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  • Writer's pictureChasingBuffaloesandBeyond

How to Spend a Weekend in Port Townsend, Washington

Updated: Jan 20, 2022

Located on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington State, the quaint historic town of Port Townsend is a wonderful weekend getaway! Known for it's Victorian architecture and it's waterfront downtown, there is plenty to keep you busy exploring this lovely corner of Washington State.

Row of old building along the waterfront.
Looking back at downtown Port Townsend from the pier


Sign for The Tides Inn & Suites
Arriving to our hotel - The Tides Inn & Suites

Day 1: Off we set for our first weekend getaway as a family of three! Our son was about three months old and we figured it was time to get back to adventuring! Starting small with our travel plans for our newly expanded family, we picked Port Townsend which is only a couple hours drive from home and a destination that we hadn't been to before. Arriving into Port Townsend, we checked into our hotel for the weekend - The Tides Inn & Suites. This hotel was in a great location right along the waterfront, where you could sit back and enjoy the views from your own private hot tub on each balcony! Also nice about this hotel is that you could walk into the historic downtown from here with a quick 5 minute walk.

View of The Tides Inn & Suites along the waterfront.
Looking down at the beach at our hotel - we loved being right on the water!



Street scene of Port Townsend, Washington
View along the street in downtown Port Townsend

Starting off our time in Port Townsend, we began by just strolling thru the downtown. Filled with unique shops, art galleries and plenty of delicious restaurants, Port Townsend offers a bit of something for everyone. Make sure and take a walk out along the pier and enjoy some scenic views looking back at Port Townsend and out towards the water. Also worth a stroll is Uptown Port Townsend. This area is filled with historic Victoria homes that were built in the 1880's when it was once speculated that Port Townsend would become the main train hub for the Pacific Northwest. In anticipation of the coming railroad, this town began to boom and these beautiful homes were built. Unfortunately for Port Townsend, Seattle was the chosen hub. Today over 300 of these Victorian homes remain and are now a part of the unique history of Port Townsend.

Man standing on a dock with the town of Port Townsend behind him.
Enjoying the views from the pier in downtown Port Townsend
Mom and baby standing along dock with view towards the water and Port Townsend, Washington
We even saw a bit of sun on this February weekend getaway!


Mother and a stroller standing in front of an old bunker at Fort Warden State Park.
Taking a stroll around the old bunkers at Fort Warden

Next, we headed out to Fort Warden State Park to enjoy some more local history. Construction began in 1898 and Fort Warden was one of three Forts (Fort Flager and Fort Casey were the other two) that were built to protect the Puget Sound and were known as the 'Triangle of Fire'. Used as an active Military base until 1953, no shots were ever fired from here and the site was eventually turned over to Washington State Parks and Rec in 1971. Today, wandering thru the old bunkers is a fun, if not slightly creepy experience - empty un-lit concrete tunnels, ladders and empty rooms await the adventurous. Make sure to have a flashlight on hand!

White with red roofs Point Wilson Lighthouse and buildings at Fort Warden State Park.
The Point Wilson Lighthouse - built in 1914

Also while visiting Fort Warden State Park - stop by Point Wilson Light. This lighthouse was first built in 1879 at the entrance to Admiralty Inlet and was then rebuilt in 1914 to better withstand the harsh conditions. Today, the lighthouse is now automated and is maintained by the Coast Guard. While the lighthouse is fenced off from the public, you can walk around the area and enjoy the coastal views.

View of Point Wilson Lighthouse along the shoreline on a cloudy day.
Enjoying the beautiful coastal views near the Point Wilson Lighthouse
Driftwood filled beach along Fort Warden State Park with a distant view to the Point Wilson Lighthouse.
Beautiful winter day along the the beach at Fort Warden State Park



Mother and baby carrier standing in front of the Blue Moose Cafe.
The breakfast was amazing at the Blue Moose Cafe

Day 2: Start off your morning at the Blue Moose Cafe - located in the marina area of Port Townsend. Come hungry as the food is amazing and the portions were quite large! After breakfast, we headed back downtown to stroll along the waterfront. Even on a rainy day, wandering thru Port Townsend's waterfront is a fun and relaxing activity. Living in Washington, we are used to rain - so a little rain wasn't going to slow us down.

Mom with a baby stroller standing along side a boat marina and a couple of giant anchors.
Strolling along the marina in Port Townsend
Mom and baby standing with three otter statues along the waterfront in Port Townsend, Washington
Having fun along the waterfront - even on a rainy day!


Next, we made a quick stop at Chetzemoka Park. When settler's first arrived to Port Townsend back in the 1850's, Chief Chetzemoka was welcoming and aided in creating the newly established town of Port Townsend. In honor of Chief Chetzemoka, this park was created and named after him in 1904. Today, this beautiful park on the bluff overlooking Admiralty Inlet is a great place to take in the views or walk down along the beach during low tides. We happened to visit during high, so there wasn't much beach, but it was still a beautiful spot to visit!



After a successful first attempt of traveling with a baby, it was time to head home. We really enjoyed visiting this historic seaside town! Full of history, great restaurants and shops, and wonderful areas to get out and take some wonderful walks, Port Townsend offers everything you could want for a relaxing weekend getaway!

Family of three selfie along the waterfront of Port Townsend, Washington
Having fun on our first adventure as a family of three!

Interested in planning your own trip to Port Townsend, Washington? Below is our summarized itinerary for you to follow or adjust to your own preferences. ENJOY!

Day 1: Explore Port Townsend, wander the downtown and enjoy the shops, art galleries and restaurants. Stroll along the downtown pier. Take a drive through Uptown Port Townsend and view the historic Victorian homes. Head out to Fort Warden State Park - explore the bunkers and walk out to the Wilson Point Light.

Day 2: Breakfast at the Blue Moose Cafe, then stroll along thru downtown Port Townsend again, wander thru the Marina. Head out to Chetzemoka Park.

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