Three Port Towns – Two Days!

Yes, it can be done!  Quite easily in fact if you live in Seattle.  We were looking for a quick getaway and decided on Port Townsend,  a charming Victorian seaport on the Olympic Peninsula. We headed north to Edmonds to take the ferry to Kingston. It was a beautiful day for a ferry ride.

On the other side, just before the Hood Canal Bridge,  we visited another port town – Port Gamble.

Port Gamble

A National Historic Landmark – Port Gamble is the quintessential company town. The Pope and Talbot sawmill was founded here in 1853 and operated until 1995. The mill is gone but the town remains with its perfectly manicured streets, quaint houses and tiny shops.

After walking through town I was drawn to the cemetery by a large bird I saw perched on a treetop high above.  It was a Golden Eagle, the first I’ve ever seen in the wild.  It seemed to watch over the graves and tombstones of the early city pioneers.

When it finally flew away, it was time for us to move on to our destination for the night.

Port Townsend

On the National Register of Historic Places, Port Townsend has also been named one of the  ‘Coolest Small Towns in America’  by Budget Travel, Fox News, NBC News and Yahoo Travel. I agree.  Once speculated to become the largest harbor on the west coast its destiny changed when the railroads stopped short of their planned expansion.   It’s now noted for its charming waterfront, maritime history and Victorian buildings.

We arrived in the early afternoon and settled into our hotel, then explored the town, its waterfront and shops.  As usual I supported the local economy by bringing home some things from my favorite boutiques.

The next day we went west for our final port town on the peninsula, Port Angeles.

Port Angeles

Though Port Angeles lacks the charm of Port Townsend and Port Gamble it has something they don’t:  it’s the gateway to Olympic National Park.   (It also has the ferry to Victoria as you can see from the map above but that’s another story.)

We took the scenic drive to Hurricane Ridge for the best views of the Olympic Mountains in the park.

After a short hike we returned to town for lunch before heading home.

As promised,  we covered three port towns in 2 days and returned happy and refreshed.

So can you! 🙂

~ Susanne

23 Comments on “Three Port Towns – Two Days!

  1. We love our stays in Port Townsend and have visited your two other port towns. However, it takes us a lot longer to get there from Portland…like the sound of that shortened drive.

  2. You have so many interesting places close to home, Susanne.
    Of course, 1853 is not that old, by European standards. But I’m glad you enjoyed it.
    Great Eagle capture too! 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete.

  3. It’s such an incredible place to live: water everywhere, mountains and wildlife, even Godlen Egles! What a fun adventure, and terrific photos!

    • Thanks so much John! It was a great getaway, with so much to do in such a short time! And the golden eagle was a bonus! 🙂

  4. You helped me remember many things about those towns. I remember waiting for the Anacortes ferry while surrounded by hundreds of hungry sea gulls. Are they still begging?

  5. Wow! What a fun breadth of photography — wildlife, urban, and landscape. Good job on all!

  6. Beautiful photos. That looks like a nice place to get away.

  7. Ah, my old stomping grounds. I lived in Port Townsend for the best part of 30 years. Looks like you had good weather and took to the water there. I have to say I never saw a golden eagle when I lived in the area so that was a very cool sighting. Hurricane Ridge is a great spot. Got to do some cross country skiing up there a few times. I’m glad you had a good little outing.

    • Port Townsend is a great place to visit; I think I could live there myself. And the whole Olympic Peninsula is special. I love having all that beauty close by. The golden eagle was definitely a treat. 😊

  8. Great post and fantastic photos, you can easily spend weeks exploring Olympic Peninsula and its diverse eco systems and never get enough of it. Olympic National Park is one of the places I would love to visit one day especially to take in the mountain views of the Hurricane Ridge, thanks for sharing and have a good day 😀 Aiva

  9. So pretty! I love the picture of the bird on top of the tree! We have some old gold mining towns, (Jamestown is one) not too far from here that look like your pictures of Port Gamble. I always like seeing places like that where you can wonder what life was like back then. 😊

    • Thank you! These are my favorite ‘port’ towns in Washington! Each unique in its own way! I’ve never heard of Jamestown but next time I’m in the area maybe I’ll check it out! 🙂

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