Port Townsend is rich with Pacific Northwest history, in fact - the Downtown District is a National Historic Landmark. Ornate, Victorian buildings line the city streets providing shelter for shops, restaurants, and hotels. The historic structures have been well cared for, and some renovated, since their construction in the late-1800s. From B&Bs to castles, you have the opportunity to spend the night in a piece of Port Townsend’s past. Check out five of my favorites below.
Manresa Castle has been a family home, a college, and now a hotel. The Victorian castle is a 40-room hotel featuring a beautiful bridal suite. Manresa Castle is on the National Register of Historic Places and is a favorite for weddings.
The castle was built as a family home in 1892 for Port Townsend’s first mayor and his wife, Charles and Kate Eisenbeis. The 30-room home built by the Eisenbeis family was the largest private residence ever built in Port Townsend. It was referred to at the time as “Eisenbeis Castle” by locals due to the Charles’ Prussian heritage and the architectural style.
In 1927, the Jesuits purchased the building as a training college for priests in their final year of study and renamed the building “Manresa Hall” after their heritage. The Jesuits left in 1968 and has been in operation as a hotel since.
The Bishop Victorian
The Bishop Victorian is a three-story, brick Victorian building built in 1891. The hotel hosts 16 Victorian suites including queen, king, and family suites and is home to an award-winning, storybook-like garden. Sip your morning coffee or enjoy a cocktail in one of the many sitting areas in the garden amongst butterflies, hummingbirds, and deer.
Not only does the hotel provide free wifi and on-site parking, but it is pet-friendly! Other amenities include complimentary access to the Port Townsend Athletic Club complete with a full gym, whirlpool, and sauna.
The Bishop Victorian was built by William Bishop Sr., a famous Jefferson County pioneer. In 1940, the US Navy purchased the building and converted it to housing for civilian workers during WWII. The Bishop Victorian was opened as hotel in 1980.
The Palace Hotel
As The Palace says itself, it is “a step back in time.” This Victorian hotel built in 1889, boasts 19 rooms and suites furnished in antiques and collectibles of the era. It is a great example of the Victorian-style architecture of the era.
The Palace Hotel reflects the history of the era and building throughout the hotel that was once a tavern and later a brothel. The first floor originally housed a billiard parlor and saloon. From the mid-1920s to early-1930s, the hotel operated as a brothel. The guestrooms are named after “the girls” who once occupied the historic hotel. “Marie’s Suite”, a second floor suite, has particular significance as Marie was the Madame of The Palace.
I’ve spend the night in the “Miss Kitty” room and was awed by the sweeping views of Port Townsend and the Puget Sound. My husband and I enjoyed exploring the historic building and learning more about Port Townsend’s rich history. The Palace provides free wifi and parking and is conveniently located to shops and restaurants.
The Old Consulate Inn
The Old Consulate Inn is a charming 8-room, bed and breakfast is a National Historic Landmark as well as being voted the best B&B in Jefferson County for over five years.
The Victorian inn sits on a bluff, complete with a charming gazebo, with remarkable views of the Olympic Mountains and Puget Sound. The chef/innkeeper prepares a locally-sourced, three-course breakfast daily at 9am. If you’re looking to get an early start, let the staff know, and they will pack you a picnic breakfast.
Construction began on the inn in 1889 and was completed by the Olsen family in 1907. The Olsens took in boarders to make additional money, one being August Dudenhausen, the acting German vice-consul. Dudenhausen provided the inspiration for the name of this historic bed and breakfast.
This list wouldn’t be complete without Fort Worden. The Fort encompasses military bunkers, restaurants, lodging, museums, hiking trails, tidepools, and so much more. It is a popular wedding venue with numerous historic reception halls and talented catering crew.
Fort Worden was originally a military base protecting the greater Puget Sound area in WWI and WWII. Grab a flashlight and explore the abandoned bunkers or visit the Coast Artillery Museum, located on-site, to learn more about the military history of Port Townsend and the surrounding area.
Whether you explore the bunkers or the beach, Fort Worden has two restaurants to enjoy local, Pacific Northwest cuisine. Taps at the Guardhouse is a 21+ pub that served as transient housing (aka jail) for soldiers who breached military discipline or visit Reveille, a French-inspired restaurant, in Fort Worden Commons, open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Fort Worden provides a variety of lodging types including cottages & lofts, historic officer’s homes (perfect for gatherings), retreat housing, and campgrounds. Each home is unique but none are quite like Alexander’s Castle. The castle is incredibly adorable and romantic with a fully-equipped kitchen, large living area, and king-sized bed with windows looking out at Puget Sound.