Jefferson County Courthouse in Victorian Port Townsend, Washington
It has been ages since we went to the Olympic Peninsula. I have a love-hate relationship with the trip. It always start out great with a ferry ride to Kingston from Edmonds. The traffic can be congested but it is good to get you to slow down and enjoy the ride. But I always end up hating the trip back especially on Sundays. There never seems to be an easy way to catch the ferry back. It is one boat or in the prime summer season - over 2 hour wait to catch the return ferry. And it ain't cheap - $32 roundtrip in winter.
But it can be a glorious time while on the peninsula. We headed out on Sunday and easily caught the ferry after a short wait. I do love the vistas and it was great to look back at the area where I do many of my walks. Edmonds slowly disappeared in the distance and we moved forward to catch views of Whidbey Island and approaching Kingston shore.
We headed towards Sequim, passing scenic Port Gamble - a restored 1800's mill town, crossing the Hood Canal Bridge and joining up with Highway 101. The sky darkened and rain started as we got closer to Sequim. So much for a walk at Dungeness Spit. It was miserable looking so we turned around and headed back with our backup plan of a day shopping in Pt. Townsend.
Port Townsend is a small Victorian seaport town on the tip of the Olympic Peninsula. It was a major port in the late 1800's. Many large Victorian buildings and homes were built in this time. But the town slowly died when the major rail line was never extended from Olympia up to city. A paper mill opened in the 1920's but it remained small. Because there never was another major industry, the town retained its Victorian qualities and quaintness. In 1970's, the historic district was declared a National Historic Landmark.
The main district is along the sound and it has a series of interesting shops ranging from art galleries to the typical NW souvenir shop. We enjoy spending a leisurely time in the bookstores and kitchen shops. There are several good places to eat. We choose Sirens, a hip bar with the young crowd serving good food and an excellent selection of beers and cocktails. It is located up a long flight of stairs in restored historic building overlooking the port. It was crowded so we sat at the bar which gave us a good view of the action. We both had a local Pt Townsend IPA which was very tasty - a little more citrus than herbal hops but good. The place was very crowded and have to say it was slow getting our food. The service was good - it was just very busy and the kitchen was pretty small. We did enjoy watching the bartender make one of their specialty drinks - Spanish Coffee, 151 Rum flaming with Kahlua, Cointreau and coffee. The sprinkling of cinnamon sparks was awesome. They also got points for having a bottle of St Germaine behind the bar.
We had noticed a lot of cars and young guys in town. We did not figure out exactly what was up until our next stop - Fort Worden which I'll talk about in the next post. Meanwhile, here are some of the sights of the trip to Port Townsend.
Looking back on the Edmonds Waterfront - my favorite place for a walk