Port Towns of the Olympic Peninsula

The harbor towns of Washington’s Olympic and Kitsap peninsulas dole out understated charm, waterfront wandering, and plenty of freshly caught fare.

Port Angeles is much more than a gateway to Hurricane Ridge and the rest of Olympic National Park. Spend a day exploring to find a thriving arts scene, from outdoor installations to Saturday dress rehearsal concerts by the Port Angeles Symphony Orchestra, along with notable nosh spots like Next Door Gastropub and, for Twilight diehards, Bella Italia, which serves a mean mushroom ravioli.  

About 50 miles east on Highway 101 is Port Townsend, steeped in Victorian charm. Head to Water Street for a stroll and window-shopping, or watch the sailboats from the balcony of Sirens Pub. If you’re in town for breakfast, the Blue Moose is another local favorite. Visiting in summer? Don’t miss an outdoor concert at Pope Marine Park. In July, the Festival of American Fiddle Tunes and Jazz Port Townsend, respectively, draw music lovers. August brings Summer Cider Day, boasting more than 70 ciders from 18 local cidermakers.

Continue south to reach Port Orchard, perhaps best known as the hometown of bestselling author Debbie Macomber. Fans are sure to recognize spots like The Grey House. Downtown’s Bay Street also offers a host of stores for those interested in antiquing, plus a revitalizing Americano at Whiskey Gulch Coffee.

--Karin Vandraiss


Photo by clpo13