Our Victorian seaport, locally known as “town” or “PT” is home to about 9,000 residents. Marine trades have long dominated the landscape since Port Townsend was founded in 1851. With early speculation that the city would become the largest port on the west coast the town was nicknamed “The City of Dreams”. When the railroads failed to extend their lines northward up the Olympic Peninsula, boom turned to bust and the town’s population and economic growth was halted.
Today, Port Townsend includes about 9.5 square miles, with many different neighborhoods such as Water Street/downtown, Uptown, Morgan Hill, Fort Worden, Castle Hill, North Beach, Happy Valley, Umatilla and Towne Point.
Water Street is the historic and colorful shopping district downtown where you will find many fine restaurants, artisan’s shops, movie theatre, assorted clothing stores, eclectic bookstores and everyday household items. There is also a quaint shopping district in the Uptown District on Lawrence Street with stores, restaurants, post office, library, community recreation center, public swimming pool and the award-winning Farmer’s Market that runs April through Dec. At the Farmer’s Market you’ll find fresh, organic produce, local wines, bakers, fresh caught salmon, and often, live entertainment.
People value community in Port Townsend and tend to be interested in sustainability, organic foods, and connecting with neighbors, be it across the garden, at the Farmer’s Market, a community event, or one of the many festivals such as the famous 30-year old ‘Wooden Boat’ Festival. Port Townsend is truly the heart of the Quimper Peninsula.
Cape George is on the upper western corner of the Quimper Peninsula, about 15 minutes from Port Townsend. It is known for its incredible views of the Olympic Mountains, Discovery Bay, Protection Island, and its spectacular sunset views. There are three different micro-communities and lifestyles within Cape George. These communities offer amenities including miles of walk-able beaches, community trails and access to the Cape George Clubhouse. The Clubhouse offers an indoor pool, gym and a special member’s tool workshop that has been crafted for all skill levels. The Cape George Marina is also another popular feature as it is the only marina on Discovery Bay. Great crabbing and fishing is nearby with easy access to the San Juan Islands and beyond.
The ‘Colony’- Unique, custom built homes with magnificent views. Think of an evening enjoying a peach-colored sky as the sun slowly melts in the ocean. Soon the twinkling lights of Victoria simmer in the night.
The ‘Village’- The original development area from the 1950s with primarily manufactured homes. These homes are placed to take full advantage of the views of the Strait, Protection Island, Discovery Bay and the Olympic Mountains.
The ‘Highlands’- Positioned in the trees parcels are generally larger than 1 acre where property owners can spread out with manufactured or stick-built homes. Generally, these properties have little or no water view, however the additional acreage provides opportunity.
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Kala Point is a community seven miles (15 minutes) south of Port Townsend. Platted in 1982, it is 396-acres of private, custom homes from 1,500 square feet to 5,000 square feet. It’s a balance of living and nature that is maintained through Conditions, Covenants and Restrictions (CCRs). All building lots are a minimum of 1/3 of an acre. For all intents and purposes, Kala Point is a park…huge trees, walking trails, tennis courts, a mile and half of private beach, pool, Jacuzzi, sauna and a small exercise facility in a clubhouse available for private parties or go to weekly TGIF Welcome Parties.
In addition to homes, Kala Point also offers duplex-style condominiums and three apartment-style buildings for maintenance-free living. These can range in size from one bedroom, 800-square foot units to three bedroom 2000-square foot and some have water/mountain views.
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Chimacum is named from the Chemakum language which was spoken by the Chemakum, a Native American group that once lived on the Olympic Peninsula. This area is farm-oriented with cattle, bison, milk cows, corn, hay and vegetables. The hills are still covered with large stands of fir and cedar trees awaiting harvest. The valley floor has 100-year-old farms extending down the basin to the salmon-bearing Chimacum Creek. Chimacum Elementary, Middle School and High School are located here.
Port Hadlock began as a seaport community with homes on the bluff overlooking the Bay of Port Townsend. This area has a variety of properties from lower-priced older homes to high-end waterfront homes. The highly acclaimed Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building is down near the shore next to the public launch & dock with the Port Hadlock Marina nearby at the head of the bay. The commercial district is up on the hill and has a major supermarket, hardware stores & nursery, restaurants, gas stations, post office, library and bus line. Chimacum Primary School is located here next to the county library.
Irondale was founded as an iron and steel community in the late 1800’s. Today it is known as a single and multi-family home neighborhood that is minutes from Port Hadlock and Port Townsend. Irondale Park offers wonderful beach access to both the Bay of Port Townsend and Chimacum Creek.
Marrowstone is easily accessible to the mainland by a short bridge. The community is known for its wonderful Mediterranean-like climate amidst a soothing maritime landscape.
It was originally settled by Norwegian farmers known for growing delicious strawberries and whose heritage continues through the annual Strawberry Festival. The residents of Marrowstone have always felt the island imparts a special and magical quality that must be experienced to be understood. While Marrowstone has always been a desirable place to live for those in the know, its secretive location helps it maintain a peaceful community lifestyle for those residents that have discovered its unique character and hidden beauty.
There are also multiple parks including Fort Flagler, Mystery Bay, East Beach and Kinney Point. These parks offer endless beaches to explore, forested trails, multiple boat ramps, easily accessible crabbing grounds and perfect waters for sailing, kayaking and rowing.
Grocery shopping is only 15 minutes away in Port Hadlock, or you can take advantage of the well-supplied Nordland General Store, which offers locally made goodies such as cheeses, wines and seafood. If you are looking for a place to stay on Marrowstone the Marrowstone Beach Cottages are
If you are looking for a place to stay on Marrowstone, the Marrowstone Beach Cottages are a great getaway on the southern shores of the island.
Port Ludlow is the recreational boater’s and golfer’s dream! A quiet harbor with a five-star restaurant, right next to a community of homes that were developed with peaceful tranquility, convenient amenities, saltwater views. Port Ludlow is a residential community made up of single family homes and condominiums nestled near the shores of a quiet cove.
Amenities include a world class golf course, a 300-slip full service marina and a exclusive resort. Seattle is only 1.5 hours away and Port Townsend is 25 minutes to the north. Port Ludlow has restaurants, banks, a medical clinic, mini mart with gas station or you may travel 10 minutes to Port Hadlock or hop over the Hood Canal Bridge to Poulsbo or Silverdale. Port Ludlow also has a fire department with medic support.
The Port Ludlow Marina is a modern 300-slip full service facility offering permanent and short term moorage for large and small boats. Full service of gasoline and diesel fuels with electricity and water at each slip. The Marina Store offers a limited supply of groceries, sundries, fishing gear, and boat maintenance products for the convenience of boaters. There is also a fish cleaning table, boat launch and a sewage pump station for boats with holding tanks.
We are in a “rain shadow.” That means the clouds get caught on the Olympic Mountains to the west, go around to Port Angeles to the north, and south to the Hood Canal. The clouds then gather rain over the sound and dump it on Seattle. Some studies have shown in the winter we only get a quarter of as many dreary days in the rain shadow than Seattle.
So, if you’re watching the weather out of Seattle, you’re not getting our weather.
In the Port Townsend area, we average 23 inches per year. December is typically our wettest month averaging 16 days per year, while June and July are the driest months averaging 5 days. We do see the occasional snowfall but it rarely lasts more then 24 hours.
To put this in perspective, Seattle averages 37 inches of rain each year. The southern end of the Hood Canal gathers 75 inches a year.
The daily temperature in the winter is in the 40s to low 50s. In March through June, we see 50s into the 60s. Over the summer, it’s gorgeous here. We have temperatures in the 70s and even up into the 80s.
Port Townsend is closer to the Strait and tends be the coldest microclimate in East Jefferson County during the summer months. Port Hadlock, Kala Point are nestled inland to be a bit warmer and Port Ludlow to the south can be 5+ degrees warmer. Port Ludlow, Chimacum, Quilcene and Brinnon can be much colder in the winter months.