At the beginning we learn to travel, then we travel to learn.
William Least Heat-Moon
This summer I had the good fortune to spend five weeks in Port Townsend, Washington. It was a dream of mine to spend time there ever since the first time I stopped there in 1981. After spending another long, hot summer in Arizona, last fall I found a vacation rental in Port Townsend with the intention of spending time there in 2018. Driving there was the hard part. Once I arrived in Port Townsend my dream became a reality. The town is located at the northeast tip of the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State. The city is known for its natural beauty surrounded by water and mountains, artists, Victorian buildings, boat builders, cultural events, and maritime center. The city is small with a population of less than 10,000 except during cultural events like the Film Festival in September when I was told the population rises to 30,000.
The place I rented was on Morgan Hill overlooking the city and was accessible on foot to Uptown, Downtown and Fort Worden State Park. Every day I walked by 19th century Victorian homes adorned with beautiful gardens. I also had daily visitors from deer and robins. One fawn came by so often, I named her Dawna.
There are two areas of town that I frequently visited, uptown which is uphill from downtown. Every Saturday there was a farmer's market on Taylor and Lawrence from 9 am until 2 pm with fresh organic produce, flowers, handcrafted items, fantastic food, baked items, wine and cider tasting, handcrafted cheeses and live music. There was also a fabulous bakery there called Pane d'Amore. I went there more than once! They made a morning glory muffin which was delicious. You could buy a mini one for $1. The uptown area had a grocery store, shops, restaurants, a movie theater, yoga and a pub.
One of the best things about Port Townsend is Fort Worden. Originally Fort Worden was designed as a military base to protect Puget Sound. Now the park is home to cultural events in art and music, woodworking classes, conferences, camping, family reunions, and weddings. While I was there I enjoyed music from fiddle tunes and jazz week, took a yoga class, walked the grounds, visited my friend's campsite, and enjoyed a glass of wine at Taps.
While there I took many trips to places nearby. Olympic National Park and Lake Crescent is less than a two hour drive away.
Downtown Port Townsend is a picturesque area on the water with historic buildings, art galleries, a ferry dock which takes you to Coupeville, restaurants, gardens, bookstores, hotels, bakeries, ice cream shops, various shops, movie theater, Northwinds Art Center and the Jefferson Art and History Museum where we took a historic walking tour. During my stay I tried many of the restaurants including Doc's Marina Grill, Alchemy Bistro, Siren's, Bayview, Fountain Cafe, Courtyard Cafe, Hillbottom Pie, Sea J's, Bamboo Leaf, Pippa's Real Tea, Blue Moose Cafe, and Silverwater Cafe. My favorite place was Hillbottom Pie where I went three times. They had the best Caesar salad I've ever had and their clam chowder was the best too. Doc's was great too. I won't be mean and say the one place where I was ignored twice (it was overlooking the water and was always busy and not enough help.) I also went to Cellar Door a few times for open mic and that place was a lot of fun. So was Port Townsend Brewery where I listened to music a few times outside on their patio and Pourhouse where you can bring your own food and listen to music outside near the water.
I also made sure and visited the downtown movie theaters and saw Won't You be My Neighbor at the historic Rose Theater and watched Leave No Trace at The Starlight Theater in the tallest part of the building on my last night there.
Posts by Charisse Colbert