This town, which sits on the northeastern tip of the Olympic Peninsula, has a long seafaring history—it was one of the region's most important ports in the late 1800s. Its success gave it the finest collection of Victorian architecture north of San Francisco. More than 75% of Port Townsend's buildings are on the National Register of Historic Places. Many have been converted into bed-and-breakfasts, which are kept busy, thanks to the town's pretty seaside setting near the Olympic Mountains. Local attractions include shopping, films, music, galleries, quilting and the annual Wooden Boat Festival (early September). For more information, contact the visitors center at 360-385-2722. http://www.ptguide.com.
Port Angeles is another busy coastal town, sitting 35 mi/55 km west of Port Townsend along the Strait of Juan de Fuca. It's the jumping-off point for both beautiful Olympic National Park to the south and Victoria, British Columbia, which is reached by ferry. Also in the area is Dungeness, 17 mi/27 km east of Port Angeles. It sits on the Dungeness Spit, a natural sand jetty that stretches 7 mi/11 km into the sea. Take the time to drive the area's scenic loop: It passes through farmland and, along the bay, the place where Dungeness crabs are hauled out of the water. For more information, phone 360-452-2363 or visit http://www.portangeles.org. Port Townsend is 45 mi/70 km northwest of Seattle.
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