city in and county seat of Jefferson County, Washington

Port Townsend is a city at the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula, in Washington. In addition to its natural scenery, it is known for its Victorian architecture and thriving arts scene.

historic downtown Port Townsend

UnderstandEdit

1 Port Townsend Visitor Center, 2409 Jefferson St (off Sims Way, between Benedict St and Decatur St), +1 360-385-2722. M-F 9AM-5PM, Sa Su 10AM-4PM. Maps, brochures, ferry reservations, customized itineries and information from local experts

Get inEdit

By carEdit

From U.S. 101 at the tip of Discovery Bay, SR-20 splits off and runs 13 miles to downtown. Traffic coming from the Seattle area will want to take one of the many ferries across Puget Sound to reach the peninsula. Driving the land route alone, Port Townsend is roughly a two-hour drive north of Olympia, and one hour east of Port Angeles.

By busEdit

  • Rocket Transportation, +1 360-683-8087, toll-free: +1 877-697-6258. M-F 8AM-5PM, Sa 10AM-2PM. offers shuttles, by reservation, to and from Tacoma, Seatac, and Seattle. $74.60 one way, $126.80 round trip; companions $52.20 one way, $88.80 round trip; children ages 2-14 37.30 one way, $63.40 round trip.
  • Jefferson Transit, +1 360-385-4777, toll-free: +1 800-371-0497. The local transit agency offers connections to Sequim (Rt #8), to Poulsbo (Rt #7) and to Brinnon (Rt #1), all of which terminate at Haines Place Park and Ride. There is no service on Sundays or holidays. $1.50 for daily pass, $1 extra when boarding outside Jefferson County.
    • 1 Haines Place Park and Ride, 440 12th St (at Haines Pl). All Jefferson Transit buses from other cities terminate here. It is just over a mile from the center of town, a 25-minute walk. You can also take the hourly #11 (Port Townsend Shuttle) bus to get into town from the Haines Place Park and Ride. The #11 does not run very early in the morning, so if you're making a weekend trip from Seattle, it may be worth staying at a place near the park and ride, to catch the first bus on Monday and be back in Seattle by 8:30AM.
    • From Seattle, you can take the ferry to Bainbridge Island, then Kitsap Transit Bus #390 to North Viking Park and Ride in Poulsbo, and then the Jefferson Transit Bus #7 to Haines Place Park and Ride. It may sound daunting, but the connections are timed, and it only takes about two and a half hours.
    • From Sequim, take Jefferson Transit bus #8 to Haines Place Park and Ride. From Port Angeles, first take Clallam Transit bus #30 to Sequim.
  • Dungeness Line operated by Olympic Bus Lines. Bus route from Sea-Tac Airport and Seattle to Port Townsend, Sequim and Port Angeles. The bus goes across the Puget Sound on the Edmonds-Kingston ferry. Unfortunately it no longer stops at Haines Place Park and Ride, only at Four Corners Park and Ride on the outskirts of town, requiring two more buses to get downtown. But you may be able to get a taxi.

By ferryEdit

  • 2 Washington State Ferries, 1301 Water St (Along the waterfront.). Ferry to Coupeville, on Whidbey Island. Vehicle space is often limited. Reservations are recommended, and can be made up to two months in advance on the web site.

By bicycleEdit

  • 3 Olympic Discovery Trail (at the intersection of Washington St and Boat St). A bicycle trail running west from Port Townsend all the way to La Push, on the Pacific Ocean to the west. The portion from Port Townsend to Port Angeles is paved.

Get aroundEdit

 
Map of Port Townsend

Port Townsend has a compact, walkable, gridded center, divided into Downtown and Uptown. Downtown, where most attractions are, including most hotels, art galleries, the ferry terminal and the marina, is along Water and Washington Streets, roughly from the ferry dock on the southwest, to Point Hudson on the northwest. Uptown, which has some more hotels and other businesses of note, is, as the name suggests, uphill from Downtown, to the northwest. Fort Worden, where a number of attractions lie, is about a mile north of Downtown. As of December 2020, ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft are banned, and not available.

By busEdit

Jefferson Transit provides infrequent local bus service, Monday through Saturday. It is $1.50 for a daily pass; $1.00 for seniors 60+, disabled, and youth 7-18; and free for children 6 and under. The most useful routes for visitors, running hourly, are:

  • #2 to Haines Place Park & Ride and Fort Worden
  • #11 to Haines Place Park & Ride, and looping around Uptown and Downtown. Actually two routes, in opposite directions: #11A is counter-clockwise, and #11B is clockwise.

By bicycleEdit

By taxiEdit

SeeEdit

 
Port Townsend Courthouse
  • 1 Manresa Castle, 651 Cleveland St (7th and Sheridan Sts). On the National Historic Registry. Also one of the most haunted buildings in America.
  • 2 Northwind Arts Center, 701 Water St (at Quincy St), +1 360-379-1086. Th-Su noon-5PM. Regularly-rotated exhibits of visual arts, as well as periodic readings, films, and performances.
  • Port Townsend Art Walk (on Water Street, between Polk Street and Madison Street). 5:30-8PM, every first Saturday of the month. The art galleries in town are all open late, providing refreshments and a chance to speak with the artists themselves.
  • 3 Rothschild House Museum, 418 Taylor St (at Jefferson St), +1 360-385-1003. On a bluff overlooking Port Townsend Bay stands a historic house built by Bavarian immigrant and businessman "Baron" Rothschild. The house has been largely unchanged since the 1800s, giving a glimpse into life from over a century ago. Adults $6, seniors $5, children $1.
  • 4 Jefferson Museum of Art and History, 540 Water St (at Madison St), +1 360-385-1003. Sa Su 11AM-4PM. A working city hall, court, with an old jail cell, various other historical exhibits, and an art gallery. Adults $6, seniors $5, children $1.

DoEdit

 
A house in the historic district
 
Uptown Theatre
  • 1 Rose Theatre, 235 Taylor St (between Washington St and Water St), +1 360-385-1039 (office), +1 360-385-1089 (movie hotline), . Movie theater. $11 adult, $10 senior/student, $8 children 12 and under, matinees $1 less.
  • 2 Uptown Theater, 1120 Lawrence St (at Polk St), +1 360-385-3883. Movie theater. VIP (21+ upper sections) $11, general $10, seniors $9, students $9, child (12 and under) $8, matinees $1 off.
  • 3 Wooden Boat Festival (at Point Hudson Marina, entrance at the intersection of Water Street and Monroe Street), +1 360-385-2628 ext 104, . one weekend in September. The largest wooden boat festival in North America. Tour, ride, or view a number of different boats. Live music and children's activities. 12 years and under free, 13-19 years one-day $15 or three-day $30, adults one-day $20 or three-day $40, seniors one-day $15 or three-day $30, active military one-day $15 or three-day $30.  
  • Port Townsend Film Festival, +1 360-379-1333, . one weekend in late September. Showings of more than 100 films, along with interviews and panels with the people who made them. rush tickets $15, passes $40 to $1500.  
  • Jazz Port Townsend. one weekend in late July to early August. A series of jazz concerts at Fort Worden. $25-185.

Fort Worden Historical State ParkEdit

Fort Worden is located on 433 acres on a former military base, on the north side of Port Townsend. Three forts—Fort Worden, Fort Flagler, and Fort Casey—were built at the entrance to Puget Sound, creating a "Triangle of Fire" to thwart any invasion attempt by sea. Fort Worden features more than two miles of beachfront and high bluffs, with views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It contains a number of accommodations, from simple campgrounds (albeit with views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca for some of them) to cottages, houses, and even a small castle. The buildings of the former military base have been repurposed into a number of attractions, listed below.

BuyEdit

EatEdit

 
Rose Theatre & Elks Building
  • 3 Fountain Cafe, 920 Washington St, +1 360-385-1364. Great little place up the hill from the fountain with mostly organic foods.
  • 4 Waterfront Pizza, 951 Water St, +1 360-385-6629. Great pizza! Buy it by the slice or order a full pizza with all your favorites and dine upstairs in the funky atmosphere.
  • 5 Lanza's Ristorante, 1020 Lawrence St. Located uptown has really great Italian food.
  • 6 Khu Larb Thai Restaurant, 225 Adams St, +1 360-385-5023. Really great Thai food, a favorite with the locals.
  • 7 [dead link] Ichikawa Sushi Bar & Steak House, 1208 Water St, +1 360-379-4000. Japanese cuisine from its sister city.
  • 8 The Silverwater Cafe, 237 Taylor St, +1 360-385-6448. Great atmosphere and is known for their exceptional seafood dishes.

DrinkEdit

  • 2 1012 Coffee Bar, 1012 Lawrence St (at Tyler St), +1 360-379-1012. 7AM-1PM daily. Artisan espresso with a cozy local feeling.

SleepEdit

Go nextEdit

  • Coupeville, on Whidbey Island, can be reached by ferry. It is a small rural town, part of a historic reserve.
  • Sequim, the sunniest place in Western Washington and the lavender capital of North America, is 30 miles to the west.
  • Port Angeles, the largest city on the Olympic Peninsula and most convenient gateway to Olympic National Park, is about 50 miles west.
  • Bainbridge Island, a scenic island suburb of Seattle, is about 50 miles south.
Routes through Port Townsend
END ← Jct W   S  W   E  → Car ferry → CoupevilleBurlington


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