About Port Townsend


Jefferson County Courthouse, Port Townsend, WA; Pamela Thompson Photos © 2017
Jefferson County Courthouse   

       Historic Port Townsend

One thing for certain about Port Townsend is that you will become instantly enamored with its captivating, historic downtown waterfront district. Why? Well, first of all, there’s a vibe about it that tends to take one back in time to a bygone era when life was simpler and lived at a slower pace. Although, no one seems to be in too much of a hurry in PT, even by today’s standards. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Contrary to the hustle and bustle of larger cities, people in PT seem to want to take their time as they stroll along the old-fashioned, lamppost-lined main street. There’s so much to see and discover, you certainly wouldn’t want to miss anything by rushing by too quickly!

The unique and ornate Victorian architecture of the shops and buildings (most of which are adorned with colorful hanging flower baskets) seems to be a topic of conversation as you amble along and discover Port Townsend; pointing at this and that, and “ooohing” and “awing” about how quaint, yet, at the same time, how sophisticated this delightful little city is. Also, amid the buildings in the waterfront district, are a sprinkling of old brick buildings with painted ads on them (some dating back to the city’s late nineteenth-century hey-day), which are particularly interesting to look at.


What To Do While in Port Townsend

Port Townsend Boat Haven, Port Townsend, WA
Port Townsend Boat Haven

So, what’s there to do in Port Townsend you ask? Well, what’s not to do is more to the point! There’s always something fun and exciting happening in PT. For example, along Water Street you’ll find art galleries (who sponsor First Saturday of the month Gallery Walks), plenty of boutiques and specialty stores for the shopping enthusiast as well as a varied selection of “watering holes”, and world-class restaurants and eateries to tantalize the taste buds of even the most finicky of “foodies”. At the end of Water Street, you’ll discover the Port Hudson Marina and Northwest Maritime Center, where the West Coast’s largest Wooden Boat Festival occurs annually in early September. Wander off a block over to Washington Street and you’ll discover more distinctive shops and restaurants. And let’s not forget about the Uptown District, just minutes away from the waterfront where the Farmer’s Market is held on Saturdays.

Port Townsend is also host to many annual fairs and festivals, and there’s always live music playing in town and as well as theater, of course. Visit our Local Events in Port Townsend page for a full calendar of things to do in PT.


Smithsonian - Port Townsend voted No. 6 of 20 Best Small Towns in America

Port Townsend in the News

With all that PT has to offer it’s not surprising that the city has garnered a substantial amount of media attention. Notably, PT was voted one of the “The Coolest Small Towns in America” by Budget Magazine; No. 6 of 20 “Best Small Towns to Visit in 2015” by Smithsonian.com,; and ranked as one of the “The 10 Most Beautiful Coastal Towns in the USA” by Theculturetrip.org. Moreover, Fodor’s Travel has touted PT as “One of America’s Best Small Towns”, and we wholeheartedly agree! The gem of the Olympic Peninsula, Port Townsend is truly a magical little seaport city with something for everyone to enjoy. 

           More Port Townsend News    

                       Los Angeles Times






            Storm Port Townsend, October 2016

               Photos by Jan Klockers Boutilier