Port Townsend, Washington

This quaint, artsy, seaside town in Washington State is popular with tourists and retirees. We have visited here 1-2 times a year for the past 15 years. Port Townsend (PT) is best known for the Wooden Boat Festival in September, and has a full events calendar year round. There are many galleries and shops, and music most summer weekends.

PT became prominent in the Victorian Era (late 1800s), as customs duties were paid here by ships arriving from Asia and the Pacific. But the town lost out when the railroads from the East were built to Seattle and Tacoma.

Located on Olympic Peninsula, PT is 2-3 hours from Seattle and Tacoma, across the Puget Sound by ferry. Situated in the rain shadow of the Olympic Mountains, PT is cooler in summer, and warmer in winter due to proximity to the water.

Washington State Ferries


Water Street follows along the waterfront. There are many shops, restaurants, and galleries worthy of your attention, and dollars. There is a Gallery Walk on the 1st Saturday of every month. I just enjoy walking on the public docks and looking at the sailboats on the bay.

NW Maritime Center and Wooden Boat Foundation, (nwmaritime.org) near the end of Water Street. The Wooden Boat Chandlery has books, hats and clothing, as well as boaty things like cleats, hardware, and maritime charts. I always like to buy a Wooden Boat Festival hoody here.

Jefferson County Historical Society Museum. On Water Street, across from the NW Maritime Center.

The Rose Theater: Indie movies, new releases. Stuff you won't find at the mall cinema.

Hastings Building

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If you go up the stairs from the Fountain, this is Uptown. Here you will find beautifully restored Victorian era houses. There is a weekly Farmers market. There are more stores, restaurants, and a grocery here. We usually stay at one of the BnBs in Uptown. It is quite pleasant to walk around Uptown on a sunny, fresh summer day.


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Victorian Festival 2019

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Victorian Festival in March: (vicfest.org)

A Victorian Fashion Show, a Saturday Night Dance, tours of some of the Victorian homes and buildings, tea parties. Unfortunately this festival had to be cancelled due to coronavirus in 2020.

Steam Punk Festival in June: (brassscrew.org)

An annual event featuring more costumes and exciting, wacky events.

Wooden Boat Festival

Wooden Boat Festival in September:

(woodenboat.org) The highlight of PT's yearly calendar. Featuring classes and workshops on boating, sailing, circumnavigating, and building your own wooden boat. Opportunities to see and tour a variety of wooden ships. Accommodations for this weekend book up a year in advance, so plan ahead.

Victorian Christmas:

A series of events in December, check out enjoypt.com for details.

PT has a full calendar of events. Check Ptguide.com or enjoypt.com for a complete listing.

Ferry at Sunrise

Fort Worden State Park:

Marine Science Center, Natural History Museum. Hiking and camping. Walk among the WW2 era gun batteries and bunkers.

Centrum: (Centrum.org)

Many programs, workshops, performances: music, artists, writers. Jazz, Blues, Chamber Music, Fiddle music.

Whale Watching:  (pugetsoundexpress.com)

Puget Sound Express. Day trip to Friday Harbor, San Juan Islands, Orcas, seals. Spectacular scenery. Located at Port Hudson Marina. They serve a breakfast of Blueberry buckle.


Many good choices, some of my wife's favorites are:

Alchemy Bistro and Wine Bar: Mediterranean, Italian. Upscale.

Fountain Cafe: New American, small, cozy room.

Lehani's Deli and Coffee: has a nice breakfast and lunch. 

Hanazono Asian Noodle: tasty, hearty Japanese food.

Finistere: Uptown bistro. New American. Upscale.

Where to stay:

There are many nice BnBs and Victorian Hotels.  We often stay at The Blue Gull Inn.

Check out: enjoypt.com

The Fountain

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Northern Mists Photography

Robert Bergstrom
Landscape and Travel Photographer

Featuring Oregon Coast, Puget Sound, PNW, Faroe Islands, Sweden, Denmark.

Landscapes, Seascapes, Maritime themes.
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