Family Fun in Port Townsend

By Melinda Larke - Cherry Valley Macaroni Kid July 22, 2021

Located on the Olympic Peninsula, Port Townsend is a unique and fun town that makes for a great day or overnight trip for the whole family.  You can  go from window shopping in the morning to hiking through  history in the afternoon.  Add in a little beach play and  some great ice cream shops and you have the perfect family day.  

There are several ways to get to Port Townsend. Take the ferry from Edmond to Kingston and drive about 2 hours to reach Port Townsend or  take the ferry from downtown Seattle to Bainbridge Island and drive about 1 1/2 hours.   You can also drive around, down though Tacoma and up  through the peninsula, which can take 3-4 hours depending on traffic.    We have always found the Edmonds/Kingston Ferry to be the easiest for us, but be prepared on weekends especially in the summer and on holidays for the ferries to be pretty busy.  

Once you get to Port Townsend here are 5 ways to find your family fun - 

1. Fort Worden State Park - Fort Worden is a families dream!    It is a great place to head after that long drive to get all the wiggles out.  Once  a military base to protect the Puget Sound, Fort Worden still has the bunkers and remnants of the  big guns that were once positioned there, and ready for you and your kids to explore.  Hike around the bluffs, head down to the 2 miles of  beachfront, check out the Point Wilson Lighthouse, and  if open head into the Marine Science Center.    It really is a place you could spend all day  and  overnight.  They do have a campground as well as dormitories, vacation homes and other accommodations at the park.   FYI - A Discovery Pass is required.  

2.  Downtown Port Townsend - Head down to Water Street to enjoy  many cute shops and restaurants with a great view of the water along your route.  There are shops for all to enjoy  including fun little gift shops, toy shops for the kiddos, and  at the end of the street is the Northwest Maritime Center.  While it is closed to the public, it does have a fun gift shop.  For an easy and quick lunch grab a slice of pizza at Waterfront Pizza or a hot dog at Dogs-A-Foot.  

3.  Enjoy A Treat - While you are wondering downtown Port Townsend, don't forget to get yourselves a treat!  Elevated Ice Cream & Candy Shop offers  some great ice cream  cones and has a fun selection of candies that is sure to please the crowd.  If you want more of an old fashioned  soda fountain vibe, head on over to  Nifty Fiftys Soda Fountain.  The atmosphere is fun and the  ice cream sodas and specialty sundaes delicious.   They also have a full menu of  diner foods sure to please even the pickiest eater. 

4.  Port Townsend Farmers Market - If you happen to make it on a Saturday, don't miss the Farmers Market!  Here is your chance to experience the  best that Port Townsend has to offer!   The Farmers Market happens from April to December, every Saturday from 9am-2pm, and is located at Tyler and Lawrence Streets. 

5.  Explore the beaches - There are many beaches around Port Townsend  to explore.  If you are looking for sea glass head to North Beach.   Sit on the beach and enjoy the waves and water, do some geocaching,   or search for marine life during a low tide.  You can never go wrong with a visit to the beach. 

Port Townsend is  very busy during the summer, but can also be enjoyed year round.  Head over during the week, or fall and spring to avoid the crowds.  

If you decide to visit, I hope you have lots of family fun! 

Keep finding your family fun -