Tips for a Port Townsend getaway

I had a whirlwind weekend at the 11th annual Port Townsend Film Festival and it renewed my love for the area. If you need some time away, I recommend a trip to Port Townsend. Visitors can enjoy anything from a world-class film festival to simply taking a stroll along the waterfront. Below are a few suggestions for your stay. 

Port Townsend Film Festival 
You cannot go wrong with the Port Townsend Film Festival (PTFF). Their programming includes documentaries, shorts, world-premiere films and more. They also make it easy to attend screenings. A free shuttle bus provides transportation between theaters and runs continuously. PTFF also perfected a brilliant ticketing system. Audience members pick up numbered tickets an hour before screenings. You are allowed to leave and reclaim your numbered place in line when you return. I loved not waiting in lines forever!

PTFF announced that the 2011 festival will be held September 23-25. Visit their website,, for more information.

Sites to see
There are a number of historical sites worth visiting. The Jefferson County Historical Museum is located in the historic City Hall building constructed in 1892. Highlights include the original courthouse chambers and the jail located in the basement (complete with old-fashioned jail cells). Another unique site is the Rothschild House Museum. Built in 1886, the house sits atop the hill overlooking the water and contains the original furnishings. It’s like taking a step back in time.

There is food for every taste. For the sweet tooth, one of my favorites is the Elevated Ice Cream Co.  They make their ice creams from scratch and their homemade hot fudge is lick-the-bottom-of-the-bowl good. For something savory, Watertown Pizza rivals anything I’ve sampled in Seattle. Finally, make sure to visit Don’s Pharmacy. The general store operates its original soda fountain restaurant and offers old-school soda concoctions, burgers and the biggest banana splits in town.

Stay the night
I recommend staying somewhere that takes advantages of the gorgeous waterfront views. My stay at The Clam Cannery was idyllic. It’s refreshing to open the windows, smell the saltwater air and hear the waves crashing against the shore. By next summer, the Clam Cannery plans to restore the outside dock for visitors to moor their boats and plans are also underway to offer seaplane service to and from Seattle and Victoria, B.C.