PORT TOWNSEND: YEAR-ROUND ADVENTURE
Few places in the United States pack as much variety and fun into a year as the coastal hamlet of Port Townsend. The community is well known as a mecca for wooden boats and maritime history, and has carved out a niche as a distinctive venue for world-class music festivals, films and theatre.
Port Townsend has two excellent, well-maintained marinas—the Boat Haven and Point Hudson Marina. The latter is within steps of charming downtown shops, galleries and restaurants. Many of the businesses downtown are housed in historic buildings erected in the 1890s when the city had dreams of becoming the “New York of the West.”
If you love boating then be sure to catch one of the country’s largest celebrations of wooden boats – the Wooden Boat Festival, held the second week of September. Over 300 splendid vessels of all shapes and sizes fill Point Hudson Marina to capacity and open their hatches for public viewing. Presentations on maritime skills are scattered throughout the three-day festival along with dozens of exhibitors.
Since Port Townsend is one of only three Victorian seaports in the United States, it only makes sense that the city celebrates its heritage. In June, Victorian culture meets steampunk during the Brass Screw Confederacy – a unique celebration of Victoriana.
Located on the edge of Olympic National Park, Port Townsend is perfect for outdoor adventures. Walk the beach (check the tides) from Point Hudson to Fort Worden State Park, and enjoy wide bike lanes through town that lead to miles of magnificent trails.
Summer in Port Townsend is a music-lover’s paradise. Centrum – the renowned arts non-profit at Fort Worden - presents large music festivals that draw musicians from around the world.
In late September, the town rolls out the red carpet for the Port Townsend Film Festival, showcasing films in seven theatres throughout the walkable downtown National Landmark Historic District.
Attention Foodies: the Port Townsend Farmers Market was voted the best in Washington State, and is open April through December. Farmers, chefs, and vendors from around the region gather in the heart of uptown, amid stately Victorian homes that line the quiet streets.
No matter the time of year, there’s so much to see and do. Take in a festival, get outside, learn the town’s fascinating history, shop ‘til you drop and enjoy Port Townsend’s charm.