by Britta Devereaux
An easy day trip from the Seattle-Tacoma area takes you to three port towns: Port Gamble, Port Ludlow and Port Townsend. Each offers a different experience, from a tiny, historic mill town to a boutique resort community to an authentic Victorian seaport.
First stop: Port Gamble, founded in 1853 as a sawmill town serving the fledgling lumber industry. Today the town is a 120-acre National Historic Landmark that’s replete with boutique shops, eateries and plenty of history. The proximity to Seattle makes this a popular destination that can get crowded on weekends. Browse the few streets, pop into shops that pique your interest, and definitely stop in for a snack at Butcher & Baker Provisions.
After Port Gamble, cross the Hood Canal Bridge and follow the signs to Port Ludlow, home of the Port Ludlow Resort. Park and stroll the grounds, including the marina. Rent a kayak at the marina and spend an hour or two paddling the protected bay. Cap off your Port Ludlow visit at the Fireside Restaurant at the inn for refreshments before you move on to your final port. You’ll be tempted to return to while away a weekend relaxing at the inn.
The last stop is Port Townsend, a well-preserved Victorian seaport that breathes history. The arts are alive and well in Port Townsend, evident by the art studios and galleries. The walkable downtown corridor on the waterfront is perfect for browsing the collection of shops and galleries. Especially notable are galleries featuring Native American art. And the Uptown District (up the hill) has its own browsable strip. If you’re gift shopping, Port Townsend is a perfect destination with selections of artisanal items.
Next to town you’ll find Fort Worden Historical State Park, home to a historic military fort. Carve out time to explore this park and beach area with breathtaking views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and across to Vancouver Island.
Before you bring your day trip to a close, select one of Port Townsend’s many eateries and relax over a meal.
WHEN YOU GO
Port Townsend, https://enjoypt.com
Port Ludlow, https://portludlowresort.com
Port Gamble, https://www.portgamble.com