"PORT TOWNSEND - PUGET SOUND GETAWAY" Top 5 Page for this destination Port Townsend by mtncorg

Port Townsend Travel Guide: 130 reviews and 364 photos

Port Townsend - or 'PT', as locals know it - lies at the end of the Quimper Peninsula, which snaking north and then east in serpentine fashion, marks the northwestern end of the Puget Sound. The open waters of the Strait of Juan de Fuca are to the northwest while the more sheltered waters of the Sound extend as a watery highway to the ports of Seattle, Bremerton and Tacoma to the south.

For a brief period in the late 19th Century, Port Townsend vied, with several other towns along the Sound, to gain economic dominance. The main rail lines to the interior stopped on the east side of the Sound, relegating Port Townsend to secondary significance in the end. Seattle emerged as the region's dominant city, following the Alaskan Gold Rush of the early 20th Century and Port Townsend entered into a long period of somnolescence. The long sleep managed to preserve many of its buildings, which in recent years, have been restored, giving new life to Port Townsend as a local tourist destination. A full schedule of events attract visitors from the region: the Wooden Boat Festival, a kayak symposium, Christmas festival and many other events PT Calendar all serve to keep the local lodgings and restaurants full.

Part of the magic is how you get there - there is usually a ferry ride of some sort involved - the most direct being the 30-minute ride over from Keystone on Whidbey Island, taking you across some of the biggest tidal rips in the Sound. That ferry brings you right into the heart of Port Townsend, less than a 100 meters to the right of the ferry landing.

On summer weekends, Port Townsend is packed - two hour parking limits are in place throughout the downtown area year-round. Try an off-season time to better appreciate the town for its gorgeous physical setting, its fine dining opportunities and its historical and cultural venues.

  • Last visit to Port Townsend: Dec 2005
  • Intro Updated May 23, 2006
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Reviews (17)

Comments (5)

  • glabah's Profile Photo
    Oct 6, 2010 at 12:39 PM

    Good photos with lots of sunlight - an all too rare occurance sometimes.

  • Nemorino's Profile Photo
    Nov 28, 2007 at 9:00 AM

    Hmm, I seem to have misplaced my catalogue, otherwise I'd order one of those lovely Haller Fountains for my front yard. (Just to hear what my uptight neighbors would say about it.)

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    May 16, 2006 at 8:49 AM

    PT sounds like the perfect little spot for relaxation! Some interesting old buildings, a small port area, beautiful natural surroundings and a couple of brew-pubs!

  • Jonathan_C's Profile Photo
    Jan 19, 2006 at 6:23 AM

    Mark, Nice to see you spent part of the Holidays up in our neck of the woods. PT is a great place even though we're mostly familiar with it in the summer. As for those crazy Dutch -- they must have somehow missed Port Gamble!

  • Trekki's Profile Photo
    Jan 4, 2006 at 9:20 AM

    Nice town, indeed :-)) The driftwood sculptures are cute :-)) And oh well, the viking ship ... was a good laugh for me actually (as spending NY time in viking land hihi). Do they also throw shirt around the neck in winter ? NY huggies :-)

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