Port Townsend is one of only three Victorian seaports in the United States. Port Townsend is located at the Northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula, which guards the entrance to Puget Sound. Founded in the mid-1800ís, this location has had many uses from a thriving lumber port to a military outpost. Today it is tourism that thrives here. Port Townsend is divided into three areas, the waterfront commercial district, the residential uptown district, and Fort Worden. In the commercial district, you find several blocks of restored historic brick buildings full of shops, boutiques, restaurants, hotels and art galleries. Along the way are views of the water including several public piers with interpretive plaques covering some of Port Townsends history. The Jefferson County Museum is also located there. From the commercial district, you can take stairs climbing above the town, or just drive, to the residential area where all the Victorian homes are located. At the top of the stairs is the 1890 bell tower used to gather firefighters. Many of the homes have interpretive signs placed in front but you can pick up a guide from the Port Townsend Visitor Information Center with even more information. Historians suggest that the homes were built above the town to keep the proper Victorian ladies away from the riffraff of the waterfront area. Most of these restored homes have excellent views over the water.
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Marine Park Community Building
Jefferson County Museum
Port Townsend Inlet
Playground along the waterfront
Ferry terminal to Whidbey Island
Coast Artillery Museum at Fort Worden State Park
Walking around Port Townsend
Jefferson County Courthouse
Port Townsend from one of the many piers
Kinetic Skulpture Race
Kinetic Skulpture Race
Fort Worden State Park was the military installation that guarded the entrance to Puget Sound. Other than the camping and many military artillery bunkers and gun emplacements, there are a significant number of buildings used to house and run the operations. Several museums are inside these historic buildings including the Commanding Officers Quarters Museum and the Coast Artillery Museum. A newer museum, the Marine Science Center has been built out on the state park pier. Nearby is the scenic Point Wilson Lighthouse.
At Fort Warden or the commercial district are things like sea kayak rentals & tours, boat tours, wooden rowboat rentals, whale-watching cruises, motor boat rentals, go hiking, scuba diving lessons and bike rentals.
Festivals & Events
Port Townsend has many events to attract visitors; the most notable are the Wooden Boat Festival in early September and the Kinetic Skulpture Race during the first week in October. Other events are the Victorian Festival where participants dress up in period clothing and tour Victorian homes, have tea, and learn about the history of the area. The Centrum at Fort Worden holds an annual jazz, blues, and fiddle festival.
Chetzemoka Park was established in 1904 and named for a local S'Klallam Indian chief. The park is perched on a bluff overlooking Admiralty Inlet. There is access to a small beach, there is a rose garden, arbor, and waterfall garden.
Bunkers at Fort Worden State Park