PORT TOWNSEND: YEAR-ROUND AD­VEN­TURE

Year-round Ad­ven­ture

Suncruiser West Coast - - Contents - WORDS BY KEVEN ELLIFF

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.

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