Olympic Nat’l Park to San Juan Islands via Port Townsend

Sleeping and Dining in Port Townsend

Port Townsend, a quaint town on mainland Washington, makes an easy stopover from Olympic National Park to Anacortes, gateway to the San Juan Islands. With a picturesque downtown lined with shops catering to most any interest, comfortable accommodations and good restaurants spending the night is no hardship.

Swan Hotel

The Swan Hotel offers rooms in the main house as well as 4 stand-alone cottages. The cozy cottages are well equipped with a microwave – free microwave popcorn is offered on check-in – coffee and tea service, gas burning stove as well as comfy robes. The rooms are comfortable but a bit cramped with a lot of furniture in a small space. Clean and well-tended, the room was quiet for a good night’s sleep. Good wifi connection.

Doc’s Marina Grill

Doc’s Marina Grill, a popular restaurant on the harbor end of town, offers an extensive menu with plenty of seafood options. The traditional dining room has booths along the wall and well-spaced tables in the center of the room. Local photographs for sale decorate the walls.

We started with the steamed clams and mussels, beautifully done and served in a garlic white wine sauce with toasted focaccia. For mains the cioppino was chock full of seafood. However, the salmon in the Italian stew was a tad overcooked and the tomato sauce too heavy on dry herbs. Don’s salmon over spaghetti aglio e olio (with garlic and olive oil) was both well done and tasty.

Looking around the room most patrons are repeat customers who come for the great food. Just don’t order the cioppino.

Breakfast at Blue Moose Café

The Blue Moose Café is everything a breakfast dive should be – an off-the-beaten-path location on the edge of town near the docks, a homey dining room filled with memorabilia and a great basic breakfast – well cooked eggs, fluffy pancakes and solid potatoes.

Ferry to Friday Harbor, San Juan Island

Ferry Schedule

The easiest way to get from Olympic National Park to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island is the ferry system via Port Townsend and Anacortes. This route requires a connection through Whidbey Island i.e., the ferry from Port Townsend to Coupeville, drive from Coupeville to Anacortes and then the ferry to Friday Harbor. In mid-May we had made reservations but there were plenty of spaces left on both ferries.

Deception Pass State Park on Whidbey Island

With extra time between ferries the park offers a chance to stretch your legs along the beach or walk in the woods to a view point below the bridge at the north beach. There is also a viewpoint with a walkway over the bridge just past the state park.

For links to all the posts in this series see the Pacific Northwest page.

May 15-16, 2019