Washington state is relatively young in the grand scheme of the United States. It gained statehood in 1889, so for the most part, historic buildings are thin on the ground. Except, we have our very own Victorian seaport. Port Townsend was founded in 1851 and at the time, was making a run at being THE port city for Puget Sound – a designation that ultimately went to Seattle and Tacoma. Port Townsend went bust in 1890 and the ambition to be a great port city crumbled along with a number of the buildings and docks. A few hardy souls clung on and the town endured. The historic buildings gained recognition and funding for preservation. Many of the fine, old Victorian homes have been converted to bed and breakfasts. The town has just short of 9,ooo residents these days. It’s about 40 miles north of Seattle and across Puget Sound. Close enough that a writer seeking a few days of quiet and dedicated writing time can get there via one ferry ride and a couple of buses. There are great restaurants, galleries, and shops to wander. You’ll also find beaches and loads of maritime distractions if you want them. Port Townsend achieved some status as a port – for pleasure boaters looking for a place and the skilled shipwrights to work on their boats. Play your cards right and you can stay in the Palace Hotel – a building with a checkered past that included serving as a brothel.
Here’re the pictures from my recent three day retreat:
First photo: Main Street through town (From the Palace Hotel doorway). Second photo: Beach at Point Hudson looking toward Point Wilson and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It was proximity to the not-so-friendly waters of the Strait (the entrance to Puget Sound from the Pacific Ocean) that made Port Townsend attractive as a port city, initially.
Lots to see – nice long walks to take. And when the writer is ready to get down to work, there’s a tea shop in town (not to mention a dozen or more coffee shops if that’s your poison). Treats, tea, and a WIP in a friendly, historic setting. What’s not to like?