Port Townsend, Washington | tourism guide
Port Townsend, Washington blends history with modern life. Shop in the boutiques, stroll along the tree lined historic streets, and dine in some of the best restaurants around. Our Port Townsend Things To Do offers information on art galleries, restaurants, shopping, and great ways to unwind and take in a little history at the same time.
The other communities in East Jefferson County are all a hop, skip and a jump away. Port Hadlock and Chimacum are within 10 miles, Marrowstone Island is 15 miles and Port Ludlow is 20 miles distance from Port Townsend making it easy to spend time doing the variety of activities each community has to offer.
Located near the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the site of a safe harbor, Port Townsend became an important shipping port in the late 1800s. The town grew rapidly on speculation as investors banked on Port Townsend becoming the largest port north of San Francisco. Called the City of Dreams, the downtown waterfront was once an active seaport complete with chandleries, shipyards, commercial docks taverns and brothels.
In the 1970s the town was rekindled as a wave of people rediscovered Port Townsend. Attracted to the blend of history, rugged natural beauty and inexpensive property, people came to start businesses, pursue art and restore the town. The restoration efforts have preserved Port Townsend as a Victorian seaport with a vibrant downtown historic main street shopping district and a historic uptown residential and small commercial district. The city is now a thriving community where inventors change the future working out of historic buildings, artists gather to live and work, and entrepreneurs launch new businesses that contribute to the ever-expanding opportunities in town. The year-round line up of wooden boat festivals, kinetic sculpture races and film festivals keeps Port Townsend tourism jumping from January though December. It is a place where the visitor becomes a local for a day, a week or a lifetime.