Port Townsend is located on the Quimper or Key Peninsula on the northeast corner of the Olympic Peninsula. Port Townsend is so rich in history, that it might be best to start a visit to the Jefferson County Historical Museum located at Port Townsend City Hall. It's known as the City of Dreams for good reason. Picture a bustling Victorian town full of merchant sailing vessels arriving in the 1880’s and the hopes that a railroad would be put through. The town exploded with construction of its brick commercial buildings downtown and Victorian mansions uptown, only to bust by 1892 when the railway went to Seattle and the nation suffered an economic depression.
Historylink.org has a short essay on the first settlers, S'Klallam tribe, the early economy and its strategic importance that brought the military to the area and which developed the "Triangle of Fire" harbor defense fort network we enjoy today as recreational areas.
Walking down Water Street with views of Puget Sound peeking out between historic Victorian buildings from the late 1880’s, with cafes and tea shops, Victorian hotels, underground shops, plenty of excellent restaurants and music, you’ll find you will want to return again and again to explore its rich history, hidden delights, great cuisine and entertainment. Add in a wide array of year round festivals, from its historic Rhododendron Festival, popular Wooden Boat Festival, Port Townsend Film Festival to its Victorian and Steam Punk Festivals, and you’ll always have something to do while in town.
No festival? No problem! Head out to Fort Worden State Park or one of the city parks like Chetzemoka or North Beach or walk the Larry Scott Trail. Check out a local winery or brewery, or look at the boats at Point Hudson or Port of Port Townsend marinas. Did I mention there is an Uptown Port Townsend too? It’s a great bet to stop in at the Pan D’Amore Bakery, Port Townsend Farmer’s Market, Aldrich’s Market or one of the top notch restaurants.
Port Townsend is known for its top quality craftsmanship and education opportunities in arts, music, literature and maritime fields. Centrum at Fort Worden State Park, the Northwest Maritime Center, Port Townsend Marine Science Center, Port of Port Townsend, Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building, Port Townsend School of the Arts, Port Townsend School of Woodworking, Copper Canyon Press and the Port Townsend Aero Museum are just a few of the organizations that provide a unique blend of jobs and experiences for locals and visitors alike.
Film, dance, theatre, rowing and sailing programs for youth and adults add a vitality often found only in larger cities. Port Townsend is home to Peninsula College, and Goddard College. At the same time, its holds tight its rural and eclectic roots with events like the Jefferson County Fair, Kinetic Sculpture Race, Victorian and Steam Punk Festivals. Whale watching tour and a Soak on the Sound spa are available too for some variety and relaxation.