A city within the Jefferson county, Washington is known for its history of shipbuilding beautiful scenery and Victorian buildings. The most popular tourist attractions in Port Townsend are water based activities. However, there’s plenty to see and do on land too. From the romantic architecture to the bustling nightlife it is a lovely seaside town for a holiday break. Here are a few ideas to inspire a trip to Port Townsend.
10. Port Townsend Aero museum
A collection of antique and classic aircrafts many of which are regularly flown. The museum has such a broad collection that the exhibits are rotated frequently. Restoration operations are carried out by experts at the museum and near Jefferson International Airport. As well as aircraft on display, there are also artwork exhibits and an extensive research library. The museum is open 9am to 4pm Wednesday to Sunday and closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission costs $10 for adults, $6 for youths and is free for children under 6.
9. Northwest Maritime centre
The maritime culture of the of the town is celebrated at this centre who are passionate about all things boats. There is a diverse fleet of vessels which are used for teaching and sailing, Thunderbirds, Longboats, Optis and more. The best part for visitors are the wooden boats which can be seen being made here. Boat rentals including kayaks and fishing boats are available and popular with tourists wanting to get out onto the water as well as free boat rides. For those who simply want to sit and watch Velocity café offers a view of the dock and boats sailing by.
8. Port Townsend Brewing
This brewery offers guests beer tasting and a pleasant beer garden. Popular with both tourists and locals this is a fun place to enjoy with friends especially on Friday evenings in the summer where concerts are held. The small unique company opened their doors in 1997 when just two beers were offered to customers, now they brew over ten ales. Opening hours are Saturday to Tuesday and Thursdays 12 noon to 7pm. 12 noon to 8pm on Wednesdays and until 9pm on Fridays. High on the list of tourist attractions in Port Townsend for craft beer enthusiasts.
7. Jefferson County Court house
An interesting historical building which is still a working court house. Dating back to the 1890s it is listed on the National Register of Historic places. The clock tower was installed in November 1892 and measures 124-feet high. The bell still rings out every hour of the day. Jefferson County Historical Society offer walking tours which take in the court house among other historical buildings and guides will point out the history and architecture offering information throughout the tour. Tickets cost $10 and start at the Museum of Art and History.
6. Antique mall
Located on Washington street the mall offers a range of vintage treasures to explore and discover. Find an assortment of real antique items along with plenty of kitsch. There are many dealers and stalls to browse, prices vary but are pretty reasonable. In the basement are exhibited displays of Chinese artefacts which were discovered when the site was excavated. The staff are on hand to help shoppers and give information about items. A lovely place to find pieces to buy or just to browse and pass the time. Opening times are from 1030am to 530pm Monday to Friday 10am to 6pm Saturdays and 11am to 5pm Sundays.
In partnership with Fort Worden Park, Centrum provides performances and workshops in different artistic disciplines to promote creative experiences. Performances include musicians from all over the world, festivals and shows. Workshops are available for both adults and kids, however most of the performers are young artists. The organisation is non-profit and relies on donors to keep the art centre going. Today visitors can enjoy jazz and blues music at scheduled upcoming events. Ticket office is open Monday to Friday from noon until four. Tickets can also be purchased online or over the phone. Workshop concert tickets start from $10 per person.
4. Kelly art deco light museum
For Art Deco lovers this light museum is a lovely place to get a glimpse into the years between 1928 and 1938. There are over 400 fixtures on show including table lights, chandeliers and wall sconces ranging from the upper and middle classes of the romantic era. This cool vintage setting will take tourists back in time as they wander through the decades of art of the time. The store and gift shop also have a huge unique collection for visitors to browse and purchase. Entrance to the museum is free.
3. Marine Science Centre
An educational and scientific centre which teaches visitors through its various programs. The hands-on aquarium is great for kids to explore the animals plants and objects. The centre promotes learning and activities emphasize that anybody can become a scientist. Touch tanks, microscopes and a hydrophone to listen to whales off shore make for a memorable visit. Opening times during the summer are every day 11am to 5pm and Friday to Sunday 12am to 5pm during the other seasons. Admission prices are $5 for adults and $3 for children, tours and classes are extra.
2. Port Townsend farmers market
One of the largest small town markets and one of the most popular places to visit in Port Townsend at the weekend. Visitors will find food, art crafts music and more whilst exploring the stalls set up by over 70 vendors each week. Shoppers are sure to find unique items and gifts for everyone and lots of food and drinks to keep the hunger at bay whilst shopping. Farmers sell fresh local produce and bakers, cheese makers and brewers showcase their creations. Open on Saturdays from 9am to 2pm from April to December and located on Tyler street.
1. Fort Worden State park
Resting on high bluff, Fort Worden is a 434-acre park with over two miles of shoreline with many historic buildings. A previous military base in the 1950’s the area was donated to the state of Washington in the 1970’s. Part museum and part campground, there are plenty of things to do whether staying here overnight or on a day trip at the weekend. Family and individual accommodations are available in the Conference Centre, ranging from houses and dormitories. Camping is at both the beach and in the forest, all providing spectacular views and facilities.
Just a short ferry-ride from Seattle, around two hours, will get visitors to the heart of the town. Once here it is easily explored by foot or by bicycle and for longer distances public transport is advised rather than driving as parking is difficult and at a premium. The best time to visit is in the summer months when temperatures are higher and rainfall is least especially as many things to do in Port Townsend are outdoors.