Port Townsend turned out to have an adorable tiny town vibe. Nestled on the Washington State peninsula, the small city of Port Townsend is a hidden gem that has plenty to do for a quick weekend escape.
Joe and I had talked about visiting all the cute port towns on the Washington State peninsula but we decided on Port Townsend (over Port Angeles for example) because I also wanted to visit old Fort Worden. I had visited Fort Casey and Fort Flagler as a child, but had yet to see this historic fort. I was always told growing up that these forts are also known as the “Triangle of Fire” that protected Puget Sound.
An excerpt from their website says “Originally designed as a military base to protect Puget Sound, Fort Worden evolved into an iconic and cherished state park. The fort – featuring 100 historic structures – spans two miles of saltwater shoreline with views of the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, and the San Juan Islands.”
If you’re camping you should definitely reserve a site first since it’s run on a first-come-first-serve basis. Once your accommodations are taken care of, head straight to Port Townsend Main Street to take a stroll and pop into whatever store catches your eye.
Food & drinks
We ate at Doc’s Marina Bar & Grill in Port Townsend where we enjoyed the view of the beach and ocean (image above). Yelp is your best bet if you’re looking for food and drink recommendations in the area.
Highly recommend Doc’s for the atmosphere and delicious cookie skillet (left image).
The best part of this trip was spending quality time together and enjoying the scenic views. Make sure to budget time for leisurely walks around this scenic town. Not much of a night scene in the middle of November, but this small town has potential for a great night life in the summer.
We only had time to camp for one night but were lucky enough to borrow a camper van so this was easy. When we arrived in the area, we immediately headed to the campground to reserve a campsite. Fort Worden is a first come, first served facility so get there early to find a good spot.
PRO TIP: It’s CRAZY windy if you camp closer to the water near the bunker!! I recommend finding a spot that’s closer to the treeline to gain some shelter from the wind. Avoid this area entirely if you only brought a tent though. The boy scouts troupe next door was packing up their whole campsite at 5:30 a.m. because no one could sleep due to the tent flapping loudly in the wind!
Sleeping in the camper van was a fun experience and made sleeping here tolerable. Although I will admit that the wind did wake me up a few times due to it shaking the car so much.
I managed to start a fire despite the wind, thanks to the treeline and bushes that blocked enough of the wind for me. We had bought some juice and fresh pre-made breakfast burritos and wrapped them in aluminum foil to heat over the fire. Delicious, easy to make and very filling! Recommend tongs for flipping these around since they get really hot. We flipped them frequently and wrapped them really well so it took around 15-20 minutes to heat them up (maybe it was faster but it felt like forever!).
Exploring the bunker
If you’re into war history, you will get an extra level of enjoyment out of this visit. They unlocked everything and it’s open to the public. Don’t be surprised to see packs of children roaming the bunker exploring every dark hallway. Bring a flashlight with you if you want to go underground since there are not lights in the bunker space. All the locks have been removed from the doors so there’s no chance of getting locked into any of the rooms. Click an image below to enlarge and view the bunker album.
- 4 stars out of 5
- Worthy of visiting at least once or twice
- Kid friendly
- Animal friendly
- Would recommend