Port Townsend is a showcase for the arts in a town that time forgot. Here on the remote northeastern tip of the Olympic Peninsula is one of America’s finest collections of Victorian architecture. Nearby to the southwest are the glacier-covered peaks of Olympic National Park. To the east, open water, natural canals, and tiny hidden harbors distinguish Puget Sound. Port Townsend flourished in the 1880s with logging and maritime activity. During the 1890s, however, the boom collapsed as the town and port lost preeminence to Seattle.
Today, Port Townsend is a designated National Historic District. Solid rows of substantial 19th century brick buildings still line the downtown waterfront. Many house studios and shops displaying fine local arts and crafts, or atmospheric restaurants and bars. Even the adjoining fort site is a major cultural and recreational asset. Distinctive lodgings include a choice collection of bed-and-breakfast inns in Victorian mansions and several contemporary harbor-view motels.
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