From start to finish, my trip to Port Townsend left a special place in my heart for this whimsical, seaport town. Located on the Olympic Peninsula and only a ferry ride and 90-minute drive away from Seattle, Port Townsend is surrounded by natural beauty. At the heart of Port Townsend is a historic downtown filled with delicious restaurants, unique shops and architectural touches of a Victorian past.
Driftwood shores Photo: Chelsea Westerlund
Arriving in the morning, our first stop was the Northwest Maritime Center. We grabbed a cup of coffee at Velocity and took a walk on the shores. A wide array of boats were docked at the marina as we strolled on the pebbled, driftwood beaches. The saltwater air and deep blue water created a peaceful vibe for the senses. Rowers emerged on the waters in the distance and the wooden boat shop invited us in to explore. Next door, we chatted about whales and marine life with the Hanke Family at Puget Sound Express. They have been running whale watching tours out of this area for 30 years.
From there, we ventured to Fort Worden State Park where one can explore for hours. I didn’t know what to expect but I was taken aback by how cool this place was. This former military base is now a beautiful 432-acre park on the tip of the peninsula. Bluffs provide views of Puget Sound, the Olympic and Cascade mountain ranges and the San Juan Islands. There is a great trail system through the forest to see the historic structures that span the park. Visitors can explore the abandoned military bunkers that date as far back as the late 1800s. There is something really beautiful about these old abandoned structures in such a lush and green environment. However, I imagine these bunkers get pretty creepy at night.
Entrance into an old bunker at Fort Worden. Photo: Chelsea Westerlund
Historic structures span Fort Worden State Park. Photo: Chelsea Westerlund
Working up an appetite after Fort Worden, we drove back into town for some grub and cocktails. Our first stop was Waterfront Pizza. I had already heard about this pizza joint because my boyfriend LOVES this place so I had pretty high expectations here and I wasn’t disappointed. This is a big statement, but I think this was some of the best pizza I have ever had. Get the regular cheese pizza. Trust me, it’s heavenly. Next, we walked a couple doors down to Sirens Pub for great drinks and outdoor seating overlooking the water. It’s a quaint place with great service and an awesome feel. Mermaids are everywhere in the décor so it was pretty much my dream come true. It was a good mix of locals and visitors alike.
Soaking in the view at Sirens Pub. Photo: Chelsea Westerlund
The Old Consulate Inn Photo: Chelsea Westerlund
After a couple hours of soaking in the sun at Sirens, we headed to the Old Consulate Inn, where we were staying for the night. Less than a mile up the road, we were instantly transported to a different era when we saw this Victorian B&B. The Old Consulate Inn was built in 1889 and is a historic landmark overlooking Puget Sound and the Olympics. The innkeepers, Cindy and Nathan, are nothing short of amazing. The inn is filled with old world charm, lavish décor and was the perfect way to immerse in the Port Townsend experience. Cindy and Nathan are passionate about what they do and made us feel special as their guests. Some of my favorite things about the Old Consulate Inn were the fresh baked cookies, the grand piano and instruments in the parlor, the old-fashioned billiard’s room, and a beautiful yard and gazebo for guests to enjoy stunning views of the sound. The gazebo was the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine, watch the sunset and cheers to the day.
Sunset view from the gazebo at the Old Consulate Inn. Photo: Chelsea Westerlund
For dinner, we strolled back into town to try one of Cindy and Nathan’s recommendations, the Alchemy Bistro and Wine Bar. Port Townsend specializes in dishing up local and farm fresh food. It was quite an experience; incredible food, incredible wine. We met a local woman at the restaurant who has traveled the world and has been coming here for years. She said that despite being so well traveled, this is still one of her favorite places to dine. Quite the complement. With full bellies on the walk home, the magic of Port Townsend really started to set in. The sky was clear and we caught glimpses of shooting stars, we saw a family of deer wandering the streets and the white sails of boats peeped in and out of the dark blue waters of Puget Sound. There is a true peace about Port Townsend. Arriving back to our room that evening, we had a basket hanging from our door with two chocolate truffles wishing us a goodnight from Cindy and Nathan.
The next morning, we enjoyed breakfast with the other inn guests chatting all about our experiences. Meeting new people and breaking bread is one of my favorite things about B&B’s. We said our goodbyes and then headed into downtown before having to make our way back to Seattle. Port Townsend’s downtown area has the coolest, independently owned shops. We checked out some local art, snagged a couple of keepsakes and admired the views one last time. More importantly, we ordered up fresh Waterfront pizza slices for the ride home. With saucy fingers and pizza smiles, one thing was certain: we would be coming back for another dose of Port Townsend magic.
Point Hudson Marina Photo: Chelsea Westerlund