Perfect September weather had beckoned me to take to the road this week! I decided to do just a one day trip and headed out onto the scenic Olympic Peninsula. Final destination: Port Townsend. If you’ve lived in the Puget Sound area for years and have never visited this Victorian seaport, then you are missing out. Granted, if you do live in the Seattle area or points north, you will need to take a ferry across Puget Sound to get there; elsewise, head a bit further south and drive across the Tacoma Narrows Bridges onto the peninsula.
Port Townsend is a splendid Victorian Seaport. You can read more about its history here. You can even take a tour of the town’s fine Victorian homes that are on the National Registry of Historic Places. Some of the larger buildings are found right on the main street as you enter town. Here are a few examples of the beautiful architecture.
And yes, some of the old, Victorian homes are run as bed and breakfasts. One of them I came across is the Old Consulate Inn – 1889. It has high hedges and shade trees about it and is hard to get a good photo of, but here is the best I could do.
Here is an enormous home that sits on a corner lot and is up for sale. I wonder how many rooms are in this structure? Does it have a cellar? Is it haunted? So many questions!
One must pay a visit to Manresa Castle, when in Port Townsend. It is now a hotel with lounge and restaurant, offering up lovely, Victorian decor in the rooms. I have had breakfast and dinner here, and it is some of the best! I know I have pictures of it somewhere, but can’t find them for my life. So here is a link to its website that is worth taking a peek at. http://www.manresacastle.com
Another awesome structure to check out is the Jefferson County Courthouse, built in 1889. Here are a few images below.
But, the one thing that everyone comes to Port Townsend for is the boutique shopping. The main street is lined on both sides with some of the finest shops, galleries, cafes, and boutiques I have ever come across, not to mention the side streets and the street behind. Here you will find an eclectic range of goods not found elsewhere. This is not your run-of-the-mill tourist town. No, siree! There’s even a couple of steampunk boutiques with some very cool stuff. Just be aware that the parking is for 2 hours at a time, which I can tell you won’t be enough for all the browsing you will want to do here.
Did I mention that Port Townsend is a seaport? Yes, there are scenic walks along the water, with the most fabulous views! On one side are the Olympic Mountains, and across the waterway are the captivating Cascade Mountains. Farthest north is snow capped Mount Baker, which shines prominently on a clear, sunny day. Watch for ships of all sizes roaming the waters.
Once you are finished with shopping, take a short drive to nearby Fort Worden State Park. I have a separate blog about this historic place that I posted not long ago. Did you know that the movie, An Officer and a Gentlemen, starring Richard Gere, was filmed on site at this fort? That’s right!
With the fast approaching holidays, Port Townsend is the place to find the neatest gifts for everyone on your list, including yourself! Check it out!