A trip to Seattle wouldn't be complete without an excursion to Port Townsend on the Olympic Peninsula. The journey begins by taking the car ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island. As the city skyline recedes and the boat glides through the water, you can feel your cares melting away.
Before you finish your cup of coffee the ferry is docking. Driving along lush green rural roads is a nice start to the adventure. I am always amazed by the million shades of green and endless trees. Founded in 1791 by Captain George Vancouver, Port Townsend is one of only three Victorian Seaports on the National Historic Register. The collection of historic architecture is stunning and worth exploring.
Best known as the setting for the film An Officer and a Gentleman, it is surrounded by the Olympic Mountains and Port Townsend Bay. This provides nearly unlimited recreational activities such as cycling, hiking, beach-combing, and sailing. After all of the exploration you can work up a serious appetite.
Fortunately Port Townsend offers a variety of dining experiences including the largest number of restaurants offering farm-to-table dining on the Olympic Peninsula. You can find a selection of Northwest and ethnic cuisine in the town’s restaurants and cafes. There are also brewpubs, wineries and bars to round out the selection. Here are a few favorites:
Fins Coastal Cuisine offers spectacular water views and Pacific Northwest cuisine, open 7 days per week for lunch and dinner.
Lanza’s Ristorante serves delicious Italian cuisine and has been serving customers for 26 years, open Tuesday through Saturday for dinner.
Fountain Café is an intimate restaurant with only 10 tables and tasty food, open for lunch and dinner.
Silverwater Café uses local fresh ingredients to create their exceptional menu where you feel as if you are home, open daily for lunch and dinner.
Once you get to Port Townsend you won’t want to leave. Stay at Manresa Castle located on a 2 acre site built in 1892 for the town’s first mayor and lovingly restored. They offer 30 guest rooms as well as a restaurant and lounge.
The Palace Hotel is a Victorian hotel in downtown, formerly a brothel. Enjoy comfortable rooms, and period décor including velvet chaises in the lounge.
Bishop Victorian Hotel features Victorian antiques and lighting, stay in one of the 16 fireplace suites and enjoy breakfast delivered to your room. They have a great location for exploring town.
Nearby attractions include: Fort Worden, a decommissioned military fort with hiking trails and amazing views of Strait of Juan de Fuca, Mt Baker, and the Olympic Mountains. This is a great place to watch the sun or moon rise and/or set.
Hurricane Ridge in the Olympic National Park offers a variety of hiking trails and exceptional views of sub alpine lakes and valleys.
Lake Crescent offers recreational water activities on a crystal clear lake surrounded by mountains.
Wooden Boat Festival – September 6-8, 2013
Port Townsend Film Festival – September 20-22, 2013
Visit www.ptguide.com for more event information.
©Karla Erovick 2013 article
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