, and certainly from the...

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  • BREWING STOP NUMBER TWO

    Located an old historic building on the corner of Quincy and Water Streets, the Water Street Brewhouse is located in the southwest corner on the ground floor - the Water Street Hotel makes up much of the rest of the building. The pub area is a grand old place with high ceilings and a marvelous wooden bar from behind which several varieties of...

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Port Townsend Transportation

  • PT is Best Experienced OUTSIDE Your Car

    You will find the standard strip malls and drive-though restaurants approaching downtown Port Townsend. These establishments are the same as anywhere, but they are not what you came to Port Townsend to see.Once you arrive in the downtown core, you will experience best what Port Townsend has to offer if you get out of your car and walk the streets...

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  • connected by land & sea

    Port Townsend is a small town and you can walk around to any of its sights. It's a very green town and bikes are popular. Port Townsend is located on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State about 50 miles and 90 minutes from Port Angeles, the gateway city of Olympic National Park. It is 120 miles and 3 hours from Rialto Beach on the WA coast....

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  • Jefferson Transit: ecomonical way around...

    Jefferson County Transit is responsible for operating several bus routes that connect locations within Jefferson County, including bus routes within Port Townsend. For the most part, getting around inside Port Townsend itself only requires the use of a sidewalk, as downtown Port Townsend isn't large at all. However, for extending the range of your...

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Port Townsend Shopping

  • Native Artwork from Coastal First...

    You will find a fair number art galleries and craft stores in Port Townsend, and at least three of these include "Native" artwork, but this is the place to find true local traditional art work made by coastal "First Nations" tribes of the Pacific Northwest coast.The gallery originally started in 1992 in the lobby of the...

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  • get the local vibe

    The Port Townsend Farmer's Market is a great place to get the vibe of the colorful local community if you are there on a Saturday morning. Though comparatively small, it's an interesting stop not to be missed. It features lots of local produce, local cheeses, a couple of bakeries with breads and pastries, and even some homemade crafts. This is...

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  • Port Townsend Hotels

    25 Hotels in Port Townsend

    2 Reviews and Opinions

Port Townsend Local Customs

  • The Bell Tower

    Climbing the stairs to the bluff overlooking Port Townsend, you will find yourself in a residential area that also hosts a very old bell tower. This bell tower was used for summon the volunteer fire department in the early years of Port Townsend, and is one of the preserved treasures of the town. The tower was built in 1890 and remained in service...

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  • LAID BACK MENTALITY

    The lifestyle of the Olympic Peninsula is a bit more laidback than the hectic east side of the Puget Sound. It is quieter and slows down. We met a couple of Dutch travellers who had travelled over from Seattle and they mentioned that while the town was nice, there was nothing in between - of course, that is a different cultural perspective. To one...

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Port Townsend Warnings and Dangers

  • Fort Worden has Few Hand Rails, Falls...

    You must be careful when exploring the areas around Fort Worden's old fortifications. When these were built in the 1890s, the fall protection for military personell were minimal, and few upgrades happened over the years until their closure in the 1950s.Note, for example, the main photograph here. Walking up the hillside that runs away from the...

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  • Watch for Falling Gull Droppings

    You will notice that there are certain parking places in Port Townsend that never get used, and others that only get used by cars from out of state.This is because, if you look at the ground, you will notice that those parking places are near utility poles or roof ledges that are popular with seagulls.The result is, well, a fairly nasty mess if you...

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Port Townsend Off The Beaten Path

  • Fort Worden: Ruins of the Past Fortress

    Be Very Careful when Exploring Fort Worden as the abandoned gun battery structures are old, haven't been maintained in working order since the 1950s, and have few hand rails and can therefore be hazards. A fall from any of these structures will likely be fatal as the bottom of the fall is usually a concrete walkway.Construction of the...

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  • Coast Artillery Museum (Fort Worden)

    This is one of the several museums I was unable to explore yet on my travels to Fort Worden. It preserves some of the remaining military hardware from the old fortifications dating from the state park's former use as the protective cover for Port Townsend and the entrance to Puget Sound.It is apparently currently being operated by the Centrum arts...

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  • Fort Worden Beaches

    While the beaches at Fort Worden State Park are not large or very sandy affairs, they do at least offer some exposure to the salt water and ocean-liike climate offered by the Straight of Juan de Fuca.However, the wind comes right out of the Pacific Ocean and right down the Straight with little to block it, so that the north side of Fort Worden...

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Port Townsend Sports & Outdoors

  • by kcbrit Written Sep 25, 2005

    2.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Kayaking tours are offered by a company near the ferry dock. Excellent teacher who makes sure you know what you are doing before you set out. There are short and long trips. Worth the time and money.

    Equipment: Provided. Comfortable shoes a must.

    Related to:
    • Kayaking

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Port Townsend Favorites

  • Before Port Townsend was an Attraction

    My First Visit to Port Townsend was during the early 1980s as a teen with my mother, and at that time none of the chain hotels on the southwest side of town had been built yet. While the Port Townsend of today has a lot of nice old preserved buildings, the place in that era had a much more genuine old town feel to it. The huge suburban sprawl had...

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  • the object of desire

    While strolling around town, I told my wife of the strange vibe I got at the market and she was surprised at my perception. She had felt it was a very warm crowd. All the women smiling at her, lots of eye contact. True, even after seven years of being together, you don't always see things exactly the same but this was an unusual cognitive puzzle....

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  • never catching a stranger's eye

    Port Townsend did not disappoint. It was turn-of-the-century and it was all nicely renovated. This was an old world charmer that had obviously been nicely kept. It was the port town we had been seeking for weeks driving up the Pacific Coast Highway. The biggest surprise was that the brewery was very much a part of the old town, in a great...

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Explore Deeper into Port Townsend
Fort Worden State Park
Things to Do
Point Wilson Light
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PORT HUDSON BEACH
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WOODEN BOATS
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Bird Watching in Port Townsend
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Northwest Maritime Center and Its Viewpoints
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Fort Worden Cemetary
Off The Beaten Path
Jefferson County Historical Society Museum
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Rothschild Houe Museum (1868)
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Commanding Officer's Quarters Museum (Fort Worden)
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Free Park and Ride Lot, Downtown Southwestern Edge
Transportation
Larry Scott Memorial Trail: Bike, Hike, Horseback
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Kah Tai Lagoon Nature Park
Off The Beaten Path
Point Wilson Lighthouse (Fort Worden State Park)
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Memory's Vault (Fort Worden State Park)
Off The Beaten Path
North Beach Park
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Chinese Gardens
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Centrum: Various Arts Events, Some Public
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Port Townsend Marine Science Center
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Rotary Park
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Seattle - Port Townsend without a car
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Port Townsend - Coupville (Keystone) Ferry
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Art Galleries
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Port Townsend Boiler Room
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Chetzemoka Beach
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Great Crepe for Breakfast
Restaurants
Haller Fountain / Taylor Street Staircase
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Port Townsend Skate Park
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Chetzemoka Park
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Sather Park
Off The Beaten Path
Dungeness Spit
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Old warehouse
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Jefferson County Museum
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Ferry/driving directions from Seattle
Transportation
a lazy Sunday morning
Favorites
The Bell Tower
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a town in a time capsule
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a beer garden experience
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salmon at the market
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comfort, my friend, is very relative
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Map of Port Townsend

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