Port of Call

Take a Vacation to Port Townsend, Washington

Nestled by the sea on the majestic Olympic Peninsula in Washington State, Port Townsend is for travelers who treasure small town charm and natural beauty. With its emerald hills, high bluffs, and nearby beaches, Port Townsend is a masterpiece of outdoor scenery. Pack your camera and your love of the great outdoors! Here are a few reasons to put Port Townsend on your travel calendar. Port Townsend trail photo by Larry Scott.

The Great Outdoors

Port Townsend looks like it was painted on a canvas with the surrounding blue sea, green hills, Victorian aesthetics, and vibrant downtown filled with food, art, and culture.

State Park Sound System: The sound of the sea isn’t the only thing you’ll hear when you visit Centrum in Port Townsend’s Fort Worden Historical State Park. Home to miles of biking and hiking trails and beautiful beaches, you can listen to beautiful live music right at the entrance of Puget Sound.

Hit a traveler’s high note at this former US Army base turned artist collaborative. Gospel, jazz, and blues rise up here, as do writers and dancers and youth, thanks to supporting programs. Enjoy artist talks and exhibitions, too. Check out the upcoming events at Centrum.

Get to the Art of the Matter: Art-oriented gatherings happen year-round in Port Townsend, including the first Saturday of each month from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. The Port Townsend Art Galleries Walk is centered on Water Street in the vibrant downtown—just minutes from the ferry that connects Port Townsend to historic Coupeville on Whidbey Island. Take a scenic stroll and enjoy appetizers and drinks while experiencing a variety of art mediums.

Make a date with Northwind Arts Center in Port Townsend and learn to paint the picturesque landscape around you. Located in the Creative Corridor within Fort Worden State Park, and within Jeanette Best Gallery in downtown’s vibrant setting, Northwind is a creative retreat for hands-on learning, including for novices. Find workshops for quilting, mixed media, and painting. Fort Worden State Park photo by Jen Lee.

Explore the Olympic Peninsula


Get acquainted with Port Townsend’s history and seascape as you spend time strolling the area, stopping to savor the scenery, and the food!

Walk, Eat, Repeat: Start your day on the historic waterfront with a coffee and a blueberry danish from Pane d’Amore bakery. This popular spot is famous for its pure ingredients in pastries and breads of all kinds. Get an Oaty Oat loaf or choose from their daily delicacies (Wednesday’s cranberry walnut bread is the perfect treat).

Excited for This Cider! Just a 20-minute drive away, Finnriver Farm & Cidery’s Chimacum Cider Garden sits alongside a lovely salmon stream in Chimacum Valley. It’s also leading the way in the art of organic hard cider. Try some contemporary flavors like Habanero Cider, stick to core options like Apple Abbey, or opt for the estate-grown Orchard Series, including Golden Russet. Check out Finnriver’s Social Justice Cider Project, dedicated to raising awareness of and supporting regional BIPOC projects that are advancing social change. Combining tried and true tradition with innovation and new ideas, the result is a craft cider evolution worth celebrating.

Pizza & Ice-Screammm! Grab a fresh slice of pizza at Hillbottom Pie in the Palace Hotel, then take your ice cream experience to the next level at Elevated Ice Cream Parlor and Candy Shop. The ice cream, truffles, fudge, and chocolates are all hand-made on-site. Ingredients are locally sourced from places like Graysmarsh Farm, whose strawberries make the ice cream naturally pink. Sweet!

Cuisine Art: For beautiful dinners produced with farm-to-fork conscientiousness and flavorful ingenuity (with local wine pairings to enhance each bite), check out Fountain Café (it's Port Townsend's oldest running restaurant, and owner Nick Yates does not shy away from tasty combinations of cuisine and beverages that are influenced by his own travels); Finistère (Chef Deborah Taylor and her husband Scott Ross, the Front of House Manager, started this restaurant after working at high-end establishments in Manhattan; they fell in love with Port Townsend and the rest is ... Finistère); and Sea J’s Cafe, a tiny yet hearty town treasure famous for the freshest fish and chips (and tasty burgers, too). Finnriver Farm photo by Jen Lee.

Discover Farm-to-Table Dining

Outdoor Adventure Canvas

Port Townsend’s natural beauty is like a portrait masterpiece. Surrounded by mountains and sea, the area offers a range of nearby outdoor adventures to enjoy at state and national parks.

A Word on Worden: From the heart of Port Townsend, easily get to Fort Worden Historical State Park. Relish miles of easygoing hiking and biking trails with beautiful Puget Sound views. The park is also home to the tallest beacon in Puget Sound, Point Wilson Lighthouse, in operation since 1879! Docent-led weekend tours run from May to September and are complimentary, with no reservations needed. The lighthouse offers unique overnight stays at the Historic Keeper’s Quarters and Coast Guard House. Bring a picnic lunch for the beach along Port Townsend Bay. You can also dine at or get takeout meals and snacks at the park’s charming Cablehouse Canteen.

Sea the Connection: You can’t help but embrace the land and sea connection in Port Townsend, whether on a ferry ride, whale watching excursion, or sunset sail. Or just admire regattas from land.

Olympic Moments! The gold medal of national park adventures, Olympic National Park and Olympic National Forest are accessible by car from Port Townsend for those looking for a day trip. Witness a landscape of temperate rainforests, alpine lakes, and the stunning silhouette of the coastline. Go during off-peak times to savor the scenery with fewer people on the trails. Speaking of trails, find the best less visited Olympic National Park trails.

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