Some people love museums, others can’t get enough shopping … but traveling with our dogs in an RV means neither of those rate very high with us. Few museums welcome pets, and we don’t like leaving the dogs behind. Shopping as a recreational activity is pointless when every storage compartment you have is at capacity. Hiking is good, often rewarding us with a private viewing of a panoramic scene, but we’d be missing out if we didn’t also meet the locals and learn the history of an area. For that experience, friendly villages like Port Townsend, Washington are perfect.
Located on the northeastern tip of the Olympic Peninsula, Port Townsend was founded in 1851 in hopes it would be the biggest harbor in the northwest. As overseas ships began docking, businesses took off, and Victorian buildings were constructed to house them. Everything came to a crashing halt when the Great Depression hit and the railroads could not afford to extend their lines across Puget Sound. Much of Port Townsend’s population left, and the buildings were simply abandoned rather than being torn down or built over. Now, after careful restoration, they give the town it’s quaint feel.
Still deep in maritime relevancy, Port Townsend is now a hub for independent boat builders. Walking through the marina to view the vessels docked here is entertaining – even if you know nothing about boats! There were also a few friendly locals that were willing to pose for a photo with Ty and Buster. :-)
Finding unique, pet friendly restaurants has become a hobby for us, and Port Townsend provided two that were particularly memorable. First, we had lunch at the Nifty Fifty’s Soda Fountain. Looking just like I’d imagine a soda fountain would look, it also has a back deck overlooking the harbor. With great views and pet friendly seating … who could ask for more? We were happy to see two dogs on the deck while we had lunch.
The second place you must check out the next time you’re in Port Townsend is UnderTown Coffee. Located in the basement of one of the historic buildings, it’s a easy to miss – but definitely worth the hunt! With all the exposed brick and cavernous rooms, it’s the coolest coffee shop you’ll ever see. It reminded us of being in a wine cave. Unfortunately, dogs are not allowed inside – but they also have small back deck where your pooch is welcome to join you.
After our day exploring Port Townsend, we were all bushed.