PORT TOWNSEND
THE ONLY CITY IN JEFFERSON COUNTY1
YEAR IT WAS SETTLED1851
NAMED TOP 10 “COOLEST SMALL TOWN IN AMERICA”TOP 10
Port Townsend sits at the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula. Port Townsend is an old colonial town that sits right on the water. The town initially grew fast as a shipping port, but then experienced a decline in the early 1900s. The positive was that the buildings were left standing instead of being torn down and built over. Today, the downtown has a sprawl of restaurants, shops, bars, and tourism operators.
  • HISTORIC CHARM

    Port Townsend has a National Historic Landmark District. The downtown area has Victorian buildings dating back to the 19th century. A few of the must-see historical buildings include the Jefferson County Courthouse, the Federal Building, and the Port Townsend Public Library.

  • ARTS

    National Geographic evaluated Port Townsend as “one of the most sophisticated places west of Seattle”. Granted, there aren’t a ton of cities west of Seattle, but it does give a sense of the art scene. Copper Canyon Press is a poetry publishing house. For performing arts, Key City Public Theatre is a great option, especially for a city the size of Port Townsend. Another spot to visit is the Kelly Art Deco Light Museum to browse antiques.

  • WATER

    The town has quick access to the water and some beautiful beaches. Visitors take to the water for whale and dolphin-watching as well as paddleboarding. Fort Worden State Park offers stunning views while walking along the beach.

THE WEATHER
  • Port Townsend is a little dryer than Seattle. However, winter is the wet (and off) season. The weather is cool. One good reason to visit in the winter is for January's annual Strange Brew Fest.

  • The weather slowly but steadily warms and dries in the spring. The farmer's market opens in April. Daily highs in May are in the low 60s.

  • Summer is prime time for visiting. The city is alive with events and tourists. July has several music festivals. The weather is low 70s and dry.

  • Early fall looks a lot like summer. Late fall looks a lot like winter. Consider visiting in September or early October to avoid the crowds.