Discover Port Townsend

Discover Port Townsend  is Your Travel Guide to the City of Port Townsend–Washington State’s Victorian Seaport & Arts Community, Hotels, Restaurants, Shopping & Local Happenings

     Discover Port Townsend

Come and Discover Port Townsend, Washington State’s Victorian Seaport & Arts Community, located on the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula in Jefferson County, Washington. A nationally designated Historical Landmark since 1977, Port Townsend (or simply “PT” as it’s known by the locals) is surrounded by water on three sides and enjoys stunning views of both the Cascade and Olympic mountains. Additionally, due to its rich and colorful maritime heritage, Port Townsend is a boater’s paradise and gateway to the Puget Sound, beautiful San Juan Islands and beyond. 

  • Little Boat Dock

    Wooden Boat Festival

  • Local Yokels, Port Townsend, WA

    Local Yokels

  • Master Gardeners Park 2016 - Port Townsend, WA

    Master Gardener's Park

  • Millbrook Clay Works - Uptown Arts

    Port Townsend Arts & Crafts Fair

  • Open Studios 2015 - Port Townsend, WA

    Open Studios

  • Brass Screw Confederacy Steampunk Festival , 2015

    Steampunk Festival

  • Historic Water Street Building, Port Townsend, WA

    Historic Water Street Building

  • Jefferson County International Airport

    Jefferson County International Airport

  • Jefferson County Washington International Airport

    Just Another Day at the Office

  • Welcome to Port Townsend, WA

    Welcome to the City of Port Townsend, Washington

  • Inside George Wiley's Ford, Rakers Car Show Port Townsend, WA 2015

    Inside George Wiley's Classic Ford, Rakers Car Club Show, 2015

  • Concerts on the Dock - Uncle Funk

    Concerts on the Dock - Uncle Funk and the Dope 6

  • Tickled Pink - Port Townsend WA

    Water Street Boutique

  • Port Townsend Gallery view out back, Port Townsend, WA

    View from Port Townsend Gallery

  • Kevin Mason and the PT All Stars, Concerts at the Dock 2016, Port Townsend, WA - Photo by Pamela Thompson © 2016

    Concerts on the Dock Featuring Kevin Mason & the PT All Stars

  • Border Ballet Red Hot Poker, Photo by John Blakemore

    Border Ballet Red Hot Poker

  • Master Gardeners Secret Garden Tour, 2016. Port Townsend, WA

    Master Gardeners Secret Garden Tour

  • Artsy Bus, Port Townsend, WA | Pamela Thompson Photography © 2016

    Artsy Bus

  • Uptown Street Fair, 2016, Port Townsend, WA

    Uptown Arts & Crafts Fair

  • Pirates in Port Townsend, Port Townsend, WA

    Pirates in Port Townsend

  • Rhododendron Parade, 2015, Port Townsend, WA

    Rhododendron Parade

  • Uptown Arts and Crafts Fair 2016

    Uptown Arts & Crafts Fair 2016

  • Fountain, Port Townsend, WA

    Haller Fountain or Galatea

  • Fall Colors of Port Townsend, Photography by Pamela Thompson © 2017

    Beautiful Autumn Colors in Port Townsend

  • Chetzemoka Park Gazebo, Port Townsend, WA Photo by Pamela Thompson © 2017

    Chetzemoka Park Gazebo

“Point No Point” © Eric Kerttula

  An Artists Retreat

This quaint and picturesque little seaport city exudes all of the charm and beauty you would likely see in a typical Norman Rockwell painting. Most noteworthy are the lush, green rolling hills and bluffs dotted with Victorian homes overlooking the city’s historic waterfront district. Colorful landscapes and seascapes abound as far as the eye can see and, of course, Port Townsend is huge on small town congeniality. Undoubtedly, it is the raw, natural symmetry in and around Port Townsend that has attracted and enticed so many artists over the decades. As a result, some have been able to capture the “Rockwell-ish” feel of the city as depicted in many of the paintings you will find in the local art galleries. Artist or not, it seems like more and more folks who discover Port Townsend find that they never want to leave!

  • Storm Port Townsend 10/15/16, Photo by Jan Klockers Boutilier
  • Storm Port Townsend 10/15/16, Photo by Jan Klockers Boutilier
  • Storm Port Townsend 10/15/16, Photo by Jan Klockers Boutilier
  • Storm Port Townsend 10/15/16, Photo by Jan Klockers Boutilier
  • Storm Port Townsend 10/15/16, Photo by Jan Klockers Boutilier
  • Storm Port Townsend 10/15/16, Photo by Jan Klockers Boutilier
  • Storm Port Townsend 10/15/16, Photo by Jan Klockers Boutilier
  • Storm Port Townsend 10/15/16, Photo by Jan Klockers Boutilier

Jefferson County Courthouse, Port Townsend, WA; Pamela Thompson Photos © 2017
Jefferson County Courthouse

   Historic Port Townsend

One thing for certain about Port Townsend is that you will become instantly enamored with its captivating, historical downtown waterfront district. Why? Well first of all, there’s a vibe about it that tends to take one back in time to a bygone era when life was simpler and lived at a slower pace. Although, no one seems to be in too much of a hurry in PT, even by today’s standards. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Contrary to the hustle and bustle of larger cites, people in PT seem to want to take their time as they stroll along the old-fashioned, lamppost-lined main street. There’s so much to see and discover, you certainly wouldn’t want to miss anything by rushing  by too quickly!

The unique and ornate Victorian architecture of the shops and buildings (most of which are adorned with colorful hanging flower baskets) seems to be a topic of conversation as you amble along and discover Port Townsend; pointing at this and that, and “ooohing” and “awing” about how quaint, yet, at the same time, how sophisticated this delightful little city is. Also, amid the buildings in the waterfront district, are a sprinkling of old brick buildings with painted ads on them (some dating back to the city’s late nineteenth century hey-day), which are particularly interesting to look at.


What To Do While in Port Townsend

Port Townsend Boat Haven, Port Townsend, WA
Port Townsend Boat Haven

So, what’s there to do in Port Townsend you ask? Well, what’s not to do is more to the point! There’s always something fun and exciting happening in PT. For example, along Water Street you’ll find art galleries (who sponsor First Saturday of the month Gallery Walks), plenty of boutiques and specialty stores for the shopping enthusiast as well as a varied selection of “watering holes”, and world-class restaurants and eateries to tantalize the tastebuds of even the most finicky of “foodies”. At the end of Water Street you’ll discover the Port Hudson Marina and Northwest Maritime Center, where the West Coast’s largest Wooden Boat Festival occurs annually in early September. Wander off a block over to Washington Street and you’ll discover more distinctive shops and restaurants. And let’s not forget about the Uptown District, just minutes away from the waterfront where the Farmer’s Market is held on Saturdays.

Port Townsend is also host many annual fairs and festivals, and there’s always live music playing in town and as well as theater, of course. Visit our Local Events in Port Townsend page for a full calendar of things to do in PT.


Smithsonian - Port Townsend voted No. 6 of 20 Best Small Towns in America

Port Townsend in the News

With all that PT has to offer it’s not surprising that the city has garnered a substantial amount of media attention. Notably, PT was voted one of the “The Coolest Small Towns in America” by Budget Magazine; No. 6 of 20 “Best Small Towns to Visit in 2015” by Smithsonian.com,; and ranked as one of the “The 10 Most Beautiful Coastal Towns in the USA” by Theculturetrip.org. Moreover, Fodor’s Travel has touted PT as “One of America’s Best Small Towns”, and we wholeheartedly agree! The gem of the Olympic Peninsula, Port Townsend is truly a magical little seaport city with something for everyone to enjoy. 

           More Port Townsend News    

                       Los Angeles Times



Please visit our our accommodations page for a listing of great places to stay in PT to fit all budgets. See you at the dock!


            Storm Port Townsend, October 2016

               Photos by Jan Klockers Boutilier


The third annual R2AK kicked off last night (6/7) with a a preview of some of the racers and their vessels followed by the traditional “ruckus” which included beer provided by Port Townsend Brewing Company and wine by the recently opened Port Townsend Winery. Uncle Funk and the Dope 6 put out some high energy dance grooves which got the crowd fired up! The weather was perfect for this first of many summer events in lovely Port Townsend. 

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