Weekend Fun in Port Townsend, WA
Historic and artsy, but full of outdoor fun, Port Townsend (PT) is one of many small Pacific Northwest towns. Located on the tip of the Olympic Peninsula, Port Townsend is known as "one of the coolest small towns in America" and offers outdoor fun for all ages.
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Where to stay
Manresa Castle Hotel
Where history meets luxury and every stay is a royal experience.
Palace Hotel Port Townsend
Where historic charm meets modern luxury on the waterfront.
The Swan Hotel
A timeless haven of luxury and charm on the banks of serenity.
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Things to do
The maritime center is a fun boating place for all ages! Whether it is building wooden boats to giving sailing lessons, this place stays busy. The center offers both adult and youth navigation and seamanship classes.
Both half-day and full day whale watching tours are offered. I went on a half day tour, and we found about 20 killer whales! The crew is informative and talks about the whales and wildlife found in the area. There is indoor seating and an outdoor deck for prime viewing.
The ferry is a fun way to travel in the PNW! The ferry has different routes and can accommodate both cars and travelers on foot.
The park is epic in size and function. It includes over 400 acres of forested hiking trails and seaside trails. Views of the Olympic and Cascade mountains are dominant. Many of the historical buildings at the Fort are used for educational programs.
A beautiful and magical place! Take the ferry from PT to Whidbey Island. Arriving in Coupeville, it is easy to walk and shop on Main Street. A car is useful to explore different areas of the island. From beaches, farms and hiking, there is so much outdoor fun on the island.
Places to eat & drink
Finistere - Shared plates for dinner! Finistere is only open several nights of the week. I love the burrata cheese and the cold gazpacho soup! There is indoor and outdoor dining, but the space is small.
Nicko's Grotto - The Grotto serves great Italian and Mediterranean cuisine. It is popular with locals and tourists. Save room for the divine flourless chocolate torte! I order it every time.
Mo Chili BBQ - The bbq is good, but I come for the brisket breakfast tacos! Picnic tables for outdoor seating only.
Fountain Cafe - A sister restaurant to Nicko's Grotto, the Cafe serves late lunch and dinner. The stuffed mushrooms filled with crab and shrimp make the visit so worth it!
Velocity - I come to this coffee/tea shop every time I visit PT. It is located at the very end of Water Street. There is a small indoor seating area with wifi, but I take my specialty bee sting outside and sit in the water.
Need to Know
The wooden boat festival occurs early September and is a great time to visit PT. Sailboats parade thru Port Townsend Bay and many artists and food vendors set up stands. It is a popular time in the area!
For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Joslyn Weaver’s guide, Gardens and Culture in Washington, DC.
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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Washington.