Located on the Olympic Peninsula, Port Townsend is a quaint, historic Victorian seaport. This town is a close-knit community of creatives and outdoor enthusiasts. Being less than 2 hours from Seattle, it’s a great destination for a weekend or day trip if you are in the area. There is a lot to see and do while visiting Port Townsend. In this post, I’m going to be covering how to spend 24 hours in Port Townsend, Washington including places to eat, things to do, and where to stay.
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How to Spend 24 Hours in Port Townsend, Washington
How to Get to Port Townsend
Port Townsend is only 2 hours outside of Seattle. If you’re coming from Seattle, there are two different ferries you can take. Hop on the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston or Seattle to Bainbridge Island. Ferry costs vary, but a standard car will cost around $17. You can view the ferry costs here.
Where to Stay
Port Townsend is a great place for a day trip. If you’re staying for the weekend, however, there are a lot of charming options. If you want to be near Fort Worden, you can stay at the state park campground or in one of the cabins on officer’s row. You can also camp at Fort Worden in a tent or trailer.
If you want a possible ghost encounter, stay at the Manresa Castle. This castle, built in 1892, has been preserved and is now a historic hotel. There are rumors that it is haunted, and it was even featured in season 14 of Ghost Adventures.
How to Spend 24 Hours in Port Townsend
Grab a Coffee at Better Living Through Coffee
Start your day out by grabbing a coffee and maybe a pastry at Better Living Through Coffee. This coffee shop is located in the historic downtown district of Port Townsend, Washington. Choose from a selection of fair-trade, organic, locally roasted drip coffee and espressos. If you’re not a fan of coffee, there is a great selection of teas. I recommend ordering a London Fog and grabbing a seat by the window for views of the water.
Explore Fort Worden Historical State Park
Once you’ve had a coffee, head to Fort Worden Historical State Park to explore. Fort Worden was once an active military Army base from 1902 to 1953. The site is now used for recreational purposes including camping, hiking, visiting the beach, and exploring the historic gun batteries. If you are just spending a day in Port Townsend, I recommend budgeting at least 2- 3 hours to walk along the beach and explore some of the bunkers.
Fort Worden is open in the summer from 6:30 am to dusk and in the winter from 8:00 am to dusk. You will need a Discover pass to enter and park. An annual pass if you don’t already have one is $30, and a one-day pass is $10. Dogs are allowed on leashes.
Eat at Owl Spirit Cafe
After visiting Fort Worden, head back to downtown Port Townsend to have a light lunch at Owl Spirit Cafe. Owl Spirit Cafe offers bowls, burgers, salads, sandwiches, and burritos. This cafe has lots of vegan-friendly options. As an artsy, tight-knit town, Owl Spirit Cafe embodies the quirks of Port Townsend!
Shop in Downtown Port Townsend
After lunch, check out the local shops in downtown Main Street. Downtown Port Townsend is a collection of ornate and historic buildings. It’s close to the waterfront. You can spend a few hours walking up and down the streets and visiting the local businesses. Some of my favorite shops are Imprint Bookstore, Port Townsend Antique Mall, What’s Cookin’, The Spice and Tea Exchange, and The Green Eyeshade.
Go Wine Tasting at Port Townsend Winery
After shopping downtown, stop by Port Townsend Winery to try some of the local wines. There is both indoor and outdoor heated seating. You can explore the grounds with a glass of wine, or grab a charcuterie board if you’re hungry. There is often live music that you can enjoy during your visit.
Grab Dinner at The Fountain Cafe
The Fountain Cafe is one of the top-rated places to eat in Port Townsend. At this cafe, you can enjoy locally sourced ingredients. If you are visiting Washington, you have to try the seafood. If seafood is not your thing, there are plenty of other options, even for vegetarians.
Tips for Visiting Port Townsend
- If you are visiting any time other than the summer, be sure to bring a jacket and raincoat! It frequently rains and the breeze from the ocean can make it chilly.
- The best time of year to visit for most of the shops to be open and for nice weather is during the summer. However, Port Townsend is open year-round so you can visit at any time.
- Port Townsend is located on the Olympic Peninsula and right by the Olympic National Park. If you have multiple days in the area, I highly recommend visiting some of the hikes in the ONP such as Mt. Storm King or Marymere Falls: What to Know Before Hiking. If you are really up for a challenge, backpacking Enchanted Valley has some stunning views.
- If hikes aren’t your thing, the western coast has some stunning beaches. If you are staying multiple days in the area, I would recommend checking out La Push, Rialto Beach, Third Beach, Kalaloch Beach, or Ruby Beach.
How to Spend 24 Hours in Port Townsend, Washington
Port Townsend is a great place to visit if you are near the Olympic Peninsula. It is one of the last three Victorian seaports in the United States. I hope this post on how to spend 24 hours in Port Townsend, Washington was helpful if you are planning a trip to this cute town. Looking for another cute beachside town? Try Astoria, Oregon!